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Old 04-02-2012, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Check Engine Light, 2002 Forester

I have a 2002 Forester with lots of km, around 148,000. In the last six months, the Check Engine Light has shown a pattern of coming on for a few days, and then mysteriously going off again. Does anyone have advice on whether: (1) this on-off phenomenon is a common occurrence? (2) the check engine light indicates a serious problem? (3) getting a garage to do a diagnosis is expensive; and (4) it is worth fixing whatever problem it might indicate on a car that is approaching 150,000 km.

With that one worrying issue as an exception, my Forester is still running just fine, and I am happy with it, but i do not want to spend a lot of money to fix a car that is so old.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The next time your CEL comes on, find an Auto Zone. They will have a device that will read your cars computer and be able to give you a code which will give you an idea of what is making the CEL come on. It is a free service. Without that code you will be guessing at what can be wrong. It could be a number of things.

If your Forester has had proper maintenance throughout it's life, 150k is not too bad. I am at 125k and I plan on making it to 200k at least.

When you get that code or codes (sometimes it can be more than one). Come back and post what was found along with the info about your forester. That will allow a more accurate diagnosis and solution.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Does it tend to happen immediately after filling the gas tank? You could have a defective gas cap. But no matter what it is, the Auto Zone trick is the best way to be sure. I've got one a half mile from my house, and it's the first stop whenever I get a check engine light.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My check engine light just came on while I was running errands at lunch. Today is the first hot and steamy day in Chicago, and I got stuck at a train crossing for about 6 minutes. I did not turn off my ignitiion, but I did not have the a/c on. The light came on just before traffic started moving, and remained on. It has been 3,100 miles, and 4 months, since my last oil change. I haven't looked into it as I had to go back to work. Afraid I'll have troubles getting home tonight. Tomorrow will take a good look. Any thoughts before I start?
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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p.s. My Forester is also a 2002
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Larry,

The CEL means that your car engine's computer has stored one or more diagnostic trouble code(s) (DTC's). Take you car to any convenient chain auto parts store (i.e., Advanced, Auto Zone, etc.) and they'll read the code(s) for free. However, they'll probably not voluntarily erase the codes.

Once you have the code(s), you can look it up online, and we can help you begin to diagnose the problem(s).

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Old 06-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great, thanks. I'm going to stop at my Autozone, and get the code. Stop at the library and check the manual, which they have in stacks but I don't own, to see if they have any pertinent information, and update this site tonight.
I've ocme to the conclusion that Subaru owners are some of the most helpful people around.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OK... let us know!

Best of luck!
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