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Subaru Forester Engine problems



  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    Oil and coolant whipped up together can be whitish.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What is the texture like? Oily? Watery?

    I wonder if it's just water from the condenstation of the A/C system. Not sure where it picked up the whitish color, though.
  • I have been experiencing multitude problems with my 04 forester, 70,000 miles...need struts, had hesitation at start, skipping, cel on..and have in the last months replaced spark plugs, fuel injectors, ignition coil, and now they say I have to replace the head gasket. Is this normal??? Is anyone else having these problems??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Head gaskets were common up until 2002, but not for 2004 models. That's strange.
  • I don't know about head gaskets being "common." I sold my 2001 S Forester to CARMAX last week. I never had a head gasket go in 130,000 mis. I just bought an '08 xt Limited and am thrilled so far. Just bad luck I guess in your case.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Among the complaints, head gasket was listed about as often as any other issue, is what I meant.

    Consumer Reports still recommends every single model year Forester, since it arrived here. So reliability is still good.

    #1 complaint was probably wheel bearings, actually. I'd say head gaskets were #2.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Although resources like Edmunds are invaluable in helping owners and potential buyers ask questions and get answers, they do tend to distort the number and magnitude of problems. I've seen where someone said they were considering getting a Forester but that after reading about all the problems, they were having second thoughts.

    What they failed to realize is that there are a number of factors that contributed to giving them the false impression that the Forester isn’t reliable.

    Take this topic for instance, it's almost 2 years old and has 140 posts while other Forester topics have had hundreds and even thousands of posts during the same time span. And of those 140 posts, you can figure that well more than half are responding to someone asking a question, so the actual number of head gasket complaints is pretty small.

    And then as Comendatore pointed out, it’s only natural that just the owners who have problems are going to post in a head gasket topic, there's no representation for all the owners who haven't had any problems. So say 20 owners had head gasket issues, there’s no doubt hundreds of others who haven’t had a problem.

    Also, the Subaru forum is one of the most active ones on Edmunds with plenty of owners ready to offer advice or opinions which ups the number of posts in the problem topics. This leads to more total posts which can give the impression that there are more problems than there actually are.

    For comparison purposes, The Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee forum has a total of 12,500 posts while the Subaru Forester has 28,200! Now obviously the Cherokee and GC are way more popular vehicles which also happen to have far worse reliability so clearly all forums aren’t equally active. In fact a while back, I tried to get input to a transmission problem with a Grand Cherokee. Not too surprisingly, I didn't get a single response to my question.

    All this isn’t to say I’m trying to diminish the problem with the head gaskets. We all want to drive the perfect vehicle and get understandably upset when a supposedly reliable one like the Forester has a problem. But at the same time, it helps to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

  • My new 08 Subaru Forester LT Limited is making weird engine noise.
    When I go up hill, I hear loud knocking sounds from the engine (and yes it is getting louder)
    I went to the dealer 3 times (3 different dealers). When I take them for test drive, they all say 'oh! I hear it and it is weird' but later thay all say it is normal. And the cause of the knocking noise could be bad california gas (I always put premium :mad: ).
    I feel like since they cannot fix the problem, they are saying it is normal.
    Does anyone have same problem as me?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I feel like since they cannot fix the problem, they are saying it is normal.

    That is typical.

    How long has the car done this? There are a few things you can do to try and mitigate the problem, though. If you are hearing the sound just when going up hill (i.e., the engine is under load), then it could involve the fuel system, timing, injectors. It might even involve the transmission; if it is not downshifting properly then it might cause the engine to "bog down." Try adding a bottle of Heet to the fuel to make sure there is no water in the tank. Put a good fuel system cleaner in there as well, just to make sure there is nothing partially clogged. Granted, it is an '08 (i.e., basically new), but who knows at this point. At least you can reduce the possibility that the fuel is the culprit. Even premium can be "bad" if it is contaminated!

    It is not normal and should be addressed.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I had the same problem. Two weeks ago the pulley went and cause the timing belt to jump. Repair ran $775.00 on my 2000 Forester. But the engine misses now and the dealer (who I am not happy with) said I have valve damage but did not say which ones. I wonder did he put the belt on correctly. The engine had 254,000 on it. :( :(
  • You car has some miles on it...mine has 120k and needs a good bounces when shifting from 2nd to 3rd (AT) it from a dealer a few months back..probably will have to change the transmission fluid (its brown according to mechanic who chekd it) and the timing u know how much they charge for changing the cv axle (left) - they put a remanufactured one and charged me 317 USD for it...felt kind of a lot...
    does anyone know which transmission fluid and brake oil forester 01 uses? does walmart sell it? or autoparts a better place to get such things...

    have a grt drive..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, you're now a member of the 1/4 million mile club.

    Do a compression test to see if the valves really are bad. I don't think that's very expensive.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Part for my Forester are from the dealer or OEM of the internet. Walmart should have fluids, but I am partial to Pep Boys.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I sent you post before I read your reply (my bad). How do I do the compression test? On my 85 Laser it was easy, the spark plugs stared me in the face when I opened the hood. These puppies are on the side and there is no clearance that I can see. Suggestions are certainly welcomed and encouraged
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point, access is very tight. You'll skin a couple of knuckles just to remove the spark plugs.

    These guys specialize in wrecked Subies, FWIW.
  • sam92sam92 Posts: 3
    I just bought a new Forester 2007 2.5 xt limited with turbo engine. It is the last one in the dealer. I found that there are black dust in the exhaust pipes, not as clean as my 2005 toyota matrix.

    Is it normal? How could I fix it?

  • sam92sam92 Posts: 3
    I just bought a new Forester 2007 2.5 xt limited with turbo engine. It is the last one in the dealer. I found that there is black dust in the exhaust pipe, not as clean as my 2005 toyota matrix.

    Is it normal? How could I fix it?

  • Don't worry about it. The new car has not been driven much, idled a lot, test driven around the block, etc. Probably never been warmed up enough for the ECU to get into the closed loop mode and give the engine the lean running mixture.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I bought an engine from F&S, very very bad service. When I went to pick it up they gave me a runaround and had to make a copy of my lisc. for them at the local staples store.

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    F&S only listed one 2000 Forester engine for $2,000. I sent them an email request anyway, maybe the have something cheaper.

    Someone replied that the valves hit each other rather than contacting the piston. It might be just one side I am dealing with. Hope springs eternal.
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