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98 Forester L
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I bought a 1998 Forester with 144,000 miles on it a few days ago. I was wary of the head gasket problems but found one where the head gaskets have been replaced a year ago. Timing belt's been replaced and the catalytic converter and associated sensors have been replaced recently as well so I'm hoping I should be ok for many miles.

Anyway, the cruise doesn't work. It won't engage at all and the cruise indicator light in the dash won't light up. I've searched the forums and haven't found much about this other than something about a neutral indicator sensor. Anyone have some preliminary suggestions? I plan on getting a Haynes manual soon. This may be unrelated but the airbag warning light is on all the time. Seller claimed that a security system was installed, then uninstalled for some reason and the wiring may be slightly screwed up.

Appreciate any responses.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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1,067 Posts
I had a 2000 RS and at one point the cruise was not working. Basically I would press the Cruise button to turn cruise control on and it would light up on the dash. Then I would hit "set" to set the speed and nothing happened.

Turns out there is a hose in the engine bay near the air box that is easy to knock loose. I plugged it back in and everything started working. Apparently it needs the pressure in that hose in order to turn on.

May or may not be related. Also, there are buttons under the brake pedal and clutch (if equipped) that are used for disengaging cruise control. Some time I have heard of them breaking off. Food for thought.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT. (6MT, in my Heart) :-)
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200 Posts
You very likely need a CLOCKSPRING

I too have a '98 Forester. Over 240,000km.

Last year my horn stopped working, along with the Cruise control...very similar to what you're experiencing.

The part that was replaced was called the "clockspring." It goes in the steering wheel, behind the airbag. I would have a mechanic do this, since if it's not done properly, the airbag could be set off, along with other stuff that can go wrong.

Anyway, replacing the Clockspring fixed everything, the Cruise, horn, etc.
If I remember correctly, it cost about $400 or so installed. If you do do it yourself, you need to disconnect the battery for about 15-20 min before taking out the airbag...anyway, I'd recommend using a mechanic. There's a special tool you'd need for the whole procedure.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT. (6MT, in my Heart) :-)
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200 Posts
So...what happened

Fixed???
 
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