Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,365 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Subaru Forester cooling system problems

cooling system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Subaru Forester:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 212009


  • 90,730 miles


Defective head gasket.

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 122007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
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!

- Nevada City, CA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?