Engine Cooling System Problems of Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester owners have reported 11 problems related to engine cooling system (under the engine and engine cooling category). The most recently reported issues are listed below. Also please check out the statistics and reliability analysis of Subaru Forester based on all problems reported for the Forester.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2004 Subaru Forester 1
Failure Date: 09/04/2012

Tl- the contact owns a 2004 Subaru Forester. The contact stated there was a slight leak of oil coming from the engine that was dripping into the catylitic converter. The vehicle was taken to dealer after learning of NHTSA recall campaign id number: 04v473000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 80,000. Pmb.

See all problems of the 2004 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 1999 Subaru Forester 2
Failure Date: 12/12/2011

Note: below is an extract from a message I sent to an attorney in wisconsin in 2011 regarding the problems I was having with my vehicle. I have since had the cooling system problem repaired at my own expense. Note also: I see where there has been a recent entry for pending dealer repairs on a Honda civic (I think) pertaining to "coolant loss". At least Honda company will live up to and correct its manufacturing mistakes. I and others have had issues with their Subaru vehicles circa 1997-2004. The most important issue has to do with the cooling system losing coolant at an unacceptible rate. This is the result of functional design flaws of using different metals in the engine compartment. This allows larger than normal gaps to open up in the cylinder walls as the two metals expand differently when the engine heats up. Coupled with cheap gaskets, this formula has led to many engine seizures in these cars across the country due to overheating. (I've caught mine barely in time as the themostat hit red-line twice now without warning. ) meanwhile, Subaru knew about this problem from the onset, since dealers treated the coolant system with so-called coolant "conditioner" before selling these cars. And they didn't advise the purchaser that they were doing this and why. Problems is. . . The conditioner will not work indefinitely and may even accelerate the breakdown of the cheap gasket. I've got 81,400 miles now on my car and I'm on my second can of conditioner. But the coolant level keeps dropping and it's burning away in the hot engine. I can smell it when I leave the car in the garage overnight. (it smells sweet but I'm not too pleased with it. ). Subaru has since had the forethought to change its gaskets to much sturdier ones. But, of course, that means I'd have to shell out thousands of dollars to replace mine.

See all problems of the 1999 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2005 Subaru Forester 3
Failure Date: 11/03/2009

Headgasket leaked. Cylinder heads cracked due to manufacturing defect.

See all problems of the 2005 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2002 Subaru Forester 4
Failure Date: 04/21/2009

Defective head gasket.

See all problems of the 2002 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2009 Subaru Forester 5
Failure Date: 11/28/2008

1. Greasy film on windshield, could not see well to drive, film cannot be wiped off. Cannot be cleaned off with normal household cleaners only industrial cleaners. Film expands to get on all the glass & materials in the car, including the rear hatch. Film is more visible at night & when the ambient temperature is below freezing. Chemical poisoning. Breathing the substance(s) has caused me to be sick since the end of December. Breathing issues, cough, lungs, nose problems. 2. Being poisoned by chemicals in the car that may be leaking out of some area as yet unknown. Unable to see well to drive. This happens whenever the defrost is run. Also, heater. Not sure about a/c. Have been sick now with just running the air. There may have been enough buildup of this substance that it is on all surfaces of the car interior and/or in the ducts of the vehicle. 2a. Symptoms: coughing, sometimes uncontrollably with long rides in the car. Shortness of breath, unable to breath, congested, lung tightness, nose congestion, etc. Have been to national jewish hospital. They recommend getting rid of car. 3. For the first 4 times I brought it in, they only washed the windshield, or all the glass on the car depending upon how much had built up on it. They said it was off gassing of the vinyl. The next time I brought it in they waxed the windows in the car, this so you could breath it, but not 'see' it supposedly. It built back up again anyway. Then they replaced the heater box. Got sick again running only air. Then per my direction, they found 2 a/c valves leaking. Now, still getting sick if in car without windows open and/or if I run the defrost/heat. 4. I have never gotten sick from any other car my entire life. I was perfectly healthy, without even having had a normal cold in the past 6 years. There were no typical cold symptoms with this issue. Before this happened, I had no allergies related to breathing, lungs, etc; nor any diagnoses such as asthma.

See all problems of the 2009 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2002 Subaru Forester 6
Failure Date: 10/12/2007

In the last week, my heater started working sporadically, putting out cool air and hot air intermittently. Then my temperature gauge started climbing quickly to the hot end. I turned my heater on full-blast to cool down the engine and this worked for about a mile, then the temperature gauge went all the way to the top in the red. I pulled over immediately, let the engine cool, and added coolant (it was slightly low, but not that low). The problem got worse when the heater was on all the way, so we looked in the engine compartment and saw there was a leak. I took it to my mechanic and found out that there was an "external coolant leak from the head gasket" just like in the courtesy recall of the same year, make and model of my car. However, when I called Subaru, it was for "phase 1" engines only, and mine was a "phase 2" engine, therefore my car is not covered under the same recall. I am the second owner of the vehicle and have had my car serviced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. The previous owner kept a log of all the work on the car in the owner's manual, and he too, had it serviced regularly. I believe that this is too much of a coincidence for it not to be a faulty part, like in the same year, make and model of my car with the same problem, but with the phase 1 engine. I would like to know if other 2002 Subaru forresters, with a phase 2 engine, have had this problem and if so, what Subaru is going to do to rectify this problem? my car is five years old with less than 85,000 miles on it, and it has been serviced at the recommended times. It shouldn't have a problem this major ($2,500 to fix!) given these facts unless it was a faulty system to begin with!.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 2000 Subaru Forester 7
Failure Date: 07/30/2007

Engine and engine cooling problem car was overheating at 117000 miles. Thermostat replaced by dealer, but four weeks later, same problem recurred. Problem is blown head gaskets, which are very expensive to fix. Looked on internet, and found all sorts of complaints from consumers, saying they'd had the same problem with their Subaru's also. "conditioner' was apparently put into the engine in 2004, by dealer, because of known problems with head gaskets on Subaru. It seems this conditioner just held the problem off long enough that the warranty expired, and now I have a multiple thousand dollar repair on my hands. From what I understand, the gasket design is the problem. They now use a much stronger gasket. That doesn't really help me, since I have to pay all that money to have the faulty gasket replaced. Instead of using the 'conditioner' cheap fix in 2004, the poorly designed gasket should have been replaced as a recall.

See all problems of the 2000 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 1998 Subaru Forester 8
Failure Date: 02/01/2006

: the contact stated the vehicle accelerated while parked. The vehicle went through a fence and hit some brush. The contact noticed smoke coming from the engine. Two weeks prior to the incident the contact smelled something burning. The heater would not work properly. The vehicle was taken to a dealership. The thermostat was replaced. There was not a police report filed. Updated 3/28/2006 -.

See all problems of the 1998 Subaru Forester icon-go-page.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 1999 Subaru Forester 9
Failure Date: 12/01/2003

1999 Subaru Forester has a leak in the driver's side head gasket. (nar).

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 1998 Subaru Forester 10
Failure Date: 01/17/2000

Snow and ice build up in modest snow caused the engine cooling system to fail. It was the opinon of the mechanic who repaired the car that the front grill of the was of poor design that caused the ice and snow to build. There was only 4-6 inches of snow the day before. A modest amount to cause such a sever problem. The design of the front grill trapped the snow. This does not happen to other cars in this snow condition. Opini.

car image   Engine Cooling System problem of the 1999 Subaru Forester 11

Consumer complained about engine head gasket leaking coolant and mixing with the oil. Instead of replacing the head gasket dealer was offering a liquid conditioner, and holding the consumer responsible for maintenance.


Other Common Engine And Engine Cooling related problems of Subaru Forester


Switch Make:
Switch Model:
Subaru Forester Service Bulletins icon-go-page
Subaru Forester Safety Recalls icon-go-page
Subaru Forester Defect Investigations icon-go-page
Subaru Forester fuel economy icon-go-page