hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,214 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.

2004 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 042013


  • miles


I am experiencing an extremely strong smell of gas. This began winter of 2013, which I had repaired at my expense of $700+, though my mechanic informed me Subaru was recalling this and repairing for free on other models. I am absolutely disgusted that this problem is recurring now winter of 2014, in a vehicle which I drive my small children in. The gas smell is horrific, toxic, and dangerous.

- Tyringham, MA, USA

problem #6

Jan 072014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
In cold weather (below 20 degrees or so) the fuel lines in the engine compartment come loose and leak raw gasoline onto the hot engine. Obviously there is a good chance of an engine fire with possible loss of life. This has been reported in several forums, there is a tsb out on this for the WRX (same engine, same part numbers), and most dealers (in cold states) know of this problem.

- Boalsburg, PA, USA

problem #5

Jan 072014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
Fuel and exhaust line leaks in cold weather. Over the initial three day period - day one children complained of headaches, day two driver experienced severe headache and nausea but did not realize it was due to fuel leak. Day three cabin filled with overpowering fumes coming from heating vent. Had to drive with heat off and all windows open in order to bring car in for service. Have had to bring car in twice this month to repair all of the leaks and rent a car in order to get to work appointments. Certified Subaru specialist reported that he has seen quite a few incidences of same issue recently due to extreme cold weather. This is a dangerous safety issue and is not acceptable. 2002-2003 impreza recalled Dec 2009 for same issue.

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 172010

Forester 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


This car has an oil leak coming from the top of the engine. It is exactly the same problem described in your recall number 04V-473 of September 27, 2004. Because this Forester, an xs model, is not listed in the recall 04V-473, the dealer refused to repair the oil leak. It is the same problem as noted in the recall for the xt model Forester.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 012011

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles
2004 Subaru Forester 2.5xs. Consumer writes in regards to a head gasket leaking anti-freeze. The consumer stated the head gasket had to be replaced twice.

- Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 152005

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,500 miles
When outside temperature falls below 10 degrees F., car will not start or starts only with greatest difficulty. Last year(2004), same sort of starting problem was attributed to a cracked ignition coil. This year dealers service department can not find a problem, also can't explain the problem.

- Castleton, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 012004


  • miles
The vehicle's transmission made noise while driving. The vehicle was inspected and it was determined that he vehicle was operating as designed. The consumer would like to return the vehicle and receive a refund for the purchase price. The consumer stated that the engine is making a high pitch whining noise. The consumer was told that the noise is from the reduction gear teeth transmission and was normal. The consumer also experienced problems with her 1998 Subaru forrester the consumer experienced overheating and engine damage. A faulty thermostat caused the overheating. An initial test show carbon monoxide indicating probable damage to the sleeves between the pistons and cylinders, which would require replacement of the short block. Overheated cams are warped due to the heat.

- Mill Valley, CA, USA

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