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Subaru Forester Engine problems



  • wishner7wishner7 Posts: 2
    radiator does not recover coolent from overflow tank
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,583

    Most likely cause is failure of the radiator cap on main radiator. Check it carefully for seal, ensuring it has been screwed down correctly and that any rubber seals are sound.

    They are fairly cheap to replace.

    Next most likely is a crack in the boundary between radiator core and header tank. These can be hard to find for non expert. I had one years ago that opened up when engine running at high revs but was undetectable under normal conditions. Only realized what was going on when I backed off from full throttle and caught a windscreen of fine spray!.


  • cz75cz75 Posts: 210
    Pic reminds me of the second Subaru WRX I test drove - it was smoking from under the hood after fewer than five miles of driving - too few for the transmission to lose a synchro or otherwise self-destruct. The first was experiencing electrical problems and stranded me and the salesman a couple miles from the dealer until they could get a tow truck there to tow us back. Some folks just have low standards, explaining country music, American Idol, most chain restaurants and Subaru.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That could be just some mechanic spilled oil on the exhaust manifold. Can't conclude much until you look under the hood...

    WRX was a reliable car, many sources can confirm that.

    Your test drive failures are the 1st and 2nd I've ever heard for a WRX.

    Hmm...did you drink the Kool-aid at your Honda dealer lately? ;)
  • vimanviman Posts: 1
    Hi All,

    Over the last 3 weeks, my Subaru Forester 2006 w/45K miles has had these lights upon start up come on, blink a little and go off. Then come back on a few days later upon startup, same process. check engines blinks, sometimes with cruise, once with battery - goes off for a few days.

    The car just past inspection Sat. The inspection mechanic says if the CE light ws on, it would have failed inspection. Since it was not on, it could be misfires and not to bother checking, just live with it.

    I thought it could be a built-in 'mtn reminder', dealer says no. Wants $60 (discount, normally $120) to find out the code (yes, NY)?

    Advice please !

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Get a code reader! Use it twice, at the rate your dealer wants to charge you, and it paid for itself...

    Are you noticing any obvious signs of trouble? Is the engine running rough? Stuttering?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll echo what Wes already mentioned - they are worth every penny.

    I paid $99 and they're cheaper now, plus I've used it on 4 different cars, including to help friends.
  • pf2001pf2001 Posts: 110
    Hi Ateixeira,

    Where did you pick up your code reader?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At a NAPA auto store. I got an Actron unit, pretty basic, for $99 at the time. It was on sale.

    I've seen even cheaper ones but some of them can only read codes and not reset them, so make sure you get one that can do both.

    With a code it's much easier to troubleshoot the problem, could be anything from a gas cap that's not air tight to a bad catalytic converter.
  • 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: 118
    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: 118
    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: 8,391
    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: 8,391
    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: 118

    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:

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