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The Subaru Forester is a solid choice in the segment. It rides very comfortably, handles responsively, and it has decent fuel economy and adequate acceleration. The interior is well-put-together, but looks basic. The cargo area is square and useful, but backseat leg room is tight. The availability of electronic stability control in only one model (the Sports 2.5 XT version) is disappointing.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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 Subaru Forester is a solid choice in the segment. It rides very comfortably, handles responsively, and it has decent fuel economy and adequate acceleration. The interior is well-put-together, but looks basic. The cargo area is square and useful, but backseat leg room is tight. The availability of electronic stability control in only one model (the Sports 2.5 XT version) is disappointing.

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 (224 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (173 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 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

“Engine started knocking while climbing mountain grades at freeway speeds. Diagnosis was a valve job was needed (ended up replacing valves) Timing belt also replaced, scheduled replacement in a few miles. Also spark plugs, replaced water pump and a”

Thomson J., CA (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo lost compression in 2 cylinders. No warning. Subaru Service acknowledged know turbo problems and head gaskets all Subaru. But didn't warranty. Repair $4,800 - 5,800 for used engine Not worth repairing. Subaru Service did nothing”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Forester)

“broken exhaust valve sprinhg”

Anonymous, NM (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Engine rebuild or replacement

“after rebuilding the tranny in '13, sad to see the valves go this year-tech said it's common on turbos”

Norma L., NV (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“In late 20013 we experienced catastrophic engine failure. the engine had no oil and we received no warning. Engine rebuilt but burns oil and mechanic says block may be warped because of overheating. We suspect but cannot prove the oil burning lead to”

Peter C., ON (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine blew up on the highway at 140000 miles”

Adam B., CO (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

“Had to get head gasket replaced”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“leaking head gaskets, expensive replacement”

Bill H., FL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace”

Mary N., CO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The head gasket failed at 80,000 even though this vehicle was purchased new with all maintenance work done by the dealership technicians”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket failed at 70000 miles. I researched this model of vehicle prior to purchase and had read nothing about this problem. When the gasket failed, I was told by the service writer and other Forester/Subaru owner this was a common problem on S”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Oil leak from pass side head gasket. Chronic issue with Subarus. Estimated repair cost: $2500”

Wirtz H., NY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Failure of the head gasket allowed depletion of engine lubrication oil that was not detected by the idiot light or pressure gauge. This led to head and engine failure”

John H., CO (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Missing, using too much gas”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Canadian owned car purchased in US. Problem diagnosed by local Subaru canadian dealer at 96000 km scheduled maintenance, at the end of 7 year extended warranty, confirmed by independant mechanic. Work performed by dealser at the cost of close to CA$”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced gaskets earlier than i thought reasonable. Subaru paid half of repair”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Subaru showed me oil seepage at head gasket on both sides - had to be replaced - Subaru of America paid for 75%”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket leaking common to all Subaru's this should be fixed with better design as it has gone on for years”

Larry C., NY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to get the head gasket replaced”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head Gasket started leaking. Remover the head, planed it flat new gasket. Parts & labor $4,000”

Ken M., BC (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“My car has always been serviced correctly and taken good care. This shouldn't happen at this low a mileage with good care. Very costly”

David B., NC (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leacking”

Anonymous, SC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“car was treated well and up to date with maintenance and service. I am surprised and very disappointed with this failure. My next car will not be a Subaru”

Gary S., MA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

“Head gaskets leaking R&R at $2770.0”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Dealer diagnosed leaky head gasket about 6 months ago. Have not repaired - no problems to date”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It was a routine scheduled replacement. I also replaced the water pump at the same time as a preventive measure as recommended due to similar labor to replace it later. I experienced no problems with either of these items”

Franklin O., ME (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 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

Air or water leaks

“Driver's side head gasket leaks small but continuous amount of water”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Air leak in windshield that would whistle. Also door seals allowing road noise”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Worn out "gusset" seals on both front side windows create substantial wind noise”

Wirtz H., NY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Windshield seal is failing on upper driver's side resulting in air and water infiltration”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The 2008 Forester has never been quiet; dealer attempted to fix; however, the car still has the wind whistle and is never very quiet”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“had to replace weather-stripping on drivers side door”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Intermittent high pitched squeal at low temps. Might be clutch throw-out bearing”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sound like parts of the car rattles on rough roads”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Dealer couldn't find problem with rattle. I had to find and fix it”

Walter S., NY (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“on every bump in the road there is a bouncing bump sound like something loose underneath. The dealer has been unable to find it”

Jay N., IN (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The noise was a loud winning noise between 30-50 mph. The fix was replacing the driver side rear wheel bearing and now it needs differential cross member bushings replaced because they are worn and make a rattle noise”

Stephanie S., OH (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Body rattles, typical of a car driven on a variety of roads for long distances; unrecognized clutch scraping or throw-bearing noise”

Donald J., CO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Feel car is too noisy when traveling on highway”

Rose G., NJ (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“excessive wind noise on highway”

James K., MA (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“this is the 2nd Forester I bought. It is very noisy on the highway, not like the other last one. I am not sure I would buy one again and I am surprised to say that”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Very noisy compared to our 2017 Subaru Forester; was never airtight and dealer wasn't able to make it so”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Never been able to stop the wind noise from driver's side window front”

David B., NC (2008 Subaru Forester X 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

Ball joints

“ball joints had to be replaced”

Lani G., MA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Bushings

“Worn bushings caused our Subaru to make strange noises”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

“Rack leaked”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear struts were leaking and needed replacement”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear struts were leaking, replaced all four”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I had to replace my struts due to "bounce" when driving over bumps”

Tyler C., MN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front and rear required replacing within a one year period”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replace front struts at 180000 miles”

Anonymous, NM (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“bad strut mount rear passenger side”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Worn out and replaced”

Anonymous, SC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to have multiple operations due to grinding noise. Unsure of diagnosis”

Tyler C., MN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

“We had to buy new tires due to tire misalignment but this was due to our mechanic's failure not the car itself”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

“both rear wheel bearings failed under 90,000 miles”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“one rear bearing wore out”

Scott K., IA (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wheel bearing broke around 80000 miles”

Anonymous, NC (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Had to have work done to replace power steering pump and related”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean Unsure)
Wheel balance

“Replaced new Michelin Premium ultra all weather tires and loved how the car felt driving very quiet and better road grip”

Richard B., BC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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)

“Replaced catalytic converter”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“check engine light appeared due to leak in fuel recovery system”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“related to other issue. Cat converter is commonly replaced just to get the codes to go away”

Donald G., TN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Secondary air injection system has failed 2 times once at 85k and then at 125k parts and labor are expensive”

Paul G., TN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The catalytic converter is failing although the car is still functional. It is slightly out of the normal range, so the Check Engine light is permanently on. This also affects the cruise control, and that slight permanently flashes on my dash and”

Barbara C., MO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel cap

“Repeated P0456 DTC due to poorly seating fuel cap”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Sensors indicated incomplete combustion, leading to replacing catalytic converter”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light kept coming on. Finally, after several attempts to fix it, the computer was changed at considerable cost. Also 2 of the tire pressure sensors are bad and I gave up spending money to fix them so the low tire pressure light just st”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“getting intermittent check engine light coming on and then off”

Kevin H., OH (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Cost of repair”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It took 3 tries for the dealer to fix this problem. When he could, I drove the car to the dealer immediately when I tried to fill the tank with gas and could not insert the pump into the fill neck. This was the clue the dealer needed to fix the car”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Known issue which I am writing to SOA about. Very frustrating to have to drop $1,500 on this usse for a 2nd time with no recall. Secondary Air Valve issues”

Donald G., TN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“It had to be fixed because the cruise control will not work if the engine light is on”

David Z., IL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Two sensors needed replacing, but it required two separate visits to solve the problem completely”

Helen M., ON (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Every few years I've had to replace both O2 Sensors. The part cannot be purchased as an after market part. Has to be bought from Subaru. That's roughly $300 each time. What irks me is when I have to have it replced, I know it's going to eventually fa”

Anonymous, NS (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“They had gone out and needed replacing”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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 is a nightmare, does not work consistently. will not buy another subaru because of that”

Walter S., NY (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Faulty door open signal( on all the time) which triggers the alarm when set and prevents use of automatic interior light. Likely linked to shorts in horn and four way flashers which happen frequently and they don't work”

Peter C., ON (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“burn out? need replacement frequently”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Bulb blew out twice; headlights (by design) are too dim, though this seems NOT to be a defect”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Moisture got into the headlight and shorted the bulb they dont know how it happened since the seal was good. Had to replace the whole headlight”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“water leaking into the compartment and caused the headlight to die”

Vera Y., HI (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Apparently, the seal around the headlight has failed so moisture has seeped into the light. Will cost about $500 to replace headlight kit”

Anonymous, NH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Left low beam bulb failure”

Joe K., MB (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“water droplets in the headlight”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“water when down into the foglight causing corrosion of relective surface around light”

Vera Y., HI (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

“No Problem Just replace blubs in taillights, turning signels also back seat light blub”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The front cabin lights no longer come on when the doors are opened or closed. Cargo area light continues to work”

Dorothy B., MD (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

“See my last answer”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Monitor showed up on the dashboard -- took vehicle to local mechanic. Fixed in one hour”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Tire pressure sensor, left front tire, stopped working. Dash warning light came on permanently. Didn't fix since mechanic said to just let it go and that would be okay”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

“The remote device no longer unlocks the car. The cost to replace is around $300 since it has to be reprogrammed by Subaru. I use my key to unlock”

Anonymous, NH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 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

“Frozen calipers for second time”

Michael D., CT (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brake calipers froze”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“No warning of brake problem”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

“Parking brake locks in on position related to rust buildup according to dealer”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

“it is very expensive to get the brake work done and is so annoying”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes rusted and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed to replace all four rotors”

Bill H., FL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Noise in left rear wheel was diagnoxed as severely warped rotor which was replace”

Roland R., WI (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“NEEDED TURNING AFTER 30000 MILES, EXCESSIVE WEAR”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“They wore out - the ball bearings”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)

“Shoes were dirty”

Anonymous, DC (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Noisy Brakes after the car was standing unused for a period of days, maybe moisture on the pads and rust on the drums, and rotors”

Richard B., BC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 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 failed early last summer. Refrigerant leaked out, bearings on clutch bad”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed replacement”

Mary N., CO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Squealing bearing that required complete replacement of the entire compressor”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“All major parts in the A/C system had to be replaced, which was very expensive”

Barbara C., MO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“A/C compressor failed. First problem with vehicle”

Matt P., NC (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The Air conditionong went last year, local repair quote was over $1100. The ac unit is not in an easily accessible spot and there are 'environmental issues' - we opted not to get it fixed”

Anonymous, ME (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“First repair shop couldn't decide what was wrong and messed it up further. Finally took it to Subaru dealer service who replaced 2 defective O- rings and added Freon. Works fine now. I'll stay with dealer servicing now”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Part of the AC system... see above”

Anonymous, ME (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Second clutch replacement in 65000 miles. Second time, clutch almost failed to the point of being unable to shift from gear to gear or disengage engine”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“clutch started slipping badly.. second clutch replacement on this car, first in first year of ownership that was replaced for no cost by subaru dealer”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car could not shift in lower gears”

Edward B., NY (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Throwout bearing failed, told this is common around 100k miles”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Scraping noises, difficult clutch usage, smells, complete failure”

Donald J., CO (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission had to be rebuilt probably due to unusual strain in getting through snow bank”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission started slipping at 65k miles, replaced 1 year later”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

“The AC belt has broken twice, once on a 500 mile trip across Texas in August”

Joyce S., TX (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Seals were worn out and needed to be replaced. I was told it was normal for a car of this age”

Marguerite H., WY (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Oil seals had to be replaced several times”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I have developed a slight leak due to head gasket going bad. Will have head gasket replaced when it becomes necessary”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Valve cover gasket oil leak into spark plugs”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Two different oil leaks: the first due to a bad Rocker Cover Gasket, the second due to a failed Head Gasket”

Anonymous, CA (2008 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

Locks and latches

“Latch for rear hatch would not open hatch and had to be replaced”

Gary H., OH (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“Latch for rear hatch would not open hatch and had to be replaced”

Gary H., OH (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Latch on rear door does not always catch/lock”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Lift assembly weakened. Hatch would not stay up. It would hit you on the head”

Anonymous, MT (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Latch sticks in open position. Need to manually push it down before closing”

Katie H., OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sunroof

“My moon roof failed 2 years into owning my car. I purchased an extended warranty due to the cost to fix the roof. The roof has had continued issues. the dealer thought it was dirt in the track after the fourth time with the roof locking open, the same failure occurred the track and motor mechanism failed. The extended warranty company open the roof to inspect the damage on Feb. 1st. the roof could not be closed that day. So since Feb. 1st I have a 10 inch gap of open roof. I have had to s”

Anonymous, CA (2008 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

“CDs getting stuck in the CD Player Subaru dealers do not take t the player.I have to find someone else to do it. Than I must bring the C D player back to Subaru. They will send it in to be fixed.Subru will not take out or put back in.the C D Playe”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“6 Disk changer stopped working so CD's would not eject”

David H., OH (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Stopped working--had electronic problem--had to replace”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Took the Subaru dealer 8 months and 6 visits to solve the problem, including installing 3 used radios until they finally got it right!”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Radio failed to play at all while CD still worked. Entire unit which was a refurbished one had to be replaced at a cost of 500 dollars at the dealership.....very dissatisfied with entire process at Donaldson's Subaru in Sayville, NY”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Clutch adjustment

“since new recurring lag from stop to engaging clutch . . . brought it to dealers attention since first service”

Robert H., BC (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Gear selector or linkage

“gear linkage stiffened and then broke leaving us stranded on road”

James K., MA (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“While driving, the manual transmission shifter started to "feel" different, then it refused to shift into any gear. I had to be towed to the dealer, who replaced the "Fork."”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car had trouble starting at times as if it was not fully in neutral and my mechanic ended up having to replace the shift cable and a good chunk of the console, as there was no other way to get it out”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

“Not serious in itself but it took the dealer nearly a week to get the part and a couple of extra days to schedule the work”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Subaru Forester X 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

“Sears after-market battery failed and was replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester L.L. Bean 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Old battery, died”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Last week the engine did't start. Using a portable battery I started it. That night engine warning light was on, but since then engine works well even with the same battery, and no warning light is on. It may not because of the battery”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace battery: minimal water and slow cranking in winter”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Forester X 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

Driveshaft or axle

“same as above”

Warren K., OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The bearing in the back axle was flattened or chipped and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, DE (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I have replace both front axles in the last 6 months and 1 rear axle 10 months ago. One of the front axles broke as I was driving across country. So I had to get a tow to the nearest city and tow my car 500 miles to my destination, which is now my home. 3 months later the other front axle broke”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
CV joint

“left drive shaft started knocking, dealer replaced both siides”

Warren K., OH (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

“Radiator leaked at 130k replaced”

Paul G., TN (2008 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Radiator needed to be replaced. It tool three trips to the dealer to have this resolved”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Forester)
Thermostat

“themostat temporarily failed to open”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

“We've had to replace the catalytic converter twice already”

Jack H., KY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“rust and a hole that is just do to the rust belt and road salt although a stainless system would be better”

Larry C., NY (2008 Subaru Forester X 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Mouldings just use double sided tape, and one fell off”

Barbara P., PA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure Unsure)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint chalking on roof carrier”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
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