Last post on Oct 08, 2012 at 9:29 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester Maintenance & Repair
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Subaru Forester, Wagon, SUV
#15 of 44 Valve Trouble Too
Aug 02, 2009 (6:10 pm)
Last week just after I'd left the parking lot at work, my very conscientiously maintained 1999 Subaru Forester (about 115,000 mi) began sounding like she had rocks under the hood. The check engine light came on. I had her towed to my mechanics who first thought it was something to do with timing belt assembly, then next day said the problem is in the valves. They say compression is poor and the engine looks "oil deprived." I've spent thousands on the car in recent years (brakes, clutch, air, tires, battery, timing belt, etc. ) and do not want to throw her away, as these mechanics are recommending. Looking at this discussion makes me think there's more going on here. A consistent problem with these engines? My mechanics not on the right trail? I'd be grateful for advice. I cannot afford a new car right now.
#16 of 44 Re: Valve Trouble Too [magpie5]
Aug 03, 2009 (10:50 am)
Sorry but I gotta agree with the mechanics on this one. 115k is a lot of miles. It may even be cheaper to replace the whole engine if there was valve damage. The pistons probably hit the valves at the top of the travel, meaning there is internal damage as well.
That's probably what made all the noise.
#17 of 44 Advice re replacement engine?
Aug 03, 2009 (8:46 pm)
I appreciate your response. I am indeed going to replace the engine, though another mechanic I consulted today felt that 115K is really not that much for a Subaru, especially if well maintained. My own mechanic confirmed today that the problem is a bent valve, the same issue I've seen referenced in other postings. Any special advice out there on replacing my engine? Anyone know if there's a possibility of getting some break from Subaru, given my exemplary maintenance, and the fact that this seems to be a weakness in these cars?
#18 of 44 Re: Advice re replacement engine? [magpie5]
Aug 04, 2009 (7:24 am)
Their number is 800-SUBARU3, but keep in mind the powertrain warranty ran out at 60k miles, so you've nearly doubled it. I'd be surprised if they helped much, it wouldn't be fair to people who paid for an extended warranty.
Heck, I think even those only go to 100k.
#19 of 44 Re: Advice re replacement engine? [magpie5]
Aug 04, 2009 (2:47 pm)
I do not agree that it is a weakness specific to the engine, but Subaru engines are sensitive, I think, to over/under-filling of oil. If there was something that caused excessive wear in a valve seat at some point, I can see it sticking and getting bent. While I do not consider 115,000 miles to be many, it is well beyond what most manufacturers would cover or really should cover.
#20 of 44 NAKED without my Forester
Aug 06, 2009 (9:29 am)
Ok, sorry for the cheap attention grabbing header, but I'm in the middle of a major problem ... my 1999 Forester, which I love, died on the highway 3 weeks ago ... reading some of the posts here sounds familiar ... intermittent check engine light ... rough, choking acceleration a few times .... then Christmas-time, all the lights on the dashboard light up like a tree ... then engine would turn over but no start ... got it towed home ..still turned over but no start ... towed it to local garage ... the engine had seized by then ...
so long story short ... I elected to have a new/used engine in ... now the mechanic can't get the thing to idle ... seems they got a 1998 twin cam engine from a Forester which they heard run and compression tested before I went to yard to purchase ...
my question is , is there any nuances or special hook ups that my local mechanic, who is good but not a Subaru guy, may have missed? ... can this even be done?
I'm a teacher who has one more week of summer vacation and needs to get my car back ...
Thanx for any help!!
#21 of 44 Re: NAKED without my Forester [tbird69]
Aug 06, 2009 (9:58 am)
I think the 99 was still a twin cam but the intake changed a lot compared to the 98. Only in 2000 did they move to the Phase II SOHC engine.
Engine internals should be the same from 98 to 99, I believe.
I'd be pulling anything and everything off the 99 engine you took out, make sure all the intake especially is back on. I remember that if you didn't reconnect one single wire in the intake, the engine would not start.
#22 of 44 Re: NAKED without my Forester [ateixeira]
Aug 06, 2009 (12:42 pm)
thanx .. I'll pass it that on ... they seem to have gotten the engine to start, it just doesn't idle ... they are leaning to messin' with the onboard computer which scares me a bit ... :/
#23 of 44 Re: NAKED without my Forester [tbird69]
Aug 06, 2009 (11:43 pm)
Yeah, I agree with AJ. Tell them to use the long block from the '98 only.... all the bolt-ons, sensors, etc., from the '99 should go back on it!
#24 of 44 Re: NAKED without my Forester [xwesx]
Aug 07, 2009 (8:04 am)
well the plot thickens ... seems the intake from my '99 is too long for 98 block, which is why they have connection issues ... could that be true or are these guys yankin' my chain ...
starting to panic! OY