Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an '04 XT auto transmission with 117,000 miles. I am not a car whiz--so forgive me in the descriptions I make. In dec 08 at 98,000 I had major jerking when the gears shifted. At first they told me it was the tires (which it was not--I do understand that the tread has to be nearly exact). I was just looking for the paperwork to remind me what we repaired exactly and couldn't find it--but it was $3500 or $4000. Luckily my 100,000 warranty covered most of it (they tried to tell me it was my fault). They (i think) replaced or did major work on the transmission and found a shot turbo while they were at it AND since the engine was broken down I went ahead and replaced the timing belt at that time. My transmission has worked better--but not steller. This winter during the unseasonably cold winter--I began to smell gas (big gas leak). Took it in to the service dept at the dealer as Firestone told me they couldn't do anything with it. They had to tear into the top and go all the way down to get to the fuel lines (what I was told anyway--can you tell that i don't really trust the service dept?). To replace the fuel lines AND then put the engine together was something like $1300. (just checked paperwork and part of the cost was replacing the solenoid they broke while tearing it down) Immediately after getting the car back, the check engine light came on. I took it in and they checked the code and told me it was a PO171 code and it was running lean--I would likely need a FT O/2 sensor and air flow meter. This would likely be another $800. I told him to reset the computer and I'd drive it a while as it drove fine. It did drive fine and light didn't come on for a long time--until I attempted to use the cruise control on the interstate. It immedietly popped out of CC and the check engine light comes back on. It drove fine for a month or so and now is just starting to act "lean". And sometimes 10 or 15 minutes after first running I can smell oil burning and at a stoplight even see a tiny bit of smoke coming out of the hood--but it goes away after another five minutes or so. After spending $3500+$1350+a possible $800 again in the last year and a half and hearing similar horror stories from other owners of the Forester--I really have considered other cars and soon as I don't want to spend another big chunk of money. But I love the Forester otherwise and this is my second one. I do the scheduled maintenence and just thought that the Forester should hold up better as that is what everyone seems to think and say.

With what I've described--I'm considering trading it on a new one (although I must say the service dept at my dealership is dreadful and I always feel like I'm about to be bent over everytime I go in there)...

Would you repair what is going on (O2 sensor,etc...$800 or so) and drive for a few months or go ahead and buy now? Think they will hit me for the needed repair at the trade-in?

I really need two vehicles--a nice car and a truck. But I can't afford two vehicles and so the Forester is the best compromise and i've looked at many of the competitors.
 

·
Registered
2011 Forester X AT
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
Out of all the cars I've owned, Subaru has been the most costly to keep up. This doesn't sound very unusual. Subaru probably isn't the best choice for TN either since Sub's are more of a specialty car there.... at least that's the feeling I got while living in Kentucky.

It's still cheaper than buying two vehicles though....
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm a realtor and one good thing is that if I want a "nice" car to drive clients around in--it is less expensive than acuras or other "nice" cars. I've got to have either an suv or truck for the outdoorsman in me. That is why the forester has been a good compromise. Maybe I just have to get used to the idea that they are more expensive to keep up. Still cheaper than two and less expensive than a premium car as well.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
Joined
·
5,079 Posts
... '04 XT auto transmission with 117,000 miles.... began to smell gas (big gas leak). Took it in to the service dept at the dealer... They had to tear into the top and go all the way down to get to the fuel lines... To replace the fuel lines AND then put the engine together was something like $1300. (just checked paperwork and part of the cost was replacing the solenoid they broke while tearing it down)...
I don't like it that:
1. Some of the fuel lines apparently go under the cast intake manifold which has to be removed to tighten or replace them.
2. They charged you for a solenoid they broke.
3. And $1300 must be overcharging.

At 18K I am already displeased with my dealer who leaves oily messes after oil changes and broke two of the storage trays doing a valve recall in the gas tank.
I love the car, but the real work is still far in future. When it comes, it's possible that the dealer service and cost will eventually drive me away from Subaru.
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't like it that:
1. Some of the fuel lines apparently go under the cast intake manifold which has to be removed to tighten or replace them.
2. They charged you for a solenoid they broke.
3. And $1300 must be overcharging.

At 18K I am already displeased with my dealer who leaves oily messes after oil changes and broke two of the storage trays doing a valve recall in the gas tank.
I love the car, but the real work is still far in future. When it comes, it's possible that the dealer service and cost will eventually drive me away from Subaru.
It is the biggest mental block for me right now. I LOVE foresters. However, once the mileage gets up there--many local shops won't do medium/large repairs here--and you have to resort to the dealership and I come away feeling like I got screwed everytime. I am not a car junkie and it isn't a major hobbie or interest for me. So without doing tons of research and time expended to educate myself on the ins and outs of the car--I at some point have to trust what they are telling me and yet it always feels shady. Really makes it hard to buy another one--but yet I want too.
 

·
Registered
09 Forester XT
Joined
·
52 Posts
I love the car, but the real work is still far in future. When it comes, it's possible that the dealer service and cost will eventually drive me away from Subaru.
This is a good point. What I have found recently is that Subaru of America is becoming more GM like when working with their customers, which is NOT a good thing :icon_sad: and the good techs at some of the Subaru dealers are moving from dealer to dealer to keep busy and get paid what they are worth.

This may sound a bit nuts, but recently when I take my car in for service; I am making sure which tech is going to work on the car and if necessary I will talk to them before I allow work to begin. Never had to do this before.
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is a good point. What I have found recently is that Subaru of America is becoming more GM like when working with their customers, which is NOT a good thing :icon_sad: and the good techs at some of the Subaru dealers are moving from dealer to dealer to keep busy and get paid what they are worth.

This may sound a bit nuts, but recently when I take my car in for service; I am making sure which tech is going to work on the car and if necessary I will talk to them before I allow work to begin. Never had to do this before.
Yeah in Nashville the Subaru dealer is the GM dealer. They have two separate service departments--but I think in the back room where the tech's are there is no difference as I've seen all makes and models being worked on side-by-side.
 

·
Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
·
4,128 Posts
I don't know if you did or not but this is why I always recommend paying for an extensive buyer checkout by a third party, especially for a used "performance" vehicle. I know I drive my cars hard.

There is a point where repairing a car reaches the point of diminishing returns especially if you don't feel the shop where you go is capable. Hard to say when that is though. To be honest even in So.Cal. there is only one dealer and one or two independents that I feel are capable of doing major repair work.
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't know if you did or not but this is why I always recommend paying for an extensive buyer checkout by a third party, especially for a used "performance" vehicle. I know I drive my cars hard.

There is a point where repairing a car has diminishing returns especially if you don't feel the shop where you go is capable. Hard to say when that is though.
Well this has been my car since day and mile 1. I do agree that repairing the car is beginning to have diminishing returns as who knows where it stops. I'm trying to bend my mind around buying another Fozzie (first time I've used that term and hope that it means forester, ha)
 

·
Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
·
4,128 Posts
Oh sorry I though it read "I got my XT at 117,000 miles". I had one of my XTs up to 90K with one major repair under warranty and I didn't baby that car. There are others here that have more miles than that without any apparent major problems too.

New cars are nice but obviously not the most cost effective. I say if you can swing it without overextending yourself get a new one. It's a buyer's market...
 

·
Registered
2004 fxt A/T
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
I'm guessing this all took place on Broadway? All of their diagnosis seems off, first the tires, then after replacing fuel lines and receiving a lean code they went to MAF and O2.:crazy: No offense but they see you as an easy mark, not to say that things weren't wrong to begin with. I think they see you as a dairy cow and are simply milking you for what they can.
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm guessing this all took place on Broadway? All of their diagnosis seems off, first the tires, then after replacing fuel lines and receiving a lean code they went to MAF and O2.:crazy: No offense but they see you as an easy mark, not to say that things weren't wrong to begin with. I think they see you as a dairy cow and are simply milking you for what they can.
Scubadoober--where do you go for service? Or do you do it all?
 

·
Registered
04 Forester XT
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm guessing this all took place on Broadway? All of their diagnosis seems off, first the tires, then after replacing fuel lines and receiving a lean code they went to MAF and O2.:crazy: No offense but they see you as an easy mark, not to say that things weren't wrong to begin with. I think they see you as a dairy cow and are simply milking you for what they can.
With that code...what would you think then if not the MAF and O2?
 

·
Registered
04 Forester X, MT
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
a forester is fun to drive but it is not a great deal. i'm beginning to think maybe i should have kept that '93 Suburban (which is not known for low maintenance costs).:icon_frown:
 

·
Registered
2004 fxt A/T
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
Scubadoober--where do you go for service? Or do you do it all?
Well, I moved to Nashville in October and have had no service. With that said I only have 76k on mine, so no timing belt yet. I have done all of my maintenance thus far (from 14k) and I intend to keep it that way. I do good work I know I do good work, I don't like others working on let alone profiting from my car. As for your other question I would maybe clean the MAF but I don't think that is the problem. The front O2 only monitors open loop fueling/stoich so unless it is running lean at idle or cruising I think that diagnosis is suspect as well. You weren't lean before the fuel hiccup and you are now I would say go to the source........fuel starvation of some sort. I would take it back or demand they log the car with a wideband and/or remedy the problem. Look go in there act nice but firm at first and if they don't start singing start acting like Tyler Durden. You are obviously a valued customer so they will accommodate you.
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester
Joined
·
71 Posts
There seems to be a lot of negativity towards Subaru here. I have had three cars over the last 8 years and every single one of them has cost money to maintain. That is kinda the point. I mean, if you want good performance, economy etc, you need to maintain, it's a given. Subaru's are of good quality build, they are certainly not like your "Great Wall Motors" , " Mahindra" etc type of vehicle.

Timing belts etc are all part of the deal when buying ANY car. Also, why go to the dealer? They charge MORE because you own a Subaru. Its the same old case with being a landlord, people ASSUME you are loaded because you own a rental property, never mind that the bank owns 90% of it. It's the same mentality with dealerships.

In fact, I have found that many smaller places and especially enthusiast mechanics know MUCH MORE than my local Subaru guys. They also love their cars so they take PRIDE and have a GENUINE interest in HELPING people. I suggest that you go to a "non affiliated" mechanic and see what they can do. Remember, a quote is a quote, you DO NOT have to proceed. Shop around!

Maybe things are different in America and you have lost that personal touch, but I tell you its alive and well in Australia and I'm very VERY HAPPY with my Subaru and the services I have had to perform so far.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
292 Posts
What were you expecting from a car with 117,000 miles on it? Except for the fuel line problems, the rest seem to me to be routine type of things, including the bad mechanics. If you don't already have new O2 sensors, you need them. I've never had to replace an air flow sensor on any car. You can mail order the parts and do that yourself for a whole lot less than $800 Plus you will have additional problems with any 4WD car, so what did you expect?
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top