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Subaru Forester 2.5 durability #4518802
09/17/17 05:52 PM
09/17/17 05:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,662
South Dakota
otis24 Offline OP
otis24  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,662
South Dakota
I'm looking at a 2003 Subaru Forester AWD with 2.5 engine. I've not yet driven it. It had150k on the odometer. A local dealer had it. I do not know it's history. Probably purchased at auction. Asking $1490. Are these durable engines? It will be a college car for my daughter. Mostly highway miles from home to school on occasion.

Last edited by otis24; 09/17/17 05:53 PM.

1991 Chevrolet K1500 (4.3, 4x4, 86k miles)

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
(3.6 V6) 46500 miles
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518812
09/17/17 06:03 PM
09/17/17 06:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
I may be off on the model years, but I believe blown head gaskets were an issue with the 2.5l in that timeframe.
I'm not sure how to check for that without doing a UOA, though...


2014 Forester XT, 86000 miles
Last Change;
M1 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518816
09/17/17 06:10 PM
09/17/17 06:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
TinyVoices Offline
TinyVoices  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 513
Vienna, VA
Need to make sure it's had the timing belt done recently and is want to know about head gaskets. I've had friends and fanily with this engine in different cars who have had head gasket problems.


1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 160k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: Virtus_Probi] #4518819
09/17/17 06:15 PM
09/17/17 06:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,010
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,010
OH
Milkshake looking oil? The OP could also check for oily coolant as well as low coolant level.
Some of the 2.5s suffer external HG failures that are easily spotted and easily managed while an internal leak might exist for some time undetected.
The OP could check the glovebox for records. You'd be surprised what you find in used cars. There is a very good chance that this engine has already had the HGs done, which would also mean that timing belt service has been done. If done properly, there should be no further issues.
This is a pretty cheap car if it's in overall good condition. If it is, then even a HG job might be worth doing.
An AWD Subie would be a good pick for a young daughter in areas that see severe winter, like SD.


17 Forester 12K MSS 0W-20
12 Accord LX 92K PP 5W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518820
09/17/17 06:16 PM
09/17/17 06:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,427
Soviet State of Washington
PimTac Online content
PimTac  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,427
Soviet State of Washington
Also check for flood damage.


2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Valvoline Advanced Synthetic 0w20
Mobil 1 M108A EP filter

Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518836
09/17/17 06:27 PM
09/17/17 06:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Kuato Offline
Kuato  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,094
Colorado
Totally agree...check for head gasket, timing belt, and flood damage. Other than these items the 2.5 is generally good to go.


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518875
09/17/17 07:10 PM
09/17/17 07:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 331
Texas,USA
ATex7239 Offline
ATex7239  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 331
Texas,USA
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


'12 Buick Enclave 139,xxx
Valvoline ML SynBlend 5w30
ACDelco PF63E

'17 Ford Fusion (Company Lease) 42,xxx
Oil Don't know
Filter Don't care
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: ATex7239] #4518899
09/17/17 07:44 PM
09/17/17 07:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,898
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,898
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


The 4EAT wasnt known to be weak. esp behind the non-turbo engine.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518909
09/17/17 07:58 PM
09/17/17 07:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
cadfaeltex Offline
cadfaeltex  Offline
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 672
TX south plains
I had an '04. Good car but for me the seats were horrible. Not the answer to your question but something to check if you're going to drive any long differences.

Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518911
09/17/17 07:59 PM
09/17/17 07:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 584
Upstate NY
Wheel Offline
Wheel  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 584
Upstate NY
That year's EJ25 engine was somewhat prone to external headgasket leaks- leaking coolant. Subie's fix was basically stop leak, and regular coolant changes, re-adding the stop leak. My Dad's got one with 300k on the clock.

4eat is usually fine up to 300ish HP. It even has a nice drain plug to change atf regularly.


2009 Subaru Legacy (N/A)
Castrol Edge and Subie (Fram) filter
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518933
09/17/17 08:15 PM
09/17/17 08:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 605
Washington for now
WhyMe Offline
WhyMe  Offline
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 605
Washington for now
if its got 150k on it most likely the HG has been changed. they leaked mostly externally unlike the DOHC models that leaked insternally. if its drivable and in a condition acceptable to you, for $1500 i would buy it.

if you self wrench they are really easy to work on. parts are not too expensive and readily available. look for bad CV boots, ball joint and tie rods and control arms. these parts are cheap and easy to install if needed. the seat cushions suck after so many years though

MY 99 OB has 279k miles and is still going strong.

Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: Rand] #4518955
09/17/17 08:38 PM
09/17/17 08:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 331
Texas,USA
ATex7239 Offline
ATex7239  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 331
Texas,USA
Originally Posted By: Rand
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


The 4EAT wasnt known to be weak. esp behind the non-turbo engine.


I wouldn't consider it to be strong transmission. Not bad, but not great.


'12 Buick Enclave 139,xxx
Valvoline ML SynBlend 5w30
ACDelco PF63E

'17 Ford Fusion (Company Lease) 42,xxx
Oil Don't know
Filter Don't care
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4518965
09/17/17 08:49 PM
09/17/17 08:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 46
Outside U.S
Floydian Offline
Floydian  Offline
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 46
Outside U.S
One thing I know for sure about boxer engines is that changing the spark plugs are a pain.

Last edited by wwillson; 09/18/17 11:11 AM. Reason: bypassing censor
Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24] #4519103
09/18/17 01:44 AM
09/18/17 01:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,727
Texas
FZ1 Offline
FZ1  Offline
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,727
Texas
Opposed 4 is much harder to work on than an inline 4. I'd stay away jmo.

Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: ATex7239] #4519142
09/18/17 05:56 AM
09/18/17 05:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,199
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline
LoneRanger  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,199
Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


Wrong. The 4EAT transmission is pretty much bullet proof. If the head gaskets have been repaired properly it should be good to go.



'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)
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