2003 Subaru Forester Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2003 Subaru Forester

2003 Subaru Forester Problems

Subaru Front O2 Sensor Recall

The front oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor element may develop a crack, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Subaru has recalled certain models to replace sensors that may fail. The Subaru service program number is WXW-80, this is not a government mandated recall.

 

Check Engine Light Due to Failed Catalytic Converter

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of low catalytic converter efficiency. This same issue may cause the car to fail the State Smog Test if one is required.

Cooling System Problems Cause Head Gasket Failure

The head gasket has a high failure rate due to cooling system problems. Subaru is aware of the problem and has extended the warranty to 8 years/100k miles on many vehicles.

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2003 Subaru Forester Questions

Radiator leaks. Was told the head gaskets leak and caused the radiator to crack (1 answer)

Is this possible?

Factory or after market catalytic converter? How big are the risks? (1 answer)

I was quoted $1070 for a factory part, and around $600 for an after market part. The dealer recommends the factory part because the life of part will be longer, and there was some risk of the after market not "fitting right" and affecting emissions. My car is 2003 with 150,000 miles. ...

why does my car overheat (2 answers)

after driving a short distance my car overheats, Why

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2003 Subaru Forester Recalls

Front Lower Control Arms May Break

The front lower control arms may break at the hanger brackets due to corrosion. This corrosion is commonly a result of the hanger bracket being exposed to salty conditions, such as roads where salt is used as a snow melting agent. A broken control arm can result in loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the affected control arms and rustproof or replace them as necessary. The Subaru recall number is WVX-34.

Front Seat Belts May Not Latch Correctly

In 326 vehicles, both front seat belt buckle/latch assemblies was improperly manufactured. In the event of a crash, the seat belt could unlatch unexpectedly, increasing the rick of injury to the seat occupant. Dealers will replace the left and right front seat belt buckle/latch assemblies to correct this concern.

The Automatic Transmission May Not Hold the Vehicle in Park

The transmission park mechanism located inside the automatic transmission may not hold when the selector is in the "park" position. The vehicle could move/roll without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the automatic transmission parking rod assembly to correct this concern.

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2003 Subaru Forester Reviews

I have a 2003 forester and I have never owned a better car
We brought this car new and it has served us well. The only real issue we have with it is that there is probably too much road noise. Since we only drive it around town that it not a concern for us. Good value for the money.
Reliable dependable car with nice extras. Went from a cadillac deville to a Xs forester. great little car with great all wheel drive.

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