Subaru Foresters have gained a well-deserved reputation for being an affordable and easy-to-maintain vehicle option. These qualities make them a popular choice for first-time car buyers and parents looking to provide reliable transportation for their college-bound children.
Over its first decade of service, this versatile SUV incurs an average maintenance and repair cost of approximately $7,931. This figure sets it apart from the competition, beating the industry average for popular SUV models by a substantial margin of $1,200 to $1,800 annually.
While this may seem slightly higher compared to some other vehicles in the same class, which typically range from $1,000 to $1,200, it's important to note that the higher upfront cost is offset by the Forester's proven reliability and longevity.
How Much Do Maintenance Costs for Foresters Increase Over Time?
As a responsible vehicle owner, it's crucial to anticipate and plan for the maintenance costs of your car, especially if you own a Subaru Forester. While not all cars follow the same trajectory, it's common for maintenance expenses to rise over time.
The truth is, the cost of Subaru maintenance does indeed tend to increase as your vehicle ages. This is an important consideration for those pondering the purchase of a Forester.
According to data, there is a 23.97% likelihood that a Subaru Forester will require a major repair within its first decade of service. This figure is 2.47% higher than similar vehicles in its segment. This information highlights a potential downside to owning a Forester, particularly as it ages.
The accompanying chart illustrates how maintenance costs and repair probabilities escalate over time. As your Forester ages, you can expect a higher probability of encountering significant maintenance expenses.
|Year||Major Repair Probability||Annual Costs|
How Much is Maintenance on a Subaru Per Year?
As your Subaru Forester ages, it's crucial to recognize that maintenance expenses tend to increase. This is a common challenge for older vehicles, and Subarus are no exception.
Looking at the data, you'll notice that many of the average costs are associated with diagnosis. These costs are incurred when identifying issues that may need attention. While some of these issues might be covered under warranties or recalls, it's essential to budget for them annually.
|Service||Cost With Labor|
|Emission System Diagnosis and Testing||$50-$65|
|Anti-Lock Brake Diagnosis||$80-$120|
|No Start Diagnosis||$80-$100|
After diagnosis, the next step is addressing the problems. The chart below illustrates common services that your Subaru Forester may require:
|Service||Cost With Labor|
|Oil Change and Filter Change||$100-$120|
|Rotate Tires and Inspect Brakes||$100-$200|
|Spark plug Replacement||$200-$300|
While individual services may not seem costly, it's important to consider that these expenses can accumulate, especially as your vehicle ages. Older cars often require more frequent servicing, and if multiple issues arise simultaneously, your maintenance bill can quickly become substantial.
Mileage-Based Subaru Services Cost
Subaru provides a set of standard services based on mileage intervals. These services are designed to keep your vehicle in optimal condition, but they typically come at a cost. Unless your car has experienced prior issues that led to extensive repairs, you should anticipate these expenses.
While not all dealerships offer every mileage-based service in-house, Subaru's recommendations apply nationwide. Throughout the year, you may receive recommendations for services that fall between these mileage milestones.
It's ultimately your decision whether to follow these recommended services, but consider this: investing in regular maintenance can save you money in the long run. Routine analysis can help identify and address issues before they require costly repairs.
Remember, maintenance expenses are often significantly lower than repair costs, regardless of your vehicle's make or model.
Common Repair Items that Break Down on Subaru Foresters
The table below outlines the most prevalent issues that can lead to substantial annual maintenance costs for your Forester:
|Interior Items Failing||$500-$1,500|
It's important to note that certain model years of the Forester are more prone to these problems than others. Notably, the 2015 Forester stands out as a year with significant issues, and it's not alone. The 2011 and 2013 models also have their share of troubles.
However, there is a silver lining. The 2019 Forester marks a turning point in terms of major maintenance items. The average number of significant repairs needed decreased significantly. This improvement solidified the Forester's reputation for reliability in areas it hadn't occupied before.
For prospective buyers of used Foresters, this data is invaluable. To ensure an optimal maintenance cost experience, steer clear of problem years for this make and model. By avoiding these troublesome years, you can spare yourself from expensive annual repairs and services.
Labor Costs and Your Forester's Maintenance Expenses
The cost of labor can vary significantly based on your location. In the United States, the average labor cost is approximately $60 per hour for maintenance services. However, if you reside in a large city or an area with limited access to service centers, you may face higher labor charges, ranging from $70 to $100 per hour.
Many routine maintenance services for your Forester don't require extensive labor hours. However, for more complex or involved repairs and services, the labor cost can accumulate. This factor can make the cost of owning a Subaru Forester higher in urban areas compared to rural ones.
To plan for your Forester's maintenance expenses, it's advisable to check the average labor costs in your specific area. You can easily find this information through a quick internet search or by reaching out to your local Subaru dealership. Knowing the local labor rates will help you budget and estimate the overall cost of owning and maintaining your Forester.
Subaru Forester Maintenance Schedule
You can use the below table from caredge.com as a comprehensive guide to Subaru Forester maintenance, outlining mileage milestones and recommended maintenance tasks to keep your car on the road for years to come.
|7,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|15,000||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter|
|22,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|30,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Fuel Filter Replacement, Brake System Flush, Spark Plugs Replacement, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Cooling System Flush|
|37,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|45,000||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter|
|52,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|60,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Fuel Filter Replacement, Brake System Flush, Spark Plugs Replacement, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Cooling System Flush|
|67,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|75,000||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter|
|82,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|90,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Fuel Filter Replacement, Brake System Flush, Spark Plugs Replacement, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Cooling System Flush|
|97,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|105,000||Rotate Tires, Replace Timing Belt, Water Pump Replacement, Valve Clearance Adjustment, Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter|
|112,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|120,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Spark Plugs Replacement, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Cooling System Flush, Fuel Filter Replacement, Brake System Flush|
|127,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
|135,000||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter|
|142,500||Change Oil and Filter, Cabin Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires|
What is the True Cost of Owning a Forester?
The first component of the calculation is the cash cost of the vehicle itself. For a Subaru Forester, this amounts to approximately $27,818, a reasonable starting point for budgeting.
To get a more precise estimate, we must factor in maintenance costs. Including regular upkeep, the true cost of ownership rises to $34,909. This figure considers average maintenance expenses over time.
In addition to maintenance, you need to consider taxes, fees, and insurance. While the Subaru Forester is not expensive to insure, it's still a cost to account for. On average, annual insurance for this vehicle totals around $1,471, adding up to $7,355 over five years.
Unlike maintenance costs, insurance expenses can often be minimized by comparing quotes from different providers. Whether you already own a Subaru Forester or are in the research phase, this information can help you make a financially wise decision.