2002 Forester Cruise

I have a 2002 Forester L and the cruise is slow to react. It has been this way since new. I can set it when doing 60 mph and the speed will drop to almost 50 mph before it kicks in. it takes about 8 seconds or so to engage. It will also disengage on steep hills. It does not seem to have the power to retain on hills. The brakes I would also call spongy and are nowhere near as good as those on my 2005 Legacy. All of this has been like this since new in late 2001. Thought this was normal. Is it.??


Thanks for the succinct answer, do you have any suggestions what may be wrong.

More information may generate more responses and more directed responses.

How many millers on your Forester? Have you ever returned it to the dealer for warranty repair? if not why not if yes, what did they say?

Has the cel (Check Engine Light) been on?

If someone else has tried to fix it, what did they try?

Why are you asking questions when it should have been repaired years ago under warranty?

“Why are you asking questions when it should have been repaired years ago under warranty?”

That’s what I am trying to figure out also, Joseph.
It seems that the OP is trying to resolve this problem about 8 years too late.

It was taken to the selling dealer and they claimed this was normal. They now no longer sell Subarus. My wife has had the car for the past five years and she is more tolerant of minor inconveniences. I am not, so when I drove it recently, I decided to see if this was normal, especially for the cruise control. As it did that from new, it had seemed as if Subaru had not got a good cruise control, so I left it. I have a 2005 Legacy, which has both good brakes and a good working cruise control. I am looking to see if anyone else has had a similar problem and what was the outcome. We intend to keep this car as body is excellent and only has 200K kms. (120K miles)

I’m not a cruise control expert, but I’ll bet an independent mechanic with Subaru experience can fix the cruise and the brakes.

The cruise on my '96 Legacy works perfectly, with no delay whatsoever. The speed never varies more than a few mph, regardless of terrain.

If I had to wait several seconds for the cruise to work, I’d be visiting my mechanic.

For the cruise control issue, the very first thing I would look at would be the throttle cable connections at the throttle body. See if one of the cables has a lot of play in it.

Trace the throttle cables back to the cruise control actuator unit, and see if that cable has a lot of play in it. If you can adjust out any of the play, do so, and I bet the issue will be resolved.

As for the brakes, have the system professionally flushed.
If that doesn’t do it, you will need to check the different brake components one at a time, starting with the master cylinder. Most spongy brake complaints are resolved with these two things being done.


Thanks for your input, here’s what I have done so far; tigthened up both cruise and throttle cables, gas peddle respnse increased, no improvement with cruise. Brakes were flushed and some improvement found but but not equal to the brakes on my 2005 Legacy. Both these units rely on the manifold vacuum, I have been wondering if I have a vacuum leaks, either in one of these two units or in the manifold intself. Gas milage has decreased in past year, despite new plugs and air filter. Manifold vacuum leak, however slight could cause this, don’t you think.