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
#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.
#15 of 32 Re: 2003 subaru forester - engine blown [ateixeira]
Aug 26, 2009 (12:51 pm)
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 (2:59 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 (4:10 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 (5:18 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.