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Just got this one.   newest subaru I've ever owned :)   2.5x, automatic transmission (not my favorite, but it'll get me around)

Mostly, it's a 18 year old subaru, so it doesn't look great (photo looks way better than reality unfortunately) and it runs through snow great, which is what I got it for.  Needs new snow tires for sure... the fronts are almost bald, and it was still going through the snow fairly well, but would not steer well...  Getting a set of Sumitomo ice edges studded up next week.  206k miles.  Previous owner said the head gaskets were done about 3 years ago.

Biggest issues so far is the horrible smell -- previous owner was a cigarette smoker, so I need to shampoo the interior, then do an ozone treatment on it, to see if I can get the stench to go away.   

But next two issues are no lights on the dashboard at night, and drivers side window does not go up or down.   I cannot find any blown fuses, so am wondering what to check next for the lights.  All the other lights that I can see work, but none of the dash lights -- gauges, hvac controls, etc.  It has an aftermarket radio, so maybe someone did something when installing that? 

For the window regulator, how hard is it to just replace that?  if it's that, and not just a switch issue.

Thanks

Zeke

subaruforester.JPG

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Stereo is possible culprit for dash - who knows what funky wiring is going on.

Power the window and see if it moves.  Need to find out if it’s the switch or motor. You can access the window motor wiring at the plug between the door and body frame, pull the rubber bolt and plug out there and give it power.  Need the wiring diagram.

For that matter just follow the FSM trouble shooting for a nonworking window. FSMs are widely available free online. It would also have the replacement instructions if needed  

I hate replacing Subaru window motors, used doors are so cheap ive found a color matched door and swapped it instead multiple times. Lol.

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The window is the motor. They all do that. It will be rusted solid inside. If you have the right tools you can do it in about 20 minutes. But book time is like 2.8 hours or something silly. Can be done by brail with a LONG 90 degree #3 Philips bit driver. But per Subaru you have to pull the regulator. Don't bother with used or aftermarket - they ALL fail like that. I have done dozens and dozens of Forester window motors. They are $225 from Subaru.

Cluster illumination - you turned up the dimmer right? 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder
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Ah.... This was a Vermont car for a while before it came to Colorado, so yes, way way rustier than I'm used to seeing.  Though not nearly as bad as on some Pittsburgh ones I've seen.

Dimmer doesn't have any effect on the dash lights... thought of that too.

Just had a shop take a look at it to see what else wrong there might be (mostly to check for stuff that's easier on the lift like cv's and tie rods and balljoints and whatnot), and they say the oil leak is coming from the head gasket, not just valve covers.... either the previous owner was lying, or wherever did the head gasket job did a crappy job of it.   Still runs fine and no overheating evidence yet... but that sucks.

Edited by zyewdall

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Typical. You have to resurface the heads, clean the block surfaces really well, and use the 770 or 642 gaskets or the HG's will leak about 25k miles after replacement. It's not a matter of if they will leak, but when and how many times they need to be redone till someone does it the right way with 770's. 

GD

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I hope you meant ozium and not ozone. 
 

VT car ? Semi- Trashed - sorry to be negative but what you mention about Pittsburgh cars you should multiply that for VT. 
Plenty of friend in VT and when they come down here they have rust on 5 year old cars. 
 

I completely understand about making the most of what you’ve got. I live and will likely die by being a user of aged Subarus. And I live in New England. So these type of vehicles have come and gone. Use it and dispose of it before dumping tons of money into it , because there’s always more coming down the pike.

Best of luck with it. 

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2 hours ago, GeneralDisorder said:

Typical. You have to resurface the heads, clean the block surfaces really well, and use the 770 or 642 gaskets or the HG's will leak about 25k miles after replacement. It's not a matter of if they will leak, but when and how many times they need to be redone till someone does it the right way with 770's. 

GD

What manufacturer would I look for?  I don't see any part numbers with 770 or 642 in them.  Looking at Fel-Pro and a number of other brands that claim multilayer steel gasket.  But I've only ever done head gaskets on an EA82 before, a long time ago....

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13 hours ago, moosens said:

I hope you meant ozium and not ozone. 
 

He means ozone - that's exactly the ticket for what he needs. 

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15 hours ago, zyewdall said:

Ah.... This was a Vermont car for a while before it came to Colorado, so yes, way way rustier than I'm used to seeing.

I'd try to move along from that car as quickly as possible and not put much effort into it.  Or carefully inspect it - post pictures underneath for us to guage how bad it is.  I buy my cars from out west and south just to save asinine hours of dealing with sheared bolts, rusty parts, and more work.   In the past few years my daily drivers have come from Florida, Georgia, California, Texas, and Florida again.  I rarely have to use my torch any more and I haven't drilled out a bolt in years  - it's glorious!

The oil leaking headgaskets can drive a long time and slowly get worse.  When the factory original gasket leaks oil they almost never overheat - they're just going to keep leaking more and more oil over time.  Since yours has been replaced, that increases the odds of an overheating event, but usually it's just oil and maybe there's a chance it was never replaced to begin with.  It's not hard for "valve cover" to upgrade to "headgasket" through 3rd party, circumstantial, buyer/seller conversations by the time a car is sold.

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I'm thinking the combination switch may be bad and that may be the issue with the lights.  I don't have running lights either (but I do through the switch on the top of the steering wheel, just not when I turn the headlights on with that switch).  Hmmmm.

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the window is definitely  going to be the motor. 03 and up started using cheap motors (among tons of other cheap parts)...they fail all the time. I think you are better off to use the motor portion of a 99-02 forester they will last the life of the car. 

 

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Well.    Head gaskets went today.  It did awesome in the 3 feet of snow we had last weekend, was the only thing I could get out for a while (not through the whole three feet, but even plowed roads were slick and nasty and covered with crap).   But now.... all of a sudden the oil is two quarts low, and the antifreeze looks like shaving cream.  Ugh.   Didn't overheat above 2/3 on the gauge though, so maybe still fixeable.   It was a fun car while it lasted :(

Still got my 99 outback though.

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Posted (edited)

If they’re done right it’s probably okay.

If you have time and $ keep an eye out for the same generation lightly wrecked Forester for sale and swap parts.

I’ll repeat my previous reply. With all that rust it’ll always be high potential for issues. I’d move on. but I get it sometimes you have to make work what you got. I’d just try real hard to get away from that mentality if you can 

Edited by idosubaru

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