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1999 Forester
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1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 99 forester back in November and have had my fair share of problems. For one, and the biggest, it's the transmission. At first, there was just some minor slippage and jerking in between gears. I was thinking "Ok the car has 136k so it wont be perfect" Pretty soon, the car was banging into 2nd and hesitating at 3rd where it would rev high then shift. And then it started with the infamous delay when going into drive. Reverse, no problem, drive, big problem. The delay started subtly and then resulted into now having to give it gas to go into gear. The car also smokes sometimes like it might be burning oil but when I rev it, it goes away. To top it off, I've been smelling coolant and seeing some faint smoke coming from under my hood so I think there might be a leak. I'm really starting to doubt Subaru but would still like some insight to what any of these problems might be and how to fix them. Thx.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5X 5 speed manual
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2,136 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

A used '99 Forester with 136k miles will require some maintenance, especially if previous owners have been lax with regular services. But once fixed up, it should still be a solid vehicle.

First, get the vehicle's maintenance history. See if the head gaskets have been replaced. If not, that likely needs to be done. It won't be cheap, but it is a one time fix. Then see if the timing belt has been changed. This isn't cheap either, but is necessary (at 105,000 miles). You'll notice an immediate difference in vehicle performance. (Also note that a lot of other parts - tensioners, water pump, etc - are replaced at the same time as the timing belt.)

What type of transmission? If manual, the clutch could be going out. The general consensus from reading various threads on this site is that the clutch, on average, will last 125,000 to 150,000 miles under normal conditions. Some folks get 200,000 miles, others barely get 100,000 miles. Would also be good to replace the MT fluid.

If it has an automatic transmission, start with a flush of the AT fluid - not just a quicky lube fluid 'change' - which includes flushing out the torque converter. See if that fixes the problem.

Otherwise just start fixing things as time/budget allows and you should eventually get the vehicle back in shape.
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
He has a slushbox; he referred to "drive".

Sounds like you bought the car before getting 'educated' in the ways of Subarus, and 2.5 dohc's in particular. They have issues. The issues are fixable, as above, but will cost $$. However, if the tranny is going south and the HG's are leaking...you may be wise to dump this one for another and write it off to "stupid tax". We've all paid that tax at one time or another on various cars.
 
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