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*****2010 Subaru Forester Purchase Question ****** Bought It****** Login/Join 
My hypocrisy goes only so far
Picture of GrumpyBiker
posted
I’m looking at buying a 2010 Subaru Forester in fantastic condition so that’s not an issue but I’ve never owned a Subaru so I thought I’d ask here.
The Forum helped me dodge a Bullet on a Volvo a couple months ago so I figured I’d see what the opinion is on this model.
It’s a 2.5L non-turbo with 80k miles.



This message has been edited. Last edited by: GrumpyBiker,




U.S.M.C.
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III%

"Never let a Wishbone grow where a Backbone should be "



 
Posts: 6304 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
coffee, and sarcasm.
Picture of egregore
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This may upset Subaru fans. Even as late as 2010 this engine had head gasket problems. It also uses a timing belt. It is already due (by time) to have been replaced. I don't like the lack of a coolant temperature gauge, either, and even some newer models still don't have them. By the time the red light comes on, the engine has already been spewing coolant for up to 30 seconds, and it may have been running hot for a long period but not enough to trigger the light. Can you find at least a 2012 model? That is roughly the year they went to a timing chain.
 
Posts: 23829 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BlackTalonJHP
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Depends on what you want to use it for.

Offroad? Yes
Hour long commute? No

As far as the model year, it's the last EJ253 which didn't have as much oil consumption as the FB25.

I've repaired a few things on mine that were cheap and easy to fix. It's easy to work on.

I don't have nearly that many miles on my '10 but so far so good.
 
Posts: 397 | Location: Texas | Registered: September 18, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sgalczyn
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2012 is still a T-belt; chains started in 2013.
One can always add an aftermarket temperature gauge or, there are several OBD plug-ins with a display for every bit of engine info you never knew existed.

My recollection is head gaskets were a 2000-2005 issue.

Add comments -
Photo looks like a turbo-version - was this owned by some grandmother or a teenager?
I take all my Subies on hours-long drives - plenty comfy!

Timing-belt/water pump change interval is at 105,000 miles


"No matter where you go - there you are"
 
Posts: 3809 | Location: Eastern PA-Berks/Lehigh Valley | Registered: January 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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I've got a lighter '08 version of that same car (Impreza wagon). 2.5L engine (non-turbo) and 4EAT 4-speed automatic transmission w/ sports shift. Usually it is driven in the Sports Shift mode as it becomes indecisive between 1st and 2nd in 25mph - 35mph zones. I've cross-countried several times and got 34mpg in the high desert, nearly 30mph overall, in excess of 70mph average speed. It is LOUD on local roads, as it seems engineers here abouts want to install expansion joints every 30 feet.

If I was keeping it I'd get it on lift and install sound deadening. The car has never needed tire rotation. Front control arm bushings at 70k was the only true repair.
 
Posts: 7867 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of PowerSurge
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:
This may upset Subaru fans. Even as late as 2010 this engine had head gasket problems. It also uses a timing belt. It is already due (by time) to have been replaced. I don't like the lack of a coolant temperature gauge, either, and even some newer models still don't have them. By the time the red light comes on, the engine has already been spewing coolant for up to 30 seconds, and it may have been running hot for a long period but not enough to trigger the light. Can you find at least a 2012 model? That is roughly the year they went to a timing chain.

Listen to this guy right here.
 
Posts: 3263 | Location: Northeast Georgia | Registered: November 18, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
Picture of Oz_Shadow
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I have a 2010 Forester 2.5 NA with almost 200k on it, almost all by me.

The head gaskets will leak oil. At least until they are upgraded to newer multilayer gaskets. I plan to do this at the second timing belt change. Oil is usually more of an annoyance than a problem, but make sure it is not leaking coolant too. If so, avoid.

The timing belt, plus some pulleys and maybe the water pump need to be done at 105k (time could be an issue too). Expect $1k-1.5k unless you can do the work.

Other than regular, routine maintenance, the only issue I have had is the spot weld on the driver seat broke early on and was replaced under warranty.

Mine is garage kept and has had all maintenance done when due.

I have a new truck and still drive my Forester 4 out of 5 days a week to work. I love it. I get about 23mpg.

Oh, my front control arm bushings do clunk, but tires wear perfect. No issues other than noise. I do have a TPMS sensor to replace.

They are excellent in the snow. The radio is pretty basic.
 
Posts: 16143 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's right at the tail end of the well-known head gasket issues, which ran 1999-2010 on Foresters according to what I can find. It's also the last year that the non-turbo Foresters used a timing belt.

So I'll echo the recommendation to look for something 2011 or newer. Timing chain instead of belt, and avoid the head gasket issues.

quote:
Originally posted by sgalczyn:
2012 is still a T-belt; chains started in 2013.


I believe that's only on the turbo Foresters. The non-turbos apparently switched to a chain in 2011, with the swap to the FB25B engine.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RogueJSK,
 
Posts: 25114 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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Yes, I forgot. All four TPMS sensors were replaced last year.

After the control arm bushings, new front brakes, full brake fluid flush, and new tires, the car's front end literally felt like new. But lots of plastic body parts are held on with zip ties and shoe strings. Front valance, plastic undercarriage panel, etc.

The airbag recall was done twice; the first one was also recalled.
 
Posts: 7867 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
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There's also a passenger side airbag recall I still need to get around to letting them do. No one ever rides with me in that vehicle though. My wife has a 2016 Forester that needs to have the recall done as well.

Buying any 10/11 year old vehicle would a difficult decision, but if you rewind time to when I bought mine, knowing everything the future would hold for it, I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
 
Posts: 16143 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
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The owner of the lot is friends with friends of ours who own the RV Park we stay at in Amish Country.
His mechanic replaced the control arm bushings and is putting on new rotors & pads .
The auto review on line say to “expect 300k if all scheduled maintenance is observed “.
I’m the guy who buys & keeps it till it’s 20+ yrs old & this is just a backup vehicle for us but I still do t want to buy a problem waiting to happen.
So I very much appreciate all the insight you all have provided.
My wife is always amazed how much info & how quickly people on here provide such a wide spectrum of knowledge.




U.S.M.C.
VFW-8054
III%

"Never let a Wishbone grow where a Backbone should be "



 
Posts: 6304 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Same year and model as my wife's car. Still going strong with about 125k on it.


_________________________
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Posts: 5890 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: July 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of lastmanstanding
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We have a 09. Common problem is tire pressure lights almost always on. The problem is the aluminum rims not being able to keep a tight bead so they leak especially in cold weather. Transmissions are good for about 100k just replaced ours a few months ago. New from Subaru is 8 grand. We found a used one for 4 installed. Mechanic told us it’s pretty common. He’s a family friend so no sales bs from him.

Otherwise a great car especially here in Minnesota it’s practically the state car. The awd system is outstanding on snow covered roads.


"Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity" - George S. Patton
 
Posts: 6602 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of John Steed
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We have a 2007 with > 200,000 on the clock. Runs like a champ, great in the snow.

Outside of regular maintenance (done religiously):
Some oil leaking. Not at all bad for any car that old w/ that mileage.
Some coolant leaks. Not bad at all, as above.

Some of the engineering does seem pretty goofy. One glaring example was when the Windshield Washer Fluid Tank sprang a leak and had to be replaced. You'd think it's an easy enough job. The mechanic had to take off the driver's side fender (and the front bumper IIRC) to remove the damn thing! Finding a replacement was nearly impossible.



... stirred anti-clockwise.
 
Posts: 1768 | Location: Michigan | Registered: May 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It wasn't a Forester, but we had a 2011 Outback with the same engine. The head gaskets started to go at 100K
 
Posts: 348 | Location: SW Michigan | Registered: January 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SevenPlusOne
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I have a 2000 Forester, and have had a '99 and '03 Outback.
If it's a back up vehicle, I'd say get it if the price is ok and you like it.
"300k with regular maintenance", understand that headgasket replacement is regular maintenance on a Subaru.



"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
 
Posts: 4274 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: October 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is good mileage for a 10 year Subbie...most of the time they're well into the six figures...their owners tend to drive them.

If it works for you, and the price is right, go for it. Like most things mechanical, how well you take care of it will play a part.

That being said, if it's just a 'back up' and you have the time, and you want to stick with Subaru, you might consider tracking down a 6 cyl...like a 3.6R Outback. Timing chain and less head gasket issues among other things. But depending on where you live, those tend to command a premium, particularly if in really nice shape ($10K+)

$.02 worth...

Boss


A real life Sisyphus...
"It's not the critic who counts..." TR
Exodus 23.2: Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong...
Despite some people's claims to the contrary, 5 lbs. is actually different than 12 lbs.
It's never simple/easy.
 
Posts: 4487 | Location: In the arena... | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 657 | Registered: February 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Silent:
We have a 2009 Forester purchased new. It now has over 200,000 miles on it. As we live on a dirt road the car has a lot more “off road” miles than the typical driver. It has been a very reliable car that’s very good in the snow but has the following issues:
1. It goes through headlights. They last about a year or so.
2. There is a known rear wheel bearing issue. Partly due to the dirt roads, we’ve replaced ours twice.
3. Timing belt. Had it changed twice. Once at just under 100,000 miles and once at just under 200,000.
4. Head gaskets replaced at the 200,000 mile mark.

Knowing what I know now, would I buy it again? Yes.

Silent
 
Posts: 657 | Registered: February 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by egregore:
This may upset Subaru fans. Even as late as 2010 this engine had head gasket problems. It also uses a timing belt. It is already due (by time) to have been replaced. I don't like the lack of a coolant temperature gauge, either, and even some newer models still don't have them. By the time the red light comes on, the engine has already been spewing coolant for up to 30 seconds, and it may have been running hot for a long period but not enough to trigger the light. Can you find at least a 2012 model? That is roughly the year they went to a timing chain.


This is 100% true. My son owns a 2010 Outback. He just ponied up $1900 for head gasket replacement. Other than that the car has been a winner. FYI, I'm a Legacy owner and love the car.
 
Posts: 6400 | Registered: October 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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