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The Forester rides and handles like a good sedan. It also provides decent acceleration and good fuel economy for this class. The controls are well laid out and the interior is nicely finished. Access is easy and seat comfort is very good. Impressive crash-test results are another plus.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2001, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Forester rides and handles like a good sedan. It also provides decent acceleration and good fuel economy for this class. The controls are well laid out and the interior is nicely finished. Access is easy and seat comfort is very good. Impressive crash-test results are another plus.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (210 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (165 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Subaru Forester owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Replaced timing chain way too soon, at 30-40k. Perhaps a timing chain again is why the engine broke down on my daughter and her friend on a trip out of state”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Cylinder head repairs too extensive, replaced engine with good used one”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Egine main bearing noise detected by mechanic. Shop predicted 300-3000 miles before failure. We decided not to drive with this risk, so replaced engine. This happened two months after head gasket replacement”

Anonymous, SC (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Lost compression on cylinder #3 after 223000 miles”

David H., IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Timing belt broke at 107'000 took out the top half of motor. Dealership charged over 4K but at that point they have your car and forget getting other estimates. Later independent mechanics said would have charged between 2K and 2500. Dealerships want”

Colin W., SC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Took it in for oil perpetual oil leaks. Mechanic found scuffed piston skirts & cylinders, Recommended a Subaru approved manufactured engine because of the miles on the car”

Roger O., MT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

“The head gasket rattled and was replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Blew head gasket. Cost $3500 to repair”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gaskets need to be replaced at 75,000 miles”

Dulcy B., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Began leaking oil externally from the head gasket about 18 months ago. Now leaking oil and coolant externally. I will be trading in this car in the near future as the car is not worth the repair cost”

Tim K., IN (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Gaskets dried out, engine leaked oil onto manifold, smoking”

Anonymous, LA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Gaskets were leaking”

Anonymous, RI (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Our Subaru dealership told us our Head Gasket is beginning to leak and it would cost over $2000 for repairs. So far we have not had to replace it but will have to do so eventually”

David K., MD (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car has developed a head gasket leak. Estimated cost of repair: $2000 (included timing belt and water pump). This has apparently been a common problem with the Subaru 2.5 liter engines from first introduction until replaced with the F25B engine in 20”

David W., OR (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Began leaking in the past 1 year, so had the head gasket replaced within the last 3 months”

T H., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I was concerned about needing to add coolant to my car and had the car checked for a coolant leak. I DO have a leak, and my mechanic has used a sealant (K-Seal) but if that does not work I will need a new head gasket”

Catherine M., CT (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gaskets have leaked oil for most of the car's life. Had them replaced at 140K, that lasted about 10K, and leak now (at 200K)”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket was leaking oil. Had to be rebuilt”

Ann M., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“source of significant oil leaking. After repair, minor leaking continues”

Anonymous, WI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed replacement, which I am told is normal for Subaru. Was leaking oil small amounts for a few years then began to really leak. I decided to fix the head gasket rather than getting a new car, have been able to go another couple of years”

Anonymous, ME (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket issues are long standing Subaru problems. We elected to repair as coolant and oil leaks became significant. Shortly after this repair, engine main bearing began to fail, necessitating engine replacement”

Anonymous, SC (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A minor leak began five months ago. The dealer said we should watch it until it became a bigger problem. Unfortunately for us, we live 125 miles away, so this has become a worrisome hassle. To get it fixed will cost approximately $600.00”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Leak in head gasket required expensive replacement”

Paul G., CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car overheated due to losing coolant”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The head gasket failure is a commonly know problem for Subaru s in early the 2000's and late 1990's”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaked minor amount of oil but dealer suggested replacing gasket early to avoid possible future damage”

William V., OR (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaking oil. $2000 to repair w/ low miles”

Anonymous, AK (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The cars check engine light came on. The car began to miss & backfire. The check engine light began flashing indicating that it was a serious problem. I was upset because the car was well maintained”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“At regular oil change service tech advised that the head gasket is leaking”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket had a significant leak around 100K miles. Head gasket replacement is labor intensive and was costly. Since this required a teardown of the engine, the standard 105K maintenance (timing belt, water pump) was also done at this time”

Daniel F., MN (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“60K mile check, timing belt replaced and head gasket found leaking. Water pump also needed replacing. Expen$ive”

Margo P., MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When having dealer change oil informed me that head gasket was leaking and needed $2700 in repair. Called Subaru and dealer and Subaru did repair for $800”

Dorothy P., TX (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“leaking”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gaskets were leaking, per report from service representative”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced both head gaskets and all related gaskets and seals”

Chris M., UT (2004 Subaru Forester)

“Leaking some coolant”

Karma C., VA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When timing belt was replaced, head gasket was also replaced, but less than 1000 km later the head gasket blew. Most likely inept service personnel. Vehicle ran great before this servicing. Car was in the shop twice after timing belt replaced to fix”

Andrew V., ON (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replaced to to wear and tear, still and excellent car”

Eric B., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Repair shop tells me to expect head gasket problems at 100 - 120K miles. After repair, no problem”

Gary C., VA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaking head gasket, this was the second one”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to have head gaskets replaced after engine overheated because of the worn water pump”

Randy H., IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket blew out. Most economical fix was to replace the engine”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replaced due to wear and tear while doing head gasket”

Eric B., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Timing belt and water pump needed to be replaced because it was over due”

Erasmia K., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“This engine is known for this problem, but my mechanic keeps an eye on things. I still adore the car, just know I'll have a major expense every 90,000 mikes or so”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Turbo or supercharger

“The turbo engine went out and cost 3k to fix”

Anonymous, TN (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo failed, requiring replacement”

Paul W., AL (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Had to replace turbo twice”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Small screw type oil filter at the intake of the turbo clogged and blocked oil from entering the turbo”

Gregory M., AB (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo failed after light towing”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“One of the air lines became torn from age and separated from the turbo. Another line cracked from age”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo was starved of oil because of a clogged filter causing it to blow. This seems to be a common issue”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Cylinder head

“blown head gasket”

Ava P., KY (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Replaced because car 10 + fraction years old at time”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“Body rust thru and air leaks both front windows”

Daniel S., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“see previous answer”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“door gaskets are failing remember this car is 11 years old. Nothing last forever”

Anonymous, VT (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The moon roof no longer closes all the way and during heavy rains it leaks”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“seals around both front doors are noisy”

Samuel K., OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The window seals for the front doors are loud over 30 MPH. I notice it. Friends have noticed it”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“windows on both sides leak air--bad noise over 50 mph”

Marsha A., CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“whistling door gaskets”

Anonymous, VT (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A very noisy car. After a handful of years the wind noise and door road noise was irritating and the mechanic explained this is a Subaru problem. The rubber seals don't last long and so the crimped them to try to increase the seal and lower the nois”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front end has a nonspeciific rattle. The noise is not related to anything that causes performance issues with the car”

Christopher A., GA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car has a very annoyingly loud metal vibration near the front passenger seat that the dealer has not been able to identify nor resolve. This vibration/noise only occurs while moving at highway speeds. This would keep me from buying another Subaru”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Loose heat shield. Clips not in stock. Finally someone improvised a solution, so noise greatly reduced. Also piston slap which mechanics claim is "normal:" for this type of engine. My previous Subarus did not exhibit this problem”

Anonymous, AK (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rattle noise, exhaust heat shields needed to be welded, second time”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The dash rattles and squeaks - a problem since the car was 3-4 yrs old!”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sway bar links (4) all shot. Replaced but still lots of noise from suspension on bumps. Struts not leaking & seem to work fine. Other joints OK. Mechanic couldn't pinpoint problem. My wife thinks car is going to come apart while she's driving!”

Anonymous, HI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Just the typical squeaks and rattles for a car that's almost 11 years old”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Heat shield rattle”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Back hatch rattles internally”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The inside of the car just rattles all the time, towards the back. Service says they can't do anything, that it's in the headliner. I turn up the radio...really high”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wind noise at expressway speeds is deafening!”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The lower front corner of the front windows have excessive wind noise. It is very noticeable when driving 50 mph or faster”

Tim K., IN (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sun roof misaligned causing excessive wind noise at speed. Estimated cost too high to have repsiared”

Edward C., MD (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“This was a problem with the 2004 models. Constant wind noise more so when travelling at high speed. Very annoying”

Sandra M., WY (2004 Subaru Forester X Unsure)

“The window seals for the front windows are loud over 30 MPH. This gets louder when on windy days”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This wonderful car has only one defect; the wind noise is awful...like riding with the window open at high speeds”

Ken O., NM (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Loud wind noise from both vent windows, despite upgraded window seals installed by dealer over last two years”

Bobby-Grace C., NC (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“constant wind noise some clearly coming from front drivers side window/door”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The wind noise has steadily increased over time. I need to stuff towels, etc. at the front of each the driver and passenger winder to quiet the noise so I can have a conversation without really raising my voice”

Gretchen H., FL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“passenger side and driver side windows leak air at speeds over 50 mph and make a humming noise which is very annoying and have been told can be corrected for about $200 per side”

Marsha A., CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“seals around windows gradually wearing out”

Jerome B., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The noise is extremely annoying, so much so that we have taped the window shut, but forget sometimes when we want to roll the windows down. The car has a lot of road noise too, so the combined noises make conversation impossible, although that may be”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Because the windows has no frames, the "what ever you call it' has weakened and wind comes through as you drive which makes it noisy”

George S., TN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“the gussets fail early on and got to point of needing replacement”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This car is so noisy that we can't carry on a conversation during highway trips. We can't even hear the stereo. It's ridiculous. We'll never buy another Subaru”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I don't even bother to turn the radio on anymore when I'm on the hi-way. The wind noise is so loud that I can't even hear it when it's cranked up to 15 or higher”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“It sounds like theres outside air coming in on the front left window when Im out on the freeway. It doesn't sound like its sealed completely. Theres no framework around the windows, so don't know if it can be fixed or not. However, theres no wind sou”

Sharon J., IA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Extremely noisy.... wind leaks around the seals in both front windows”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“the windows have gradually stopped sealing tightly and the noise on highway driving is bad”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

“standard repair no issues”

Anonymous, GA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Compressor went out”

Anonymous, UT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“AC compressor failed--not uncommon for this model and age. Cost $1050 to replace”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“failure required replacement”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It was a used part, replaced at no cost”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“AC comes on and off”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Our AC stopped working due to the compressor failing. Our Subaru dealership wanted over $1000 to fix it, so we've just gone without AC during the summer months”

David K., MD (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Apparently the compressor clutch inconsistently works. The A/C works fine until outdoor temps get about 90-95 deg or more. Then the A/C comes and goes. (Mostly it goes.) It will cost about $1000 to fix”

Gretchen H., FL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“AC failed”

Anonymous, RI (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“No cooling while car was sitting in traffic. Compressor had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The A/C compressor locked up twice within a year and one half”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It stopped working, though the heater works. I didn't replace the compressor because we rarely need A/C where we live”

Jerald K., MA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“ac doesn't work. Estimate of $1000 to repair. we haven't repaired it”

Christine Y., MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replaced compressor in 2002. No cold air today”

Dan H., NH (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“car overheated and head gasket needed replacement”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Compressor had to be replaced”

Anonymous, PR (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

“Clutch required replacement”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

“Blows cold air intermittently”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“AC quit because of the leak. Took it to the shop and had to get the coolant refilled so the leak would show after it stopped working again. I waited too long the first time”

Margo P., MA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Spent a lot of money to fix a problem that refuses to be fixed”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Was not cooling well because of leaks”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

“too expensive to have AC repaired for the last 3 years”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A/C stopped cooling. My mechanic diagnosed it to be a coolant leak and traced the leak to a hose that needed replacing”

Ruth C., TX (2004 Subaru Forester XS Unsure)

“system losing coolant, temperature gauge showed rising temperatures due to low coolant levels”

Jerome B., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Starting to leak something - I think it's antifreeze. The vehicle is 11 years old, but we bring it in for servicing regularly”

Andrew V., ON (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Seal leak”

B W., NC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Automatic climate control

“uncontrollable temperature setting”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“Needed a new motor bearing, so we replaced the whole blower motor”

Edward G., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Motor OK. Filter had mouse nest, had to be changed”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

“The heat system burns out the electric harness if heat system is turned on high. This year's incident is the second occurrence”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“a/c failed to engage..condensor replaced 2 years ago”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

“Car was not cooling sufficiently. Replaced evaporator core assembly. Also replaced expansion valve”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“One of the o-rings for the spark plug wire failed and caused oil to leak fouling the plug and causing rough running. Entire head gasket set, spark plugs and wires had to be replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel leaks

“Need to have fuel lines tightened up in cold weather due to very strong smell of gasoline in vehicle”

Dulcy B., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced all fuel line connecting hoses and intake gasket manifold gasket--stopped leak”

Chris M., UT (2004 Subaru Forester)

“Required fuel line repair. Unpleasant fuel Odor inside car”

Barbara M., MN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“A little oil is leaking into the cylinders. We are monitoring it”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When I brought the car in to the dealer for a routine oil change, the dealership noticed that both head gaskets were leaking oil. I agreed to have the dealer repair this problem. The dealer pulled the engine, replaced the head gaskets, the timing belt, and several other gaskets. The cost was about $2700.00”

Linda R., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“need to add a quart or so of oil between changes, occasionally smell burning oil while driving”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Minor leak from head gasket”

Anonymous, UT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gaskets leaking oil. Appears to be a common problem with this model year. Subaru dealer wants $2100 dollars to repair”

Dale S., MO (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gaskets leaking”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I've spent a lot of money having oil leaks repaired however, I was told by the dealer that there is one more seal that would require removing the engine to access in order to repair it and that would cost thousands of dollars. This particular leak causes a strong odor of burnt oil entering the passenger compartment through the ventilation system. This is another reason I would not buy another Subaru”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Oil leak that can't be fixed without removing the engine. I will keep this car for another year or so and then get a new one”

Nancy S., DC (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I have persistent oil leaks all over this engine. First, from the oil cooler adapter just under the oil filter, then, the oil return hose off of the turbocharger. After fixing those, we noticed another small drip on the back of the engine block which drips onto the up-pipe and burns. Still can't see where that one is coming from”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Leak appears to be coming from camshaft”

Herb S., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Oil leaking into spark plugs. $1200”

Laurie H., PA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“last tune up told signs of leakage but not necessary to fix right away”

Anonymous, RI (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Excessive use of oil. No diagnosis”

Anonymous, DC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Oil leaking from valve cover and spark plug gasket”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Dealer says must repair oil leaking in gasket seal of engine in order to pass inspection. Estimate $1,200”

William M., NH (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Loss of oil, smell from burning. Needed new valve cover gasket”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Head gasket leaking oil”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Accessory belts or pulleys

“The Harmonic Balancer failed on the pully system. Expensive to replace. No power steering or charging of the battery with the failure”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“At 92,000 miles I heard a noise and took the car to my mechanic. He replaced the idler tensioner pulley for the drive belt. Charge was $175”

Catherine M., CT (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The accessory pulley was replaced with the water pump as recommended”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Harmonic Balancer/ Vibration Damper pulley fell off”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“There were several areas in the engine that were leaking oil, oil was dripping on belts etc”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“I don't understand why, and this happens at more that just one gas station, but if one tries to fill the tank too fast the automatic "click off" in the gas station filling nozzle "trips"”

James T., MI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“Leaking brake fluid, had to replace same”

Kenneth C., FL (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“front left caliper seized up while driving car”

Mary C., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Froze in contact with rotor creating excessive heat and vibration”

Anonymous, WV (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The hill-hold valve was sticking, which resulted in the calipers not releasing the brakes to allow forward progress”

John P., PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“After routine front brake replacement. Left side front caliper not attached to car. Returned three times w/braking problem Took to different dealer to check. They found problem and fixed. Said we were lucky that nothing bad happened to us. happene”

Dennis P., OR (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“2 calipers froze solid 1 caliper partially frozen, this caused discs to warp on 3 impacted. 11 months later I checked brakes and one caliper pin was frozen and causing a click when releasing brakes”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Caliper would not slide freely, apparently not lubed properly on installation. Now OK, but there is a problem with noticeably excessive brake pedal travel that no one seems to figure out. Service people say it's OK but too much to suit me”

James T., MI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

“parking break would stick - would release when car started to move”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Outside right front brake pad stuck, dragging against rotor, minor scoring of rotor”

Jonathan S., WI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“One of the brake rotor backing plates warped to rub against the rotor. This caused both premature brake wear and vibration/pulsing”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

“all rotors required replacement along with front calipers. was an expensive ($1300) job but worth it given the overall reliability of the car over the past 13 years”

Mary C., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brake pads were 1-front 2--back. Before appt to replace, started hearing a little noise. Dealer service ended up replacing pads, rotors and wheel bearings. Brakes fine now”

Renee H., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car needed new brakes and rotors. Mileages 120,000. Cost $300. Brakes and rotors previous replaced at 60,000 miles”

Milton Z., VA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rotor wore out resulting in replacement of rotors and calipers. Seemed to be premature”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“rotors ground”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes make noise & pedal feels "off" during certain braking. A trusted mechanic can duplicate the problem but not find a root cause”

Robert P., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The brake pedal sank to the floor & was rather "spongy". The replacement was still spongy, so we ordered another. This cured the problems, after the brakes were "re-drained"”

Anonymous, BC (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Expensive to replace pads. New front rotors had to be replaced also”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brake's needed new pads and rotor planing”

Adrian P., ON (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car was making wailing sound while driving. This turned out to be built-in warning system for worn brake pads. Front brake pads needed replacement”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes started to grab. Replaced front and rear brake pads with factory parts. Did not resurface the rotors”

D B., ID (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“new brake pads and rotor”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Pads and rotors replaced on front”

Shelby T., AZ (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“brake pads required replacement”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The rear brakes simply wore out”

Ray D., MN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“They have been replaced twice”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Original struts replaced with factory parts”

Anonymous, WI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Upper control arm failure yesterday. Dealer is repairing under warranty which had long since required. Arm rusted through and failed”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I will need new struts soon”

Leonard G., MA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Needed front shocks after 10 years”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Struts were replaced after only 50,000 miles at the dealer and they were very exesive”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“I understand they normally go out around 70-80K miles”

William V., OR (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replacement”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“routine replacement at 100000 miles”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester XT Unsure)

“They needed to be replaced. Not a big deal”

Anonymous, NS (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

“Replaced left front tie rod”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed new tires”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“bearing worn and making noise”

Adrian P., ON (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“humming noise at 45mph”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

“Slight leak from unit”

Herb S., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine has been leaving oil stains on garage floor. Power steering was a contributor but there are others that I am in process of diagnosing”

H S., TX (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sensed a smell of oil or fumes from oil hitting a hot surface”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car has developed a steering fluid leak which will cost about 4750 to fix. It is not dangerous yet but could get so over time. I have never had a car with a power steering leak and cannot imagine why this car has it. No one can tell me why”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Was getting noisy and difficult to steer in cold early mornings. I replaced the power steering pump”

H S., TX (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The power steering pump was replaced after only 60,000 miles and was very expensive”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel balance

“Brakes didn't hold because tires were worn”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“solenoid valve failed and needed to replaced for proper engine operation”

Stephen B., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Catalytic converter replaced. Cost $1000. Car has only 125,000 miles on it”

Milton Z., VA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“fuel tank emission canister control valve failure/replacement”

David H., IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Catalytic converter failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Catylst faiure”

Anonymous, RI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The "Check Engine" light kept coming on because a pollution control valve defective. Etc. I can't explain what all else was wrong it was 2 long ago as in over 2 weeks!”

SUSn P., OR (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

“The engine warning light goes on repeatedly. The gas cap was replaced, but this didn't solve the problem. A leak in the system was detected and corrected and the problem went away, but now the engine warning light has come on again”

Leonard G., MA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“CHECK ENGINE LIGHT STAYS ON”

Michael B., MI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light came on and it was serviced twice before finally on the third time the light stayed off”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I am not sure what the final diagnosis was, but the engine had to be revved for a minute or two after refueling, or it would stall”

Anonymous, VT (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The sensor after the catalytic converter needed to be replaced because it was causing the car to run too rich. Gas mileage has improved”

Margaret C., CO (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“O2 sensor(s) failed, per ECU”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The check engine light came on. The gas mileage had dropped to 17 mpg. When the sensor was replaced, the gas mileage improved”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I had to replace the fuel filler tube because of rusting through and causing emission sensors to engage "check engine" light”

Greg S., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel injection system

“Fuel injection cleaning was performed at a cost of approx. $200”

Anonymous, MO (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“slipping”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“had to replace the clutch and flywheel due to mileage”

George R., KY (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“no thanks”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed total clutch replacement... twice”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Clutch/tranny prematurely (based on research) began to fail (high rpm rev in 1st). Tranny issue (gear teeth missing) led to clutch burning out requiring replacement of both”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed a new manual clutch”

Ron S., NV (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Clutch was slipping--had to replace clutch, flywheel and throwout bearing”

Robert C., OR (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“CLUTCH BURNED OUT AND FLY WHEEL WAS TOTALLY WORN OUT. REPAIR SHOP DID NOT REPLACE FLY WHEEL AND CAR WAS NOT FIT TO DRIVE. MADE REPAIR SHOP WITH AAA RATING REMOVE CLUTCH AND PUT IN NEW FLY WHEEL. STILL RAN ROUGH UNTIL IT WAS DRIVEN MANY MILES”

Jim B., ME (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“The all wheel drive would lock up all the time. I tried new special transmission oil, did not work. Replaced transmission with used one from junk yard”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Felt like brakes were being applied when driving”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Gear teeth shorn off (no cause found) leading to slipping transmission over time”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“first failure was a spinning noise, they put in some sort of extension to resolve that. Second failure was viscous coupler exploded into the transmission”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I replaced bad bearings in center differential. I fixed it myself for $530. Subaru wanted $4000 to fix it”

Richard B., TX (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“Basically just 'loose heat shield' nothing serious”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Noise in the exhaust. Mechanic was able to install gaskets and tighten clamps”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Monroe muffler replacement for OEM rusted through after just 3 years and 15000 miles”

William W., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Entire exhaust system replaced last year - very expensive at dealer”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Hole in pipe that connects to the muffler”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Following a heavy snow the underside scraped against some ice in a parking lot and damaged the muffler”

Anonymous, TN (2004 Subaru Forester X Unsure)

“multiple repairs on pipes - noise”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Exhaust system rusted away, replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“center pipe rusted through”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Catalytic converter

“Unit failed, replaced by dealer for $1800”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Had to replace it in order to pass inspection in Oct. 2014. Was hoping to keep the car longer, but the rust issue arose”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replacement required”

J M., DC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Had to. replace glass on headlights.after 12 years..had become to foggy to be safe”

Anonymous, HI (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Headlight bulbs keep burning out. Problems have been in the wiring and electrical relays”

Greg B., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

“The buttons on one of the key fobs needed to be pressed repeatedly, sometimes up to 10 times before it would look or unlock the doors, even after replacing batteries. After putting up with the aggravation for almost a year, I finally had to spend $150 to get a new one and have it programmed”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The key fob stopped working and I had to replace it. When I tried to program the new fob (instructions in manual to turn key 10 times to set fob), the alternator died and I had it replaced the first time”

Barbara H., TX (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

“Alarm system could not be turned off. Corrected by Subaru dealer”

Anonymous, AB (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Clock

“After leaving keys in car overnight on "accessories" mode, road service jump-started the car, leaving electrical system in disrepair”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“frequent bulb changes, more than normal life of bulbs”

Greg B., CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Hmm. It seems to me that a tail light and a turn signal light had gone out, but after 11 years one expects that”

SUSn P., OR (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

“Air leaks both front doors , latches rusting and seizing”

Daniel S., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The cable that connects the inside opener to the opening mechanism broke and the door could only be opened from the outside”

Dan N., OR (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Mirrors

“Wind whistle”

Anonymous, MO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“It has the large sunroof, which requires periodic lubrication. If not it tends to not operate correctly. Wont close. It drags the inside cover with it which causes drag. I removed the hooks for the cover which helped a lot”

Eric C., MD (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Tailgate latch had to be repaired”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“widows/doors do not seal properly resulting in extreme cabin wind noise”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

“I had to re-position the neutral safety switch on the side of the transmission to be able to reliably start the car”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“Had to change fluid due to differential grabbing and causing "chattering" of wheels during turns. Also had to replace tires due to tires being different diameters contributing to problem”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

“All wheel drive internal clutches created crunching noises in turn. This problem was solved by adding a limited slip differential additive that increased lubricity to the clutches”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission has significant leaking, apparently from a cooler hose connection. It was apparently leaking for many years”

Joseph R., PA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Personally had to readjust neutral starter safety switch”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“Original CD player in radio conked out. Replaced with Chinese dash radio unit with USB and RCA connectors and blue tooth connection that works better than the original. (4x 45W for C$30). Installed myself”

Patrick G., QC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“It failed and we have chosen not to replace it”

J C., SC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“CD changer froze up, won't play or eject CDs”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The fuse holder which powered the stereo and clock backlight was loose so these accessories would lose power when the car got hot. The circuit would break as the holder expanded in the heat. I've only read about one other person with this problem”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

“Cannot see radio/CD display in daytime!; when it is bright out”

Sandra M., WY (2004 Subaru Forester X Unsure)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

“Head gasket seepage of both oil and anti-freeze”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radiator

“Radiator leaking fluid - almost burned out engine. Replaced radiator”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Saw indication of overheating, and filled with coolant, then took car to Subaru dealer, where they found leaking radiator and replaced it”

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The water pump was failing and had to be replaced as it was causing issues due to antifreeze leak and poor engine performance”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Water pump wore out,causing engine to overheat, causing head gaskets to leak”

Randy H., IL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“The alternator died last September 2014 and I had to have it replaced. This is the second alternator that failed. It relates to the keyless entry as well”

Barbara H., TX (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“less than year old battery from Batteries Plus, counter man gave me a hard time as I did not have receipt until owner came out checked date of manufacture and replaced on the spot after a few words to counter man about customer service”

Colin W., SC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“engine lost power - needed to replace gaskets and plugs. Works fine now”

Tom R., MA (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine occasionally misfired due to bad plug wire. This was an easy fix”

Daniel F., MN (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Clear coat failing”

Anonymous, MO (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Clear coat peeling on front fender and bumper. Note that they were repaired by previous owner”

Patrick G., QC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Rear quarter panels and rocker panels rusted to the point where the car will not pass inspection. Repairs would run close to $2000. With 214,000 miles on odometer I traded it for a 2015 Subaru Forester”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Car periodically fails to start. Service station cannot find source of problem”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Differential

“limited slip differential had to be changed”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
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