Subaru Forester Engine Problems

What is causing a whistling noise from the exhaust of my 2007 Subaru Forester?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Sep 2020

The whistling sound could be coming from some weird combination of acoustics within the muffler as it rots from within and begins to change shape internally. But more likely, what you’re hearing is the sound of a dying turbocharger bearing. Generally, these should be almost silent, but as they wear, they get louder and louder. The turbocharger sits inside the exhaust system, which is why you can hear it through the tailpipe.

Left to its own devices the bearing will eventually collapse, taking the turbocharger impeller/turbine with it. The bigger danger is that some of the small fragments of metal from the bearing will be free to enter the intake side of the turbocharger where they will be travel through the engine causing all kinds of destruction. That’s possibly what will happen if you ignore it.

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What is the best family SUV for around $20000?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

While the Mitsubishi Outlander is spacious, reliable and easy to drive, our experience testing it against rival medium SUVs have found it to be noisy and a little too firm riding to be truly comfortable and relaxing. At your price point, there are better alternatives out there. 

Have you considered a Mazda CX-5? In petrol or diesel, we have found it to be a superior and more economical proposition, and is definitely quieter and more refined. Plus, the Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated and better at dealing with loose surfaces like sand.

A late-model (post 2014) S5-series Subaru Forester 2.5i petrol is far more economical than the earlier iterations, since it switched to a more efficient CVT continuously variable transmission. And there's also the 2.0D turbo-diesel which is economical. This, too, is a fine SUV on-road or for light off-road driving.

Finally, the Nissan X-Trail diesel is a roomy and capable choice, especially from 2017, when it received a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to replace the older 1.6L unit.

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What model X-Trail or Forester should I buy for less than $19000

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Sep 2020

We'd recommend the Nissan T32 X-Trail Series II from mid-2017-onwards and Subaru S4 Forester (2013-2018), since they both make strong secondhand buys due to their reliability, economy, ease of operation, spacious interiors, practicality and strong resale values.

The reason why we'd buy the 2017-onwards X-Trail Series II is because it standardises Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). With the Forester, you'll need to skip the lower grades 2.0i-L (manual-only) and 2.5i-L (auto only) for the S and XT for that important safety technology Subaru calls 'EyeSight'. 

The X-Trail comes in front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, but the Forester is AWD-only. All automatics are of the continuous variable transmission (CVT) variety, which priorities fuel economy but can make the engine drone under hard acceleration. Subaru calls its CVT Lineartronic while Nissan dubs its version X-Tronic.

Our recommendation is to check the service and maintenance history of any car you buy, to ensure every interval has been met and carried out by a proper dealer or brand specialist. This is especially important with the Forester, as it is a slightly more complicated vehicle mechanically. Note that all Subarus of this generation require six-monthly service intervals, not 12-monthly ones like the Nissan, which might be an inconvenience. 

We'd steer clear of ex-rentals as they tend to have a very hard life (both models were popular with such agencies), though they're almost always the base X-Trail ST and Forester 2.5i-L grades that end up as rental fodder.

If you're thinking about diesel engined versions, the X-Trail in middle-range TL and up-spec TS guises switched from the earlier (2014-2017) Series 1's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel to a much more powerful and effective 2.0-litre unit, so that's worth remembering. In the Forester the 2.0D equates to the mid-level petrol models in terms of equipment levels.

Finally, we recommend a mechanical check-up to see that your potential used-buy has not been subjected to punishing off-road treatment. While both the Forester and X-Trail offer good ground clearances, they're not for off-road use, only light gravel, snow or trail driving.

We hope this helps. Good luck. 

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What SUV's are the most fuel efficient?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Jun 2019

Try a Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, or Subaru Forester. Any of them would be good choices.

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Subaru Forester 2013: Is it using too much oil?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Jan 2019

All engines use oil, some use more than others, and you are expected to top them up if the level drops to the low mark. There is no rule that says a car will get from one service to the next without adding some oil, and with the extended service intervals in play today it's more likely that you will have to add oil at some point before reaching the next service. Subaru tells you it's ok, I would accept their advice.

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Subaru Forester: Should I get a turbo?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Dec 2018

There are three petrol engines in the current Forester range, beginning with the 2.0-litre non-turbo engine, which boasts 110 kW, will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 10.6 seconds and has a top speed of 190 km//h. Step up to the 2.5-litre engine, also a non-turbo, and it has 126 kW, will accelerate to 100 km/h in 9.9s, and has a top speed of 196 km/h. The top performer is the 2.0-litre turbo model with 177 kW, an acceleration time of 7.5s, and a top speed of 210 km/h. So, yes you are missing out on some serious performance if you choose not to buy the turbo. When buying a used Forester look for an engine that consumes more oil than normal, and check for signs of use off-road.

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What oil should I use?

Answered by CarsGuide 20 Jul 2018

Use a good quality 5W-30 oil.

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What oil should I use for my 2012 Subaru Forester?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 May 2018

Unless you’re spending the winter months in alpine areas use 5W-30.

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Factory vs. Aftermarket: which oil is better?

Answered by CarsGuide 20 Oct 2017

I would use the factory recommended oil, at least while the car is under warranty. Once the warranty has expired you could use the Mobil oil and shouldn’t experience any problems.

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XV slow to accelerate

Answered by CarsGuide 23 May 2016

The XV is underpowered, as well as having a very dozy CVT. If you are that worried I would definitely suggest a brand swap to something with a regular automatic.

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