Hey guys - UK - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys - UK

Hi all,

Sorry to probably be another one of those guys, but I'm sort of fishing for info really.

I test drove a Forester at a garage the other day and really enjoyed it, but it was above price range at the moment, so it was more for scoping them out than anything else.

I'm interested in becoming a Forester owner, but I don't really know if there are any typical gremlins I should be looking out for? or better or worse models? Auto manual? I know about a few other cars and some typical problems, Fords struggle with DMF's etc, Auto BMW X5's have "gearboxs' for life" that have a tendency to die at 90k miles (or at least you've got an "any minute now" from then on) etc etc, but no idea on Foresters.. I'm also struggling to find many Foresters for sale in the UK, of course there are a few, but most other makes seem to have pages and pages, but not too many Foresters, is that because people keep hold of them? or do they vaporise after a certain amount of time?

Found a manual 2.5XT 55reg for £3.5k, it has got 110k miles on the clock... not sure if that's decent or no..

I'm just keen to get some knowledge really, at the moment I'm totally blind.

Thanks guys - hope to join up for real in the future (:

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post #2 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 09:51 AM
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is that because people keep hold of them? or do they vaporise after a certain amount of time?
G'day & Welcome aboard Ianb

Well mine is nearly 17 years old.

Good luck with your search.


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post #3 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Kevin, thanks for the welcome.

It's quite strange to search gumtree/autotrader etc here in the UK and find 'not that many' for sale. I put parameters of make/model, any distance and £5500 (no other parameters) and there are only 52 for sale....

Change that for BMW, Ford, or even another Japanese car Nissan and you'd be lucky to be constrained to 520! Do you have an Auto or a manual?
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post #4 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 10:31 AM
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Welcome to the forum from another UK member.

Once people get a Turbo forester, they generally keep them as it's pretty tough to find a suitable replacement....... Forester STIs are even worse, just ask Stiggy (A member who keeps promising to sell for the last 3 years)

There are a few "problems" with the 2.5 turbo engine but nothing that will leave you stranded at the side of the road (When was the last time you saw a Forester broken down on the side of the road? ;) )
The rear suspension is Self Levelling with mechanisms inside the shock. They can sag with age and genuine replancements are very expensive. So it is very common to replace the rear shocks and springs with non self levelling type for around £300 from memory in parts and you're good for life.

The driver's side window motors can seize up from rust..... Throw another motor in or unseize your original and you're good.

The 2.5 litre engine can blow head gaskets - This seems to happen from 100K miles onwards. Once you've done that repair, you're usually good for a while then. The engine can generally be driven as long as you monitor and top up the oil and coolant.

The radiator can crack between the plastiic and aluminum welds. This seems to happen around 100K miles or 10 years. Once replaced, again you're good - If you don't and the engine overheats, you'll be looking at potential head gasket problems

Nothing else really springs to mind off the top of my head - My sunroof motor mechanism isn't 100% so the glass doesn't retract properly but to fix involves removing the headlining and it just doesn't bother me enough yet.

Subaru mpg prices were very honest and the 25mpg combined quoted is pretty realistic - Mine is averaging 26.2mpg over the very many years I've had her for.

I personally change my timing belts out at around 50K miles ish and life is good. Changing the sparkplugs is not a simple job like most 4 cylinder engines.

Edit - There is a ton of aftermarket support for parts, so you're not stuck going to the Subaru dealer. Lots of parts are common with the Impreza and since those tend to find ditches and trees more than Foresters, there's lots of parts available from breakers around.

Have you tried running an insurance quote on a 2.5XT yet ? They are generally very fairly priced compared to the Impreza turbo. I don't think I've paid more than 400 since ever owning the car, including modifications.
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post #5 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 10:56 AM
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Do you have an Auto or a manual?
Auto as it's better for offroading.

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post #6 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Auto as it's better for offroading.
+1 for that...(and that applies to just about any 4x4).

However, if you are using a Forester XT on the roads in the UK, the manual is far superior to the auto and significantly quicker.

Have a look on autotrader - there was a pretty nice looking one owner XT manual with low miles for around £4k. Southampton I think.
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post #7 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:10 PM
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Hey Kevin,

Not sure where in the forum this thread is, but I only tripped over it by chance. If it’s not in the Europe section, it might help Ian get some more replies if it moved there (??).

Just a thought...
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post #8 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, thanks for the info, really helpful stuff, gotta say if we go down the forester route this will definitely be a great place to peruse.

As for insurance I did a cheeky quick compare the market very loosely and it came.out with approx £315, obviously I didn't include a pending claim against me which is supposedly going to be rejected due to insurance fraud (not sure if I have to mention that in the future!!)

I tend to insure with Adrian Flux more often than not.. I don't drive anything particularly modded (vivaro van and a Ford focus lol), but they have always been competitive.
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post #9 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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So it seems like they're a pretty good gem to get hold of. Autotrader owner reviews seem pretty good as well. I'd probably prefer an auto (or at least i know the wife would!). I know a manual would be quicker, but I've owned manuals for my driving life, so might be nice to have a break..
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post #10 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 02:45 PM
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So it seems like they're a pretty good gem to get hold of. Autotrader owner reviews seem pretty good as well. I'd probably prefer an auto (or at least i know the wife would!). I know a manual would be quicker, but I've owned manuals for my driving life, so might be nice to have a break..
That’s good, from a few perspectives:
The XT manual on autotrader appears to be gone already (not surprised at that price)
There are a lot more autos than manuals available.
Autos are slower sellers, so you can take your time going to look.

Just one other thing worth mentioning - if you are bothered about how much vehicle tax you pay, best to avoid XTs registered after 23rd March 2006. The rate for those is £540. Prior years are around £315.

Happy hunting.

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post #11 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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That’s good, from a few perspectives:
The XT manual on autotrader appears to be gone already (not surprised at that price)
There are a lot more autos than manuals available.
Autos are slower sellers, so you can take your time going to look.

Just one other thing worth mentioning - if you are bothered about how much vehicle tax you pay, best to avoid XTs registered after 23rd March 2006. The rate for those is £540. Prior years are around £315.

Happy hunting.
Thanks again for your info/help.

I quite like the post 2006 models if I'm honest, and obviously not having to pay £540 a year would be a lovely bonus! So will definitely hunt for an earlier model.

Tax will be more than I pay at the moment, but it's a diesel and I'm just not getting the use out of it to benefit the pros of having a diesel
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post #12 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:15 PM
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If you want a post 2006 [facelift] model, it is possible. There is a very narrow window though - some were sold in late 2005 (mine is November) so there is roughly a 4 month window until March 23. The extra grunt if the later model may suit the auto better.
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post #13 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I meant pre (I even double thought to make sure I was writing the correct blooming word). Haha

I think the 2.5 I mentioned above is actually an early 2006 model so still in the lower tax bracket, but I prob do prefer the PRE 06 models... doh
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post #14 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Saying that, I like both, so really whatever fits the bill..
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post #15 of 113 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 10:55 AM
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The Facelift Forester (MY06+) has different and arguably more complicated emissions equipment compared to a Pre-Facelift (-MY05)

Pre Facelift has 3 catalytic convertors. The one between the exhaust manifold and the turbo can be deleted and a "de-cat Up Pipe" pipe fitted in place with no need to remap the car. People generally delete this one as if the cat material breaks up, it's going straight to your turbo and then your engine's intake - not good. I fitted a De-Cat Up pipe with no remap and no ill effect - The turbo spools up very slightly faster but not hugely noticable, it is more preventative maintenance than anything

The Facelift doesn't have a catted up pipe, instead if has a Secondary Air Injection system which, if you have problems with and need to remove, generally does require a remap so you don't have any engine warning lights showing.

Remapping isn't a big deal generally but I have no idea how it works in regards to automatics as they have a second transmission ecu too.....
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