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Old 07-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Turbo reliability?

I'm looking to replace my 2003 Forester 2.5 XS. It's had a lot of reliability problems but that could just this one car or model year, since in general Subaru's are supposed to pretty reliable. When it runs I've liked it - good handling and visibility, good for skiing and hiking trips, and trips to Home Depot or the beach, great for winter driving, lots of cargo room for a car that's also small enough to parallel park in tight city streets.

But one complaint I've had since I bought it has been tepid acceleration. I feel like dropping it into 3rd whenever I accelerate onto the highway or to pass. And I know it's not just my Forester because whenever I take my car in for service the dealer's loaner Foresters are just as bad and I've seen lots of complaints on the web, too.

One solution would be to get an Outback or Rav4 with 6 cylinders. But another would be a Forester Turbo. But I've seen scary comments about the Turbo - early self-destruction; expensive repairs, and the need to baby it - people on this forum have suggested oil changes every 3K miles, for example, which seems crazy to me.

Comments?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most would say the Turbo's are more reliable than the non turbo's, as long as they have been maintained. Quality synthetic oil and a regular oil change interval, and there really isn't much that breaks....The turbo can go bad on some (almost always 100,000+ miles), and is relatively simple to replace your self if it does go bad. With Quality syntehtic oil, oil filter, and using only 91+ octane (93 is the best if you can find it), can't see any problems.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^^What he said. No need to baby it either.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Depending on year, you should be aware of this problem.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...3-p2441-63347/
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plnelson View Post
- people on this forum have suggested oil changes every 3K miles, for example, which seems crazy to me.
Oil changes every 3K miles is crazy?
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I change my oil every 5k miles. 170k+ on the clock, no issues...
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I read HERE and HERE that Subaru recommends interval @ 3750 miles on oil changes on the turbo cars for 'normal' driving and 7500 for 'light' driving.


<and now for the sales pitch>
For replacements, go drive the '06-'12 RAV4 V6 - my wife's ride ('07) - and I think you'll be in for a treat. 0-60 in under 7 seconds, 28+ MPG Hwy (<70MPH), and more interior room than the my '04 XT. Highly rated by CR, too. Ours has been uber-reliable and other than 2 issues - one is the 'infamous' throttle/carpet/'driver' recall; the other a noise in the steering column that was a TSB- it's only been in for regular maintenance.

I love my boosted XT, but the RAV4 is a nice compromise when I get to drive it on road trips, and has been cheap to keep (timing chain - no Tbelt either).

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I haven't had any problems w/ my Turbo, but I did experience the 2 codes mentioned Secodary Air Valves P2443 and P2441 and I had it fixed and have had no other problems. I even ordered a new 2013 XT Touring and should be getting it late next month.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default You have to be mindful of turbos

I like both but if I had to choose I would choose the 6 cylinder. Sure the turbo has great acceleration but only above a certain rpm. The six has smoother acceleration from idle to cruise. A six is as simple as an engine can be. I know turbos are technology that has been around for 100 years and recently has been perfected but one has to been mindful of a turbo, not suddenly turning it off, idling it for at least one minute before starting off, and changing the oil religiously. They are both good. It depends on your mindset.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Turbos can go for a while. My last car was a VW Passat TDI and had 241k miles when I sold it, on the original working turbo. Now, that is not Subaru, but I would assume that with proper maintenance Subaru turbos should go just as long, within reason.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I guess I'm polar opposite from some of you guys. Lol. I won't buy a non turbo car cause I love modding and the turbos are far easier to play with than naturally aspirated. I'm on car number three and haven't had an issue with any of them concerning turbos. They were all custom tuned for extra power too! I don't push them beyond known limits and everything works great.

There are obviously times when they may break for whatever reason just like any other part, and the posts you read are from the few hundredths of a percent that have had issues.

Either vehicle you chose will be reliable in my opinion, so get what best suits your needs and satisfies your personality.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I had an old '86 LebaronGTS with over 200k kms and it still had the original working turbo on it... Dodge turbos were as cheap and crappy as you could get them lol. If you take care of it, it should last you a long long time. Any vehicle can run into unusual problems, a lot of the 'common' problems on these forums are actually less common problems overall just people searching for an answer tend to find the same spot to ask the question. I tend to shy away from turbos because I tend to be lazy and neglect my maintenance at times, something which turbos are less forgiving of.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just do the maintenance correctly and on time and you will be fine, and rewarded with greater performance. This caveat is also true for most modern N/A cars, which also require timely maintenance.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loscaldazar View Post
Most would say the Turbo's are more reliable than the non turbo's, as long as they have been maintained. Quality synthetic oil and a regular oil change interval, and there really isn't much that breaks....The turbo can go bad on some (almost always 100,000+ miles), and is relatively simple to replace your self if it does go bad. With Quality syntehtic oil, oil filter, and using only 91+ octane (93 is the best if you can find it), can't see any problems.

How could they be MORE reliable? They've got all the same things to go wrong as the non-turbo car, plus the extra turbo components to go wrong. Not only that but turbocharging subjects the engine to higher temperatures and pressures, so how will that improve reliability?
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfergiez View Post
Oil changes every 3K miles is crazy?
Considering that the recommended interval for the non-turbocharged Forester (at least my 2003) is 7500 miles, then yes, I'd say that 3K mile intervals means that turbo's need to be babied compared to normal cars.

What does the Subari owner's manual say for 2012 or 2013 Forester turbos for normal driving? (I "get" that oil needs to be replaced more frequently for hard driving - but hardly any of my driving would be considered "hard").
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