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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,924
    Sorry for the gut shot. Those hurt, but the worst part is just trying to catch your breath afterward....

    Wait a minute.... antifreeze... from your head gasket issue? Ugh... that stuff will foul an oxygen sensor in no time at all. I think replacement of the upstream sensor, and perhaps both, will be very helpful if they were exposed to antifreeze. How is your fuel economy right now? If the oxygen sensors are not providing good feedback, your economy is likely depressed somewhat compared to "the old days."
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I have been averaging 23+ miles per gallon. And that was before I changed the plugs and corrected the timing. I am only at half a tank since the repair. I usually like to go through a couple of fillups to get a mileage reading (for a good statistical sample).
  • hrrsvctnhrrsvctn Posts: 1
    I got a 1996 subaru legacy and its been having trouble starting. Sometimes it wont start on the first try. Now it turns over it just wont start. And when it does start up sometimes the RPMs will drop and it will stall out. We replaced the spark plugs but still have the problem. Also I have drove it for a short distance shut it off and then come back to it 5 minutes later and it wont start. I would wait 5 minutes and then it finally will. Any idea??
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,924
    Try replacing your knock, camshaft, and crankshaft sensors. If you do not want to replace all at once, start with the knock sensor. All are relatively easy to locate, access, and replace. I suspect you will resolve both problems simultaneously.

    I lived with that no-start problem for a few years before it finally disappeared after replacing those sensors due to the rough start & idle problem you described. I think they were somehow related, though I do not fully know. I was, however, thrilled to know I could rely on my car when running errands!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tsxowwnertsxowwner Posts: 38
    My wife and I bought a new 2009 forester and 2009 outback.

    My wife connected her Ipod classic to the Aux and soon thereafter it died. The ipod was pretty old so figured it was time.

    We each bought Ipod shuffles and have used them in each of our subarus on and off for a few months. Both died.

    Has anyone else had an issue with their Ipods?
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    I do know that Ipods usually last about one week past warranty period so it may not be anything to do with the Subaru


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,924
    Except mine... I have had it four years with no problems so far. I doubt it has anything to do with the cars, though. I used my iPod in an '07 and an '08 outback, and had no problems with it as a result.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I got a new O2 sensor. The old one was hard to take out. But when I did get it out, I saw why. The threads were bad, hence, I got not get the new sensor in. I do not know what to do. I am thinking of driving to the auto parts store (minus the sensor) get a tap/thread chaser, cleaning the threads and put the new one in. I just do not know if I can drive with out the sensor and having the upstream hole open. I might connect the old sensor so the computer gets some kind of reading while the car is in operation.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,924
    Ouch. Yeah, I don't know either what will work. I agree that re-threading the hole is the best option, but you might just have to experiment with the transportation to and from. Maybe lube the threads on the old one, wedge it in as well as possible, reconnect and go....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Well I drove to the auto parts store with the sensor connected and hanging in the engine compartment. Picked up the thread chaser and after some elbow grease got it in. Check the codes (P0301, 0031, & 0420). Cleared the codes and now we will see where we stand.

    While I was underneath the car, I realized I need some boots for the tie rods and the curbside half shaft. There was a lot of oil on the bottom of the car. I see a drop or two when I leave for work in the morning. Can I steam clean the engine and look for the sepage?

    Also, do I need that cover on the bottom of the car? During an oil change years ago someone cut a hole in it. Over time it started breaking apart.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    While my '09 Forester XT was on road trip to Washington state, I noted a small vibration in the steering wheel at normal cruising speeds of 70 - 75 mph. Washington roads are better paved than Oregons, and made it easier to sense the vibration.

    My friendly service manager (one of two I know at Hillsboro Subaru, who have been straightforward and honest) discovered all 4 wheels were out of balance, ranging from 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce. The worst tires were on the front.
    He also mentioned other customers from Les Schwab and elsewhere had come in to have tires balanced, and had gone away happy.

    Ironically, I've rarely found a tire shop that can properly balance tires: balancing goes to their lowest paid people who, from personal observations, have their minds on something else. :sick:
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I buy ($100 for a set of four) my tires from a recycling center (junk yard). I have been fortunate in getting tires that are 1-3 years old (DOT date) with excellent tread.

    There is a vibration at highway speeds. I probably need a rotation and balance. This will be done when I get the boots on the tie rod done (this repair is beyond my ability to repair). Got to know you limits.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Well, after 63 miles the CEL came on. It came up with P0301 and 0420. The all famous cylinder 1 misfire and Catalytic efficiency below threshold -bank 1. This time I got Auto Zone to print out the code. I am going to work on the misfire first.

    Probable Causes: Leaking or Blocked Injector, Ignition system malfunction affecting one cylinder, Engine mechanical condition, and Valve adjustment needed.

    I will start by replacing the wires. The wires were replaced at 148,000 miles by a Subaru dealer five (5) years ago. Do wires have a life expectancy? I want to take care of the misfire because it may a contributor to the P0420 code.

    Over the last 2 fill ups, I have been averaging 24.3 miles per gallon.

    Any suggestions or comments anyone?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    As they say, spark or fuel.

    In the order of cheapest fix first:

    For Fuel: Fuel filter, fuel pump.

    For Spark: plugs (done), plug wires, ignition coil.

    That's my experience.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    You could do worse than putting some "Top Engine Cleaner" in the fuel tank. Subaru in Australia do this as part of service at 20,000km intervals and it seemed to make a big difference to injectors without expensive strip down and clean. They would also leave a second bottle in car with instructions to add it at next fuel fill-up.

    Not sure what the US equivalent would be but suspect it is a detergent type additive as it also seemed to decoke and carbon build up. Plugs would be very clean after the two bottles. Incidentally, it's worth using premium unleaded with detergent additive according to Subaru.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealers use a similar product here, is it B&G? I forget.

    You can buy that from a dealership, though. Quality Subaru sent me some in a tune-up kit.

    Or your average parts store will have Techron.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Advanced Auto recommended this one product that I would put in the oil pan, gas tank, and suck some up in the vaccum system. But I would have to change the oil within a couple of hundred miles.

    I opted for their second choice (Lucas). I am making a trip over the weekend and did not want to try something while I was on the road.

    Also, I eliminated the spark wires. I swapped the wires with cylinder 3 (both ends) and still got a misfire on cylinder 1. At idle it feels like it is missing. I am getting close to taking it to the dealer. Maybe their computer can give me more details than the Actron scanner (which I am thinking about buying).

    Keep those suggestions coming.
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    Some auto people around here seem to like a product that I think is called "Sea Foam". Not sure but I think it is added to the crankcase. There is one old product, I think from the mid thirties, called Marvel Mystery Oil. It's in a red container. Wal mart and many chain stores have it. When the Pipeliners went through here building pipelines they used it by the case and added it to anything with a piston. I mean they used lot's of it. A friend of mine was a mechanical engineer and kept a can handy in his truck.. A fellow used to keep an old clunker near the airport and when he came up to ski he would fire it up to get to the ski hill. After one unusually severe cold spell he got it started but shut it off cause it vibrated and sounded like the rods were going to go through the sides. My friend added a container of the "Mystery oil" and it settled right down. It can be added to the gas to clear injectors too I think. I use it a couple of times a year when the seasons change. We only have winter and less winter here almost.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Marvel Mystery Oil was analyzed by one of Exxon's chemists. Description follows:

    "MMO contains mineral spirits, 30 wt baseoil, red dye and wintergreen fragrance."

    you can read more about other kinds of oils, additives, and Ed Kollin, the chemist, here: es_196730-1.html

    ( this was also discussed in the oil additive topic forum at Edmunds )
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    Good article. At least he felt Marvel may do some good for lifters. Didn't seem he had anything positive about the other two. I liked what he said about synthetic oil.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    wintergreen fragrance

  • logtraillogtrail Posts: 74
    How do I remove the glovebox so that I can replace the cabin filter on my 2006
    Forester. The manual says to remove 9 screws. I removed 7 (3 on top, 2 middle,
    and 2 bottom (not the two holding the 2 sections of the glove box together which did not make any difference.)

    However, while the left side of the glove box is free, the right side is not free.
    What step am I missing and where are the 2 other screws that the manual says must be removed?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may want to search for "Scoobymods Forester air filter" or something like that. I bet they have instructions.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    I did the same thing you described to my wife's 07 Forester. When I reached the point at which I didn't want to break her car, I told her about it and she provided more muscle and off it came.

    This is the first time I'm admitting this - please keep it to yourself. Thanks.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    I originally had a Subaru I loved when I bought it last June. However, I have been trying to deal with Subaru of America for over 2 months now to try to get my serious lemon 09 Forester swapped out for a new car. (The lawyers said it might be easier to do this amicably, ha Subaru of America does not know that term!!)

    This car has made me sick for months due to chemicals that have come into the cabin. Chemicals are related to the heater box running. The chemicals that I have been breathing are in part (as I don't have enough information to determine ALL of the chemicals) coolant, refrigerant, and some lanolin blend oil, none of which should be breathed in per the MSDS sheets. My Dr. even wrote a letter to them. They obviously DON'T CARE that their customers are getting sick in their cars.

    This car is a major defect that they are willing to take back only as a "trade assist", which means I would still have to pay thousands and thousands for another new like car. I could not see out of the windshield to drive with this car and they do not consider that a "substantial defect".

    SUBARU is not customer conscious.

    I have been dealing with this guy Rick at Subaru of America. Obviously he is a lawyer, and my lawyer said it would be fine to deal with him. WRONG. This guy was just trolling me out without offering anything.

    Originally, in our first conversation, he LIED to me. Now 2 months later, I still have my lemon and nothing is happening. I talked to a friend who happen to have 2 Avalanches go bad on him. It was not problem to get the vehicle swapped out. It is sickening that, despite STILL being sick from the chemicals in the FORESTER, I have to FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL with Subaru when the avalanche people made things easy. On to my next step...gotta get rid of this death trap.

    Ie If you get a lemon, you will be screwed with this company!!!! They do not care about their customers.

    Has anyone had to deal with Subaru on a lemon before?

    Time to start a media blitz. The internet listens. Then on to the next action step...
  • logtraillogtrail Posts: 74

    Do you mean that after the screws (7 or 9) are out you just pry/manage the right side of the glove box and plastic that wraps around the bottom right?

    Went to my Subaru dealer today and after noticing the sign "$99 for a cabin filter change" asked the service mgr about my problem. He came out to the car and said that he didn't really know but thought that maybe there were clips holding the plastic part and it could be forced out.
    I'm unwilling to do this since my wife, who dearly loves this car, would never let me forget it if I bent or broke some of the interior!!

    And re: scooby... there are no instructions for a 2006 forester.
  • smudgejetsmudgejet Posts: 11
    My heart goes out to you. You must have one of the multiple allergy conditions. I have a friend who is basically allergic to everything. She will never be able to get into a new car, (or new house, or place of work), due to allergies to outgassing products, perfumes, etc.

    I've got a 2009 Forester and have been subject to the same chemicals. Fortunately to me, they are just the "new car" smell.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399

    I wish I'd paid more attention to exactly what she did. I was not expecting her to remove the glove box after I took out the 7 screws. I couldn't get the darn thing off and assumed that she wouldn't either. So I wasn't watching as closely as I should have. The whole glove box came off. I asked her about it just now and she said she just pulled it straight back "firmly but gently". I suspect next time I'll remove the screws and ask her to show me her technique. Maybe this needs a woman's touch. Once off, the filter is easy and the glove box is easy to put back - but taking it off is not intuitive. That filter gets filthy quickly too.

    The toughest part is asking your wife to help with a car repair - its like admitting defeat.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323

    I'm sorry for your friend, however, I have NO allergies. I am, or was, a healthy person. I have never had a problem with any new car I have ridden in. In fact, I had this car from the end of June through October with no issues. So, this problem, has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the design of the car, or failure thereof.

    Running the heater was the start of all the problems. And as people on here did not post back that they were having the same window film problems, I still believe it is something that is fairly singular to my car. Or, those cars which may have the ehater box manufactured at the same place/time. Or, those with what SOA originally called, the "Impreza 08 heater boxes".

    Why Subaru is dragging their heals with this Sick Forester is beyond me. I have been very patient as this problem started way back at the beginning of November.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    PS SOA if you are out there listening, why don't you just be a decent company do the right thing.

    Think "Customer Service"!
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