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Old 11-25-2012, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Test Drive of an 08 XT 4EAT Limited w/ 57k miles

My wife and I just got back from a test of the forester. The dealer was offering us a decent price for our Mazda 3 that I have posted for sale here as well. We have always wanted an XT since owning our 07 LL Bean.

It looked well taken care of and appeared to be in great condition for 57k miles. the engine and tranny seemed pretty sound but 1 thing bothered me.

We have driven an 08 LGT before as well as an 2010 FXT. This 08 XT we drove just didn't seem to run as well. Although definitely better pick up and response than the N/A 2.5, you really didn't notice a difference between "OFF BOOST" and over 3k RPM when the turbo should be spooling up. We were underwhelmed with the pull or "surge" of power that I thought you should have.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS, THOUGHTS, OF what this could be.

I know my vehicles and engines, but am somewhat lacking on all the in's and outs of turbo functioning.

The Forester has been at this lot for almost 2 months and the dealer is asking 17977 for it.

I didn't notice any smoke from the exhaust or any abnormal noises coming from the turbo or engine.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The best test for the turbo, as I have heard on here, is to place the gear selector in first, and punch the gas. If you break your neck-the turbo works.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Definitely didn't "break our necks". I am visually impaired so my wife does the driving. This means I wasn't able to get a good look at what the Subaru boost gage was reading. I did put it in 1st and shift it up in to drive through the gates. That was one thing that alerted me that there probably is a problem.

What could be the Problem. I thought I could hear the turbo when I gave a short rev in the lot with the door open.

could it be:
Transmission issue?
Waste gate?
bad compression?
a leak.
I am curious!
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Loscaldazar View Post
The best test for the turbo, as I have heard on here, is to place the gear selector in first, and punch the gas. If you break your neck-the turbo works.
Haha yup. Watch out for redline though, it comes pretty much instantly. It could be that your perception is off. I know my XT seemed lethargic until I learned to drive it and how to roll into boost.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Haha yup. Watch out for redline though, it comes pretty much instantly. It could be that your perception is off. I know my XT seemed lethargic until I learned to drive it and how to roll into boost.
My fxt seemed lethargic too until I learned how to drive it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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+3 Mine was the same way until I filled it up with 93 oct. for first time and added some Seaform. The car ran much better. I'm sure my dealer filled her up with the cheap stuff before I picked it up. If you like the car, I would spend couple hundred and take it to a good shop and have them go through it before purchasing. Cheap peace of mind.


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Old 12-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I just checked Autotrader this morning and they Marked it down another 1000 dollars to 16977. it started at at around 19000. its been on this lot for about 60 days.

Before we left the stealership I told them to give me a call if they wanted to negotiate a lower price from 17977. I also mentioned to the sales manager that I thought there was some issues with it and it seemed down on power. he had no response.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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UPDATE: Test drove a 2011 yesterday. You can distinctly tell the difference when the turbo starts building PSI, even when running it easy. We ran the 08 and like I said it was weak. This proves to me that it had nothing to do with the BS of learning how to drive a turbo. maybe a 600hp turbo car but not a 224hp car.
I would love an explanation on how you "learn to drive a turbo forester". This is the first time I have heard of that.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you think our opinions are BS, make things simpler and don't ask for them. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Glad you liked the 2011. Buy that if you like it better. Having owned an N/A Forester and a turbo Forester, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there is a learning curve to getting the most out of an XT. Drive the XT like the X and you will be unimpressed with the power. I know I was. There's a fine line on hitting boost well. Too low in RPM's and you wait on spool, or too high and you're at a point where the stock turbo is backing off.

The reason I brought that up is because it seemed likely. Maybe there's a boost leak, maybe the turbo is shot. I didn't suspect either of those due to the low mileage and the fact that you said the car seemed to be in good condition. The only way to know for sure is to have an independent mechanic take a look at things.

Good luck with your Forester search and may the boost be with you.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Wessneroo View Post
If you think our opinions are BS, make things simpler and don't ask for them. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Glad you liked the 2011. Buy that if you like it better. Having owned an N/A Forester and a turbo Forester, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there is a learning curve to getting the most out of an XT. Drive the XT like the X and you will be unimpressed with the power. I know I was. There's a fine line on hitting boost well. Too low in RPM's and you wait on spool, or too high and you're at a point where the stock turbo is backing off.

The reason I brought that up is because it seemed likely. Maybe there's a boost leak, maybe the turbo is shot. I didn't suspect either of those due to the low mileage and the fact that you said the car seemed to be in good condition. The only way to know for sure is to have an independent mechanic take a look at things.

Good luck with your Forester search and may the boost be with you.
Wessneroo, I apologize for being rude. Now I see what you mean by learning how to drive it.
I really do value the knowledge of this forum. I am an automotive junky and soak up all the info I can about all brands of cars, Subaru being one of my favorites. This is the best forum I have found as far as content and overall helpfulness of its members. Hopefully one day I can be a better contributor to others.
The funny thing is that 08 XT looked great top to bottom except for the normal wear, but after a dealer deep cleans everything and sprays their armorall over every possible inch of the car, who can really tell how well the prev owner took care of it. I'm just glad I trusted my instincts and didn't buy it before driving another one.
You mentioned a boost leak, That sounds like a good possibility to me.
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