2002 Subaru Forester Subaru Forester 2002

We are 106,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

2002 Subaru Forester repairs by problem area

Engine (49%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (18%)

Brakes and Traction Control (3%)

Suspension and Steering (17%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (9%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (0%)

Other (4%)

Select a problem area

Need advice about a specific Subaru Forester problem?

Chart based on 77 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2002 Subaru Forester.

2002 Subaru Forester repair cost distribution

$2500+ (9%)

$1000 - $2499 (15%)

$500 - $999 (14%)

$100 - $499 (38%)

< $100 (24%)

Worried about potential repair costs? An extended warranty can provide peace of mind.

Chart based on 66 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

2002 Subaru Forester

Engine not specified

Subaru Forester in Florida, United States
Dec 2015 - Dec 2016
Jun 2016

84000 mi

US $570
Replace both drive axles and boots 
Subaru Forester in New Zealand
Dec 2012 - Jan 2013
Jan 2013

$200
Replaced RHS front strut linkage due to clunking noise over bumps and some 'looseness' in steering (LHS replaced about 10,000km earlier). 
Subaru Forester in Connecticut, United States
Jun 2014 - Oct 2014
Sep 2014

128000 mi

US $145
muffler replaced 
Oct 2014

128000 mi

US $300
left front axle minor vacuum leak, would throw a code once every few months couldn't find it. suspected evap canister in rear under bumper. 

Return to top

2002 Subaru Forester 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Forester in Alaska, United States
Mar 2012 - Jun 2016
Apr 2013

138700 mi

US $1857
CLUTCH, 1457. Replaced Starter, 300. Replaced CV boot, 100. 
Jun 2016

210000 mi

US $1200
Replaced non-charging Alternator Repaced 1 cv boot that was cracked 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
Apr 2015 - Feb 2019
Jul 2015

144200 mi

US $135
left rear strut spring perch had partially collapsed, apparently in part due to rust. I replaced the strut. I also replace other parts that had not failed, but only listed the cost for the strut, which was the only failed part. rear oxygen sensor needed to be replaced 
Jun 2016

149000 mi
Front CV joints were noisy, sounding worn out - making clunking noises on startup and on sharp turns. Replaced front axles with reman units prior to failure as a precaution. The joint at the back of the catalytic converter was leaking, and there was a small crack in the mid-pipe. The shop welded in a new flex joint and replaced a section of the mid-pipe 
Aug 2016

149600 mi

US $2600
Problems with propshaft bearing and rear differential. Was cheaper to put in whole replacement(used)transmission, propshaft, and rear differential than just replace the bad parts. 
Subaru Forester in Pennsylvania, United States
Aug 2011 - Jun 2018
Jan 2012

143000 mi

US $40
Exhaust leak - welded 
Aug 2013

165000 mi

US $496
Replace knock sensor and coil pack 
Dec 2013

170000 mi

US $1416
Replace clutch, throwout bearing, etc. Replace exhaust system (except cat) 
Mar 2014

174000 mi
Reset Check Engine Light (showed code for evap system). Code has not reoccurred after additional 600 miles. 
Sep 2014

179000 mi

US $175
Replace rear wheel bearings, rear ABS sensors, also rotors and pads Rear suspension link replaced CEL indicated leak in evap system. Replaced solenoid purge valve at rear of car Previously replaced rear ABS sensor failed. Resulted in additional damage to tone ring. Also had to replace springs for brakes as a result 
Feb 2016

192100 mi

US $1100
Replace converters and related sensors 
Aug 2016

196400 mi

US $3300
Top end rebuild (valves and guides), new piston rings, 
Jun 2018

218000 mi

US $50
Rear Differential grabbing in tight maneuvers after warm. Changed differential fluid and added an additive. Need to drive for a few months to see if problem resolves or differential needs to be replaced. 
Subaru Forester in Massachusetts, United States
Aug 2005 - Apr 2017
Sep 2005

62760 mi

US $80
Replaced battery 
Oct 2005

65000 mi
Catalytic converter replaced on warrantee 
Dec 2011

131000 mi

US $100
Main drive shaft U-joint failed. Replacement shaft cost $650 (discounted). Installed myself as a bolt-up. Passenger side front CV boot broke and exposed bearing. Pulled old shaft and replaced with remanufactured non-dealer replacement part. Removing outer wheeler bearing knuckle was very difficult. 
Oct 2013

138000 mi

US $20
Cooling system Rubber bushing became old & brittle and broke off. Replaced rubber rubber bushing and bolt. $30. 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Aug 2011 - Jun 2018
Jun 2012

138000 mi

US $850
replace valve cover gasket, spark plugs, wires and tune up replace brake pads and calipers 
Feb 2013

143700 mi

US $300
replace failed head gasket Replaced radiator due to leaking seal at top (plastic) portion of radiator. Issue became evident after head gasket repair. 
Mar 2014

155000 mi

US $420
Replaced right front wheel bearing 
Nov 2015

172600 mi

US $500
Right front wheel bearing needed replacement 

Return to top

2002 Subaru Forester 4dr SUV

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Forester in Alaska, United States
Apr 2014 - Jun 2016
May 2015

172000 mi

US $125
seat belts replaced cabin air filter replaced door seals reattached 
Jun 2016

191000 mi

US $179
Head gasket 
Subaru Forester in Indiana, United States
- Dec 2009
May 2007

81000 mi

US $1000
Catalytic converter failure required replacement. 
Dec 2009

96000 mi

US $2000
External headgasket leak on both sides required headgasket replacement on both sides. 
Subaru Forester in North Carolina, United States
May 2014 - May 2015
Nov 2014

133100 mi

US $450
Install new battery 
Subaru Forester in Hawaii, United States
- Dec 2007
Apr 2005

90000 mi

US $500
Replace electronic distributor 
Sep 2006

110000 mi

US $1000
Replace air conditioner condenser - corroded out. 
Dec 2007

125000 mi

US $400
Replace both front axles; boots/CV joints went out. 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
- Jun 2006
Jun 2006

80000 mi

US $1400
oil leak from axle casing 
Subaru Forester in South Carolina, United States
Oct 2013 - Jun 2018
Feb 2014

207100 mi

US $150
Replaced upstream and downstream o2 sensors 
Jul 2014

210500 mi

US $145
Replaced Radiator 
Subaru Forester in Utah, United States
Jun 2015 - Apr 2016
Sep 2015

175000 mi

US $40
The washer fluid pumps went out so I replaced them. 
Subaru Forester in Connecticut, United States
Sep 2016 - Dec 2016
Sep 2016

303000 mi

US $675
Struts shot 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Sep 2012 - Mar 2013
Nov 2012

111100 mi

US $3400
leaking headgaskets 
Subaru Forester in Connecticut, United States
Aug 2011 - Jun 2014
Oct 2011

253000 mi

US $230
Car refused to start. Replaced battery (maintenance item as battery was 6+ yrs old). Problem not solved. Cleaned grounds and contact points and replaced starter. Found starter solenoid inoperative. 
Dec 2011

256000 mi

US $25
Car stumbling badly; not yet due for tuneup. CEL code not thrown. Replaced plugs, wires, coil pack, upstream 02 sensor in that order. Problem solved with new upstream 02 sensor. Exhaust flanges from muffler to midpipe rusted through. Cut flanges, brazed, and clamped. 
Apr 2013

263000 mi

US $150
Replaced 02 sensor. Exhaust badly corroded. 
Aug 2013

265100 mi

US $250
Engine overheated. 
Nov 2013

267700 mi

US $450
Replaced entire cooling system including radiator, hoses, thermostat, and expansion tank. 
Subaru Forester in Washington, United States
Aug 2011 - Oct 2015
Oct 2015

125000 mi
The car had the head gasket leak that the line is infamous for. It just got to the point that it was so bad, you could barely breathe around the car even after it was stopped. It was a $2500 repair I chose not to do. 
Subaru Forester in Ohio, United States
Aug 2011 - Feb 2013
Nov 2011

98100 mi

US $350
Inner CV boot on front driver side ripped open and needed replacement. 
Nov 2012

106900 mi

US $600
Front driver side leaking clear odorless grease, needs replacement. The tech at the dealership suggested that I leave it alone for now.  
Feb 2013

109000 mi
Front driver side leaking clear odorless grease. Almost certainly a control arm bushing. Forum thread suggests it's a common problem: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2247387 
Subaru Forester in Tennessee, United States
Aug 2011 - Jun 2013
Sep 2011

140000 mi

US $340
New battery replaced. Also piece of metal dragging on front fender well removed. 
Subaru Forester in Kentucky, United States
Nov 2011 - Dec 2016
Mar 2016

119000 mi

US $4500
center differential 
Subaru Forester in New Zealand
Jan 2012 - Jun 2018
Jan 2014

62900 mi
Water in the nearside fog light 
Feb 2016

79220 mi

$600
O2 Sensor died 
Subaru Forester in Colorado, United States
Feb 2013 - Jun 2018
Mar 2016

87000 mi
Evap system leak w check engine code. 
Jul 2016

90500 mi

US $200
Replaced passenger rear wheel bearing 
Mar 2017

95000 mi

US $2800
Head gasket replacement, w machining. Both sides had been seeping, common for this generation of 2.2 engines. Passenger front cv axle replaced 
Subaru Forester in North Carolina, United States
Jun 2012 - May 2016
May 2016

236000 mi
Replaced steering gear. Cracked head gasket. It just stopped with no warning. Donated the car to the kidney foundation. 
Subaru Forester in North Carolina, United States
Apr 2012 - Jul 2015
Nov 2012

200700 mi

US $97
The downstream O2 sensor was sending a faulty code which indicated it needed to be replaced. The car was stalling when idling and ran rough at time. 
Sep 2014

222000 mi

US $500
The engine threw a rod. Disassembled and rebuilt all new gaskets 1 rod, new timing belt, timing belt cover and about 20 hours. 
Feb 2015

225700 mi

US $125
Rear Wheel bearings replaced 
Subaru Forester in Florida, United States
Jul 2013 - Oct 2015
Oct 2015

124000 mi
Second blown head gasket. Repaired at 68k miles, and leaking again at 120k. 

Return to top

See TrueDelta's information for all SUVs
See TrueDelta's information for all Subaru models.

2002 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 2002 Subaru Forester problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.