CAR: The wife’s 2010 Forester, 2.5L 4cyl boxer engine; purchased brand-new with 150 miles; approx 6300 miles current.
PROBLEM: Periodic starting problem, so far only the first time of the day (“cold” start).
This problem has been observed three times, once per month of ownership. This is the series of events: The key is inserted into the ignition and turned to the “on” position for approx 10 secs prior to cranking the engine. Normally, the engine will crank 4 times on a “cold” start, fire and begin to idle. When the problem occurs, the engine will crank over twice, and only twice, pop just enough to disengage the starter from the flywheel and not start. Then, the key is turned to the “off” position for approx 10 secs, turned back to the “on” position for 10 secs (this is completed 3 times, per advice of my mechanic, in an effort to prime the fuel-delivery system and allow other sensors to acclimate to ambient conditions); following the three “on / off” actions, I crank the engine. All 3 times, the engine has cranked over many times (8, 10, 12; I lose count after about 6-7) until I butterfly the accelerator slightly (perhaps pressing down ¼ to ½ an inch). So far, this action has resulted in the engine spit…sputter… spit…sputter…as if it were flooded; I then goose the throttle a bit to rev the engine, and after 2 or 3 revs only then will the engine smooth to an idle. This also results in very foul smelling exhaust (likely due to non-burned gasoline). This starting problem first occurred two weeks after purchase, and has happened approx once per month since. The car is garaged, and the temperature range under which this problem has occurred was 10(F)-30(F). Since purchase, the car has never sat outside in -20 or colder weather. After the third occurrence, the car was driven to the dealer only to result in no error codes and no problems starting following a five-day stay; therefore no repairs. I see other Forester owners have had this problem in various iterations, with various model years. As far as I am concerned, this car is not a reliable starter; not to mention the slow starter turn-over speed to begin with, and the periodic failure of front (engine-oil) seals on newer Forester engines. Neither of these problems are recalls nor service bulletins, yet. Anyone have the correct diagnosis for this starting problem? On day five of the dealer stay, I showed up to retrieve the car and a tech came out for one more cold start. No diagnostic instruments were connected to the vehicle, which leads me to believe that he knew what to replace if he observed the starting problem. Any ideas? Temperature sensor? Cold-start injector? Crank-angle sensor? Any logical suggestions as to the most-likely source of this starting problem would be appreciated. Thank you!
Last edited by SorryDude01; 04-18-2011 at 05:40 PM.
Reason: Better wording.