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1999 Forester


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4 replies to this topic

#1 JMichaels

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 02:49 PM

My wife has a 1999 Forester with high mileage (100,000 -- mostly highway miles). A few months ago, she noticed she was losing oil at about a quart a week, but no oil on the driveway, even when the engine was idling. No smoke, either. She took it to dealer who replaced valve cover gasket. Now she still has oil loss, but also has some white smoke and a "burning smell" from the engine compartment. Engine also runs rough. I suggested she obtain a full engine diagnosis from dealer, which she went to do, but they did not seem to run any tests. It seems they just looked at it. They said tearing the engine down to find the problem would be as expensive as installing a used engine.

As some one who worked on my own cars about 20 years ago, it seems to me they shoukd have run some basic tests, like a compresion test and oil pressure test, to try to pinpont the problem. I also understand that today's cars are highly computerized and that it should be fairly stratightforward to diagnose the problem precisely. Am I wrong? Please advise. Sounds to me like the dealer's mechanic may be incompetent. Thanks.

JMichaels
Tampa, Florida

#2 theotherskip

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 03:14 PM

dealers vary widely. many don't spend too much time at diagnostics, choosing to just throw parts at problems. when you bring them a problem like this, they often don't have good expertise to do a through diagnosis of the problem.

your best bet would probably be to take it to an independent mechanic. he can do additional tests like a leak down and compression test to help track down where the oil is going and help the engine run smoother. ask around - there may be an independent mechanic who specalizes in subarus in your area...

#3 Dinero

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 08:16 PM

It is just a guess, but I would suspect a possible blown head gasket. Look in the radiator overflow tank for oil or sludge. The white smoke could be the coolant leaking into the cylinder. Please write a follow-up when they find the problem. BTW, I own a 99 Forester as well.

#4 WagonsOnly

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 09:06 PM

The '99 Forester has the SOHC 2.5. I thought that there weren't any known head gasket issues with that engine? At least I don't recall any on this board. (I've also got a '99 L MT.)

#5 cookie

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 12:39 AM

but mine was an external leak and all the ones I have heard of have been external.
The earlier ones were internal, but nothing says that if you ran it long enough it would not blow internally.
I would want this engine thouroughly tested before tearing it down.
Emily, have you guys heard of one like this on a 99?
I once bought a VW van with crossed plug wires from a dealer who was like this.
They heard it run and said burnt valve with no furthur testing.




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