Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Recommendation of Subaru Forester

asked by on

Hello i was wanting to get some insight on a used subaru forester. I need a reliable awd car and was wondering if someone would recommend a forester. I know subaru's have a problem with blowing head gaskets, but besides that is there any other concerns?

My car has 60000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. There is a big concern with the air ...

Hello. There is a big concern with the air bags on this car. If the car is, or even "was", equipped with a Takata airbag, I wouldn't consider purchasing it due to the Subaru Recall. Even if the airbag was "replaced", press coverage suggests that Takata supplied airbags are being used as replacements. Furthermore, airbags replaced in the field, that is outside of factory conditions represent a problematic circumstance. You may not even "reach" this issue of the airbag though, since Consumers Reports clearly reports that the reliability of the engine and brake system on this year, make, and model have "a higher rate of problems than the average model."

There are numerous recalls and service campaigns including the 2009 2.5-liter models in PZEV states that had to have the catalytic converter replaced. The 2009 model-year 2.5 XT versions were recalled to replace the oil supply pipe due to the possibility of deformation, and the 2009-13 Foresters were recalled so the dealer could inspect and replace rusted brake lines. 2009 models that have difficulty fueling after driving in snow need a modification to prevent an EVAP hose from freezing, and the 2009-13 manual models might need adjustment of the clutch switch if the hill-start assist is inoperative.

If you are looking for a used vehicle consult Consumer Reports which has already done exhaustive testing and surveying and compiled a list of acceptable used vehicles. In all events, any used vehicle needs to be thoroughly inspected by someone who knows how to read the telltale clues that represent problems or concealed damage. As a used car buyer, really, a principle issue facing buyers at the moment is this fact that TENS of millions of used vehicles out there on the road were essentially equipped with pipe bombs (Takata inflators) and you will have to stay away from that entire population of vehicles. Personally, I would not buy a used car that ever contained a Takata inflator, whether replaced or not.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Recommendation on buying a Subaru--Impreza STI or a WRX

I'd go for the STI if I were you. And, like I've said many times--if you are getting a Subaru get a standard transmission. Their automatic transmissions stink. They are horrible. They wear out. They cost a fortune to fix....

Q: Car takes longer to start, shakes, idles poorly & does not accelerate well going uphill. Check engine light is on.

The symptoms you describe definitely sound like a severe engine misfire. This is likely related to the coil since you have obvious signs of failure (arcing from the side). I recommend having a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic...

Q: What does the air bag Light mean on the dash?

Your car has a number of air bags throughout the cabin designed to work with the seat belts to provide better safety for you and your passengers. The air bag Light in the dash is a readiness indicator. It should...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...