2009 Subaru Forester engine NHTSA complaints: Engine And Engine Cooling

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,651 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.

2009 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #8

Oct 012010


  • 5,000 miles


Engine and stability issues.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 032012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 52,500 miles
I was driving to work, and the car wouldn't accelerate, it also handled roughly. The check engine light, cruise control light was flashing, along with vehicle dynamics control warning light. I had my car towed, as it wasn't drivable. My local garage repaired my car, I received 4 new spark plugs, and an air filter. 9 days later the check engine light came on, as well as the cruise control light, and the vehicle dynamics warning light, again it was repaired, this had to do with the catalytic converter message, but all my local garage could find was a small leak near the manifold that they repaired. 2 days later the check engine light went on again, I now called my Subaru dealership, they replaced a faulty catalyst converter, and af sensor, the also changed my oil, as it was due, and suggested I have a transmission fluid flush and refill, and that my rear and front differentials, needed a drain and refill. 5 days passed another check engine light, this time it was flashing, I had to have my car towed, the Subaru dealership discovered the wrong spark plugs were put in initially, and replaced them with platinum tip spark plugs that my model takes. 4 days passed another check engine light, with being unable to accelerate, I was going up hill, so I continued on, to reach a parking lot, I could stop in but suddenly, it felt like something unblocked, this made the check engine light go away, until 2 days later, another check engine light, I once again brought my car back to the dealership, the mentioned something about the catalyst converter, but said it was 'too soon" so they left the work order open, in case it occurred again, and gave me this lecture about the grade of gas I am buying. 4 days later the check engine light returned, this time Subaru discovered the my other O2 sensor was faulty, and they would replace it, when the part comes in.

- East Brookfield, MA, USA

problem #6

Apr 232012

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles
For some odd reason on Monday, April 23 my check engine light came on, my AWD indicator, and the cruise control light started flashing all at once. I came into work and googled the above items along with my make and model of the car...much to my surprise multiple links, items, and threads appeared. So I read most of them and this appears to be a systemic problem with Subaru's throughout the United States and Canada. I became concerned because no recall was issued and it seems more than coincidence that many people are having the same issue. Please advise since I called the Subaru dealer and they could have cared less.

- Narberth, PA, USA

problem #5

Mar 022012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles


Stopped to fill up car with gas on way to work and when I restarted the engine I heard a real loud knocking noise. As I pulled away the car was very sluggish and the noise from the engine started getting louder. I went to get off the road and turn into a parking lot and the car died and I narrowly missed hitting a baltimore city work truck as the power steering and power brakes were non responsive because the engine had cut off. I was very lucky to not crash into the work truck. I had the car towed to valley motors Subaru in cockeysville and they called to inform me that I need a new at least a new lower block if not a whole engine replacement. I looked online for some information on any known issues with style of car and engine and was shocked to see that in April 2008 a " stop sale" was issued by Subaru of America on my exact car. Legacy vehicles have been added to the stop sale we regret to inform you that we must place an immediate stop sale order on all of the 2008/2009 Subaru impreza, Forester and legacy vehicles equipped with a 2.5L turbo engine produced with the beginning chassis number and later as shown below. Model body type chassis number production date Forester wagon 701045 or later 2008/01/08 or later the reason for this immediate quality assurance action is that there have been several reports of "engine knocking noise" from other markets on vehicles produced after the production dates listed. Initial investigation confirms an internal wear issue on the failed units. I bought my car in October 2009 and you can see the VIN # is pretty close in the range and I have read in forums of people with almost identical VIN's as mine of having the same exact issue.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 082012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
2009 Subaru Forester. Production date: 02-14-08. Initial diagnosis is internal turbo failure. The car has 34,000 miles on it and oil and filters are maintained. My wife was driving with our 2yr. Old in the car when it started making a horrible grinding sound. She described it as it sounded and felt like she was dragging something. She limps home with the car and I take it for a test drive. It sounded fine at start up. No tapping or grinding. As soon as I start up the road I could feel there was no acceleration. Like I was driving in mud. The check engine light, the traction control light and the cruise control light all stuck on. I have read many cases of this same thing happening with other 2.5 turbo engines. There was a stop sale and a recall but, according to Subaru my car was not affected. The reports I've read indicate otherwise. The production date and the VIN# fall into the range of the stop sale. I am very worried about the outcome as the dealership I bought the car from and soa have not been helpful. I had to call Subaru myself to get them to respond to the dealerships case concerning my car. It's been a week now and just today I got a call from Subaru requesting permission to tear down the engine to find the source. A week and it's just sitting there. No offer of a rental. Nothing. This issue is not resolved yet and I hope Subaru does the right thing and lives up to its reputation of being a reliable, long lasting car.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 222010


  • 46,000 miles
My new Subaru Forester had a catastrophic engine failure at 45,000 miles. There were no indications whatsoever that there was going to be a problem. The car was driving normally and no indicator lights came on to alert me that my engine would seize. I was on a major highway when this happened. I pulled over only because I heard an unusual noise from the engine compartment. Had I not pulled over, I would have broken down in the middle of the highway. Subaru has had numerous complaints about the same car with the turbo engine. They disregard this fact when I bring it up as my car does not have the turbo option. However, it does have the same engine. I searched on line and it appears that I am not the only Subaru Forester owner with this complaint. They will not fix the car nor do they feel it is a Subaru issue. They are blaming the failure on me. I would like to stop this from happening to others. Please let me know if you can help me.

- Harriman, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 222009

Forester 6-cyl

  • 3,100 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Subaru Forester. While driving between 35-40 mph, the vehicle accelerated when the brakes were applied. The contact shifted into park or neutral and the vehicle made a clunking sound. The engine went to idel. The contact waited a few minutes before restarting the vehicle and shifting into drive. The dealer has had the vehicle for the past two weeks and the contact refuses to retrieve the vehicle. The dealer performed diagnostic tests, but could not find a failure with the engine or any other component. She stated that she will not drive the vehicle because the failure has not been diagnosed. The failure mileage was 3,100. Updated 7/14/09 updated 07/17/09.

- Forks, WA, USA

problem #1

Nov 272008


  • 9,610 miles
At 9610 miles my 2009 Subaru Foresters engine failed. The failure came; as best I could tell; in about 20miles of operation. Engine started to sound louder from cabin. If I was parked with the engine running and the door open the noise was very load multi tone metal banging emanating from engine bay. Burning smell also occurred. As I drove the last 20 miles engine would barely stay running at low rpms; engine banging became worse; engine power appeared to decrease and a loud metallic grinding noise increased until check engine light went on. Approx 10-15 seconds latter. Engine completely stopped and never turned over again. Dealer told me today that car needs new engine.

- Franklin, MI, USA

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