Last post on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:33 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester Maintenance & Repair
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Subaru Forester, SUV
#5 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [krc2]
May 19, 2009 (10:44 am)
I suspect, from your description, that it is spark-related and is the plug wires. Never hurts to replace the plugs, too! If it is not running well, the plugs will foul (even if the problem is not their fault!), then could continue causing problems even after you fix the initial cause.
If it has not been replaced, you might also consider replacing the fuel filter for good measure. It is easy to access and inexpensive to buy.
Hopefully the replaced wires will clear up the problem.
#6 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [xwesx]
May 19, 2009 (12:27 pm)
Same here. I had a 93 Miata that ate through spark plug wires every 30k like clockwork.
#7 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [ateixeira]
May 19, 2009 (1:12 pm)
Well, quite embarrassingly, I recently had a problem with my Escort that I was convinced was not plug wires since they were the most recent thing replaced (about 2.5 years ago, but only about 20,000 miles or so on them). I replaced the spark plugs and the problem was gone for about 75 miles, then slowly began to return. I finally decided it was either the ignition coil or fuel pump, but do not have the tools to diagnose either of them. So, I took it to a shop for extensive diagnostics and the final result was bad plug wires. With those replaced, the car runs perfectly again.
#8 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [krc2]
Jul 21, 2009 (8:55 am)
Hi, I have a Forester 2003 2.0L with a similar problem. Has your problem been resolved. My mechanic clipped an oscilliscope to the spark leads from the coil and found a discrepancy. He advised to change the coil. My question is that this fault did not show up on the scanner and no codes came up. Is this possible.
#9 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [forester03]
Jul 22, 2009 (11:37 am)
I changed out the spark plug and wires and tinkered with other things also.
I would also have him check the basics first: transmission oil level (yes - sounds strange), ensure the air filter is properly enclosed with no gaps or openings, spark plug inserted correctly. If you search on google you will find info on the codes.
Also, have him look at the spark plugs themselves - is there any indication of a problem?
If the fault is on one cyclinder, can he change the wires from one to another, or swap the coil to see if the problem moves? I can't remember if there was a separate coil per cyl. or not.
And, finally, of course, a compression test could be in order to validate that the head is ok.
#10 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [krc2]
Jul 27, 2009 (10:49 am)
My 1998 had one single ignition coil. About an $80 part on-line.
#11 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [ateixeira]
Jul 30, 2009 (8:15 pm)
I have replaced the coil, plugs, wires and still my 2003 Subaru is back firing. Was told it may be the valves. What about the timing belt? Love the car but it is getting to be a pain.
#12 of 32 Re: Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL [suebaru]
Jul 31, 2009 (8:53 am)
Time to find a good mechanic. It's nothing simple we could diagnose online, that's for sure. Good luck.
#13 of 32 2003 subaru forester - engine blown
Aug 26, 2009 (8:21 am)
My 2003 Forester (bought new) has 55,000 miles on it. It has had some unusual problems but nothing I couldn't live with. Last week, however, I had a huge problem. I was on the turnpike in cruise control mode. All of a sudden, the RPM needle started swinging wildly and I was losing power. I took it out of cruise and still couldn't get power. I got to the shoulder and shut down. Smoke was pouring out from the engine. Mechanic said that the engine was leaking coolant - something it seems I would have noticed. He said no - it was leaking into the engine. When I had my car serviced 3 months ago, the coolant was fine (per visual inspection). I have located a PDF document that states - per Subaru - that certain 1999-2002 models may develop coolant leaks at the head gaskets. I am certain that this is what happened to mine. I now need a new engine at the cost of some several thousand dollars. I wondered if anyone else has had this happen to them.
#14 of 32 Re: 2003 subaru forester - engine blown [lornabee]
Aug 26, 2009 (12:20 pm)
What surprises me is your model year is 2003 and we haven't seen many post 02 models with that problem.
Call 800-SUBARU3, tell them what happened.
For 99-02 owners they had a campaign where they would add some stop leak and if you let them they extended the warranty to 7/100.
You didn't do that but you were never offered the choice, plus you're only at 55k.
Yours may be under the 5/60k powertrain warranty either way, but go ahead and call and open up a case with them.