Upgrading Your Subaru Forester 2008: A Comprehensive Guide from Basic to Advanced

If you own a Subaru Forester 2008 or are planning to buy one, you might be looking for ways to upgrade its performance and appearance. The Forester is a popular SUV that offers excellent handling, reliability, and versatility. However, it has a conservative design that might not appeal to everyone.

Fear not, as there are many modifications available to make your Forester stand out from the crowd and enhance its performance. Whether you are a novice or an experienced car enthusiast, this article will guide you through the process of upgrading your Subaru Forester.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Subaru Forester

There are several benefits to upgrading your Forester, such as:

  • Increased horsepower and torque
  • Better handling and braking performance
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Enhanced sound and appearance

Moreover, upgrading your Forester can be a rewarding experience that allows you to personalize your car and make it unique. You can choose from a wide range of parts and accessories to suit your needs and preferences.

Engine Upgrades

One of the most effective ways to boost your Forester’s performance is by upgrading the engine. The Forester comes with a four-cylinder boxer engine that offers decent performance but can be improved with some modifications.

Some popular engine upgrades for the Forester include:

  • Cold air intake: A cold air intake replaces the factory airbox with a high-flow filter that allows more air to enter the engine. This results in improved horsepower and torque, as well as a more aggressive engine sound.
  • Exhaust system: Upgrading the exhaust system can increase the engine’s airflow and reduce back-pressure, resulting in improved power and sound. A cat-back exhaust system is a popular upgrade that replaces the factory muffler and tailpipe with a larger one.
  • Turbocharger: Adding a turbocharger to the Forester can provide a significant power boost, especially if combined with other engine upgrades. However, it is a complex and expensive modification that requires careful planning and installation.
See also  Clockwise: How to Fix the Clock on Your 2012 Subaru Forester

Suspension and Brake Upgrades

Improving the suspension and brakes can enhance the Forester’s handling and braking performance, making it more agile and stable.

Some popular suspension and brake upgrades for the Forester include:

  • Coilovers: Coilovers are adjustable suspension systems that allow you to lower or raise the car’s ride height and adjust the damping. They provide better handling and a more aggressive appearance.
  • Sway bars: Sway bars reduce body roll and improve cornering by connecting the left and right sides of the suspension. They are easy to install and can make a noticeable difference in handling.
  • Brake pads and rotors: Upgrading the brake pads and rotors can improve the car’s stopping power and reduce brake fade. High-performance brake pads and drilled or slotted rotors are popular choices.

Exterior and Interior Upgrades

Upgrading the Forester’s exterior and interior can give it a unique and personalized look that reflects your personality and style.

Some popular exterior and interior upgrades for the Forester include:

  • Wheels and tires: Upgrading the wheels and tires can improve the car’s appearance and performance. Larger and wider wheels with low-profile tires provide better grip and a more aggressive stance.
  • Body kit: A body kit includes front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and a rear spoiler that can enhance the car’s aerodynamics and appearance.
  • Audio system: Upgrading the audio system can provide better sound quality and entertainment. A new head unit, speakers, and subwoofers can make a big difference in the car’s acoustics.

Installation and Cost

Most of the upgrades described above can be installed by a knowledgeable DIYer or a professional mechanic. However, some modifications, such as turbocharger installation or engine tuning, require specialized skills and equipment.

See also  Subaru Forester Guide: Choosing the Best Model for Your Needs

The cost of upgrading your Forester can vary widely, depending on the parts and labor involved. A cold air intake or a cat-back exhaust system can cost a few hundred dollars, while a turbocharger kit can cost several thousand dollars.


Q: Will upgrading my Forester void the warranty?

A: It depends on the modifications and the warranty terms of your car. Some modifications, such as a cold air intake or a cat-back exhaust system, are unlikely to void the warranty, while others, such as a turbocharger or an engine swap, can be more risky.

Q: How much horsepower can I gain from engine upgrades?

A: The horsepower gain depends on the specific modifications and the engine’s condition. A cold air intake and exhaust system can provide a few extra horsepower, while a turbocharger can provide a significant power boost.

Q: Do I need to upgrade the brakes if I upgrade the engine?

A: Upgrading the brakes is recommended when upgrading the engine, as the car’s performance will increase, and the stock brakes may not be sufficient to handle the extra power.


Upgrading your Subaru Forester can be a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to customize your car and enhance its performance. The modifications described in this article are just a few examples of what you can do to your Forester. Remember to research and plan your upgrades carefully, and always prioritize safety over performance. With the right upgrades, your Forester can become a unique and powerful SUV that turns heads and delivers an unforgettable driving experience.

Avatar photo

Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

Recommended Articles