Picture this: You’re cruising down the highway, the wind in your hair, the hum of the Subaru Forester beneath you. It’s a vehicle known for its rugged charm, unparalleled comfort, and impressive performance. But wait – did you hear that? A slight hiccup in the engine, perhaps? Or maybe it’s just your imagination. After all, every car has its quirks, right? But what if it’s more than just a quirk?
Dive into this article as we unravel the mysteries of the Subaru Forester, from its most common issues to the solutions that’ll keep you on the road. So, buckle up and let’s get started – because knowledge is power, and we’re about to supercharge yours.
Keep reading, and let’s embark on this journey together!
Broad Overview of Common Subaru Forester Problems
Before we dive deeper into each issue, here’s an overview of each problem you could encounter as a Subaru Forester owner:
- Excessive Oil Consumption
- Head Gasket Leaks
- CVT Transmission Issues
- Infotainment Problems
- Airbag Issues
- Throttle Issues
- Catalytic Converter Failure
- Battery Drain
- Cracking O2 Sensors
On the same page? Great, let’s keep moving.
Excessive Oil Consumption
Excessive oil consumption is one of the most frequently reported issues by Subaru Forester owners, especially those who own 2014 models. Several owners reported that their Foresters consumed more oil than expected. When approached, Subaru conducted checks to gauge the oil consumption rate and concluded that it was within the average range.
However, some owners chose to replace their engines or install a new short block, which proved to be effective solutions. Some others decided to always keep extra oil in their vehicles. Generally, it is estimated that a Forester consumes between one-third to one-half of a quart of oil approximately every 1200 miles.
Head Gasket Leaks
Another common problem is with the head gaskets, particularly in Foresters manufactured between 1999 and 2013. These vehicles are prone to develop oil leaks after clocking about 110,000 miles. The leaks may require replacement of several parts, including tube seals, cover gaskets, spark plugs, coils, and ignition wires. An experienced Subaru mechanic can identify the necessary repairs to prevent oil leakage.
CVT Transmission Issues
Certain Forester models, specifically those produced in 2017, have been reported to jerk and shudder when drivers attempt to shift gears. Subaru traced this issue back to a defect causing the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to receive insufficient fluid. Subaru issued a bulletin regarding this problem and extended the warranty to ensure the defect was remedied. Any Forester owner noticing such symptoms should visit a Subaru dealer promptly.
Infotainment glitches are also common in Subaru Foresters. Owners reported problems with the Starlink infotainment system, including screen freezing, radio failure, and blank screens. Subaru acknowledged these issues and implemented a recall to correct them.
Related: Subaru Dashboard Lights and Meanings
Some Foresters, particularly those manufactured between 2010 and 2013, experienced issues with passenger airbag inflators. The defective inflators could prevent the airbags from deploying correctly during a collision. Subaru issued a recall to replace the faulty airbag inflators.
Some owners reported a problem with unintended acceleration, especially when trying to shift into PARK. This issue is particularly prevalent in Foresters produced in 2002 and 2003. This problem was traced back to a defect in the transmission parking rod, which resulted in the vehicle moving while in PARK. Subaru issued a recall to replace the entire transmission parking rod assembly.
Catalytic Converter Failure
Subaru Foresters, like many vehicles, can experience catalytic converter failure. This is a significant issue as it can lead to the illumination of the check engine light and failure of smog tests. If the vehicle is still under warranty, Subaru will likely cover the cost of repair or replacement of the catalytic converter.
Some Forester owners have experienced a drain on their vehicle’s battery, particularly in newer models. This issue is often due to the CAN system placing a parasitic drain on the battery. It’s essential to diagnose this problem early to prevent more serious issues down the line.
Cracking O2 Sensors
Many Foresters, specifically those made between 1999 and 2014, were found to have defective oxygen sensors, which led to the illumination of the check engine light. When Subaru identified the issue, they issued a recall for the oxygen sensors, and replacement was made at no cost to the owners.
Related: Are Subarus Expensive To Fix and Maintain?
Breakdown of Subaru Forester Problems By Worst Years
While Subaru Foresters are generally reliable, some years have more reported problems than others. Here’s a breakdown of the most problematic years:
- 2011 Subaru Forester: The 2011 Subaru Forester has been identified as one of the worst years for this model. The most common issue reported by owners is excessive oil consumption. Other problems included a failing head gasket and issues with the timing chain and gears.
- 2014 Subaru Forester: Owners of 2014 Subaru Foresters frequently reported high oil consumption. Some owners also found that their vehicle’s engine would not start or run, and others reported issues with the vehicle’s airbags.
- 2015 Subaru Forester: The 2015 Subaru Forester is notorious for its high oil consumption. Other common issues include problems with the vehicle’s transmission, including shaking or jerking when shifting gears. Some owners also reported that the vehicle’s infotainment system would freeze or fail to work.
- 2016 Subaru Forester: The 2016 Forester also had its share of issues. The most common problem was a power steering failure, which could make the vehicle difficult to control. There were also reports of issues with the vehicle’s airbags and transmission.
- 2017 Subaru Forester: For the 2017 Subaru Forester, the most reported problem was related to the vehicle’s CVT transmission. Owners reported jerking and shaking when attempting to shift gears. Another common issue was excessive oil consumption.
- 2018 Subaru Forester: 2018 models had fewer reported problems compared to earlier models. However, some owners reported that the vehicle’s infotainment system would freeze or fail to work. There were also a few reports of issues with the vehicle’s airbags.
Do Subaru Foresters Have Head Gasket Problems?
Yes, head gasket leaks are a common problem in Subaru Foresters, especially those manufactured between 1999 and 2013. These vehicles tend to develop oil leaks after reaching about 110,000 miles. The leaks may require replacement of several parts, including tube seals, cover gaskets, spark plugs, coils, and ignition wires.
Do Subaru Foresters Have Transmission Problems?
Yes, some Subaru Foresters do have transmission problems. For instance, the 2017 models have been reported to jerk and shudder when the drivers attempt to shift gears. This problem was traced back to a defect causing the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to receive insufficient fluid. Subaru issued a bulletin regarding this problem and extended the warranty to ensure the defect was remedied.
While Subaru Foresters have their share of problems, they are generally reliable vehicles. Understanding these common issues can help you address them promptly or prevent them altogether. However, it’s important to remember that the frequency and severity of these problems can vary greatly depending on the specific year and model of the vehicle.
Read next: Best Years For Subaru Forester: Reliability, Design, And More
Subaru has a reputation for addressing these issues responsibly, often issuing recalls and extending warranties to keep their customers satisfied. In the end, the Subaru Forester continues to be a solid choice for those seeking a dependable, compact SUV.
Frequently Asked Questions
Subaru has conducted checks to gauge the oil consumption rate in Foresters, especially the 2014 models. While they concluded that the consumption was within the average range, some owners opted for engine replacements or installing a new short block as effective solutions.
Yes, Subaru Foresters have had issues with the Starlink infotainment system, such as screen freezing, radio failure, and blank screens. Subaru has acknowledged and initiated recalls to rectify these problems.
Some Forester models, notably the 2017 version, have exhibited jerking and shuddering during gear shifts. This was linked to a defect causing the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to receive insufficient fluid. Subaru has issued bulletins and extended warranties to address this concern.
Yes, certain Forester models, particularly those produced between 2010 and 2013, had issues with passenger airbag inflators that could hinder proper airbag deployment during collisions. Subaru initiated a recall to replace these faulty inflators.
While Subaru Foresters are generally reliable, some years have garnered more complaints. Notably, the 2011 model faced excessive oil consumption and head gasket issues, the 2014 and 2015 models had high oil consumption, and the 2016 model had power steering failures. Being aware of these specific year-related concerns can guide potential buyers in their decision-making process.