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Subaru Forester, Engine, Wagon
#2 of 439 head gasket
Jan 30, 2006 (7:31 pm)
I would like to know if anyone has experienced the endless problems that I am currently facing with my 2002 Forester L.
My engine light went on about a month ago and finally when the ride was 'bumpy', feeling like it was going to stall, I took it in to Subaru to have it checked out.
They found numerous problems.. and at only 120000km, they told me I needed a new head gasket, a new clutch, and I can't remember what else, for a grand total of $2700. Not quite what I was expecting... but no choice, had it done.
Exactly one week later, on came the engine light. I took it back in, this time I was told that I might need an oxygen sensor. They reset it, and the next day on came the light. This time the bill was $340, and the service manager also told me that they found another problem with the 'clutch cover....' part alone cost $200, but they didn't charge me... thanks.
I kid you not, one week to the day, on came the blasted engine light. This time it was a corroded wire under the gas tank... the bill, $180.
It is now two days later and my car would not start today. I had someone push it and we got it to start.
Needless to say, I'm not impressed. Is this just a nasty stroke of bad luck or am I being snowed, or is there a history of these problems.
I'd appreciate any feedback, including how to avoid losing my cool at the dealership tomorrow.
I kid you not, one week to the day, the light came on
#3 of 439 Re: head gasket [razooki]
Feb 02, 2006 (12:14 pm)
Sorry to hear about your more-than-a-fair-share of problems. It might be common to experience one of those issues, but certainly not all on the same vehicle.
Call 800-SUBARU3 whenever an issue like that creeps up that might be related to a problem you had in the past. See if they'll cover it or at least help you reduce the cost in some way.
You might be past the 3/36 warranty, but if not, consider a Subaru Gold warranty if you will keep it longer.
Having said that, I don't think your experience is typical. I have 80+k miles on my '98 and have one visited the dealer once, for a recall years ago.
#4 of 439 High idle
Mar 20, 2006 (12:53 am)
I purchased a 06 Forester last November and have had problems with the idle when the engine is cold. The Forester is a base model non turbo with the standard 5 speed. Originally the first week we had the car it suddenly lost power and when I engaged the clutch and pulled to the side of the road the engine died. I was able to restart and the car ran fine all the way to the dealership. The dealer wound up replacing the intake plenum stating that the wires we dammaged inside the plenum. After the replacement when it is cold out below 40* F. say the engine once started will rev to around 1500 rpm. Once you start driving the car and the car is in gear and the clutch engaged the engine revs anywere from 2500rpm to over 3000rpm! We have taken it to the dealership multiple times and have involved the are rep who stated that this is a problem that is occuring in thousands of 2006 cars and tried to blame the drive by wire system along with new changes to the emission set up in the car and basically stated that there is no fix for the problem and does not feel that this is a safety issue even though it had been brought to his attention that the car also accelerates on downhills while it is in this high idle mode. The idle does drop to aprox 1000rpm after the temperature guage has reached 1/4. Has anyone else had this problem? Has anyone else had better success with a repair. I do think that this is a safety issue when a car actually accelerates on its own requiring you to drag the brakes even on a slight decline to control the car accelerating on its own.
#5 of 439 Re: High idle [gman67]
Mar 20, 2006 (10:00 am)
That definitely doesn't sound normal. I've only driven an 06 auto, though, not a manual.
Mar 20, 2006 (10:23 am)
this is an emisions feature that subaru built into the computer programming to warm up the catylitic converter and car sooner? My old subaru had a high idle on cold days that settled down after the car warmed up.
#7 of 439 Re: maybe... [tazereli]
Mar 23, 2006 (10:55 am)
That's a good year to shop for, by then the wheel bearings were more robust (03+) and the head gaskets were also resolved (02+).
#8 of 439 Re: maybe... [ateixeira]
Mar 23, 2006 (12:42 pm)
Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I was most concerned about the head gasket issue. Since I had left the original message, I did a little more research and that surfaced, along with the "piston slap" issue. I couldn't tell if it had been resolved or not. Out of curiosity, how was it resolved? From what I read, it sounded almost like an inherent design flaw with the 2.5L motor?
#9 of 439 Re: maybe... [goncst8]
Mar 24, 2006 (11:03 am)
Piston slap never developed a pattern the way head gasket failures did.
For the latter, Subaru issued a TSB and sent a letter to owners of 99-02 models asking them to take their cars into their dealer. The dealer added a coolant conditioner and put a sticker on the radiator notifying any future service tech that the coolant had this conditioner in it, so it would not be drained and filled without the stuff.
Owners that did that got a 8/100 warranty against HG failure. So Subaru address the issue pretty well. From 02 on they used revised head gasket materials.
The only other thing we truly saw a pattern of failures with was the rear wheel bearings on 02 and earlier Foresters and 01 and earlier Imprezas. Subaru switched to a more robust design with the next generation of each car, and again we have not observed failures (at least regularly) since that time.
If you read Consumer Reports, you will notice sudden improvements in the Drivetrain and Engine scores right around 02-03, so their data tends to agree with what I've observed reported here on Edmunds.
For the past few years Engine ratings are all "Much Better than Average", which ought to show that piston slap is not common, though it does exist in some circumstances.
Apr 08, 2006 (5:57 am)
This topic was briefly visited quite some time ago (see message 1056 from Karen56). I'd like to revive it. I have a 2001 Forester. It periodically releases an intense gasoline odor in the passenger compartment. It is distinctly gasoline (not rotten eggs or some other odor). It happens sporadically. It is not related to season, driving, filling up the tank or any other logical thing I can identify. The odor lasts for a day or so, then disappears. This happens probably once or twice a month. Again, I can discern no pattern. I've seen no signs of leaks and no change in fuel consumption. Engine performance is fine. No code lights thrown.
1) anyone else experience this?
2) can someone describe the fuel vapor capture/use system in detail for me (e.g., lines from the tank fill tube to the engine, etc.)?
3) where is the charcoal canister for capturing fuel vapors located on a 2001 Forester?
4) is the canister easy to replace?
5) canister replacement cost?
6) any other thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
I'm new to the forum and all help is appreciated.