Subaru Forester Owners Forum

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-   Problems, Maintenance, and Warranty (http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/)
-   -   2004 Forester: blown turbo, blown catalytic converters, compressor (http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/2004-forester-blown-turbo-blown-catalytic-converters-compressor-210658/)

audrey 08-19-2013 05:52 AM

2004 Forester: blown turbo, blown catalytic converters, compressor
 
Hi everyone. We have a 2004 Subaru Forester turbo with just over 80K miles. Three summers ago, our turbo failed and had to be replaced. Subaru covered that, and we had to pay just $100.

The next summer, the compressor failed on the AC. We replaced that (expensive).

Last October, we had a check-engine light with the cruise control light blinking: new front catalytic converter needed. We replaced it.

Last month, the same lights started to blink. We scheduled 1) inspection (she was due) with our local mechanic and 2) an appointment with Subaru for the check-engine light. We just heard that the front catalytic converter needs to be replaced again (even though we just replaced it last November). That will be covered under warranty. Now, the back CC also needs to be replaced.

They recommend changing the timing belt and spark plugs as well.

Is it just coincidence that the car has gone through three CCs in its life? Are there any known problems with forester turbos that might be causing these problems?

Do they seem related to you?

ceesje 08-19-2013 09:17 AM

Nope just bad luck :(

audrey 08-19-2013 10:04 AM

Thanks so much! I appreciate your input!

jblewis 08-19-2013 11:20 AM

I would suggest switching to an Un-Catted up-pipe, such as the Grimmspeed unit, or an uncatted up-pipe off of an STi. In later models Subaru themselves deleted that pre-turbo cat, and if the cat should fail and come apart, then you'll be replacing the turbocharger (again) as well.

pleiad7 08-19-2013 11:25 AM

By front catalytic converter, do you mean the uppipe pre-cat, or the first cat behind the turbo? Also, what does the service history look like?

Easy Fixer 08-19-2013 07:36 PM

you need to find the cause
 
You will probably need a 4th if your mechanic doesn't find out why the 1st one went out. Converters are very easy to destroy. You can overheat it with a rich fuel mixture, coat the insides with an engine burning oil, and a blown head gasket pushing coolant into the exhaust system. A rich fuel mixture is the most common cause of converter failure. Besides ruining your converter rich mixture are expensive. You're gas mileage might suffer. A failed converter is just a symptom you need to find the cause.

bluesubie 08-20-2013 03:45 AM

You don't need to do the timing belt until 105k miles. I agree that there could be a reason for the cats going out.

-Dennis


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Loscaldazar 08-20-2013 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Fixer (Post 2204018)
You will probably need a 4th if your mechanic doesn't find out why the 1st one went out. Converters are very easy to destroy. You can overheat it with a rich fuel mixture, coat the insides with an engine burning oil, and a blown head gasket pushing coolant into the exhaust system. A rich fuel mixture is the most common cause of converter failure. Besides ruining your converter rich mixture are expensive. You're gas mileage might suffer. A failed converter is just a symptom you need to find the cause.

Was going to say this myself....

One cat failure is a freak accident that does happen occasionally.

Two makes me start wondering if the replacement was just faulty, or is there something else to start looking at.

audrey 08-20-2013 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pleiad7 (Post 2201890)
By front catalytic converter, do you mean the uppipe pre-cat, or the first cat behind the turbo? Also, what does the service history look like?

I'm sorry--I don't know offhand. I can go by our bill, which lists ithe work as "EXH Pipe AY CTR." I have no idea what that means.

For maintenance, she has had regular inspections and has been in the shop a couple of times a year (for the last few years) due to these problems. I think when we've brought her in for those things, they've done checks at maybe the 50K or 60K mile mark.

And I agree with subsequent posts about trying to find the cause. I really don't know if the timing belt or spark plugs affect the CC. I have been thinking that I need to pull her from the dealership when these things happen and take her to my trusty mechanic. (We have defaulted to going to the dealership since it involves the check-engine light.)

The thing that perplexes me the most (aside of the fact that she has needed two CCs--especially when one is just several months old) is that she just passed inspection, so she passed the emissions test. That inspection was done when the check-engine light/cruise control light were blinking intermitently.

Thank you all very much for your help. I apologize that I don't know what I'm talking about wrt car gizzards.

Easy Fixer 08-20-2013 10:02 PM

Find the cause and you will breath easier!
 
When it comes to the emission of the engine a catalytic converter can cover up a multitude of sins. The Converter will burn the excessive HC and convert the CO to CO2. However, the converter will generate a lot of heat to do this. So much heat that over a period of time the converter will no longer work as designed. It is possible to pass a smog test with a perfectly functioning converter. In California repair shops would simply replace the converter and not repair the cause that made the converter stop working. So California passed a law that all converter replacements must be documented before it can be replaced. Find the cause and you will breath easier! Yes, the pun is intended!

audrey 08-21-2013 01:56 AM

Wow. Thank you so much for explaining that!

I think the will plan will be to go ahead and replace the catalytic converters and then to bring her to our mechanic -- not the dealer -- to have him see if he can figure out what is causing the bigger problem. Hopefully he will be able to uncover something.

Thank you all so much for your help. It is much appreciated!

Overbear 08-21-2013 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jblewis (Post 2201874)
I would suggest switching to an Un-Catted up-pipe, such as the Grimmspeed unit, or an uncatted up-pipe off of an STi. In later models Subaru themselves deleted that pre-turbo cat, and if the cat should fail and come apart, then you'll be replacing the turbocharger (again) as well.

This, there is ZERO reason for the catted uppipe, it will not affect anything to get rid of it.

hvy1 01-09-2014 04:16 AM

Would/Will a mechanic swap out the pre-turbo cat with a non-catted pipe? We don't have emissions tests here.

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CinderBlock 01-09-2014 04:28 AM

19 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by hvy1 (Post 2852018)
Would/Will a mechanic swap out the pre-turbo cat with a non-catted pipe? We don't have emissions tests here.

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Yes. But try to find a Subaru independent, they will know what to do. The pre-turbo cat/catted up-pipe does not affect emissions anyways.

hvy1 01-09-2014 04:53 AM

Thanks for the quick response.
Cheers

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