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Discussion Starter #1
One of my relatives has a first generation Forester, a '98 or '99, and it had both the Head Gasket problem (@ ~100k miles) and rear Wheel Bearing failure (@ ~66k miles). This Forester is still going, but said relative was pretty annoyed.

I was wondering if these problems were ever resolved in this latest generation of Forester. The Head Gasket problem seems to have been fixed in the last generation, but there doesn't seem to be anything conclusive on the wheel bearing issue.

Any idea if there were engineering fixes for the 2009/2010 generation of vehicles?
 

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Wheel bearings on the 5x100 hubs aren't the greatest. The newer wheel bearings are better than the old ones, but after 100,000 miles you can probably expect to replace a wheel bearing at some point (my 04 XT with lots of abuse killed the RR bearing sometime between 80-100,000 miles). They fail more than they "should" but its not something to keep you away from a forester, its usually about a $400 (dealer to just replace the bearing) to 5-600 if replacing the hub as well.
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Systemic head gasket problems were largely confined to the pre-2003 "SF" models. 2003 was kind of a transition year (Some of us have had problems at a rate greater than random, but mine and others' are still fine at over 150k miles!) and they've been pretty solid ever since.

We have an ongoing set of polls, though not as active as they used to be, where we've tried to capture our members' experience with head gaskets, be it good or bad.
 

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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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For what it's worth, I have an 04 X at 104K that has had neither problems with headgaskets nor wheel bearings (despite seeing a fair amount of off-road abuse).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O6 Forester w/both rear wheel bearings replaced at around 50K:icon_frown:


Motoretro
Damn... 50k??? What kind of driving? I am currently a Honda driver and I am used to doing practically no maintenance outside of routine fluid changes. The cost of maintenance is the only thing that worries me about Subaru. Was looking at the CR-V, but the ride is a bit harsh and visibility not as good as the Subaru.
 

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One of my relatives has a first generation Forester, a '98 or '99, and it had both the Head Gasket problem (@ ~100k miles) and rear Wheel Bearing failure (@ ~66k miles). This Forester is still going, but said relative was pretty annoyed.

I was wondering if these problems were ever resolved in this latest generation of Forester. The Head Gasket problem seems to have been fixed in the last generation, but there doesn't seem to be anything conclusive on the wheel bearing issue.

Any idea if there were engineering fixes for the 2009/2010 generation of vehicles?
Here is a link that has information about the head gasket you may find useful.

Subaru Head Gasket Problems Explained. - Seattle Subaru Repair

From what I understand the problem may not be completely resolved. It appears that good maintenance practices may help prevent premature head gasket failure. The link explains that this means using the proper engine coolant and not leaving the oil in so long that is builds up an acidic condition. After reading this link I will be using the OEM blue long life coolant and changing the oil at the recomended change interval or less. I use synthetic oil but I will not be experimenting with long oil change intervals.
 

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2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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2004xs 122000k new head gasket :mob: it's in the shop now.
To be honest, getting over 100k on the original head gasket is pretty damn good for any vehicle (most vehicles blow up after 100k). Not to mention, the head gasket is actually a pretty straight forward repair you can do yourself. If you can do your own brake jobs, you can easily change your head gaskets yourself (just requires a bit more time and patience)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
To be honest, getting over 100k on the original head gasket is pretty damn good for any vehicle (most vehicles blow up after 100k). Not to mention, the head gasket is actually a pretty straight forward repair you can do yourself. If you can do your own brake jobs, you can easily change your head gaskets yourself (just requires a bit more time and patience)
From the perspective of a Honda owner, a head gasket replacement at 100k is almost unheard of. My Accord has gone 180k and 15 years without a replacement (or replacement of any other major drivetrain component). The engine still runs almost as well as it did when it was new.

That's not to say Honda and Toyota don't have problems. Honda's early 5-spd automatic transmissions were a disaster, and Toyota's 6-spd from about 2 years ago was similarly unreliable.

Edit: I checked out the recent polls on HG problems and there really does not seem to be much of an issue for the NA engines for MY2004 and later.

Jury still out on the wheel bearings.
 

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No off road driving, lady driver 90% of the time, mostly H/W miles. Vehicle never abused.

Motoretro


Damn... 50k??? What kind of driving? I am currently a Honda driver and I am used to doing practically no maintenance outside of routine fluid changes. The cost of maintenance is the only thing that worries me about Subaru. Was looking at the CR-V, but the ride is a bit harsh and visibility not as good as the Subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No off road driving, lady driver 90% of the time, mostly H/W miles. Vehicle never abused.

Motoretro
Almost the same w' the relative's Forester. All on-road driving, no harsh stuff. There seem to be people who don't have this problem, and others who are replacing the bearings a lot.

Makes me wonder if there is just a wide variation in the quality of the part, and the quality of the installation work.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Still on original rear wheel bearings at 135k in my 04 XT, and it has been anything but babied. The fronts have been replaced though, thanks to a pro rally driver (who shall remain unnamed) taking my car off some sweet jumps.
 

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I have an '04 Forester XS with 128,000 miles. At 100K I replaced rear wheel bearings and seals, new battery, rear rotors and pads, new good quality tires. I have changed oil every 3-5K miles. Never flushed coolant. Replaced front rotors/pads at 110K. During annual NY inspection in October, serpentine belt was replaced. Then I experienced very loud squealing upon starting car, initial few miles of driving cold and every time I turned wheel hard to L or R. Plus coolant smell. I took it back to non-Subee mechanic, who "adjusted" self-adjusting belt and "refastened a loose hose clamp". Still had coolant smell and squealing upon turning wheel hard. Back into mechanic yesterday. Diagnosis: externally leaking L head gasket!!! My questions: Should I keep the car? I was hoping to get at least 200K out of it. If I repair, should I have R HG done at same time to save me a trip back to mechanic in a short while? If I put $1,000 -$2,000 into my car now, from other '04 owners' experience...what next??
 

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From the perspective of a Honda owner, a head gasket replacement at 100k is almost unheard of. My Accord has gone 180k and 15 years without a replacement (or replacement of any other major drivetrain component). The engine still runs almost as well as it did when it was new.

That's not to say Honda and Toyota don't have problems. Honda's early 5-spd automatic transmissions were a disaster, and Toyota's 6-spd from about 2 years ago was similarly unreliable.

Edit: I checked out the recent polls on HG problems and there really does not seem to be much of an issue for the NA engines for MY2004 and later.

Jury still out on the wheel bearings.
In the UK you hear regularly about the 1.8 Rover (R.I.P) engine and HG problems.

What are the signs of impending wheel bearing failure?
 

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"Not to mention, the head gasket is actually a pretty straight forward repair you can do yourself. If you can do your own brake jobs, you can easily change your head gaskets yourself (just requires a bit more time and patience)[/QUOTE]"

Sorry but I have to disagree. It is almost impossible to change head gaskets in the 2.5 motor without removing the engine from the vehicle. That's a far cry from brakes and rotors. G
 

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"Not to mention, the head gasket is actually a pretty straight forward repair you can do yourself. If you can do your own brake jobs, you can easily change your head gaskets yourself (just requires a bit more time and patience)
"

Sorry but I have to disagree. It is almost impossible to change head gaskets in the 2.5 motor without removing the engine from the vehicle. That's a far cry from brakes and rotors. G[/QUOTE]

if you have the manuals or repair books, pulling an engine and doing hg's shouldnt be hard at all
 

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