2004 Subaru Forester Swerves

My 2004 Subaru Forester swerves - on occasion - like one of the tires, mostly the passenger front tire, is caught in a rut. When this happens, I generally slow down (not brake necessarily) and this brings the car under better control and usually stops the swerving-swaying motion. Needless to say this is somewhat unnerving. Another way to describe it is almost like one (only one) of the front wheels is braking for a moment or so. As another clue (maybe) the ABS light did come on while driving today, but did not come back on when I shut the car off and restarted it. Oh, and one final (maybe useful bit of information), I did replace the brake pads and rotors a while back (6 months of so), and the front driver side rotor has some minor grooves like the pads are not fully releasing - if that makes any sense.

Sounds like one of the brakes are sticking. Take it in and get it checked as soon as possible, this could be dangerous.

Thanks - that kind of what I thought.

It could also be wear in your suspension. At 11 years, worn struts, ball joints, tie rod ends, and bushings are not uncommon. And slight individual component wear is expected, but the combined effects of all that minor wear can cause major control issues.

I’m going to add another vote for the brakes. But it would be foolhearty not to get everything else checked too, especially the stuff Busted suggested. This is a dangerous condition.

One more thought; if your Subie has a stability control system, this should be looked at too. Stability control systems work by activating a brake when they detect the need, and you make have some faulty signals telling the system that a brake needs activating when it doesn’t. That’d definitely make the vehicle wander.

If the shop is unable to detect a fault in the stability control system, you might even pull the fuse for a period of time and see if the symptom disappears. Just drive with extra care, as if stability control had never been invented.