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2003 Forester XS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have a 2003 forester. Well maintained as I have essentially been the sole owner. I know I am coming up on the second timing belt change and expect I should do the water pump and pulleys while I am there.
However, since we have such a great amount if experience and expertise on this forum, I wanted to get an idea of what else I should expect coming due soon.
As for other major repairs. I had the rear wheel bearings replaced between 50-65k miles. And I did the front at 145k. The front passenger side CV axle also replaced at 180k.
I suspect the left will be due soon. As well as the catalytic converter since it is still setting the "out of range" code after replacing the downstream O2 sensor.

My biggest concern is for the head gaskets. Can I get a good idea if their health with a compression test? Or just assume they will go at any time? And overall health of the engine? I have run good synthetic blend or full synthetic it's entire life and changed at regular intervals. and regularly done the coolant with the official "conditioner."

My final concern is for the trans. When cold, it is slow to go from 2nd to 3rd. This has been going on for the last three years gradually getting worse. I do know this is common. But don't know how long it will go before needing clutches.

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I am trying to get an idea of the work/budget I need to plan for... Or if it's time to get a younger car.
Thank you,
Jerad.


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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,024 Posts
Did you change water pump, idlers, tensioner at 105Kmiles. If not you are on borrowed time.
 

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Registered
2003 Forester X Automatic
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22 Posts
Typically the idlers and tensioners are the cause of TBF, not the belt itself. I would not neglect them for much longer.

What's your transmission maintenance schedule like? When was the fluid done last? Was it done with factory (Idemitsu) fluid?

Many people view head gaskets as a WYIT type of repair with a second timing belt service, personally I would not spend the money on them if the originals are not weeping severely. With regards to what many people here report on our cars, they will not just "go" at any time, but fail slowly and begin to weep. If your originals are holding up well after 200k, I would just as soon set the money aside for peace of mind than spend it now. The week after I did head gaskets on my '98 Outback the block cracked. Sometimes it isn't worth doing a high dollar preventative repair.
 
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