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Recurring problem with 04 Forester-- turbocharger failing?

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Hello, friends. I desperately need any available insight into a 1.5-year-long recurring problem with my 04 forester with turbo.


The check engine light comes on along with the flashing cruise control light, and if you drive long enough after that, there comes a very loud, echo-y, ominous "whoooooooooooo" sound that both ascends and descends, and the vehicle struggles to accelerate, most notably when traveling above 40mph.


This has happened about four times over the past year and a half. The first two times, it went to Shop A where fluids were replaced and the vehicle ran fine after that.


The third time, it went to Shop B, and they changed the oil and replaced the solenoid valve (which was identified as the root of the problem). The fourth time, it went back to Shop B and they diagnosed the same exact symptoms as being unrelated to the valve, but being the result of a failing turbocharger.


Has anyone had an experience like this with a forester or with any subaru with turbocharger? Shop B has been really inconsistent and suggested that the turbocharger couldn't possibly have been failing over a year and a half, but these symptoms, to a T, have been recurring over that span of time. 


I bought the vehicle from friends and have their entire folder of vehicle maintenance, and there isn't really any problem of substance therein. Just routine maintenance.


Thank you so much to anyone able to shed light on this problem. I'm very concerned that I'll have to buy a new vehicle.

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If the XT is over 125K miles and turbo is original, very good chance the turbo is failing....be aware that when it fails it can put stuff in the engine that isn't 'sposed to be there.


And I can't stress enough that you search for a competent Subaru mechanic.




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thanks, will do-- getting a second opinion on the vehicle tomorrow and can secure the codes.



Have it diagnosed by Subaru.


Whatever is wrong, they'll find it. Since car is out of warranty, I'd be paranoid with saying key words like "turbo" as that's an expensive repair to pay someone else to do, and they might go overboard and not care it'll cost more to replace an entire area vs. repairing a small defect.


So you'd be vague and just explain what it did while you were driving, how you ignored a warning something was wrong, etc. not what another shop said as they obviously didn't fix it and were guessing (don't go back to them).

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