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1999 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, first time poster here.

I have a 1999 Subaru Forester. It's the only car I have ever driven on a daily basis and I have a few questions about my driving experience. The car in general drives loose. By this I mean the steering seems to need a lot of correction. Sometimes the wheels will catch a groove in the road and the car will pull along that groove until corrected. Also, bumps in the road cause the car to bounce more so than in other cars. The brakes also require far more pressure to bring the car to a stop than other cars I have driven. I had the steering adjusted about a year ago which did not seem to improve the 'looseness' of the car. I had the brakes checked two weeks ago and they're just fine.

I would like to know how much of this is normal for a vehicle of this class and make and what I could do to improve my driving experience.

Thanks!
 

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2000 Forester L NA auto
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574 Posts
Hi from Montana. Sounds like you may need new Tye rods and struts. They probably are a bit worn out. As far as the brakes go, Subaru's are traditionally a bit soft on the pedal but still engage well and stop the car with no problem. Your brakes may be fine but its still worth another look.

Good luck.

Kenny.
 

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2000 Forester L NA auto
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574 Posts
To tell if your struts are shot you should go give them a visual inspection for leaks or damage then push sharply down on each corner of the car...it should bounce back up then stop. If it continues to bounce then you have problems. As far as the steering goes, that should be nice and tight, if not then repairs are in order. And, of course once these things are done you would want to have an alignment done. Again, good luck.

Kenny
 

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I also have a 99 Forester and note some similarities.

Steering, yes it is overly sensitive IMO, but not loose (steering wheel movement w/o wheel movement). If you have loose steering, something is wrong w/ steering linkage (tie-rod ball joints), steering gear (loose rack-pinion), or steering wheel drive. Yes, it tends to follow a road track a bit, but not terrible. I considered installing a steering dampner to provide more resistance to dyanamic road feedback, but never have. I'm not sure one is available for Forester, but probably.

Brakes require more pedal effort than most but stop well. My wife thinks the brakes are "bad", but she is used to driving a 2007 Accord which requires very low pedal force to stop the car.

Ride may be on the firm side, but I thought acceptable. Check your sway-bar links front and rear if you have suspension noise.

good luck
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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38,722 Posts
You may have a couple different problems. I had steering issues with the stock tires on my '03 X. The problem was partly dues to the tires being over inflated & the tires. The symptom was that the Forester seemed to wander, wanted to follow ruts in the road & seem to required too many steering corrections. :frown:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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1999 Forester
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the help. The car does seem to bounce a bit when I push down on the corners. How often do tie rods and struts have to be replaced? The car is a 99 with only 81k miles on it so I am probably coming up on some more expensive issues.

The next time I have the car looked at I will have them to take a look at the tie rods and struts.
 

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Struts and sway bar bushings wear depending on how much turning and bumps you encounter. No easy answer.

Sway bar bushings can be checked by grabbing and forcefully try to move the sway bar link to the lower arm. If there's any play, the bushings are worn and need replacedment. Entire link must be replaced.

I have a loose rear link on my 99 Forester currently, but it's a 219K miles.

good luck
 

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1998 Forester
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213 Posts
A common problem with the Forester steering is the Steering rack bushings. They are easy to check have someone turn the steering wheel back and fourth (while the vehicle is at idle in park and parking brake applied) Then watch the steering rack to see if it moves in the bushings. I change at least two sets of these bushings a week.
 
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