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.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Forester will be more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2004 Subaru Forester has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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

Cylinder head

"blown head gasket"

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

"The engine threw a rod at 145000 miles in 2014. It broke down on the highway. Cost of new engine on otherwise good car was cheaper than getting a new car. Good decision, now at 215000."

Anonymous, CO (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)

"2.5l engine is apparently notorious for head gasket failure. Mine was no exception."

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

"Oil leak identified and diagnosed by trusted mechanic. No operational problems prior to repair."

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

"Was not uncommon problem. Some owners were compensated to some extent. Repair cost me 3 grand....FOR A HEAD JOB!"

Michael K., BC (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Gaskets were leaking"

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

"Head gaskets were leaking, per report from service representative"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Subaru Forester 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 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)

"Head gasket has significant leaks that compounded other issues with the car, including timing belt breaking. Repairing the head gasket cost approx. $2500 as car has 2 head gaskets and engine has to be completely lifted out of the car. For this reason alone I am very wary of buying another Subaru due to engine design with two head gaskets."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

"Replaced because car 10 + fraction years old at time"

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Timing belt or chain

"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)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"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 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)
Other/unsure

"standard repair no issues"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"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)

"Both driver and passenger door rubber window gussets tear with normal use after a couple years from brand new) and cause wind noise."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 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 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)

"wind noise at highway speeds from both front door windows"

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

"Had wind noise thru front side windows. Poor design and expensive repair. Known problem Subaru should have fixed for no cost."

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

"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 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)

"there was a rattle from under carriage metal guard that would vibrate when first accelerating. It was loose and has been fixed."

Michael K., WI (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"much use on rough and washboard roads caused the sway bar fitting to wear and loosen and become noise, replacing solved the problem. car always has had more wind noise at speed than desirable. son-in-law has identical model and year, it does as well."

R M., OR (2004 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"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)

"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)

"Whistling wind noise around the driver's door seal."

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

"Awful wind noise from driver and passenger windows"

Michael K., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Front windows don't seal correctly, so wind noise is always present, and quite loud."

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

"WIND NOISE HAS BEEN A CONSTANT IRRITANT"

C L., MA (2004 Subaru Forester 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 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 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)

"Much more wind noise than our 2015 Forester."

D C., CA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Both Foresters we have owned were terrible for wind noise at speed."

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

"Wind noise has been an issue since new. This is true of both the 2004 and 2000, though noise issues in general are more prevalent in the 2004."

Susan H., CT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"wind noise from right front door window near right side view mirror."

Michael K., WI (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"already coved in other panel"

R M., OR (2004 Subaru Forester 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

Alignment

"I replaced some steering parts. Also, road in Quebec are really bad."

Anonymous, QC (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Ball joints

"Just normal wear and tear. I keep my vehicle well maintained by a Subaru dealer. I currently live is Florida, but bought the car in Spokane, WA with 11000 miles on the car."

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

"They have been replaced twice"

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

"Clunks in the suspension. Normal wear for a 16 year old car."

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

"The bushings became worn and it was more difficult to steer and/or maintain control."

Anonymous, WV (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 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)

"the power steering is very difficult to make turns to the rear--very hard to turn the steering wheel--it is fine driving down the road"

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

"Original struts replaced with factory parts"

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

"Struts were leaking at 60,000 mile service. I'd never experienced this issue with other vehicles at this mileage point so I contacted Subaru of America customer service. They authorized a complimentary complete repair at my dealership!"

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

"Rattles traced to suspension. No effect otherwise."

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

"They were worn out and needed replacing. I'm not sure this is a "problem" since they lasted longer than expected, but they are expensive."

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

"The rear struts squeek during driving and the rear end of the vehicle bounces when driving over bumps. It is to be expected for a vehivcle this age."

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

"During maintenance and smog test, my mechanic diagnosed age-related performance problems with rear struts."

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

"Rear struts are worn and need to be replaced; will cost about $1000."

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

"Needs new rear struts. Have not had the work done yet."

Gary C., VA (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 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)

"strut snapped"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester)
Springs or torsion bars

"They needed to be replaced. Not a big deal"

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

"corrosion repair"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"During routine maintenance I was informed of a steering rack boot leak requiring replacement of the entire rack and pinion, which I authorized."

David W., CA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

"Replaced left front tie rod"

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

"The garage reported badly rusted tie rod ends, so I authorized their replacement."

David W., CA (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"Needed new tires"

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

"Brakes didn't hold because tires were worn"

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

"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)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

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 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)
Difficult to fill up gas tank

"sometimes i can't get the gas door open or the car won't start after a fill-up."

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

"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)
Engine knock or ping

"Check engine light on took car in several times before a defective knock sensor was diagnosed and replaced. May have checked wrong box here?"

Agnes M., MA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced engine several years ago - now knocking etc. a lot - again."

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

"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 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The problem was a strong fuel odor in the passenger cabin that occurred whenever the outside temperature fell below 40 degrees. The dealership replaced the fuel line connections and we did not notice the problem after the repairs were made."

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

"Fuel filler tube between the fuel tank and where you put gas in had to be replaced. Plus the body surrounding where the tube is attached to the body where you put the gas in was partially rusted through and will probably continue to deteriorate. In addition, rust has occurred on the left and right rear wheel well cover, i.e., the body which covers the rear wheels toward the rear of these covers. Apparently this is a very common Subaru problem. And in addition to that in the right front under-body there's a steel support crumple zone protector that is in the process of rusting through. Replacement cost is about $1000 - not worth it for a car this old. I've been warned that a front collision might consequently cause a failure of the suspension making the car undrivable and, therefore, junk it. I plan to take my chances and continue to drive it as long as I can."

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

"Fuel hoses around manifold. Rubber aged and rotted. Had to pull manifold to get to. Over $1000 just to replace 1/4” ID hoses"

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

"the problem started after we hit 100000 miles. We had multiple things replace on and around the engine to fix the leak. A few months later the leak came back. It has had a oil leak for over a year now."

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

"Engine developed a leak from the valve cover, and one inside the timing belt enclosure (which may have also been from the valve cover). Needed to replace the valve cover and the timing belt, which had gotten oil on it."

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

"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 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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

Anonymous, RI (2004 Subaru Forester 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)

"Small oil leak that must drip onto the exhaust system. Had it in to be repaired but still have the odor of burning oil. There must be another leak and will have to bring it in again."

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

"Valve cover gaskets leaking."

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

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)

"Problem started suddenly and was repaired quickly as soon as the repair shop got the appropriate parts."

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

"Compressor kicks out after operating 15-20 min"

Anonymous, ME (2004 Subaru Forester X 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 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 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)

"Clutch required replacement"

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

"uncontrollable temperature setting"

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

"Mice or squirrel in the cabin air filter compartment damaged the fan. Expensive to replace!"

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

"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)
Condenser

"Blows cold air intermittently"

Anonymous, AZ (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)
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 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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

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

"Was not cooling well because of leaks"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Subaru Forester)

"too expensive to have AC repaired for the last 3 years"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Subaru Forester 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)

"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 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Seal leak"

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

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"ABS dash light came on. Mechanic determined we needed a new sensor."

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

"locked up"

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

"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 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)
Master cylinder

"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)
Normal routine brake wear

"the break pads wore out and got replaced."

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

"Brake calipers needs to be changed out after 140000 miles and 16 years of driving on salty winter roads."

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

"Idaho started to salt roads in winter a few years ago. Underside of car and brake parts seem to rapidly corrode. Rotters and calipers every other year."

Eve B., ID (2004 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Only the front brakes needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, PA (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 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)
Premature brake wear

"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)
Pulsation or vibration

"The issue is simply a vibration to be noticed it does not stand in the way of vehicle operation"

Anonymous, (2004 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)
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 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)
Squeaking

"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)

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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Catalyst failed"

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

"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 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)
Fuel cap

"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)
Fuel injection system

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

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

"Fuel pump was beginning to fail and making noise; cost to replace was around $500."

Gary C., VA (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"One occurrence. Inconsequential. Don't remember any more."

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

"Engine light and OBDII reader indicates O2 sensor problem"

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

"had to replace both upstream and downstream o2 sensors. not sure why both went bad at the same time."

Allen T., MT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"O2 sensor needed replacing costly $400 but not unexpected at 95 k miles"

Tim G., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"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 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)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

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)

"Check engine light came on while traveling code reviled it was the catalytic converter dealer replaced asked if after market would work was told no as the check engine light may get a false reading"

James E., MT (2004 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exhaust leaks

"Small fuel system leak. Have to keep replacing gas cap yearly."

Anonymous, FL (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"HAS BEEN A CONTINUAL PROBLEM, HAVE HAD IT LOOKED AT AND THOUGHT IT WAS FIXED SEVERAL TIMES."

C L., MA (2004 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"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)
Muffler

"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 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)
Other/unsure

"It has been a continuous problem for the past several years. The Wiring Harness for the Airbag Sensors under both driver and passenger seats hangs below the seat and anything that falls on the floor under the seat can catch on the harness. The wires are only partially protected by a wiring sleeve and everytime the harness gets touched by anything that falls under the seat or rolls under from the rear passenger foot well, causes stress on the low-hanging wiring harness and compromises where it attaches the the plug under the seat. As a result, the plug needs to be pressed together frequently and eventually comes loose again, resulting in the airbag warning light to appear. The problem has never been resolved as it was out of warranty when it appeared and a new wiring harness + service was prohibitively expensive."

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

"Airbag wiring harness under seats hangs down and is easily damaged by anything placed under seats or in rear passengers foot area"

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

"multiple repairs on pipes - noise"

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

"Was old and broke. One time, fixed the next day"

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

"Exhaust system rusted out"

Daniel T., MI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 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)

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)

"The vehicle's clutch failed completely. I had to have the vehicle moved via flatbed wrecker to the garage for repairs. The clutch was replaced at a cost of $1500"

David P., WI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"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)

"Check engine went on and off intermittently on long highway driving. Dealer said clutch replacement needed. First time since purchase. Seem ok since repair. I will find out for sure when I do my next long trip; have not left New York City since repair."

Mark G., NY (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Torque converter

"Clutch pack in transmission failed, causing harsh shifts and vibration."

Daniel T., MI (2004 Subaru Forester XS 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 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)

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

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)
Body control module

"Eats batteries by somehow drainingit in a day or so when the car is not run. Went through three batteries."

R M., CT (2004 Subaru Forester XS 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
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)
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)
Headlights

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

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

"headlight housing yellowed, housing is loose and has to be replaced"

Anonymous, (2004 Subaru Forester XS 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)
Warning lights

"On two occasions the air bag warning light came on and didn't turn off until I shut down and restarted the car."

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

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

Doors or sliding doors

"My fault entirely. I sideswiped something and a few weeks later something else on the other side. I'm scheduled for body work next week. NOT a problem with the vehicle, just with the driver!"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
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)
Seat controls - movement

"difficult to move front seats forward/back to fit me"

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

"Closing the sunroof sometimes hesitates or won't close. Afraid that it will stop working completely. Mechanic says price to repair is too prohibitive, so we stopped using it."

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

"Sunroof began to leak"

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Subaru Forester)

"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, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate latch had to be repaired"

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

"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)
Rough shifting

"Shifted abruptly between 1st and 2nd gear. Transmission adjustment fixed it. Torque converter was inspected and adjusted."

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

"Rough shift from first into second"

Michael K., WA (2004 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
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 leaks

"Transmission has significant leaking, apparently from a cooler hose connection. It was ap