A couple of Forester questions

I have my eye on a new Forester. I have a couple of questions.
If it doesn't raise my insurance too much, I would like the turbo model.
How often does the air filter under the hood scoop need to be replaced? How much does the filter cost?
I would like some opinions on the automatic vs. the 5 speed transmision.
I plan on using the car as normal transportation and also plan on taking it on 'seasonal use' and some rough dirt roads. No real off-roading.
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I have a 2003 xs Forester, and on ruff dirt roads it is awesome. However, not on uneven pavement or off road. Sounds like you really do not need the turbo unless you want the power and in that case get the five speed. The 2 liter boxer runs really good and the automatic transmission is a dream. The biggest drag is the cruise control; which will run the rpms up to 4000 and stay there until you interrupt it. I know the car well any more questions?
--
R Wells
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randy.wells wrote:

No problems at all with the cruise on my Forester. But I *have* been having trouble with the transmission. Not mechanical problems, just difficulty using it properly. I frequently miss 3rd gear when trying to shift fast. (And I understand that the Forester isn't really a sports car, but if they're going to sell the thing with a hot motor and a 5-speed, they ought to at least make it a *decent* 5-speed.) I'm considering having the dealer install a short-shift kit (if available) to see whether this will ameliorate the spongy shifting. Furthermore, the ratio spacing is wierd -- the gears are all way to close together and they're all to low. I only get about one second of acceleration out of 1st gear before redline. And at 70 MPH in 5th gear the tach shows almost 3500 RPM.
I noticed the tight gear spacing and low ratios on my various test drives, but expected to get used to it. And I figured that Subaru wouldn't have geared it that low unless the engine was intended to run at higher RPM's. But I managed to avoid crunching 3rd gear until after I had actually purchased my own. (Good for the dealer, I suppose, but not so much for me.) I now have just over 6000 miles on it, and I'm still not completely used to the funky gear ratios, resulting in occasional herky-jerky shifting -- though I seem to be getting there.
If I had it to do again, I'd fork over the extra bucks for an automatic, just to save myself the frustration of trying to get used to this transmission. And I'm not a novice with manuals. I've *always* preferred manuals to autos when given a choice. Maybe I'm just getting old.
'Course I'm not so old as to not appreciate the turbo motor. I realize it's not for everybody, but I wouldn't have even considered a non-turbo Forester.
But don't get the impression that I'm dissatisfied overall with the car just because I'm having a hard time with the tranny. I still expect to keep this car for a good long time. I'm just wishing that I hadn't made the assumption that adjusting to the car's transmission gearing would be a snap. Because it's turning out not to be.
- Greg Reed
--
1983 Honda V-45 Magna
2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
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having
dealer
ameliorate
Something like this...?
http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid !98
Ian 04 Forester XT Auto.
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snipped-for-privacy@ttlc.net (Woody)

Automatic transmissions are also better for people who must do urban commutes every day on congested urban freeways where they encounter miles and miles of stop and go and stop and go and stop and go and stop and go and stop and go and, well, I guess until you've done it, you can't appreciate it.
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Ian Brown wrote: <snip my own stuff>

Yes. Exactly like that. (And a lot cheaper than I expected, too.) Thank you!
- Greg Reed
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2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
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On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 04:26:42 -0400, "Ignignokt"

Hmmmm In over 120K on our '98 Forester and now 2K on the new '04, I don't recall either my wife or I ever missing 3rd or any other gear. And I tend to snap the shifts. Always nice and clean.
In fact, prior to reading the above, I made a run to the market with the '04 and was enjoying how well it went through the gears. Of course I would never own a slush box anything so I admit a bias.
The axel ratio on the Forester is lower than on my Ram truck but the overall ratio is well matched to the engine. After all, you get good acceleration, reasonable gas mileage and good reliability. I wish that my Ram truck with the "Hemi" got all three or even remotely close to it. While I don't have to stop at "every" gas station, I am doing my part to keep the demand for gas high.
Woody; 95FXDS
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inet snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

The gearbox will loosen up somewhat with miles. Try checking over at NASIOC for "synchromesh fluid."
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CompUser wrote:

I've been doing my own asking around locally about "synchromesh fluid" since first hearing about it in this forum. And the consensus seems to be that it's completely unnecessary in a modern transmission. My mechanic's opinion is that my intention to switch to synthetic gear oil is probably a lot better idea. So that's what I plan to do. My Forester now has just a hair over 6500 miles on the clock. When it reaches 7500 (probably in about 4 or 5 weeks, depending on how much riding my new -- er, old -- Honda sees), *all* lubricants will be replaced with synthetics. At that time, he's also going to install my new short-throw shift kit and new, tighter bushings. Hopefully the combination of synthetic gear oil and tighter shifting will help to aleviate my troubles. I'm still convinced that the problem is the squishy-feeling shift lever. (I've become used to -- spoiled by? -- shifting my old Audi. And as well as Japanese cars are built, there's just no beating a slick German-made transmission.)
But even with my frustrating shifting problems, it's still a helluva fun car, rivaling competitors costing many thousands of $$ more. I can't wait to play with it in the snow come this winter. (And yes, it'll have snow tires.) I used to refer to my old Audi quattro as my "snow mobile" because of its prowess in the white stuff. I expect my new Forester to be every bit as capable, plus it has quite a bit more power than my tired, old Audi ever did (167 bhp factory rating).
- Greg
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2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
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Do come back and post how you like it!

Subaru's seem to give fantastic value/price returns.
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CompUser wrote:

Now that I've replaced the illegal (in Michigan) oscillating LED taillight on my bike with a legal incandescant one, I'm back to commuting to and from work on that instead of using the Forester -- as long as the weather's nice. (I haven't bought a rain suit yet, so I avoid riding if rain looks likely.) So it might take me longer than usual to accumulate the remaining miles before my next service. I normally drive about 350 to 400 miles a week. With all that going on the Forester, I'd be at 7500 in about 2 weeks. With a (hopefully) good chunk of that mileage going on the bike, I'm going to guess about 4 or 5 weeks. At the same service, I'm going to have my new short-shift lever and tighter shift bushings installed, so while I'll be happy to comment on the entire package (fluids and hardware), I don't know that I'll really be able to say what improvement is due to the fluids and what is due to the hardware.
BTW, I bought the hardware from Kastle's Korner, and I have to say that these guys are great! Kevin answered all my questions very quickly and was very nice to deal with. My order shipped the next day, and arrived two days after that. (And I got their last Forester short-shifter -- Sorry!) They even sent along a couple of free decals, to help make my car faster. :-)
- Greg Reed
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2001 Chevy Astro AWD (wife's)
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inet snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

I've seen many comments on NASIOC reference synthetic gearbox oil...seems about an even split between "makes shifting easier" and "started off easier, began grinding worse, back to dino gear oil and all's well again". Another data point won't hurt!
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I recently changed mine as well. Did a dino/dino change in my transmission and now I have a really hard time getting to first and reverse at a standstill. I am thinking of trying synthetic next time.
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Henry Paul


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snipped-for-privacy@email.uophx.edu says...

Well, like many boxes, reverse has no synchro. Going into 1st or just about any other gear with clutch in seems to help set up reverse.
One of the criticisms on synthetic in the gear box, at the very least in theory, is synchros don't like "slick", and synthetics slicker than dino...like Ken G. says, "Lots of folks have problems with synchros, who's ever heard of anyone _wearing out_ the gears?"
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Well, I'm not against saying it is a coincidence, but the transmission didn't do that until after I changed the oil.
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Henry Paul


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Well, I'm not against saying it is a coincidence, but the transmission didn't do that until after I changed the oil.
--
Henry Paul


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model.
replaced?
There is no air-filter under the hood scoop. The hood scoop is for the intercooler which is an "air to air" radiator that cools down the intake air to make it more dense. The air filter on a turbo model is placed safely under the hood just like in a non-turbo version, do not think it is more expensive or needs more frequent replacement than in a non-turbo.

transmision.
I have a 99 Forester Turbo (2 liter European model) with automatic, very smooth shift. Have not tried one with manual, but is really happy with the automatic. Have tried a 2 liter without turbo, it sucked :-)

taking
Foresters are great for normal transportation, they handle like cars but have less ground clearance than typicall off-road cars.
--
Helge



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I have a 2000 Forest non turbo with the automatic and fine it's a great daily driver and have plenty of go power. Comfortable on 500 mile trips at 75 mph and yielded 26-28 mpg at that speed. 72,000

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The standard 2.5 liter engine with manual transmission makes for a solid vehicle that will handle gravel roads and moderate snow just fine. We just traded in a '98 Forester s with 120K on it for a new '04 Forester xs, both with 5 speed manual. The engine/transmission combination provides adequate power and is fun to drive.
The manual transmission model center differential is a simpler design fixed 50/50 power ratio viscous coupling that works just fine. The xs also comes standard with limited slip rear differential so we will be all set for wintahh. The auto trans center differential is a more complex clutch based variable power ratio design.
My wife drove one of the auto trans Foresters and could not stand the hunting between gears on our rolling hill terrain. (What the hell gear is it in now)? It also seemed to her to have less power. Of course if you are real lazy or have trouble counting to five, the by all means go for the auto trans.
Woody; 95FXDS
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My thoughts are: Good choice.
I did not raise my insurance all that much, (so little infact, I don't even bother to take notice of it)
So Far, I've not had to replace the air filter, so I can't speak to that. I did install a grill in the intake to keep the large stuff out.
Automatics are rubbish, go with the manual.
I drive rough dirt roads and cross streams all the time, and I've no complaints.
I've also installed the towing package, and it handles a tralier very well.
Cheers, Michael

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