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Subaru Forester Engine problems

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Go back to the seller. Who dumped it on you in that sort of condition? Sheesh.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Yes. The seller is a long story, too. Nowhere to be found now. Phone number disconnected, etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That stinks.

    But I don't think that transfers the responsbility over to Subaru, clearly this vehicle was neglected.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Sounds like a car from New Orleans.....

    -mike
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Yes, this vehicle was obviously neglected.

    I am not blaming Subaru. I have always wanted to own a Subaru for some time now. I just need an expert to tell me what the stuff was that Subaru corporate had dealers add to the cooling system. There was a service bulletin issued from Subaru for Foresters in 2000, 2001, and 2002 about this head gasket issue. The "fix" was to have dealers add something to the coolant. If it was a "stop leak" type of compound, that would be sad.

    This will help me determine whether I should try that route again to save big bucks, or drop $1200 on a rebuild ($1200 I will have to take out a personal loan to acquire).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Prepare to be sad, because I think it was basically Stop Leak.

    Did you see the MythBusters episode where cracked pepper successfully sealed a leaky radiator? :D
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Yes, I saw that Myth Busters episode. That's a cool show.

    I figured it was a stop leak type of substance. So, I assume Subaru saved big bucks on having to rebuild mass quantities of engines by using a temporary fix that would obviously not permanently resolve the issue. That is not good to hear - always had respect for Subaru for a company that would do the right thing - this jades my perception a bit.

    Oh well. On to the next issue:

    Any suggestions on whether I should (1) have the head gasket replaced or (2) get a used engine from a 2003 Forester? My fear about the head gasket replacement (the cheaper option) is that they could find some cracks in the engine block and/or head once they get the engine disassembled. If that happens, I will be out the cost for the labot to take the engine apart and still have to pay for a used engine.

    Any experiences about Foresters having cracked block problems because of overheating issues? Aluminum blocks to have a tendency to develop small cracks more than cast iron.

    Opinions?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    If it has an overheat issue due to the gasket leaks, which it sounds like it does, then warping or cracks are a definite possibility. If I knew the history of the car, I would say go for the gasket replacement, but it sounds like this car may have suffered several rounds, and possibly prolonged, of overheating. The safest bet may be a different engine. Either way is still just a bet, though!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    An 03 or later engine should resolve the problem.

    Coincidentally, the JD Power results are out for vehicle dependability and Subaru showed a significant improvement for MY2004, probably because the new Forester had better wheel bearings and the head gasket issue was resolved by then.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would swap it with an engine of the same year. I've done direct swaps that one would think would be direct bolt-ins varing by 1 or 2 years and the connections are completely different sometimes.

    -mike
  • Took our 2002 in for a complete tune-up at 103,000 miles. Replaced belts, spark plugs, oil & filter, flushed the radiator, changed transmission oil and gear oil, air and fuel filters replaced, replaced spark plug wires, replaced water pump and now engine is rough. After two days, engine check light came on and did not have enough power to continue to drive. Had dealer tow and they are not able to diagnose the problem.

    Any ideas?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Well, first off, it is the dealer's problem to fix! But, sounds to me like the timing is off. Maybe multiple problems, like a loose plug wire, to complicate the matter.

    I would request them give me a loaner (no cost to me) until they get it straightened out. That will give them incentive to do it quickly and do it right. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry to hear that. You bring in a perfectly good engine and it comes out worse than before.

    I'm sure they accepted your money, though!

    Call 800-SUBARU3 and express your displeasure. Be polite, but I agree with the suggestion above that you ask for a loaner.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Since you didn't mention them doing the timing belt on it, I would say it's a bad set of wires or plugs or something along those lines causing the issue.

    -mike
  • Thanks for the previous ideas/suggestions/comments.

    The timing belt, fan belt-the complete service for 105,000 miles was completed for $860. Today they replaced the new plugs and wires and a new coil-nothing has changed. No codes showing at this time. They are stumped. It is now able to be driven, but continues to run roughly.

    Galen
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    hmm, then the next step would be to check all the intake piping. Chances are they took it off to do the plugs and wires and didn't replace it properly and you have a vacum leak.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm surprised it's not throwing codes... :confuse:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    If everything is working (sensors, etc), it will not throw a code. I am still leaning toward the timing being off. I was off by a couple teeth the first time I changed the belt on my '96. It ran quite rough, but threw no codes. I did not drive it that way, though. I knew something was amiss and disassembled the whole darn thing again, realigned it, then reassembled. It ran perfectly afterward, but it sure is a pain to redo all that work for a moment of carelessness.
  • The Sub dealer returned our 2002 Friday. They offered no explanation for our problem except that maybe we had a bad tank of gas. Added a second can of Sea Foam and the motor was smooth and worked great for two days, then stumbled/hesitated and threw a code (checked at Advanced Auto and neighbors code reader), which indicates a misfire on cylinder 2, cylinder 3 and cylinder 4.

    So, we are still trying to diagnose the problem.

    Galen
  • Yesterday I contacted 1800Subaru3 and they dispatched a field manager representative today. They pulled the manifolds off and found an internal head gasket leak where the coolant is leaking into the cylinders and causing the plugs to misfire. So they say-and that is what was reported
    back to 1800Subaru by the field manager.

    Note we did have some roughness before any work began and could have been
    the start of the internal gasket leaks?????????

    Both the dealer and 1800Sub indicate the car needs the head gaskets repaired
    and of course on our nickel.

    I did call the local Honda dealer-owned by the same company- and talked to the manager about trading our Forester, as is, on a new Civic or Accord and he is ready to deal. He drove over to the Subaru dealer and looked at our
    Forester. He also recommended that we not open up the motor to repair the head gasket because his experience is that there will be extensive damage and much more than the initial quoted $800 repair. He wants us to visit the
    Honda dealership, chose a car and then work a deal.

    I have a .50 caliber Desert Eagle and I am tempted to go euthanize the damn
    thing!

    Galen
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