Subaru Forester Problems | Avoid These Model Years

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 04/08/21 •  9 min read

The Forester is Subaru’s most popular model. It has high ground clearance, making it perfect for off-roading and driving in rugged terrain. The Forester also offers plenty of cargo space and seating for up to five people.

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The Forester is a popular choice among Subaru buyers. However, there are still things to watch out for when opt for buying it. Let’s discuss the most common Subaru Forester problems and the model years to avoid.

History Of The Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Problems
Subaru Forester | wikipedia

Subaru Forester was first introduced in 1998. The Forester is a compact SUV with an all-wheel-drive and seating for up to five people.

The Forester name was derived from the word “foresight” which means to see what lies ahead or anticipate future events.

In 2003, the Forester received an update to its exterior design that included new front and rear bumpers, headlights, taillights, side mirrors, and wheel designs.

In 2006 the Forester was given a significant interior redesign which included new seats with more legroom as well as other updates such as improved sound insulation for quieter rides.

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Also, it introduced an updated version of the Forester that had more ground clearance and larger wheels than its predecessor.

In 2009, the Forester had another exterior design update that included a new grille and headlights, which makes it the second best-selling vehicle after the Outback.

Common Subaru Forester Problems

2003 Subaru Forester Issues

Subaru Forester Problems
2003 Subaru Forester | Flickr

Main issues for the 2003 Subaru Forester are seat belts, airbags, body paint and windows. TheNHTSA focuses on fuel system concerns with this car as well as engine issues.

Air Bag & Seat Belts Issues

What worries drivers most about seat belts and their airbags includes incoming light to let you know that your airbag may be faulty, or lacking in shipping when needed.

These problems usually occur approximately 60,000 miles with a severity of 3.3 out of 10.

Windows and Windshield Problems

The main problem of windows includes the loud noise of the wind coming from the rubber sign on many windows, which usually occurs about 87,000 miles.

The repair cost is only $400 and can be done by replacing a rubbery seal that helps keep the wind out of your car’s interior while allowing you to roll up or down any power window with ease.

Paint Issues

The Subaru Forester has had many problems with its door seals, which can tear easily and make wind noise.

This problem is often fixed by replacing the seal at around 108,000 miles for a severity rating of 6.0 out of 10.

2006 Subaru Forester Issues

Subaru Forester Problems
2006 Subaru Forester | wikimedia

You might think that a car with 78,000 miles is in the clear. But unfortunately for you and your Subaru Forester’s engine system, these are some of the main issues it deals with: head gasket failure; misfiring when accelerating; complete loss of power.

The repair cost is about $1,800 if all goes well – but as life would have it sometimes parts don’t want to cooperate so this can be more expensive than expected.

2009 Subaru Forester Issues

The 2009 Forester had a few apparent problems that were reported by customers.

This was not surprising considering the vehicle has only been on the market since 2008 and there are still many of these vehicles in use today, so it is inevitable to find some common issues which may need addressing with regular maintenance or repairs. 

The top 2009 Subaru  Forester problems include engine issues, interior accessories like air conditioning systems and heating elements along with other miscellaneous electronic components such as wiper blades for instance.

All those things you might expect from an automobile found at your local gas station when they’re experiencing car trouble: most people don’t want to leave their cars unattended if something’s wrong after all.

problems With 2010 Subaru Forester

2010 Subaru Forester | wikimedia

The 2010 Subaru Forester’s transmission is not as smooth as it should be. There are complaints about the lack of power in Forester’s engine.

Some drivers have reported that their car has stalled at stoplights or intersections. Others have said that their vehicle has had a rough idle and jerky acceleration.

The Forester’s interior is not as sturdy and reliable as it should be. The seats can collapse, or an indicator light comes from on while driving – all at around 64 thousand miles.

2011 Subaru Forester Issues

subaru forester problems
2011 Subaru Forester | Flickr

The 2011 Subaru Forester had many problems, and they all focused on the engine and brakes.

The most common problems users complain about are gas consumption, engine failure, leaky engines with flammable oil odors and unexpected acceleration.

To rectify these problems people should often replace their old cars or add extra oil that could create a typical $ 1,640 repair cost of approximately 46,000 miles.

2014 Subaru Forester Issues

The 2014 Subaru Forester has a “high rate of oil consumption”.The air conditioner is not as cold as some would like it to be in the winter months. There are reports that the car’s engine can stall at low speeds, which leads to a higher risk of accidents.

Some have reported that their cars make an unusual noise when accelerating from a stop. A common complaint is that the rear seats do not fold down flat enough for larger items.

2015 Subaru Forester Issues

Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Turbo 2015| Flickr

The 2015 Forester had a disastrous year. It’s been said that the most common complaints made by Forester owners were about the engine, interior accessory, and transmission issues respectively.

The top three problems include : extra gas consumption which led to unintended acceleration or stalling while driving; Engine hesitation when accelerating due to misfires- this could lead an owner with no warning of their car on fire!

And finally, what if your Subaru catches on fire without any prior indication–what would you do then?

The interior design for the Subaru Forester are a little more problematic. Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition failure, and dashboard vibration have all been reported as problems by drivers of this model.

The driver assistance system has also had some issues with displaying images incorrectly or not showing any at all during use while cruise control turns off unexpectedly too.

2017 Subaru Forester Problems

This year the 2017 Forester has more serious issues, which are now being addressed. Some of these concerns include transmission and electrical system problems that have been reported by owners while other issues with engine performance seem to be less common but still exist nonetheless.

The 2017 Subaru Forester does not have a good turning radius. There are complaints about the transmission slipping or jerking when driving at low speeds.

The engine is noisy and can be heard from inside the cabin, even on highways. Some drivers report that their car has had to go in for service multiple times due to problems with the power steering system.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

he 2014 model of the Subaru Forester was filled with problems, which is not surprising considering it’s been rated as one of their worst models.

The top problem on this car has to do with high oil consumption; what else can you expect from a company that doesn’t know how to protect against engine wear?

Other issues had drivers feeling like they bought something broken new out of the box and then having nothing but trouble ever since.

What happened in 2014 could be due to a few things, including faulty manufacturing or just straight-up bad luck for both consumers and engineers alike when trying to get everything right at once.

The Subaru Forester is a popular model in the United States, with several recalls issued on it. The first recall was for floor mats that may curl and interfere with the pedals (2014 models manufactured from January to March 2013).

Another recall was issued in February 2019: brake light switches could be damaged by contaminants which prevented them from lighting up enough.

A good example of this is when you are driving at night; if your rear-brake lights aren’t properly working, other drivers won’t know how fast or slow you’re going because they can only see what’s behind you.

Why is the Subaru Forester so popular?

As an open-minded car buyer, you might find yourself considering the Subaru Forester as a compact crossover.

The vehicle is popular for its ability to carry just about anything while also being fuel-efficient and dependable in any kind of weather.

It has a cult following among drivers who love its spacious interior and easy handling on all road conditions.

Consumer Reports Ratings

The Consumer Reports review of the 2020 Subaru Forester had a lot of good things to say. First, it got an overall score on par with competitors like Mazda CX-5 and higher than Honda CR-V (74) or Toyota RAV4 (72). The road test was also excellent and the predicted owner satisfaction is high at 5 out of 5.

Interior Design
2020 Subaru Forester | wikimedia

The 2020 Subaru Forester is a perfect SUV for the family that needs cargo space and five seats.

The infotainment system has an 8-inch touchscreen with responsive navigation, easy-to-use music controls on the steering wheel or behind you in backseat armrests, as well as rear step panels so you can access your roof anytime without needing help!

How many miles can a Subaru Forester last?

Subaru cars are one of the most popular luxury, comfort, and style vehicles from the past. Right at their inception, these cars became a favorite among all people who were looking for that combination in particular.

The common question on how long do Subarus lasts has always been answered with “it depends.” But mostly it is based on your carefulness towards your Subaru car since they can go anywhere between 50-200K miles depending on upkeep.

Subaru Forester Recalls

The Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV that was first introduced in 1998. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it had opened an investigation into possible defects with Forester’s steering system.

In 2014, NHTSA expanded its investigation to include more than 500,000 Foresters for potential problems with their front suspension systems and steering components.

On July 20th, 2015, Subaru announced a recall of certain models of the Forester due to a problem with their power-steering assist systems.

Final Words

The Subaru Forester is a well-known and well-known car, but the various problems it has might make you wonder which model to buy. The worst years from 2011-2014 have engine problems, transmission problems, and suspension concerns that make this car unsafe to use.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.