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Subaru Forester 2003 - no power, CEL



  • 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?
  • 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?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    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. :(
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yes, I agree.

    You have to remember that if a hole developed in the radiator (we still do not know why!), the car could go from normal operation to overheating in very short order. There may be very little if any warning, especially when being operated at highway speeds or high RPMs. If the coolant loses pressure, it will boil rapidly. Without water contact to the engine components, localized overheating (the worst kind!) can happen within a few seconds causing all sorts of problems.

    This is unfortunate, but not necessarily or even likely due to neglect/negligence.
  • I did email subaru with my complaint. I included a description of the problems I have had per my vehicle service records. I also included a couple of digital pics - the old engine and the radiator (got a close-up of where the hole was). I have to send hard copies of complete service records but it's enough for them to start with.

    I hate to say this - and I've been saying it for years. I think being a woman alone makes me vulnerable when I walk in to have my car serviced. I've learned a lot about cars over the years. And, the fact is, I know my vehicle. I generally know when something isn't right. When I complained about the fuel tank door not opening, I was told "This happens on cars all the time". I've never owned a car where the fuel tank door doesn't open. They never did fix that either. I carry around a can opener in my glove compartment because when the temp goes to single digits and below, it simply doesn't open. And, in Cleveland, Ohio we get a lot of that.

    Well - thanks for the input and putting up with my frustrations. Car is home and running well. I hope it stays that way!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hope you have better luck from now on.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    You are probably right. Techs often assume that women know nothing about cars (sometimes to their embarrassment!), though I doubt the incidence of such ignorance is much greater, if any, than in men. Never settle for "that happens all the time." If something is not working properly, then it needs to be fixed regardless of how often it happens. As for the fuel door, I agree - never had that problem unless there was actual ice/snow buildup that prevented the door from opening. Is it that latch not releasing fully? If so, try spraying some lubricant on the mechanism to see if that helps the issue at all.
  • I had the fuel door problem but it was easily fixed. When I pulled the lever the pin withdrew ok but the door would not spring open, especially when cold out. When I looked at it I found that there is a small flat spring located between the hinges on the fuel door. When the door is closed this spring is supposed to be under enough tension so that the door pops as soon as the latch is pulled.

    That flat spring is held on by one small bolt, so I took it off and ever so slightly bent the spring with 2 pairs of pliers in the direction that provided more tension against the stop when the fuel door is closed. Worked perfectly and haven't had the problem since.

    If the latch is letting go ok on your vehicle this could be your problem, as I have seen this happen on a couple other Foresters. I used to carry a wooden paint stirrer to open mine, not needed anymore. :)
  • I have a Forester and although the care is great in the snow...however, I have had many problems...heat gasket..something about coils...a few times...but I have a weird creaking noise and when I turn the wheel all the way it almost sounds like what a brake sounds like when you need to change mechanic has said that the undercarriage is rusty...I understand that 2003 Subaru's have this problem...I also have a jumping feeling when my car is mechanic said the transmission looks like it is 'slipping' this covered by the recall...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm guessing you mean head gasket and ignition coil.

    Make sure the power steering fluid isn't low, and check it's condition as well. The most likely cause of the creaking may be a bad wheel bearing, though.
  • No - my Subaru problem had nothing to do with "creaking". Mine had to do with major/catastrophic overheating. Subaru wants nothing to do with it - except to offer me a $1000 "Customer Loyalty" incentive towards the purchase of a "previously unused Subaru". Hmmmmm...had to turn that down. Let's 55,000 miles my engine blows and all Subaru can say is - Well, we'll give you a grand off a new one. Sorry - I'm not that loyal.

    BTW - winter is coming. I have my can opener in the glove box to PRY open the fuel tank door (when temp goes into single digits) that they could never seem to fix. "Oh - this happens all the time in cars".....

    The only worse story I ever heard was from Ford: the paint is chipping because of "acid rain".

    I am so tired of getting screwed.
This discussion has been closed.