Last post on Nov 14, 2009 at 9:33 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester Maintenance & Repair
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Subaru Forester, SUV
#15 of 32 Re: 2003 subaru forester - engine blown [ateixeira]
Aug 26, 2009 (11:51 am)
Thanks for input. I am in contact with Subaru. Also, after some lengthy research, I am finding reports from other 2003 owners of exactly the same thing happening to them. In at least one other case, the owner was not advised by the dealer about the stop leak either. Another said the stop leak postponed the problem only long enough for the warranty to expire. I will update here when all is said and done. Thanks again.
#16 of 32 a complication
Aug 27, 2009 (1:59 pm)
My mechanic has (re)determined that the cause of engine failure was due to a hole in the radiator. However, some of my questions remain the same. First of all, if there was a significant "hole" in the radiator, wouldn't I have seen/noticed coolant leaking? 3 months ago, I had general maintenance done, including coolant exchange. I have never seen coolant leaking from my vehicle. That is something that would be hard to miss - and I have a dog who could die if she decided to go at it - something I know dogs are attracted to. Also, is it possible that if the head gaskets blew, the sheer pressure could have blown a hole in the radiator?
#17 of 32 Re: a complication [lornabee]
Aug 27, 2009 (3:10 pm)
Hmm.... not likely, as the radiator cap is set to keep the pressure in the system at 15 psi max, and the radiator or heater hoses would likely have split before a "hole" was blown in the radiator. Where is this alleged hole? It is possible, however unlikely, that debris contacted the radiator and created the hole while you were driving (thus setting off a chain reaction of events).
It seems unlikely that is the case, however, since the radiator for the A/C system is in front of the engine radiator and thereby protects it from frontal impacts.
#18 of 32 Re: a complication [xwesx]
Aug 27, 2009 (4:18 pm)
Thank you xwesx. I also posed the "debris" theory to myself and a couple of friends. But then the question arises: what would I have had to hit to puncture such a severe hole in the radiator? And, the fact is - I didn't hit/run over anything. I have to say - the Ohio turnpike is a well maintained highway. I did go through some construction zones. Could a wayward piece of metal have flown up and punctured it? That seems way out in left field for me.
A couple of possibilties: (?) - An inferior grade of coolant has been used. Or, the mechanics where I have my vehicle being serviced punctured the radiator when they removed it? I really don't want to believe either of those things.
I don't know where the "hole" is. But, I will ask them to hold on to all of the parts.
#19 of 32 Re: a complication [lornabee]
Aug 28, 2009 (7:55 am)
Just brainstorming here, but where is the hole?
If it's at the top of the radiator, you wouldn't see liquid leaking, but rather vapor from the coolant, which would boil if it's not sealed.
You probably would have noticed the steam, unless it leaked out slow and steady.
#20 of 32 Re: a complication [ateixeira]
Aug 28, 2009 (11:56 pm)
The hole turned out to be at the very top of the raidator where you add the coolant. I asked again if that would have been detected last spring when I had the coolant exchange done. Mechanic said it would have been hard to miss. My guess is that the hole developed after the fact. I don't do a lot of long distance driving but I had taken several trips which would have been at least 4 hours round trip by freeway. I was also glad that he said the coolant that remained/dripped out was the coolant recommended by Subaru.
#21 of 32 Re: a complication [lornabee]
Aug 31, 2009 (11:54 am)
Then my theory is actually plausible.
Keep in mind that until the coolant gets hot enough, the leak may not be noticed. Until the T-stat opens the radiator isn't really doing anything anyway.
#22 of 32 Re: a plausible theory [ateixeira]
Sep 01, 2009 (2:15 pm)
I can buy that theory.
Even with that - when/how does one know that something this catastrophic is so out of whack? If I'm doing maintenance when it's recommended - how else would I know?
#23 of 32 Re: what the F??? [ateixeira]
Sep 01, 2009 (11:17 pm)
Me and Subaru have a history now. I gathered my vehicle service records. Parking rods on recall - did that. Complained about fuel door not opening - several times. Every single time I had my car serviced - had oil change, inspection, yadda, yadda, yadda, After a brake inspection - when I told them that I was hearing "squealing" noises, they did nothing about my brakes. 3,000 miles later, when I complained that the brake light was on, they did rotor work. 800 miles later, they worked on my rear brakes. I am infuriated. Am I an idiot? I have never owned a vehicle that needed a new engine at 55,000 miles. This is the icing on the cake. Gee whiz.....I waited for the "dummy" light to come on - but it never did. Maybe that's because I actually had the maintenance work done - you know - like fluid exchange. Anyone got another theory?
#24 of 32 Re: what the F??? [lornabee]
Sep 02, 2009 (11:22 am)
Sorry to hear about your troubles.
I don't think you did anything wrong, not at all. Sounds like you maintained it on schedule.
The only early warning you would have would be the temp gauge (or idiot light on newer models without a gauge) and by then you'd already be overheating.
All I can say is maybe look for a mechanic who is a better listener. Sounds like you saw early warning signs on those brakes and they didn't do anything. They at least should have documented your complaint.