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2006 Forester X - 4EAT
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
'06 Forester X, AT

Hello,

This morning the car struggled to start, for the first time since I bought the car. It was somewhat cold this morning at -8F/-22C, but the Subaru has handled temperatures as low as -30F/-34C with no problems.

Then after the initial warm-up, the car started to vibrate excessively (visibly from the outside), and would randomly rev up to ~1800rpm. The engine light flashed as well. And then it would rev back down to ~500rpm, and then the cycle would start all over again.

When I drove the car, acceleration was erratic with the car taking a while to respond to gas input, and then revving abnormally high, then revving too low. When it would rev too low, the vibration would start again, mostly when cruising below 30mph. Also, the would vibrate at stop lights. The car acted normal at cruising speeds between 30-75mph+.

This occurred during both my morning and evening commute, and it was very disconcerting. The Forester has given no problems before, except for perhaps abnormally erratic behavior on slippery surfaces.

So, anyone have similar experiences? Any clues as to what the problem might be?

Thanks,
n0stalgia
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
If you are close, I'd suggest driving the car to a local auto parts store where they should be able to read a code from the engine light coming on.

A flashing engine light usually indicates a misfire so possibly the coil pack is breaking down. Do not drive it for long this way as you can damage emission systems such as the cat ($$$).

Did you also happen to fill up very recently, there is a possibility of bad gas. I had a similar experience one winter with my 99 Forester, gassed up drove a short distance home and the next day car ran like ****. Although it never threw an engine code, the light did flash a bit. Added some Prestone gas treatment (there are others) and the car ran smoother, took it for a long drive at reduced speeds to burn up the gas.

Others will chime in soon I'm sure.
Good luck and let us know what the results are.
 

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2006 Forester X - 4EAT
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response!
I just set up an appointment for the Subaru dealership. They recommended I tow the car, but that just seems excessive. Is 20 miles too much to drive in this conditions? I already drove it around 20 miles during today's commute.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
It's a gamble if you do decide to have it towed make sure it is by flatbed with all four wheels off the ground, other wise you can damage the drivetrain on Subaru's.
Will the car idle? if so take a look at the exhaust, if it's abnormally black then have it towed. Dumping unburned gases/fuel into the cat is bad, bad, bad.
You can also try resetting the ECU before taking it in. There are no guarantees that it will fix the situation but it might cause the car to run better for a short time. Disconnect the battery for a half hour or so (turning the lights on, pressing the brake to exhaust any power held in reserve) then reconnect. I think you only have to use the remote to open/close to reset. And see how it runs, then you can decide whether how to get it to the dealership, but do take it in to have the codes read.
If it is driveable take it slow and easy at a steady speed.
Keep us posted as to the outcome please.
 

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2006 Forester X - 4EAT
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The car is no longer under warranty, and I have restarted it since, though it struggles to turn on in this somewhat cold weather.

The war did not have any brown/black exhaust, it was pure as white.
Nevertheless, my family did not want to take any chances, so we just got it towed tot he dealership. Towing only cost $16, so it was worth it.

I'll be sure to keep all of you updated on further news.
 

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2006 Forester X - 4EAT
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The Subaru dealership diagnosed the car as having cylinder 1 misfiring, so they replaced the coil and circuit/wiring. It seems to have fixed everything so far, but the car remains somewhat difficult to start in the cold.

Do you guys think there are remaining problems?
 
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