Q: Recommendation of Subaru Forester

asked by on September 26, 2016

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.

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.

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