Need Help?

2003 Subaru Forester X 4dr 2.5 Manual

2003 Subaru Forester
Trim Info:
All Wheel Drive, 4 Door, 4WD Sport Utility
21 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy
Other Trims
Do you own this car?
Estimated Mileage
Enter current mileage for most
accurate info about this vehicle

Track Your Service Records
Get Recall Alerts
Get Updated Value Estimates on Your Car.

back to question list

Ask the Community

Ask Our Auto Mechanics

February 6, 2012, 1:57 pm

Cassie S

Question: Having trouble diagnosing this problem...

For the last several weeks our car has been very week on take off and going up hills. Sometimes to the point of not moving forward at all. The engine also occasionally sputters and backfires. This usually happens when you hit the gas trying to get the thing to actually move. This all happens when starting from a stop. Once you build up a decent amount of speed, it seems to run just fine. We thought that it was the spark plugs so we changed those and the wires about 2 weeks ago and there's been no improvement. I checked the transmission fluid and the level is a bit high with some bubbles, and we plan on having it changed. I've heard many possible explanations from many different people. To name a few: clogged air filter, clogged fuel filter, bad timing. What is the most likely cause? As we can not afford to have all of those things fixed.

February 15, 2012, 11:33 am

Elizabeth K

The problem you are describing could be caused by many things. A thorough tune-up will cover several of them, needs to be done anyway, and will get you farther along in the troubleshooting process. I recommend you start with that.

Here is an article on some causes of loss of power:

0/0 users found this helpful.

Ask our panel of certified auto mechanics a question. We pay for their advice so you don't have to

My Auto Score

See the free AutoCheck score

Meet The Experts
Kim Perrin
Kim Perrin is our resident mechanic here at DriverSide. Kim worked as…
Tyler Orr
Tyler Orr is an expert in German and Japanese cars and has been a mechanic …
Elizabeth Kriesten
Elizabeth Kriesten worked as an automotive technician for several years at Dodge…
Tips on Servicing

Car Brakes: How Do You Know When to Change Them?

By Zach Bowman For those who suffer a daily commute through heavy traffic, your vehicle's braking system can bring thousands of pounds of metal, plastic and empty Starbucks cups to a stop hundreds of times before you get to work. It goes without saying that these pieces wear out, but they do so slowly, meaning you may not notice they need attention until ...

Read more…