2006 Subaru Forester

Messages
2,766
Location
Bend, Oregon
I'm considering purchasing the above Subaru. it has 113K on it, and generally seems in good condition (I will take it to an ASE mechanic to check out its general condition tomorrow. Are there any BITOG'ers out there that have one of these, and can give me a general review (pros & cons). Need to know what oil and filter is required (Fram Ultra would be my choice), and any serious maintenance issues.
 
Messages
515
Location
Fort Worth TX
Subaru is known for oil burning and head gaskets. I don't know if the 06 model is known for the HG or not but it is something to look out for. Subaru makes a great car all around though. I am a toyota only guy but if I had to get something else it would be a honda or subaru.
 
Messages
2,584
Location
wv
I had one. Bought it for the wife.. I still have my 2001 Forester with over 400K miles. Cons- Head gaskets leak. Spark plug tube seals. Catalytic converters fail, oxygen sensors fail, wheel bearings dont seem to last, axles either. Timing belt needs replaced. Pros- Fit and finish are great, will probably never leave you stranded but will nickle and dime you as you get over 200K. Gas mileage is not very good. Tank in foul weather. The engine doesnt really care what kind of oil you use, anything 5w30 will do. Service is easy for oil changes, front and rear diff and transmission. Spark plugs are kind of tricky. I wouldnt do extended drains until you see what you got to work with. I know of a few that have over 500K that have seen nothing but PYB or VWB, both were used as courier vehicles for the coal mines of WV. If you take to a mechanic make sure you get it up to temperature and run it for awhile before you drop it off and have him go over the bottom of the heads really good to check for seepage or leaks. Also make sure the radiator isnt full of stop leak. Have him jerk on the axles front and rear to make sure the diffs arent shot as well, also the trailing arms and upper and lower ball joints..all weak spots.
 
Messages
14,899
Location
Central NY
I am 4 weeks into a 2018 Forester. I love it so much that I want to buy an older one for a winter beater. Considering something of that vintage with bad head gaskets as a winter rat. As long as I can get the monitors to come up and CEL to stay off! Seems that the automatic transmissions and running gear are pretty good. And, even though the engines have head gasket issues and oil consumption (assuming leading to bad cats), the engines also seem to be reliable as long as there is no FI happening.
 
Messages
7,665
Location
California
The EJ257 engine in these are known for head gaskets and rear oil separator leaks - Fel-Pro makes an improved HG and Subaru has a new metal plate to fix the cracked plastic OE piece. I'd make sure the head gaskets were addressed, the oil separator in those needs the engine pulled to service that. Other than that, it's nothing spectacular. These engines will happily run on most oils and filters. I recommend Subaru OEM or the Wix equivalent for these - higher bypass valve spec. Fram won't make a equivalent although they do have a Subaru-specific filter it's only officially listed for a few models - and that Fram makes the service filter from the dealer. Seeing how much Oregon(particularly the PDX) loves Subarus, there should be Subie-only shop in or around Bend who can do a pre-purchase inspection.
 
Johnny, the early years of the 2.0 is a far cry from the EJ25. I generally agree with everything Kris said, and this is after owning 4 Subarus (3 Foresters: SF, SH, and SJ, and a Tribeca). My SJ has over 220k and all it's needed in the past 5 years is an axle bearing, coolant/thermo change, and spark plug tube gaskets. Yes, there are generally more 'nickel and dime' repairs than some other vehicles with high mileage (wheel bearings and spark plug tube seals, VC gaskets, HGs from 1998-2004) but overall, I can also strongly endorse that even when some of these parts begin to fail, they typically do not leave you stranded. The only real show-stopper is the timing belt, and as long as it is replaced at around 105k intervals along with the idler pulleys, tensioner, and water pump, you have few worries. Turbo EJ25s are generally more problematic, mainly because people beat the living sheet out of them with little regard for maintenance and care. A 2006 N/A SG Forester will provide many years of reliable, safe transportation. At 113k, it's not even halfway done.
 
Messages
6,792
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
The 2.5 has been a very good engine. Not the problems of earlier models. We have a 07 Impreza with over 175,000 miles that the kids used as one of their university cars. 1 right rear wheel bearing, valve cover gaskets and clutch replaced besides normal maintenance items. I seldom have to add any oil between 5,000 OCI. I would guess the 06 is a reliable car as well.
 

Oregoonian

Thread starter
Messages
2,766
Location
Bend, Oregon
I passed on the above Forester....as per pre-purchase inspection, the owner failed to do some major maintenance things (including new tires which were down to about 20%) which in total would cost about $2500. Owner would not negotiate a lower price. Her price was on the high side IMO. Thank you all for the info you all provided. It was a $100 well spent IMO.
 
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