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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Very unusual. Were you hearing any noise, such as humming, rattling, etc, prior to the failure?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • leharveyleharvey Posts: 10
    Absolutly nothing. Owned the car since new - cruising on interstate highway at about 70mph. Heard a 'snap' type noise - loss of power. Coasted to a stop and 'check engine' light came on as engine died. Shop that works on the car also said this was very unusual. Anyway, looks like no major damage other than valves - based on this - I would recommend (at the very least) checking the tensioner assembly and attachment bolt when replacing the timing belt.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Would that bolt have been taken out or loosened when the timing belt was changed at 85K?? I wonder if it was overtightened when reinstalled. We would be able to tell how the bolt failed by looking at the pieces.
  • leharveyleharvey Posts: 10
    I looked at the bolt and it appeared to be a 'clean' break.
    No twisting or anything - just appeared to shear off right where it went into the block. Yes, it could have been over tightened or have worked loose and gotten 'stressed'.

    Shop has ordered new valves and parts to re-assemble .. probably looking at 2100 - 2500 in repairs. Machine shop says no damage other than the bent valves.

    Plan to keep the car for a couple more years - with the way I had cared for the car and really liked the handling and all - just a little discouraging to not get more miles before major engine problems.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    As there was no associated noise, I would rule out the possibility of it having worked loose. Also unlikely to be a problem with the bearings on that pulley as a potential source. Possibly over-tightened and led to eventual stress failure, or the bolt had an impurity/irregularity that led to the failure.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • leharveyleharvey Posts: 10
    Update: Well, got the car back this week after repairs.
    Seems to run smooth and power is good.
    Couple of things .. Air bag light is on (was not on prior to repair)-shop was unable to retrieve code and suggested taking it to the dealer (which I will do) - also -cruise control will not set using the 'set' lever on steering column. Wondering if these are related = common connector, etc? Cannot find anything 'loose' under dash.

    Anyone have any ideas? Will be taking it back to the shop for 'head retorque' and valve adjust in 1000M so will have it checked then ...
  • I'm having cold starting issues on my 98 GT wagon. It actually just started happening a few weeks ago. When the car is cold it takes about 6 or 7 cranks (although in one single try or turn-key) for it to start. When the car is warm, it takes about 2 to 3 cranks. I thought it was the battery, but I just got a new one and still no change. I checked the oil levels, everything seems to be normal. Any thoughts? :confuse:
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    My guess would be spark plugs and/or plug wires.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're priming the fuel pump, I suppose?
  • Priming the fuel pump? What's that?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Turn the key to the ON position, listen for the "whirr", and only after that noise try to start it.

    The fuel pump has to build up pressure, that may affect the startup.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    When you get in the car, turn the key to the "on" position and leave it there for 3-5 seconds before attempting to start the engine.

    In my '96, I never did this nor did I ever have a problem with it starting within 2-3 cranks. In fact, I could never hear the quiet "whir" of the pump priming the line.

    In my '07, it makes a difference. If I do not prime the pump, it will still fire off in a crank or two, but it then stumbles for a moment before steadying. When I prime, it starts just as fast with no stumble. I can hear the "whir" on this one as well. It lasts about 2 seconds, so I put the key to "on," put on my seatbelt, then start it.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • yup, I tried that, just wasn't familiar with the 'priming' term. There's no difference. Somebody has suggested that there's some sort of condensation in the fuel tank and when it's cold, it takes a while from the engine to start because of it. The frustrating part about this that it started happening all of a sudden, a few weeks ago, so wouldn't the condensation problem be more gradual? The same rational with plug wires, would it be a gradual decrease in the starting performance? I took my car for a T-belt change, and tech informed me that the plugs are fine, but wires could cause this. So, I'm really perplexed. :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kate had luck with a can of DryGas, FWIW, on her Forester.

    Spark plug wires would be the next thing to try. After that, the ignition coil.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How many tanks of gas have you used since the problem? Could be a bad fuel issue as well.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    after plugs, plug wires and maybe ignition coil, I would investigate the coolant temp sensor, manifold temp sensor and idle air control motor.

    after that, you've covered most of the things that are involved with cold vs. hot start...

  • It's been about 2 gas tanks, and to tell you the truth I at first suspected bad Gasoline, but than I filled the car with another and same thing. I'll try that DryGas and see what happens. Hopefully, it just that condensation...

    Thank you all for these suggestions, I'll let you know of the results.
  • Well, looks like that DryGas liquid did the trick. Now the car is starting the way it used to a few weeks ago. Thank you all for your help!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, glad to hear it.

    Keep in mind I'd swap out the spark plug wires after (at most) 60k miles anyway. They do wear.

    On my Miata I only get 30k miles from a set.
  • susan26susan26 Posts: 1
    I bought an Imprezza Outback 2007 last October. I continued to have problems w/the battery dying. Towed twice. Finally. they replaced the radio and for the last six weeks my subaru is running problem free. The radio was defective and recalled and draining the battery.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Strange...I'll try to remember that one next time someone asks. The OE stereo? Weird.
  • larryinallarryinal Posts: 2
    Had valves replaced in my 99 Forester (SOHC) engine. the posted valve clearances were:

    Intake 0.10 - 0.25
    Exhaust 0.15 - 0.30

    Seems a wide range of values .... anyone noticed this or have you checked (for any reason) the valve settings on this engine in your vehicle? Larry.
  • paco82paco82 Posts: 1
    Is there anyone out there that can walk me through removing the dash kit from a 02 Outback LL Bean to install a stereo??? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Pull up the fake wood trim piece around the shifter area, it's held in by clips.

    Remove the ash tray assembly -- there are a couple screws, one is way in the back. Unplug the light.

    Remove any screws holding the fake wood trim panel. Then you can remove this piece from the dash, giving access to the radio stack.

    Good luck!
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I set the valve lash on my (no longer owned) '99 Impreza 2.5RS which had the SOHC engine as well. It's a pain.

    Basically, you want the lash at the minimum specification to reduce noise. At some point beyond 60k miles (perhaps 100k), a normal car should have it checked and set.

    Are you hearing excessive valvetrain noise, or were you just curious after having the work done?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When craig says "way in the back", he ain't kidding. You need a very long Phillips screw driver with a magnetic head, so you don't lose that bolt.
  • leharveyleharvey Posts: 10
    Colin .. no excessive noise, actually the engine is quieter than before the adjustment. What I am experiencing is hesitation and the engine seems to lack power and 'lag' when accelerating. That's why I was curious about a 'ecu' reset .. the shop says they set the clearance 'loose' after replacing the valves .. the engine had good power at that time and no noticable 'lag'... then after the 1000M reset .. set to a 'tighter' clearance - now the 'lag'.
    I am going to have them 'loosen' the clearance and see if this is the problem. Any other insights are appreciated! Larry.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    What exactly happened to necessitate valve replacement? I think you said before that only the valves were replaced, which if literally true could potentially explain a loss of power.

    A single overhead-cam engine cannot foul the valves on themselves because as the name indicates, only one camshaft drives both intake and exhaust valves. So what did the valves hit? Either water or one or more pistons, which may have-- probably did-- damage the piston tops to some extent, and possibly connecting rods. Low chance of crankshaft damage as it's the strongest component by far, so everything else tends to give. 'Everything else' also includes the camshaft, when valves hit each other or a piston you can flatten a cam lobe or even twist/break the camshaft.

    Sorry to paint a grim portrait, but I just have a very hard time believing that a complete repair could be done only by replacing valves. I hope that's not the case...

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Perhaps, as a result of setting the tighter clearances, one or more valves is not seating fully and is resulting in decreased compression in one or more cylinders. This could certainly result in a noticeable loss of power; especially at low RPMs. :confuse:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    The interior of my car has a strange odor almost like WD40. I do not notice it under the hood,and there are no noticeable leaks on the ground. It has been in the garage where I park it for 3 days and there were was nothing underneath it when I checked. I seem to smell it only inside the vehicle and it is quite strong. Does anyone have any ideas as to what it might be? Thanks.
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