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2003 Subaru Forester Repair Histories

106 TrueDelta members own (or used to own) a 2003 Subaru Forester. 51 of these members (48.1%) have reported repairs for their car. A total of 186 repairs to 2003 Subaru Foresters--an average of 1.8 per vehicle--have been reported.

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.

Percentage of 2003 Subaru Forester repairs by problem area

Chart based on 186 repairs.

2003 Subaru Forester repair cost distribution

Chart based on 97 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 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Forester in Georgia, United States
May 2008 - Mar 2015
58000 mi US $50 Check engine light came on because fuel filler vacuum misread. 
73300   Strong fuel odor in cold weather. 
81000   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. 
84000   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. 
90000   Check engine light came on. Code indicated fuel vapor pressure leak. Smoke test conducted, no problem found. Updated computer codes. 
96000   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. 
103000   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. 
121000   Replaced failing rear bearings. Also got new front brakes. Replaced worn-out shifter knuckle 
124000   Replaced burned-out driver-side headlight bulb. 
Subaru Forester in New York, United States
May 2008 - Dec 2009
144000 mi US $1600 replaced both rear wheel bearings, rear struts and strut mounts 
152000   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! 
173000   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. 
177000   Car caught on fire, repairs would have been too entensive. Insurance company totalled the car. 
Subaru Forester in New South Wales, Australia
May 2008 - Mar 2015
83700 mi A $650 Starter motor intermittently failed to engage on ring gear. Starter motor replaced by workshop. 
84320   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). 
92120   Front brake rotors had grooves. Both rotors replaced, along with pads. 
96100   Rear brake rotor(s) warped. Not enough material left for them to be machined so they, along with the pads, were replaced. 
102300   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. 
120280   Grinding noise from power steering pump. Drained and replaced power steering fluid. 
122760   Steering rack was leaking fluid. Rack was replaced with a reconditioned one. 
126640   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. 
137640   Engine running rough under load due to failing fuel pump. Replaced fuel pump. 
146320   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. 
146320   New radiator fitted (as old one was leaking between core and plastic top). Also replaced top and bottom hoses and thermostat as a precaution. 
146320   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. 
148180   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. 

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2003 Subaru Forester 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Forester in Maryland, United States
May 2008 - Sep 2013
58000 mi US $450 engine leaking oil - various valve gaskets. 
Subaru Forester in Alberta, Canada
Mar 2009 - Feb 2010
96720 mi C $4200 timing belt slipped and damaged valves, camshaft etc. Had to remachine or replace all, including new waterpump. 
99200   radiator was leaking anti freeze. Radiator replaced 
99820   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 Ontario, Canada
Dec 2008 - Sep 2009
172360 mi C $350 Leaking transmission filter, may have hit something, thus low tranmission fluid and dash warning light. 
182280   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 Massachusetts, United States
May 2008 - Mar 2015
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. 
73000   Removal of rattling exhaust shield Power steering belt loose Stabilizer linkage loose 
75000   Sway bar linkage replaced 
75900   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. 
89000   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. 
95000   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. 
98000   Exhaust pipe broke aft of rear catalytic converter. Muffler OK, but exhaust pipe replaced. 
99700   Replacement of serpentine belt 
112300   O2 sensor replacement Rack beginning to fail; needs replacement 
127000   Replacement of steering rack 
129300   Replaced rear passenger wheel bearing and hub 
139000   Replacement of front & rear brake pads and front rotors; cleaning of calipers. 
Subaru Forester in North Carolina, United States
May 2008 - Dec 2009
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. 
42000 US $250 Rear brake pad replacement.  
49000   Front Oxygen Sensor replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Ontario, Canada
May 2008 - Apr 2012
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.  
104780   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.  
108480   Transmission bushings replaced - car was starting to get difficult to shift. Also did a full tune up & had the winter tire change over done. 
136360   Headlight bulbs replaced. 
Subaru Forester in New York, United States
May 2008 - Jul 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. 

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