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2010 Forester Premium X, 5 speed stick shift
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I am wondering what kind of major repairs can I expect after 120k miles? So far, for the past 10 yrs, all maintenance was done by the local dealer and by the book. I am asking the group wisdom what can the future bring? Transmission? Catalytic converter? I mean the big stuff.

2010 Premium, stick shift.

2010_forester_engine_hood_open.jpg
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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707 Posts
At 10-11 years on my 2007 XS 5-spd, about 150,000 km, I had the clutch, and (separately) the timing belt (plus all the bits that go with it like water pump) done. I've done that kind of stuff myself on simpler cars (older Civic) but had a shop do these on the Forester. Other than that, I changed the two belts on the front of the engine. One does the alternator, one does the hydraulic power steering and a/c compressor, I think. It was tight, and I had to use a 1/4" ratchet with long pipe on it, and shave down a 10 mm socket with a grinder so it would fit. If i didn't do that, I'd have had to take the radiator out I think. I was getting shuddering when demanding a lot from the power steering, and I suspected the belt, and I looked around and found that the belt was loose. When tightening the belt I noticed that it should be changed, so I changed both of those belts. For the clutch, it was fine and then stuff didn't work any more, like one day the pedal didn't come back up. I had to screw around with it, playing with the pedal, shifter, etc to limp the car home, and then next day I limped it to the shop, and the throwout bearing was toast. On all my cars, the throwout bearing usually fails before the friction material is worn out. Many years ago on the Civic I used to hold the clutch pedal down at red lights etc, but I didn't do that on the Forester. (It's not good to do.)

Other than that, the clutch on the a/c compressor was worn and so the compressor wasn't getting spun. I had planned on doing that job with the shims, but it was fall and I postponed it. The car was a little foggier that winter. I ended up trading the car in when I found that the 2018 was the last year Subaru was going to have the XT. I got my 2018 XT in ... April 2018 I think, and I never did the a/c job on that 2007.

The other stuff I did that was more involved was: I had to change the power lock actuator on the driver's door, and I changed the crappy stock stereo to an aftermarket one. The stereo was the old 1-DIN style, just a simple replacement. Everything else was just oil changes and "fix it if it's broke." Let me say that I love the oil filter on the top of the engine on the 2018. On the 2007 I had to stick my arm up a long tunnel to unscrew the filter, and when the filter came off, oil coated my arm and surrounding car bits. Not fun.
 

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09 forester
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253 Posts
Timing belt / idlers, tension water pump if you haven't had the service done at 105K, if you are dealer maintaining , I'm guessing you may have had this done.

The front suspension may need attention at any time: sway bar bushing, sway bar end links, ball joints, wheel bearings, CV axles.

Clutch could go anytime, it depends on your driving habits, in my 08 the throw out bearing started making noise then started smelling, at the first hint of the smell I drove to local garage for a clutch service. If you have the clutch replaced, definitely as to have the clutch fork replaced, its a $30 part. I did the clutch at 150K and a month later the old fork failed, I'm guessing for the force of the new clutch springs, or could have been just coincidence.

My 09 Forester had a recall on the Catalytic converter, that was replaced at ~110K, check your VIN for applicability. If you are dealer servicing, they probably would have told you.

Exhaust may need to be replaced at some point.

Head gaskets could start to leak.

Any electrical part could randomly fail

Keep driving it if you like it. But after 10 years its going to need more maintenance and if you pay someone to do the work, it may make sense to trade in while its running and used car prices are up. If the wheel bearings and ball joints need replacing at a dealer it maybe over $1500 in parts and labor.
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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750 Posts
Hi all, I am wondering what kind of major repairs can I expect after 120k miles? ...I am asking the group wisdom what can the future bring? Transmission? Catalytic converter? I mean the big stuff.
Main question is why you ask. Are you mentally trading off keeping car vs getting a different car that you just saw?

In general, my Subie has been the most expensive car to maintain of any I've owned. But any car you currently own, and know the history of, is always cheaper near term than a 'normally priced' replacement.
 

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2005 OTB/Forester Hybrid Automatic
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35 Posts
Hi all, I am wondering what kind of major repairs can I expect after 120k miles?
I own a 2005 Outback with a 2005 Forester engine but would expect the Subaru experience to be similar. At 260K miles I have replaced virtually every moving part except for the transmission and AC compressor. I have not had to replace the exhaust. My guess is that it would cost 1/3 the cost of a new car to continue to fix the things that will go wrong with yours, at a non-dealer but competent shop. I did all the work myself and probably have saved 3/4 of the cost, a relative bargain. However, your time and convenience may well be worth more to you than is the case for me. I do have a backup car when mine is out of commission for a few days due to my slowness.
 

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Being timing bits cv boots and axles maybe valve cover gaskets wheel bearings and the other generally basic maintenance.

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2010 Forester 2.5X Limite Automatic
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3 Posts
Hi all, I am wondering what kind of major repairs can I expect after 120k miles?
In 2019, my 2010 Forester Limited needed a new engine (bottom end), transmission, and alternator. So far, I'm 25k into a 10k car. :mad:
 

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2010 Forester Premium X, 5 speed stick shift
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
At 10-11 years on my 2007 XS 5-spd, about 150,000 km, I had the clutch, and (separately) the timing belt (plus all the bits that go with it like water pump) done. I've done that kind of stuff myself on simpler cars (older Civic) but had a shop do these on the Forester. Other than that, I changed the two belts on the front of the engine. One does the alternator, one does the hydraulic power steering and a/c compressor, I think. It was tight, and I had to use a 1/4" ratchet with long pipe on it, and shave down a 10 mm socket with a grinder so it would fit. If i didn't do that, I'd have had to take the radiator out I think. I was getting shuddering when demanding a lot from the power steering, and I suspected the belt, and I looked around and found that the belt was loose. When tightening the belt I noticed that it should be changed, so I changed both of those belts. For the clutch, it was fine and then stuff didn't work any more, like one day the pedal didn't come back up. I had to screw around with it, playing with the pedal, shifter, etc to limp the car home, and then next day I limped it to the shop, and the throwout bearing was toast. On all my cars, the throwout bearing usually fails before the friction material is worn out. Many years ago on the Civic I used to hold the clutch pedal down at red lights etc, but I didn't do that on the Forester. (It's not good to do.)

Other than that, the clutch on the a/c compressor was worn and so the compressor wasn't getting spun. I had planned on doing that job with the shims, but it was fall and I postponed it. The car was a little foggier that winter. I ended up trading the car in when I found that the 2018 was the last year Subaru was going to have the XT. I got my 2018 XT in ... April 2018 I think, and I never did the a/c job on that 2007.

The other stuff I did that was more involved was: I had to change the power lock actuator on the driver's door, and I changed the crappy stock stereo to an aftermarket one. The stereo was the old 1-DIN style, just a simple replacement. Everything else was just oil changes and "fix it if it's broke." Let me say that I love the oil filter on the top of the engine on the 2018. On the 2007 I had to stick my arm up a long tunnel to unscrew the filter, and when the filter came off, oil coated my arm and surrounding car bits. Not fun.
Thank you for a very comprehensive reply.i feel like I have through all this myself. To be fare I have done enough parking lot repair back in highschool and college. I remember everything.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X, 5 speed stick shift
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Discussion Starter #14
In 2019, my 2010 Forester Limited needed a new engine (bottom end), transmission, and alternator. So far, I'm 25k into a 10k car. :mad:
And you decided to pay it. What happened that it needed so much work?
 

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In 2019, my 2010 Forester Limited needed a new engine (bottom end), transmission, and alternator. So far, I'm 25k into a 10k car. :mad:
Mine (2010) burnt oil when I got it from the original owner. He had it maintained to a T from the dealership he bought it from and sold it to me just before his 75k mile extended warranty expired.
I had some back and forth with subaru and they covered 75% of the bill to swap in a new motor with all new timing bits as I was just past 75k miles and had been checking the oil after buying it plus doing the 1200 miles oil consumption test at my local dealer.
It cost me $1200 out of pocket for the motor swap and had my choice mechanic, a customer of mine do the work at the dealer by request. Everything else I've done myself from there. Fluid flushes and brake pads, bled the brakes. My friend installed the 2" lift cheaply with new kyb struts and king springs in the back and I upgraded the sound system and added a homelink mirror and USB charger among other things like a hitch.
It's been about 45k miles since I bought it with the motor swap for a total bill of about $14,000 roughly 5 years ago before adding my own additions. It's been a good vehicle for me with seemingly lots of life left in it and still drives great.

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2010 Forester Premium X, 5 speed stick shift
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Mine (2010) burnt oil when I got it from the original owner. He had it maintained to a T from the dealership he bought it from and sold it to me just before his 75k mile extended warranty expired.
I had some back and forth with subaru and they covered 75% of the bill to swap in a new motor with all new timing bits as I was just past 75k miles and had been checking the oil after buying it plus doing the 1200 miles oil consumption test at my local dealer.
It cost me $1200 out of pocket for the motor swap and had my choice mechanic, a customer of mine do the work at the dealer by request. Everything else I've done myself from there. Fluid flushes and brake pads, bled the brakes. My friend installed the 2" lift cheaply with new kyb struts and king springs in the back and I upgraded the sound system and added a homelink mirror and USB charger among other things like a hitch.
It's been about 45k miles since I bought it with the motor swap for a total bill of about $14,000 roughly 5 years ago before adding my own additions. It's been a good vehicle for me with seemingly lots of life left in it and still drives great.

Sent from my SM-N986U1 using Tapatalk
That's a great story. I am amazed that you managed to get subaru to pay 75 percentage of the new engine.
 

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2014 Subaru Forester
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5 Posts
I own a 2005 Outback with a 2005 Forester engine but would expect the Subaru experience to be similar. At 260K miles I have replaced virtually every moving part except for the transmission and AC compressor. I have not had to replace the exhaust. My guess is that it would cost 1/3 the cost of a new car to continue to fix the things that will go wrong with yours, at a non-dealer but competent shop. I did all the work myself and probably have saved 3/4 of the cost, a relative bargain. However, your time and convenience may well be worth more to you than is the case for me. I do have a backup car when mine is out of commission for a few days due to my slowness.
Could it be people love their Subarus because the love working on them? I had a 93 4 cylinder 5 speed Nissan pickup...finally towed it off in late 2019 when it needed a brake master cylinder and all the vents crumbled to dust when they pulled the dash to replace the heater coil. Kids had been driving it by then. Only ever replaced an alternator, water pump, radiator. Original clutch. Maybe a tail pipe. Original A/C compressor and it worked great. Wife loves her '14 Forester, at least until she locked the keys in the car and we found the manual key locks don't work. Have never had a key lock mechanism fail in a car (Toyota, Nissan, Honda) in my 40 years of driving. Astounds me. A deer ran into her a couple years ago so maybe it knocked something loose and we/the dealership missed it. So I don't get the whole Subaru thing. Other cars are just as or more reliable.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X, 5 speed stick shift
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
@Knucklehead In my previous life I was a mechanic. Also a rally driver. (Race on Sat/Sun, fix car on Sun night, go to school on Monday)
So I have done my share of parking lot repairs. No more. So I started this thread to help make the keep vs buy new one decision. Off course my wife turned out to be sentimental towards the Forester. Frankly no one could have predicted that...

There is a certain group of people who for some reason consider it a challenge to keep a Subaru going for some crazy number of miles. I am afraid that I may be becoming one of them. (Regardless of what I wrote above) For now we decided to keep it and see what happens. At 121k it runs perfectly! My next stop is 150k, then 175k, then....
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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963 Posts
Considering the material and environmental costs of manufacturing a new car, I feel maximizing its useful life is a responsible thing to do even if it's not always cheap.
With regard to the door locks, thanks for the reminder Knucklehead. On my previous car, one morning I learned mine did not work either. However, after numerous sprays of lock lubricant, and manipulating the key, I was able to free the mechanism on both sides, and low and behold they worked fine once again. I still have some so I will go spray the locks on the Forester, and hopefully avoid the issue in the future.
 

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2005 OTB/Forester Hybrid Automatic
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35 Posts
Could it be people love their Subarus because the love working on them?
I don't really love working on my Outback but I really do appreciate that I have the ability to do so and the car is relatively easy to do so. Never a professional mechanic but I have replaced nearly every moving part in the car over 260K miles, saving MANY thousands of dollars. I am looking forward to exceeding the usual 10 year/300K milestones I achieved with two Nissan Maximas. I am dreading having to replace my Outback with a much more complex machine with loads of electronics that are not easily diagnosable or inexpensively replaceable.
 
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