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Registered
2009 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm just having a complete head job on my brand new 2010 Forester with 11,000 miles. It seems that the Subaru designers added a heat shield between the radiator and the exhaust and mounted the shield to the radiator. The shield sticks below the frame and is exposed to foreign objects. If something hits the shield and it's deflected enough, it cracks the radiator at the mounting point. You quickly loose all your water, overheat the engine and in the shop you go. Don't know what I hit. I don't recall anything obvious. After talking to the mechanic, he said that he has had two other Foresters in for the same thing, one being caused by just a snow bank that the person pulled into at a ski area. When I get the car back, I'll take some pictures and post them. You have to be under the car to see what I'm talking about. It's not really visible from above.

I would be most interested in hearing of others who have had this happen to them. I don't know if its possible to get Subaru to fix this via a recall or not. Personally, I'm going to mount a skid plate that covers the shield and keeps anything from hitting it. I'd rather just re-mount the shield but afraid I might void my warranty. Speaking of warranty, this was not covered. I had to use my auto insurance.

Edit 3/8: This only applies to 09/10 automatic transmission models in North America.
Edit 3/12: Now it looks like it applies to the 08 models too. Read on ...
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
"..I'll take some pictures and post them."
I'll be interested in seeing the pix!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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472 Posts
If I were the rude and insensitive type, I'd suggest that Subaru must put the 'A' student engineers in charge of the suspension and AWD system and let the guys who flunked out of carpet laying school design the rest of the vehicle.

No offense intended to people who install carpets.
 

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Registered
2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,784 Posts
... 2010 Forester with 11,000 miles. It seems that the idiot Subaru designers added a heat shield between the radiator and the exhaust and mounted the shield to the radiator. The shield sticks below the frame and is exposed to foreign objects. If something hits the shield and it's deflected enough, it cracks the radiator at the mounting point.... I'll take some pictures and post them. You have to be under the car to see what I'm talking about....
I don't see a separate shield in this picture. I see the bottom of the radiator, and the heat shields on the exhaust.

 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,384 Posts
If I were the rude and insensitive type, I'd suggest that Subaru must put the 'A' student engineers in charge of the suspension and AWD system and let the guys who flunked out of carpet laying school design the rest of the vehicle.
That might have occurred a while back when engineers were in demand. Probably isn't quite so true anymore. But I can't disagree with your comment.

I don't see a separate shield in this picture. I see the bottom of the radiator, and the heat shields on the exhaust.
Your's is a 2008. Maybe they redesigned for 2009.
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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472 Posts
It seems that the idiot Subaru designers added a heat shield between the radiator and the exhaust and mounted the shield to the radiator. The shield sticks below the frame and is exposed to foreign objects. If something hits the shield and it's deflected enough, it cracks the radiator at the mounting point.


This?
 

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Registered
2010 Forester
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52 Posts
Heat Shield

I just checked under my 2010 Forester and the heat shield is there and mounted by two screws to the plastic radiator housing. I can see how it could be stressed if you were to nose into an icey snowbank. I wonder if the front bumper underguard that Subaru sells as an accessory would be any protection. Is that what you intend to mount?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,784 Posts
I just checked under my 2010 Forester and the heat shield is there and mounted by two screws to the plastic radiator housing. I can see how it could be stressed if you were to nose into an icey snowbank. I wonder if the front bumper underguard that Subaru sells as an accessory would be any protection. Is that what you intend to mount?
The function of that thing added below the radiator in 2010 is not a heat shield. Perhaps it is to protect the header heat shield from road debris. Perhaps it can be easily removed.

The bumper underguard slips over the lower bumper to stiffen and decorate it, and does not protect anything else.

Edit: The headers and their shields are rather vulnerable and fragile, hanging so low to the front of the engine. They can be hit by running over debris in the road and by running into snow banks. I think the plastic undertray helped by deflecting debris and by allowing the car to slide up on snow. Subaru deleted the undertray, but had to keep two side mini-trays and now has added this piece under the radiator. I wonder if the undertray-equipped 2010 XT has this piece - I don't think it would fit over the tray.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester XT Limited
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1,525 Posts
Wow, how does the warranty not cover this?
I am surprised by this also unless SOA is claiming you ran the FOZ into a wall. The vehicle is designed for off-road use. Doesn't make sense.


edit: I just looked under mine and because I have the XT there is the plastic protector/shield down there, I can't see if the metal shield is there by the radiator. Maybe all they need to do is add this piece back on when it was removed from the NA models. ????
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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472 Posts
Wow, how does the warranty not cover this?
The dealer must have interpreted damaging the radiator by something like whacking a snow bank to be other than normal use and not caused by defective material or workmanship...thus not something Subaru should be responsible for.
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
To save yourself some grief.......

buy or make a skid plate. 1/8" thick will do. This will protect all the expensive underside stuff. I particularly like my skid plate in the winter because of the protection it offers around icy snow banks.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
"www,subaruforester,org/vbulletin/imagehosting/277594b9264d4a5c40,jpg"

This?
That's it. Sorry about not being able to show the picture from JBX but forum rules state I can't post URLs until I have 15 of my own posts. But his picture of his blue Forester shows the shield. On mine you can see where the object impacted.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I just checked under my 2010 Forester and the heat shield is there and mounted by two screws to the plastic radiator housing. I can see how it could be stressed if you were to nose into an icey snowbank. I wonder if the front bumper underguard that Subaru sells as an accessory would be any protection. Is that what you intend to mount?
No, I was just going to mount a thin piece of metal from the bumper just past the shield, enough to deflect any object or snow.
 

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Registered
2009 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The dealer must have interpreted damaging the radiator by something like whacking a snow bank to be other than normal use and not caused by defective material or workmanship...thus not something Subaru should be responsible for.
That's pretty much what he said. I was hoping that there would be a case for design defects but he said sorry. I'm going to talk to my salesman. I've bought 4 Subarus from him so maybe he or his boss can do something.
 
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