Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Subaru Forester - rusty seat brackets

I live in the northeast, and am shopping for a used Forester. I was looking at a 2003 with 90k miles this weekend and noticed the brackets for the front seats were rusty. It was worse on the driver’s side. I was told that it was from salty slush from the winters, but I thought it odd. But I saw it on another '03 on another lot too.

Is this common? Is it a safety problem? Thanks for any insights.

Normal. Both my 04 WRX has it quite a bit on driver seat and my wife’s 2005 Legacy Wagon somewhat too. I would not worry too much. My 95 Civic had the same thing too.

Not due to salt. Just poor manufacture of the belt clasp. The plateing failed due to cheap plateing. They are supposed to coat the steel with a nice shiny plate and they cheaped out. Very common on these cars. No salt involved just cheap manufacture.

It only happens on the drivers side of my Subaru’s near the door sill where the salt is deposited. Same thing on my previous Honda.

Yes, it seems to be common on cars of all sorts here in roadsalt country. And yes, it is a safety issue if you let it go far enough that the seat brackets fail. Fortunately, the brackets/bolts on most cars have to be really badly rusted before they fail. And it will probably fail when you are climbing into the car, not when you are driving. If it gets to be too bad in future years, you may want to replace the bracket or pay someone to do some welding, but that probably won’t happen for a good many years.

You probably also use the driver side belt more than the passenger side. The poor plateing gets rubbed more and eventually fails.

The poster and I are not referring to the seat belt itself. We are referring to the seat bracket to the floor pan that rusts typically it seems on Subaru.