Less power when driving in high elevation - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 5
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Subaru
Question Less power when driving in high elevation

Hi,
I have bought a 2005 forester with an automatic transmission, used, in Wisconsin and am now living in the mountains of SW Colorado. When I am driving on an incline my RPM's go much higher (up to 4,000) before getting into the higher gear. Many times it gets into the higher gear and then drops back into the lower. Usually between 3rd and 4th. 5 gears in total.
Is this jut how foresters run, I know they don't have the best pickup, but i feel like I am running my engine too hard and using too much gas. Any advice? Can you 'recalibrate' an engine for living in higher elevation?
Also, I need new all season tires. I've been looking at the Firestone Winterforce (we have them on our VW), would you recommend a better tire?
Thank you!!
-Sarah
wisco is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 31
Car Year: 2010
Car Model: Forester X
Losing power at higher elevation is just physics; thinner air, lower compression. I'm not familiar with the '05, but am guessing that it's fuel injected; it [I]should[I] adjust the fuel to the air mass on it's own. A clean air filter helps, too. If your tailpipe is sooty, it's running too rich. If it's carburated, you might have to rejet. Not sure how all that affects an A/T.
I just put Blizzaks on my '10, but plan on taking them off in the (late) spring. I really like them so far, but hear that they're too soft to run all summer. I've ended up running dedicated seasonal tires; I used to run all-seasons, but found that I didn't like the compromise. HTH, and have fun with the snow!

'10 Forester X M/T
Fraser, CO, USA
Liftrat is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 12:25 PM
Forum Member
 
funkymonkey1002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,013
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: 2.5 XT
Transmission: 4eat
The at has 4 gears, you're feeling the torque converter lock and unlock.

The winterforce is a dedicated winter tire, great for deep snow, and ice if they're studded.

How many miles on the car and how has it been maintained?

Going to higher elevation you will -always- lose power, air density is lower, this is why turbo models are great at higher elevation (in the most basic sense; the turbo forces air into the engine, instead of the engine sucking in air)

04xt/4eat, 16g, STI bits and bobs
funkymonkey1002 is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 04:51 PM
Registered User
 
MoeLuvsMoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 41
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: XT
Wisco,

Being from WI myself and now living in CO, I can assure you it will become a "normal" feeling in no time. I still enjoy going back to sea level to play in the dense air!

The cars computer should take care of any air/fuel mix issues that need to be addressed at higher altitude. Takes a small amount of time.

Cheers,
MLM

'04 FXT 4AT - The White Witch - Completely stock
MoeLuvsMoney is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 05:53 PM
Forum Member
 
Tau137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 1,752
Car Year: 1998
Car Model: Forester L 5MT
Normal behavior, as was mentioned previously. No need to recalibrate anything.

However, you do need to learn how to drive it is such conditions. First of all, it's ok to keep the engine in higher rpm under load (e.g., going uphill), 4.5-5K will give you most torque (acceleration) in any give gear, and you will not save much (if any) gas trying to keep rpm too low when driving up-n-down. Second, it is helpful to manually shift transmission into appropriately low gear (3rd or 2nd, depending on speed and incline) to prevent AT from "hunting gears" and get consistent performance (you'll be faster and safer); just don't forget to flick it back to Drive once on flat ground (might be difficult as you will be having way more fun in 3rd).
Tau137 is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 10:55 PM
Forum Member
 
pigboat_2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver (San Mateo, Colorado Springs, Durango)
Posts: 2,369
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: V70R
Transmission: 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisco View Post
Hi,
Also, I need new all season tires. I've been looking at the Firestone Winterforce (we have them on our VW), would you recommend a better tire?
Thank you!!
-Sarah
I didn't like the Winterforce in my experiences with it. It's basically the most basic tire that you can get for actual snow tires. Even the studded versions are rated lower in ice tests than a good studless tire. My recommendation:

Lower budget
Bridgestone Blizzak ws-70
Mid budget
Michelin x-ice xi-2
High budget
Nokian Hakkapillatta (sp.)

Hope this helps,

Rawr PFF!

250+k mile club
pigboat_2 is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 5
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Subaru
Thanks for all the replys! I do drive in 3rd when I am driving below 35 and it does seem to help. I think I am just used to the turbo engine, which we have in our VW. I'll check the air filter and get used to the slow climb. Thanks for the info on going upto 4,000 rpm's and it not being a lot different in fuel consumption!
I just purchased new tires: Hankook h727. I'll let you know what I think after the next big storm! Reviews sound great
wisco is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 08:23 PM
Forum Member
 
Tau137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 1,752
Car Year: 1998
Car Model: Forester L 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisco View Post
Thanks for all the replys! I do drive in 3rd when I am driving below 35 and it does seem to help. I think I am just used to the turbo engine, which we have in our VW. I'll check the air filter and get used to the slow climb. Thanks for the info on going upto 4,000 rpm's and it not being a lot different in fuel consumption!
I just purchased new tires: Hankook h727. I'll let you know what I think after the next big storm! Reviews sound great
Below 35pmh you should be in 2nd, not 3rd (for when safety and performance counts more than MPG).
Tau137 is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 06:30 PM
Forum Member
 
Leadguitar27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 143
Car Year: 2006
Car Model: Forester XT Limited
Transmission: 5MT
Crazy Mountain Gas Mileage

My 02 Forester (AT) did this too during a roadtrip to Colorado this summer. I figured it was normal. What surprised me was my gas mileage in the mountains. When I filled up, I was averaging 27.4 MPG! This was crazy because I was basically flooring it every uphill on I-70 and the RPMs were always above 4000. Maybe it was all the coasting on the downhills.

2006 XT 5MT
R.I.P. 2002 S 4EAT
Leadguitar27 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Subaru Forester Owners Forum > General Forums > General Forum

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Subaru Forester Owners Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome