2003 Subaru Forester Subaru Forester 2003

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2003 Subaru Forester repairs by problem area

Engine (46%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (10%)

Brakes and Traction Control (12%)

Suspension and Steering (15%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (13%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (3%)

Other (1%)

Chart based on 215 repairs.

2003 Subaru Forester repair cost distribution

$2500+ (6%)

$1000 - $2499 (15%)

$500 - $999 (31%)

$100 - $499 (37%)

< $100 (12%)

Chart based on 101 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.
Non-members can see only ten 2003 Subaru Forester repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2003 Subaru Forester

Engine not specified

Subaru Forester in Great Britain
Nov 2014 - Feb 2016
Apr 2015

86000 mi
Drive shaft sheared. Repairs still in progress, seeking a good used part. 
Dec 2015

87000 mi

£3000
Rear diff disintegrating 
Feb 2016

87000 mi
Rear diff disintegrating 
Subaru Forester in Kentucky, United States
Mar 2015 - Mar 2016
Mar 2016

149000 mi

US $1800
head gasket. second for the car 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Sep 2010 - Jun 2011
Oct 2010

140000 mi

US $500
airbag light on. Replaced clockspring. 

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2003 Subaru Forester 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Forester in California, United States
Aug 2009 - Jan 2013
Jan 2012

110000 mi

US $500
emissions problem. Won't pass smog. Mechanic is checking catalytic converter Passed smog, check engine light continues to light up. mechanic suspects catalytic converter needs replacement despite passing smog certification 
Sep 2012

116000 mi

US $700
Unable to pass California Smog test. I had replaced the battery and it reset the computers. The shop finaally drove the car constantly to reset computers. It passed, then check engine light came on, needs catalytic converter. 
Subaru Forester in Maryland, United States
Jul 2011 - Jul 2013
May 2012

313500 mi

US $930
rear wheel bearings + belt tensioner 
Jun 2012

316000 mi

US $1100
Rear struts replaced Drive shaft replaced 
Jun 2013

346000 mi

US $865
exhaust pipe corrosion and failure 
Subaru Forester in Georgia, United States
May 2008 - Mar 2016
Jun 2008

58000 mi

US $50
Check engine light came on because fuel filler vacuum misread. 
Feb 2010

73300 mi
Strong fuel odor in cold weather. 
Oct 2010

81000 mi
Catalytic converter failure detected at 80,800 miles. Federal warranty for catalytic converters is for 80,000 miles, but because of a lawsuit settlement over misleading odometer readings, Subaru has extended coverage to 84,000 miles. 
Jan 2011

84000 mi

US $280
Rear break cylinder seals leaking. Were replaced. Replaced bulb in clock light, which had not operated for several years. Cost $5 -- previous shop had quoted $150. 
Aug 2011

90000 mi

US $170
Check engine light came on. Code indicated fuel vapor pressure leak. Smoke test conducted, no problem found. Updated computer codes. 
Mar 2012

96000 mi

US $25
Exterior trim piece adjacent to lower right of left rear door had come loose and the attachment toggle was damaged, so it couldn't be secured. Six Star Service ordered a replacement piece and installed it. Took five minutes. 
Jan 2013

103000 mi

US $500
Replaced leaking head gaskets and a bad spark plug wire. Work done at same time I had timing belt, belt tensioner and water pump replaced, all routine maintenance. 
Nov 2014

121000 mi

US $1000
Replaced failing rear bearings. Also got new front brakes. Replaced worn-out shifter knuckle 
Feb 2015

124000 mi

US $38
Replaced burned-out driver-side headlight bulb. 
Mar 2016

132000 mi

US $36
Headlight burned out. Had it replaced. Not an easy job on the Forester... 
Subaru Forester in Wisconsin, United States
Oct 2010 - Sep 2012
Nov 2010

85000 mi

US $130
Driver's door window motor failed. Replaced window motor. 
Sep 2012

106000 mi
Cracked moon roof. Engineered incorrectly? Too big. Eventually cracked in the direct heat of the sun. 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Apr 2009 - Jun 2011
Nov 2010

118000 mi

US $500
The Dual catalytic converters were clogged, leading to low power and trouble code 0420. They were replaced, and the problems were solved. 
Subaru Forester in New Mexico, United States
Oct 2010 - Jun 2011
Dec 2010

158000 mi
Oil leak: complete head gasket replacement, new clutch. 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
Jun 2012 - Jul 2012
Jul 2012

101000 mi

US $97
slipping belts 
Subaru Forester in New Zealand
Mar 2013 - Mar 2016
Oct 2013

115080 mi

$321
Driver door electric window motor replaced 
Subaru Forester in Alberta, Canada
- Jul 2007
Jul 2007

96100 mi
Two pistons had to be replaced under manufacturer warranty - wrong sized ones were originally installed and causing piston knock. 
Subaru Forester in Colorado, United States
Jan 2010 - Jan 2013
Dec 2010

129000 mi

US $900
Replaced Transmission and clutch 
Jan 2011

132000 mi

US $900
head gasket replacement with water pump and timing belt done at same time 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Jun 2006 - Oct 2009
Jul 2006

33000 mi
Clutch assembly needed replacement. A few 2002/2003 Foresters developed "cold clutch shudder": Clutch would shudder when engine was cold, fine once warm. Subie recognized this as defective parts they replaced entire clutch system under warranty. 
Subaru Forester in Florida, United States
May 2007 - May 2009
May 2007

58000 mi
Left rear wheel bearing replacement. Covered under warranty. 
Subaru Forester in Kentucky, United States
Jun 2015 - Mar 2016
Jul 2015

US $500
Replaced front calipers and rear wheel cylinders as well as pads/shoes and front rotors 
Aug 2015

US $25
P0507 OBD II code with check engine light. Replaced Neutral Switch and cleared code (manual transmission) 
Oct 2015

71000 mi

US $250
Replaced front struts and mounts 
Subaru Forester in New South Wales, Australia
Feb 2013 - Mar 2013
Mar 2013

78120 mi

A $400
Battery 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Nov 2003 - Apr 2016
Oct 2003

15620 mi
Clutch chatter when cold. Replaced clutch assembly under warranty 
Jul 2011

126000 mi

US $2900
head gaskets replaced -- car leaking oil 
Nov 2013

152000 mi

US $1000
replace both front-end sway bar end links, replace ball joint cylinder 
Dec 2014

162000 mi

US $218
replaced A/C idler and A/C belt 
Nov 2015

170300 mi

US $200
replaced cracked radiator 
Apr 2016

172000 mi
Hill holder (manual transmission) not properly disengaging -- had system disabled. 
Subaru Forester in Pennsylvania, United States
Jun 2008 - Feb 2011
Nov 2008

149000 mi

US $200
Front Tie rods replaced, 1 broke, 1 worn 
Jun 2009

166000 mi
Sporatic ck engine light still - Code from computer (light off when got there) showed only a possible air filter issue, dirt blown off it by dealer, but did not recommend replacement. 
Jul 2009

169000 mi

US $300
replaced both rear struts to be even, drivers side totally leaked out with no bounce left. Ck engine light flashing, Misfiring read, options to replace plug wires or engine coil. Titanium plugs installed Feb 09 - repair pending reviews 
Aug 2009

173000 mi

US $223
Major Misfiring - cracked engine coil, replaced coil & plug wires. still drivable because standard trans, automatic probably would have broken down. 
Feb 2010

187000 mi

US $360
I live in emissions county. It requires new catalytic converter to pass yearly emissions since ck engine light was on. Original one much quieter then after market. 
Jun 2010

196000 mi

US $50
idle control valve possibly not functioning properly. after using AC engine idles very high when no drag on engine. they tried cleaning several items but problem returned. 
Jul 2010

198000 mi

US $318
Idle Air Control valve replaced. Fixed the vacuum leak that caused driving problems under a load, but not the excessive 5000rpm revving when clutch engaged after using AC. Originally thought related. 
Aug 2010

200000 mi
excessive idle speed issue back, can go up to 5000 rpms on hot days if use AC, while clutch is pushed in. upon release of clutch & putting a load on engine it goes back to normal & sometimes stays there.  
Nov 2010

207000 mi

US $284
rear driver wheel bearing bad, making very loud noise. replacement 7 hrs long.  
Dec 2010

209000 mi

US $350
car seemingly lurching forward while driving, odometer and tachometer did not fluctuate, stutter on up-hills and later flat roads. testing showed 5# pressure, needs ~ 45# per garage. replaced fuel pump  
Feb 2011

209000 mi
Winter, so not running A/C and so not clear if idle speed problem remained when sold. But CEL going off and on. 
Subaru Forester in New South Wales, Australia
May 2008 - Mar 2016
Apr 2009

83700 mi

A $650
Starter motor intermittently failed to engage on ring gear. Starter motor replaced by workshop. 
May 2009

84320 mi

A $2200
Clutch pressure plate broke into 3 pieces while driving resulting in partial loss of drive. New clutch kit fitted. Original dual-mass flywheel also replaced with a solid flywheel. New clutch and flywheel kit from Exedy (not Subaru). 
Oct 2009

92120 mi

A $570
Front brake rotors had grooves. Both rotors replaced, along with pads. 
Mar 2010

96100 mi

A $500
Rear brake rotor(s) warped. Not enough material left for them to be machined so they, along with the pads, were replaced. 
Feb 2011

102300 mi

A $600
Check engine light increasingly regular. Code P0030 for front 02 (it's actually an air/fuel) sensor heater. Replaced sensor with genuine part ($600 from dealer) myself. 
Mar 2012

120280 mi

A $15
Grinding noise from power steering pump. Drained and replaced power steering fluid. 
Jul 2012

122760 mi

A $900
Steering rack was leaking fluid. Rack was replaced with a reconditioned one. 
Oct 2012

126640 mi

A $150
Engine oil has for some time been leaking out from between the spark plug tubes and the rocker covers. The tube seals were replaced, along with the gaskets and washers for the rocker covers. 
Sep 2013

137640 mi

A $160
Engine running rough under load due to failing fuel pump. Replaced fuel pump. 
May 2014

146320 mi
Initially a slight coolant leak from between plastic top of radiator and radiator core. Needed occasional top-up. Leak has now worsened such that car cannot be driven more than a few minutes at a time. In process of sourcing new radiator. 
Jun 2014

146320 mi

A $400
New radiator fitted (as old one was leaking between core and plastic top). Also replaced top and bottom hoses and thermostat as a precaution. 
Aug 2014

146320 mi
Left-rear wheel bearing had been noisy for some time. Shop replaced it with a new one, but since the driveshaft had seized into the old one, a replacement driveshaft (second hand) was required also. 
Nov 2014

148180 mi

A $1700
Left rear wheel bearing that was replaced in August had become noisy again. Shop determined that it, as well as the (original) right bearing had failed and the hubs were also heat damaged. Bearings, hub as well as seals etc were replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Illinois, United States
Oct 2008 - Aug 2015
Apr 2010

71000 mi

US $1000
Catalytic Converter 
Dec 2014

104000 mi

US $800
EGR Problem 
Subaru Forester in New York, United States
May 2008 - Dec 2009
Jun 2008

144000 mi

US $1600
replaced both rear wheel bearings, rear struts and strut mounts 
Oct 2008

152000 mi

US $220
Check Engine light back on, replaced ignition coil (old one cracked) Light came back on once after coil replaced, then went off on its own. Hoping that's the last of it! 
Jun 2009

173000 mi

US $450
Replaced pads & rotors on front brakes.  Replaced stabilizer bars, old ones worn, causing suspension to make a knocking noise when going over bumps.  Replaced fog lamp. 
Dec 2009

177000 mi
Car caught on fire, repairs would have been too entensive. Insurance company totalled the car. 

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2003 Subaru Forester 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Forester in Virginia, United States
Jan 2015 - Mar 2016
Jul 2015

160300 mi

US $1650
A/C Compressor failed. A/C system had various leaks. Plastic upper radiator outlet cracked causing radiator hose to pop off. Car lost all of its coolant and stranded me on interstate. Rear strut has developed thumps and rattle. Strut piston rod is binding inside strut body. This is a common Subaru problem with no permanent resolution. 
Oct 2015

161000 mi

US $630
Noticed steering rack was leaking fluid when car went in for state inspection. Entire steering rack and tie-rod assembly had to be replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Maryland, United States
Jul 2015 - Mar 2016
Oct 2015

126000 mi

US $3200
Head gasket replacement. 
Dec 2015

127000 mi

US $300
Replace one front caliper; required doing both plus pads. 
Mar 2016

130000 mi

US $225
Security system malfunctioned, draining and depleting battery. Engine would not start due to security system. Dealer diagnosed it, replaced battery, and reset security system. 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Nov 2014 - Mar 2016
Oct 2015

189700 mi

US $200
replace rear shoes 
Subaru Forester in Illinois, United States
Nov 2008 - May 2011
Jun 2010

62000 mi

US $180
Suspension issue. I don't recall what the part that was replaced is called. 
Feb 2011

64000 mi

US $1302
Head gasket had to be replaced, also did valve adjustment. 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
Dec 2013 - Mar 2016
Jan 2014

111300 mi

US $420
Replaced all four tires with Dunlop All Season and also changed oil. Also, rear brakes diagnosis revealed needed new rotors and pads rear only. 
Nov 2014

124700 mi

US $260
Needed valve seals and valve cover gasket.  Replaced exhaust manifold gasket. Also new thermostat. CHECK ENGINE light came on about 50 miles after leaving shop reading a problem with catalytic converter. Car running fine but cannot get warning light to turn off. 
Mar 2016

143000 mi
Blown head gasket. Car developed a hole in radiator and despite all precautionary efforts on my part and a new radiator, the car would overheat after 7-8 miles of driving. Heating/Cooling system. After tryng to fix head gasket with 2 additives , attempted repairs did not work and the manufacturer honored warranty & gave me my money back. Sold car to mechanic and bought a 2006 Hyundai Azera with 86545 mi. 
Subaru Forester in Maryland, United States
Dec 2012 - Mar 2016
Oct 2013

101700 mi

US $500
The ignition switch locked in the off position, so the key could not be rotated, and the car could not be started. We called for a tow but the driver fiddled with the key and the steering wheel and finally got it started.  
Subaru Forester in Virginia, United States
Dec 2012 - Mar 2016
Mar 2014

173000 mi

US $96
P0030 o2 sensor and changed front and rear diff fluid and ATF drain and fill. 
Feb 2015

173000 mi

US $75
Drivers window motor seized in up/closed position for close to 8 months, just now fixed. 
Apr 2015

173300 mi

US $100
Leaking front drivers strut. Failed inspection. Brought it home, ordered the strut, fixed it 04/04. 
Sep 2015

174000 mi

US $35
removed used rear struts from a junkyard, replaced both rears but only one was leaky. Now I have one spare (inspector said both were wet but passable- trusted his word - only one was wet) 
Subaru Forester in New York, United States
Oct 2012 - Apr 2016
May 2014

99000 mi

US $650
Needed new Power steering pump Steering pump belt needed replacement 
Subaru Forester in Oregon, United States
Sep 2012 - Mar 2016
Nov 2015

85700 mi

US $2000
Minor head gasket leak as well as a few oil leaks from around the pump. 
Subaru Forester in Minnesota, United States
Nov 2014 - Mar 2016
Dec 2015

179000 mi

US $270
replaced rear rotors and pads 
Feb 2016

185000 mi

US $300
replaced front brake pads and turned rotors 
Subaru Forester in North Carolina, United States
May 2008 - Dec 2009
Aug 2008

37000 mi
Engine knocking. Was diagnosed as carbon build-up. Was advised to run fuel system cleaner through it and "stomp on it" occasionaly to prevent excessive carbon build-up. 
Jan 2009

42000 mi

US $250
Rear brake pad replacement.  
Jun 2009

49000 mi

US $400
Front Oxygen Sensor replaced. 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Nov 2003 - Apr 2010
May 2003

5000 mi
troubleshoot - rough idle at start 
Jul 2003

9000 mi
failed catalytic converter replaced 
Oct 2004

14000 mi

US $150
dead battery - internal light socket shorted 
Jan 2005

16000 mi
another dead battery - internal electrical short 
Jul 2007

41000 mi
troubleshoot - transmission whine. no problem found 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
May 2008 - Jan 2016
Aug 2008

63000 mi

US $75
Periodic high idle, suspected to be need to clean throttle body. Problem seems to have reappeared, may need to be looked at by dealer. 
Jun 2009

73000 mi

US $63
Removal of rattling exhaust shield Power steering belt loose Stabilizer linkage loose 
Sep 2009

75000 mi

US $245
Sway bar linkage replaced 
Nov 2009

75900 mi

US $822
Dealership repaired parking brake hardware along with rear rotors and pads. Damage to parking brake mechanism alleged to be the result of third-party brake job. 
Apr 2011

89000 mi

US $1023
Driver's window switch and motor failed Y-pipe heat shield rattling Intermittent high idle with higher ambient temperatures. Previous throttle body cleanings no help. Loosened throttle cable. 
Sep 2011

95000 mi
Driver's side rear caliper sticking (recurring problem) causing scraping. Cleaned and returned. Problem came back within a week, but have not returned for further assessment. 
Dec 2011

98000 mi

US $618
Exhaust pipe broke aft of rear catalytic converter. Muffler OK, but exhaust pipe replaced. 
Jan 2012

99700 mi

US $888
Replacement of serpentine belt 
Nov 2012

112300 mi

US $350
O2 sensor replacement Rack beginning to fail; needs replacement 
Jan 2014

127000 mi

US $940
Replacement of steering rack 
Apr 2014

129300 mi

US $498
Replaced rear passenger wheel bearing and hub 
Dec 2014

139000 mi

US $440
Replacement of front & rear brake pads and front rotors; cleaning of calipers. 
Jan 2016

149000 mi
Needed new calipers 
Subaru Forester in Ontario, Canada
May 2008 - Apr 2012
Sep 2008

93000 mi

C $43
Burned out headlight (both headlights replaced at the same time) & one driving light (both driving lights replaced at the same time). Other routine maintenance done at the same time at the dealer.  
Jul 2009

104780 mi

C $267
New front & rear rotors & pads installed (Customer purchased & supplied Brembo 'plain' F & R rotors & Hawk HPS F & R performance street pads). Repair successful...customer paid for labour only. New Bosch Evoloution wiper blades also installed.  
Oct 2009

108480 mi
Transmission bushings replaced - car was starting to get difficult to shift. Also did a full tune up & had the winter tire change over done. 
Oct 2011

136360 mi

C $150
Headlight bulbs replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Ontario, Canada
Dec 2008 - Sep 2009
Jan 2009

172360 mi

C $350
Leaking transmission filter, may have hit something, thus low tranmission fluid and dash warning light. 
Sep 2009

182280 mi

C $200
We decided to trade it in rather than repair it as the cost of needed repairs was expected to exceed $3000. Leaking head gaskets. Rear rotors corroded and parking brake not functioning. 
Subaru Forester in Alberta, Canada
Mar 2009 - Feb 2010
Apr 2009

96720 mi

C $4200
timing belt slipped and damaged valves, camshaft etc. Had to remachine or replace all, including new waterpump. 
Nov 2009

99200 mi

C $593
radiator was leaking anti freeze. Radiator replaced 
Jan 2010

99820 mi
Engine making banging noise - some problem with cam shaft - bent - repaired under warranty from job done in April 2009. Shop should have caught this problem then. 
Subaru Forester in New York, United States
May 2008 - Jul 2009
Apr 2009

100000 mi

US $3100
Check engine light -- misfire, computer errors, caused flooding and car would not keep running. Eventually "fixed itself" after revving high idle for a while. Leaking struts replaced Front pads/rotors replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Maryland, United States
May 2008 - Sep 2013
May 2009

58000 mi

US $450
engine leaking oil - various valve gaskets. 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Mar 2013 - Apr 2013
Apr 2013

160000 mi

US $800
air flow sensor failed 
Subaru Forester in New Jersey, United States
Jul 2010 - Mar 2016
Jun 2011

180000 mi

US $1000
Long overdue repairs to AC system. Ball joint in front axle replaced. O2 sensor replaced 
Nov 2011

189300 mi

US $400
Exhaust replaced-everything but the cat converter. 
Aug 2012

200000 mi

US $600
AC belts and fan needed to be replaced. Brake pad and rotor replacement. Rear drums resurfaced. 
Jan 2013

204000 mi

US $1500
Head gaskets replaced because they were leaking. Alternator replaced. 
Jul 2013

210300 mi

US $500
Replace gaskets 
May 2015

232000 mi

US $580
Timing belt tensioner broke. Puff of smoke and car died. Thought valves were goners. Remarkably, repair done and car still running! 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
Oct 2008 - Jan 2012
Sep 2011

78000 mi

US $159
O2 sensor 
Nov 2011

78000 mi

US $400
Exhaust rusted out 
Subaru Forester in California, United States
Aug 2009 - Apr 2014
Oct 2011

94000 mi

US $1850
2 head gaskets leaking coolant. Had the gaskets replaced. 
Aug 2013

123300 mi

US $620
replaced brake pads, rotors, shoes and drums 
Subaru Forester in New Jersey, United States
Dec 2010 - Sep 2011
Jan 2011

120000 mi

US $3284
Noticeable engine oil leaks due to worn head gaskets. Coincided with 120k major service, so all major gaskets replaced along with timing belt and tensioner, plus all filters, plugs and leads. 
May 2011

123000 mi

US $38
AT Oil Temp and Check Engine light came on after having the car washed. Transmission solenoid replaced under warranty (second time in 9 months). Lights both came back on 30 minutes after picking up car, in a rainstorm. 
Jun 2011

124000 mi

US $580
Replaced transmission wiring harness which was worn and causing transmission warning light to come on. 
Aug 2011

114742 mi

US $617
Replace transmission pressure line solenoid 
Sep 2011

114742 mi
Car jerking when changing from 2 to 3rd. No clear diagnosis and advised that repair would cost $1650+. Not worth it for this lemon of a car. 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Nov 2010 - Oct 2011
Dec 2010

88000 mi

US $530
Check Engine light came on due to bad O2 sensor. Sensor replaced. This was the 2nd non maintenance repair in 88K miles. Owned car since new. First issue was driver window track needed greasing at 45K miles 
Jun 2011

90000 mi

US $500
O2 sensor caused check engine light Replaced front brake pads 
Oct 2011

91000 mi
Headed for a head gasket problem in about 10K miles. Leaking a little, some coolant in the oil. My mechanic was monitoring it. 
Subaru Forester in Oregon, United States
Feb 2010 - Feb 2015
Apr 2010

86000 mi
The moonroof refused to close more than halfway. 
Jul 2011

98000 mi

US $300
Valve Cover Gasket was leaking oil, which dripped into the spark plugs and fouled them. Valve cover gaskets were replaced, along with plugs and wires. 
Jun 2012

106000 mi
Head gaskets were leaking, mild on one side, moderate on the other. 
Jan 2013

110000 mi

US $210
engine oil cooler was leaking due to a bad o-ring 
Subaru Forester in Illinois, United States
Jul 2009 - Aug 2012
Jan 2010

52000 mi

US $3000
Suspension arm broken Piston Slap on two cylinders 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Mar 2010 - Mar 2012
Apr 2010

145000 mi

US $307
Defective gusset in side mirrors caused extensive wind noise. Problem is manufacturer's defect which was adjusted numerous times but never corrected. Subaru finally provided a new part to permanenty (I hope) correct the problem at my expense. 
Apr 2011

164000 mi

US $130
Seat belt warning light stayed on. Dealer said a sensor had become disconnected. They replaced it but two days later it came on and has been on ever since. Needs to go back to the dealer again. 
Jul 2011

170000 mi

US $50
Seatbelt light would come on and stay on. Dealer ordered a replacement air bag but it hasn't yet been installed. Air bag has a life-time warranty so no charge - just another trip to the dealer. 
Aug 2011

172000 mi
Repair appeared to be successful but a couple of weeks later the seat belt light came on again and stayed on. Will be takin it back to the dealer next week. 
Mar 2012

178000 mi
Head gasket leaking, sold car. I've driven Subaru's for over 30 years because of their reliability but this time I bought a Honda. 
Subaru Forester in Maine, United States
May 2011 - Oct 2011
Oct 2011

68000 mi

US $2000
Bent valve die to to worn exhaust guides. Passenger side drive link and frame rusted through. 
Subaru Forester in Pennsylvania, United States
Mar 2010 - Jun 2011
Apr 2010

42500 mi

US $1817
Replaced pinion bearing support. 
Subaru Forester in Iowa, United States
Apr 2012 - Mar 2016
Mar 2013

116000 mi

US $970
Leaky head gasket allowed antifreeze to get into cylinders. Replaced gasket. Also ground valves while engine was taken apart. 
Oct 2013

124300 mi

US $260
ABS warning light came on continually. Sensor needed to be replaced. 
Jul 2015

133300 mi

US $30
LEVEL OF R134 FREON WAS CORRECTED. 
Mar 2016

135000 mi

US $150
Exhaust pipe corrosion caused noise 
Subaru Forester in Texas, United States
Aug 2012 - Mar 2016
Sep 2012

139000 mi

US $370
valve cover gaskets were leaking badly along with gasket on the oil filler line. 
Jan 2013

143300 mi

US $120
Car overheated at the end of a 10 hour trip. We slowed & the car cooled off. The car through out 18 ounces from radiator. After filling up with fluid we s noticed some overheating above 60. I replaced radiator cap, OEM thermostat & Fluid. 
Aug 2013

151700 mi

US $600
Replaced driver side head gasket,  driver side axle shaft& general maintenance 
Apr 2014

160000 mi

US $850
Replaced all struts & then paid for a 4 wheel alignment replacement of the belt tensioner while at shop for slignment 
Mar 2016

185000 mi

US $150
Radiator top separated. I purchased a new one plus hoses. 
Subaru Forester in Michigan, United States
Sep 2008 - Jun 2011
Sep 2009

98000 mi

US $212
Both headlights failed within a week. Tried to repair headlight myself, unable to do so. Dealer took 1.5 hours. 
Mar 2010

105000 mi

US $3400
Cracked piston. Entire engine had to be replaced. Used engine with 70,000miles cost $3,400 
Subaru Forester in Florida, United States
Feb 2012 - Dec 2012
Mar 2012

120000 mi

US $1000
fuel smell, vapor of gasoline Fuel smell was caused by the fuel tank ventilation vents and carbon canister. Changed these parts plus the fuel tank cap. This fixed the problem so far. 
Oct 2012

128000 mi

US $90
Fuel lines leaked gas 
Subaru Forester in New Hampshire, United States
Aug 2008 - Apr 2011
Jun 2008

87000 mi

US $43
Moonroof will not open/close. cleaned and lubricated 
Oct 2009

110000 mi

US $75
backing pad slipped onto rotor, causing noise when turning 
Dec 2009

115000 mi

US $1500
Headgaskets leaking. This appears to be a problem with the 2003 Forester. While recalls were done for prior years, there is no recall for 2003. Subaru agreed to pay a portion of the bill. 
Feb 2010

116000 mi

US $650
front brake job (pads, rotors) discovered on state inspection and maintenance (oil change)  replace lightbulbs etc... 

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2003 Subaru Forester 4-door

Engine not specified

Subaru Forester in New Jersey, United States
Nov 2009 - Feb 2010
Dec 2009

111000 mi

US $955
Replaced timing belt, water pump at suggestion of Service Mgr. Car had over 110,000 miles. Advised that catalytic converter will need to be replaced. Chose to not undertake repair due to cost, at this time. Discovered small leak in head gasket. No need to repair at this time.  
Feb 2010

112000 mi
Catalytic converter needed to be replaced when sold. Small head gasket leak when sold. 

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2003 Subaru Forester 4-door

4-cylinder automatic AWD

Subaru Forester in Alaska, United States
Apr 2010 - Jun 2011
Sep 2010

52000 mi

US $2000
2 pistons replaced to solve 'piston slap' 

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2003 Subaru Forester Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Subaru Forester problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.