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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yep, I too think it's just an update to the ECM, though we haven't really gotten an official statement. My mileage in 2 tanks since the update hasn't changed. Which is good, since I thought our OB has been running quite well before the update. I'm averaging about 22mpg on mostly city mileage, with highway trips coming in at 26 or so. That remains consistent after the update, at least in my case.

    Wonder if they didn't gap the plugs right, or perhaps used the wrong plugs? I don't believe that pulling the negative battery cable is necessary for a spark plug change. But, that's IMHO.

    You could reset the ECM yourself. I believe you let the vehicle cool completely, pull the negative cable for 30 minutes, reconnect and idle the vehicle until warmed up. Or something to that note.

    -Brian
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    Patti--thanks for the brake info. Hope you have a great vacation!

    teetime2--our 99 Forester has always gotten great mileage on hwy runs--28 to 29 mpg, but the mileage around town has always been a little less
    than the EPA says at 17-20 mpg. I think a lot depends on your driving habits. The Forester is fun to hot-rod around town when the opportunities permit, and this is going to lower mileage substantially if (like me) you are prone to bursts of quick acceleration. Also, the amount of time warming the car up and the amount of time you spend at red lights (obviously) makes a difference. And there's a slight chance you are getting watered down gas at the place where you are filling up. You might try filling up at a new BP-Amoco station (which I feel is very trustworthy for quality of their product) and see if this makes a difference. if not, then at least you've eliminated that possibility.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    watered-down gas?

    means what please?
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I actually purchased the extended warranty for 100k, better check if the clutch is in it
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    either unintentionally, or through some skullduggery on the part of the gas-station owner (to increase profits at the expense of the customer), the gas is contaminated with extra H20. Some older stations with old, corroded gas tanks can easily have gas quality compromised with moisture condensation and/or other crud mixed in that goes into your tank. This is why I think it's important to buy gas from a newer station (ie. with new, clean storage tanks) and one that has a trusted reputation (Amoco, Phillips, Exxon, etc.). "Bad" gas is probably more common than most of us realize and can cause everything from poor gas mileage, clogged fuel filters, and engine misfires.
  • teetime2teetime2 Posts: 2
    joe sin: I don't get the rotten egg smell - thank goodness! That would really upset me! Fortunately, everything else works fine.

    rexaroo: I do mostly town driving, and do sometimes accelerate too fast from the stop light. And I'm buying my gas most of the time from Chevron, which is supposed to be reputable. But I might try another brand and see if that helps.

    The explanation I got from the Subaru website was that the EPA numbers on the sticker are purely estimates (duh!), and shouldn't be taken at face value, and what you get is what you get! In other words, not a lot of help.
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    15 mpg is definitely on the low end of the scale. Have you gone on a long highway trip and checked your mileage?? I'd be curious to see what that was. Even driving around town, it shouldn't be much less than 18mph or so.

    Jon
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    I don't know why the alternator was causing this. However, when my cars did it (in the 80s)...it wouldn't even crank. I would turn the key and nothing would happen (car did have power though). After sitting for a few hours and cooling off, car would start again. After they replaced the alternator, problem went away.

    Jon
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    Dennis,
    Just curious as to what Flemington gave you as a loaner. When I took my OB in for 30k service to Somerset, they gave me a 91 Legacy L with 140K miles as the loaner.

    Jon
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Just filled up today and got a womping 24 mpg on my lead footed 80% city driving mileage. That's actually higher than normal for my typical city driving (usally get 22mpg). So, again, I have to say that the ECM update hasn't changed things, at least not for the bad.

    Did notice a couple *cough* pings *cough* during some driving the other day. The ping was not persistent, only pinged maybe a couple pings (ping ping ping) during an accelerator angle change (read that as accelerating in a corner). Couldn't get it to do it again at that time, but heard it on another day in probably a similar situation. Threw a bottle of Techron in just for giggles.

    Other than that, the engine seems to be itself still. Loves to rev to 5-6k just fine when prompted.

    -Brian
  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    The idea of bad gas is nice, but it doesn't gel in the long run. If you buy your gas at the same place every time you get fuel, it might make sense. If you had trouble with the car for 1 tank of gas, it might make sense. It doesn't make sense to blame 15 mpg on an enivironmental factor after 8 months of driving. Who buys gas at the same place every time? Are all the gas stations where you live old and contaminated, or nefariously adding water? I've been back and forth with the nice folks at the EPA about my own situation, and I'm pretty convinced that whatever might be wrong with the car, it's not the gas.

    The sticker on the car gives a broad range of EPA mpg numbers, of which the 22/27 number is just an average. Even so, 15 mpg is out of range. I had a Subaru customer service rep tell me flat out on the phone that such poor mileage indicated a problem with the car.

    The reps I was chatting with the other day started laughing when I repeated one dealer's advice that it would take 15K miles for my car to break in. I'm 1500 away from 10K miles now. If my mileage suddenly jumps, I'll eat crow and be glad to do it. By the way, the same dealer told me I should avoid Amoco, Mobil, and BP fuel. Since Exxon and Mobil are the same, I guess I can't use that either. Pretty soon, I'll have to start drilling and make it myself.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    the engine would run like hell with water in the gas--it would be barely driveable.

    I thought maybe you meant by "watered down" the idea of selling 87 gas as if it were 91.
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    Avoid Amoco? C'mon, they really told you that? I'd find another dealer if that's the case. It's the highest rated gasoline of the buying public, and my two Subies have always run like Swiss watches on it. The one time I had an engine misfire was when I tried a tank of a local brand. I think the high standards Amoco requires its station owners to uphold is probably the best reason to use it, along with the quality of their products. If you'll recall, I said there was a "slight chance" of contaminated gas--that it was something to rule out if you are getting poor mileage. Of course, it could be an engine problem too, but if the dealer says no, you have to look at other factors.

    Two other things to consider for poor mpg are chronically under-inflated or leaky tires, and again, the "slight" chance that gas is being siphoned off--not likely, but if you live in the inner city or park on the street overnight, it's cheap insurance to get a locking gas cap for the Forester.

    Regarding the engine break-in, it should be virtually complete after no more than 3000 mi. The close tolerances they build engines to these days means the days of the 10,000 mi. break-in are long gone. I've even heard estimates that most of the break-in occurs within the first 300 mi. after you drive off the lot, so I'd agree your problem is not due to lack of break-in time.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    In addition to underinflated tires, poor wheel alignment on all four wheels can hurt mileage as well. People generally underestimated the effect of inflation pressures and alignment on fuel mileage, but it can be considerable.

    Let me think here of significant factors that hurt fuel mileage:

    1. Underinflated tires
    2. Poor wheel alignment
    3. Frequent use of A/C (a gas gobbler especially in city driving)
    4. Improper shifting (lugging the engine in a higher than needed gear)
    5. Trying to estimate fuel mileage over too short a period of time. If you miscalculate a fill-up of 15 gallons by just one gallon, that's like a 7 or 8% error right there.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    Clutch release
    Clutch fork boot and return spring
    Clutch cable
    Clutch operating
    cyllnder
    Clutch hydraulic line
    and gasket
    Clutch master cyllnder
    and connecting link
    clutch master Cylinder piston and
    piston seal
    clutch
    master cylinder push rod
    Clutch damper assembly and bracket
    Clutch pedal, washerand bushing
    Clutch pedal lever and
    return spring differential
    dip stick

    so a lot of stuff except "wear" parts
  • I just took a 600 mile trip. Average MPG was about 28 mpg, city and highway. The best mileage on the trip was 30.3 MPG (almost exclusively highway @ 65 mph on cruise control). There was a city and highway combined segment that was 25+ MPG. And there was a pure highway segment that clocked out at 26+ mpg, driving @ 75 mph on cruise control. The air conditioner was on constantly. Gas octane varied between 86 to 88 (I get 87 where available: here in NM some places only have 86 as the "regular unleaded" octane). Tire inflated to about 31 psi cold. Ambient temperatures during driving hours were between 90 and 98 degrees F. No wind to speak of. Altitude was between 3500 and 5000 feet above sea-level. The terrain was hilly many portions of the highway segments. I have a rather light foot on acceleration; my wife, who drove about a third of the time, has a heavy foot.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    a/c on the highway isn't so bad because with the windows closed you can sometimes cut aero drag quite a bit if you are in the 75 mph range.

    Thanks for the input. That should give him a benchmark of sorts. 31 psi sounds about right and your numbers sound very plausible.
  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    Third tank of gas since SoA's last repair attempt. 100 miles on the highway with no A/C. 50 miles city driving with no A/C. 70 miles city driving with the A/C. 19.5 miles per gallon. Total average over three tanks of gas, 20.3. And for the other two tanks, I didn't use the A/C at all.

    I used to get 24+ as an average with my 2001 Forester.
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    if your results are within normal limits is to take the car 100% on the highway at the same speeds as goldencouple1 did theirs (with tires inflated to 31psi) and compare what mpg you get. Mixing city and highway driving isn't going to work because there are too many variables at work: how many stop lights did you hit and how much time did you spend idling? How fast did you take off from stop lights-- all these things are going to cause your mileage to vary. A 100% highway run at a steady speed and then fill up the tank is the only way you will know for sure, IMHO.
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    All of us get gas that's a little water-contaminated in the winter-time whenever our gas tanks are almost empty. Moisture condenses on the inside of the tank and settles into the gas, which is why it's good to keep your tank full in cold weather.
    Also, say a gas-station owner taking on a shipment of 5000 gallons adds only 3% water (150 gallons) to the supply. I seriously doubt his customers filling their tanks there would notice any difference in terms of driveability, but if they stopped to figure their mileage, they would probably notice a slight decrease in mpg. I'm not saying this happens very often and stations do under-go periodic inspection, but it has been known to happen in the past.
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