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Subaru Forester Engine problems



  • How often should the timing belt be replaced on a 2004 Forester?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    105k mile interval for replacement, though they call for an inspection at 90k miles.
  • i had the same problem with my '01 forester, traveling 1000 miles from home. i ended up doing it myself, and found out after I got home that there is a program called WP-99 that covers many cars until the year 2014 no matter who maintained the car. Ask your dealer about that. It basically says that they will add the "sealant" at $1.29 a bottle, and if that doesn't fix it, then they decide if they want to cover the head gaskets. Talk with the dealer and see what they will do for you, and if to no avail, it never hurts to write the CEO a letter and let the dealer know.
  • jstrjstr Posts: 4
    edited April 2010
    Would the oil pump make a knocking sound on my 2004 Subaru Forester XT?
    The oil light came on. I checked the dipstick - oil was full and clean. I started hearing an intermittant whirring/humming/slight squeal for about 10 miles as I tried to make it home. I didn't hear valves clicking or upper engine noise so I kept going. The engine never overheated beyond normal. Then I heard the crunching of the oil pump falling apart, and the engine stalled. It turns over but has a loud knock when it starts. I turned it off again as soon as I heard the knock. I don't want to run it long enough to hold the brake, give it gas while in 1st gear to do a poor man's load test. :sick:
    Could the oil pump make this sound or do you think it slipped a rod bearing that quickly?
  • jstrjstr Posts: 4
    Hard to find a salvage yard XT engine for my 2004 Forester XT with automatic transmission.

    Can I swap in a regular long block and use the turbo's external parts?
    If so, what years would be compatible? Thanks
  • fbkordfbkord Posts: 17
    Hello everyone,
    The short block on my 2002 forster was replaced. Does this mean they also changed the head gasket while fixing the block? So far I have not had any issues with the gasket but I've heard stories.

    Thank you

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nope. Different block.

    The turbos have a semi-closed deck block, plus some different internals (forged connecting rods for starters).

    Parts are different.
  • jstrjstr Posts: 4
    To answer my own question -

    A local mechanic told me the oil pump bolts can loosen a half turn until they hit the casing. This is enough to lose pressure from bypass leakage.

    I figure I should have stopped driving right away, tho' the oil level was good on the dipstick. I think there'd be little upper engine noise (from lack of oil flow) due to the overhead cam design - no lifters clattering.

    So the mechanic and I are pretty confident I've spun a rod bearing. :blush: :cry:

    Anybody know where I can get a good used (low miles too) XT engine for my 2004?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    There's a pretty good chance you did! Lesson learned, albeit the hard way! That's better, though, than having thrown a rod or otherwise damaging the block itself. In this situation, you could tear down the lower end and rebuild it, maybe even saving some money in the process. I agree that valve noise would be a likely indicator of low (or no) oil flow. Squealing, though, is another very good sign.... :cry:
  • jstrjstr Posts: 4
    Yes, I'm concerned about the squeal. I'm hoping when I rebuild that the turbo didn't get bled dry. With so much potential of damage, I recommend Subaru install an oil pressure guage instead of an idiot light. It just made me feel like an idiot. :cry:
  • bpiribpiri Posts: 8
    I need a engine for my 2001 Subaru Forester it had a 2.5 sohc vin # 6 and automatic.

    What is the opinions about a rebuilt or used or a used JDM?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Both used and rebuilt can be good bets; I would go with one that comes with a warranty from the seller, as head gaskets always can be issues with these engines and you don't want to plunk one into your car just to find out a few hundred miles down the road that the gaskets are bad....
  • carlosh1carlosh1 Posts: 4
    edited May 2010
    I live in Colombia S.A., and just bought a Forester S 2002, from an USA diplomatic; it has 65.600 miles on it.

    The fact, it´s doing 18 MPG, i can not see the Check Engine Light in the panel when turn the key before starting. Is it possible it is disconnected now? if yes, how do i turn it on back again?

    The Subaru dealer here, they told me that USA version has problems with the Oxygen sensor, instead off the Japanese ones.

    What can i do with the consumption?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's not good - the previous owner may have disabled it.

    Get an OBDII code reader, and scan it for error codes. That will give you the best clues as to what's going on.

    I know that certain Miata owners that race their cars simply drill a hole to break the bulb to help them ignore check-engine lights, so it can be done.
  • carlosh1carlosh1 Posts: 4
    Finally the mechanic here in Colombia, activated the Check Engine Light, which was disabled for the previous owner.

    And it is ON in yellow color, the mechanic told me is showing Fail in the O2 Sensor # 1, but recommended to me to get both sensors (Forester S 2002) but to ask for sensors to places where the Gas is not so pure and is mixed with Alcohol (Ethanol) like here in Colombia .

    VIN # JF1SF65502H707396

    Con somebody help me? Is it true?? How do i Turn the CEL off?

    Thanks to you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited May 2010
    Given that oxygen sensor is probably 9 years old now, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it.

    It could be working, though, and reporting a problem upstream, like a misfire. If that's the case it's spark or fuel - plugs, plug wires, ignition coil, etc.

    Can you borrow a code reader to get the code? I'll lend you mine if you're in the DC area.
  • carlosh1carlosh1 Posts: 4
    I´ll get a Code Reader to have it for the Forester so i can learn and check it sometimes.

    For sure i´ll get both O2 Sensors and change them.

    I´m in Bogotá Colombia, so i´m going to get one from USA (buy) what brand and type is better? I mean to reset CEL and other functions like check emissions.

    Once again thank you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I got a simple Actron model, I think it was $99 or so.

    Make sure you get one that can read and reset codes. The cheapest ones only read the codes.
  • rlc0750rlc0750 Posts: 2
    2010 Forester, 11k miles. this problem started at about 4k miles.
    A loud crackling noise, seems to come from catalytic converter but not 100% sure. Was initially only happening when I turned off engine but now happens when idleing, at warm up or after driving for awhile.

    after turning off engine the loud crackling goes on for 2-3 minutes.

    thanks for any help
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like the popping you normally hear with the exhaust parts heat up and cool down. It's unusualy to hear it while idleing, though.
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