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Subaru Forester Engine problems



  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    In New Jersey Advanced Auto will let you borrow their scanner (after giving them your license). Auto Zone sends someone out to your car. They say the state does not want you to erase the codes (and CEL) then run to the inspection station before it comes on again. Which I am tempted to do with the P0301 & P0420.
  • jikjik Posts: 119
    I am planning to sell this car. Just got the oxygen sensor replaced -- dealer charged me 800 for that work.

    Quick acceleration borught the engine light on -- it has been doing that for number of years . Everytime its some issue with oxy sensrs. Tired of spendng at dealer.

    Now the engine light is on. asked him to look at it and he told me the diagnostic will cost 70 more. I was hoping it was follow up to the earlier work he did.

    Anyway, I want to get rid of the engine light. Any ideas. I got the code read at carx but the code did not vanish (it did last time the code was read). Is there a way to read the code so that it will vanish.
  • jikjik Posts: 119
    yaa the code is P0420
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look that up to be sure but I think that's a misfire.

    The O2 sensor is merely reporting a symptom, I don't think it's the problem, per se.

    My guess is it would be a misfire caused by a bad spark - I'm thinking spark plugs, plug wires, or even the ignition coil.

    Those are all cheap, the coil is about $80 but my 98 Forester only had one. Plus it's easy to change.

    If unburned fuel makes it downstream, the O2 sensor will (correctly) report a presence of oxygen in the exhaust stream.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    P0420 is "cat converter below threshold." If replacing oxygen sensors did not resolve the problem, then it likely does need a new cat (at some point). The cheapest way do deal with this problem is to get your own code reader (one or two trips to your dealer will more than pay for it!) and scan (to verify the code) / clear as necessary.

    Catalytic converters are a normal wear item, so keep any car long enough and you can expect to replace one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Reset the light and trade it in.

    He did say it only came on with hard acceleration. Just baby it until it's traded in to the dealer or CarMax or something. ;)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    I suppose. I have problems with that from an ethical standpoint, but hey, this is America; we like to screw our neighbors here.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, I was half-kidding.

    A dealer or a place like CarMax is supposed to do some reconditioning before reselling the car. They brag about their 120-point inspections and such.

    Note I didn't suggest selling it privately.
  • jikjik Posts: 119

    which model did you get? I saw the amazon site and none of them mention any feature like clearing the code.

    I just need a basic model which will also clear the code.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actron, I think CP9145. Looks like this:

  • jikjik Posts: 119
    I will sell my forester soon. I would like to use its securtiy in new CRV.

    Will it cost lot to get it installed on new car?
  • jikjik Posts: 119
    to carmax for $ 4000

    thanks to you all for insight on selling prices
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Hi all! You may remember me posting something last December about a head gasket leak on my 2006 Forester at 34k miles. I had it to the dealer a few months and 10k miles later where they spotted both gaskets seeping oil and coolant. This was fixed under warranty and so far I haven't had any more issues. Mom came up for a visit for Thanksgiving and I checked out her car to see if there was any seepage. I found the passenger side cylinder head had traces of oil on the bottom, just like mine had. Her car is an 06 with 30720 miles on it, nearly the same miles as when the dealer found the seepage on my car. I took some pictures but don't know how to include one in this message. I'd like to show you folks one of them. How do I insert a picture?
  • "... I found the passenger side cylinder head had traces of oil on the bottom... I took some pictures but don't know how to include one in this message. I'd like to show you folks one of them. How do I insert a picture?"

    You have to put the picture on the Internet first, then put a link to it here. Just upload the picture to one of the many photo sites, like Picassa, PhotoBucket, Flickr, SmugMug, etc.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    Oh, not good. That's two-for-two. Extended warranties, anyone? :surprise:
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Talked to Patricia at SOA this evening and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince her I needed an extended warranty on the head gaskets. Interestingly, I discovered the dealer only did the left side gasket. I was told they did both because it was needed. I'll have to take that up with the dealer tomorrow.

    Xwesx, can you see the highlighted spots on the pics? I sent them to the servicing dealer for my mom's car this evening so the tech will know exactly where to look.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Seems like you caught it early.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    Yes, the leaks were clearly visible in the two photos you linked here. As with AJ's comment, it looks like you caught them early.

    Hopefully, with this history, if your cars continue to have problems you will receive remediation, even if the standard 5/60 warranty period has expired (within reason!).
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    She's taking it in Thursday to the selling and servicing dealer for them to look at. They don't even have to put it on the lift to find it, just reach down and touch the corner of the head on the firewall side and they'll get oil on their finger.

    By the way, this particular dealer (not mentioning names) did the 30k a while back. They used a trans flushing machine on it and ran 16 quarts of Valvoline Maxlife ATF through it. I called Valvoline and was told Maxlife exceeds Subaru Type J specs. What do you folks think?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    That fluid does meet J specs (listed as Nissan type J - Subaru's 4-speed transmissions are manufactured by JATCo). I am not sure of quality, etc., on it aside from that, though.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Sounds good to me! What about using a flushing machine? My closest servicing dealer said SOA advises against using a flusher but my mom's servicing dealer says they've never been told not to use this machine on a Subaru AT. Thoughts?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    Well, everyone has their own opinion on them.

    I would think that any time you are putting in a different transmission fluid, you should flush out the old fluid in order to have substantially, if not completely, new fluid in the unit. Were you using the same fluid, a flush would not be "necessary" unless the used fluid was burnt. I put 220,000 miles on my '96 Outback and never flushed the transmission, though I did change out the vast majority of it at about 144,000 miles when I pulled the engine the first time due to draining the torque converter (accidentally). I never had any problems with that transmission at all - it was absolutely perfect. I drained/filled twice while I owned it, but no flushes.

    My own thought is that, depending on how the "flush" is done, damage is possible but not likely. If the flush is performed with the vehicle running and in gear, using the flow of the fluid through the system to pump out old fluid and replenish with new, it is not going to be damaged. As for how these machines do it, I do not know....
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    I'm not against flushing with a machine. One of my employees had it done on his delivery car when the tranny started hanging in gear and it solved his shifting problems completely. The machines pump new fluid in reverse flow and collect the old fluid and dirt. It has risks, especially on high mileage gearboxes or if the operator sets the pressure too high. I was curious to know since the dealer I use now told me it wasn't recommended. Personally, I'm going to stick with whatever Subaru recommends. This is my first auto box so I'm just not sure how to maintain it aside from doing a drain/fill every 30k. I am going to have the spin on filter replaced during the 60k though. I don't see how that filter can be "lifetime" because I've seen the metallic sludge created by an auto box. Never hurts to be a little obsessive compulsive....... :)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,499
    That's true, and sounds like a good bet.

    I agree with you on the flushing..... do it when it is necessary.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Mom has an appointment Thursday afternoon at 3pm EST for them to check her car. I talked to the service manager at this dealer and sent him the pictures, the same ones I linked to here. His exact words were "Judging by pictures, the warranty isn't going to cover that. That's just a smudge! You have to have actual fluid loss before we can fix that." I'll post again when I have their decision.

    Funny, the dealer I now go to is the one that spotted mine in the first place and mine looked nearly identical to her car. I have a feeling they're going to balk at covering but I will reserve judgement until I hear from them.

    Any of you folks with an 06 check yours? By the way, the date of manufacture on my car is December 2005.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Mom called a little while ago with the results from the dealer. The passenger side HG leak has been confirmed by the dealer and photos taken by the service manager for the factory rep. They're going to push to have BOTH head gaskets replaced under warranty in case the other side springs a leak. The dealer is having to order the parts because they don't stock them normally and will be doing the work next week. Maybe now that another 2006 has been found with a HG leak SOA will sit up and notice and dig for a cause. Don't have a date of manufacture on her car but will post when I get the info.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There's always more than meets the eye. Glad to hear they're taking care of her.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    You and me both! :)
  • "... Maybe now that another 2006 has been found with a HG leak SOA will sit up and notice and dig for a cause..."

    Subaru has always known the cause to be the open deck engine block. They are changing to a semi-closed deck for the diesel, which requires a different more expensive casting process:
    "The BOXER DIESEL adopts a semi-closed cylinder block deck to improve the rigidity around the head gaskets..."
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