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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had my vehicle serviced, replaced the spark plugs and valves. After about 200 miles the vehicle wouldn’t start. Thinking it was a dead battery, I opened the hood and the whole air intake system was missing.

will the vehicle run without the air intake system?

If so, how far?

I think they removed it and didn’t put it back in, and now they want me to replace the whole system.

This is a 2002 Forester.
 

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2001 Forester
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Pictures of the engine bay might help. But the 2001-2002 has a snorkel that is bolted to the front frame just by the head light and routes to a air filter box that is bolted to the throttle body. Pictures is from my 2001. The large black box in the centre is the air filter box, tube on the left runs to the near the front by the head light. But for the most part yes, the 2001 and 2002 can run without any of the parts from the front all the way to the air filter box, but not well, due to missing PCV connections on the air filter box and possible vacuum lines tied to the air filter box.
534964
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@bman400 The vehicle is at the dealer, so I can’t take a photo right now. However, for reference, the entire system is gone. So, nothing bolted to the front frame just by the head light, no air filter box, and no tube on the left running to the back to the engine. It’s just empty space.

I bought the car in December and used it for commuting approximately 100 miles/day 5-days a week on freeways and highways f or four months.
2 weeks after service, car would stall out and die and then it wouldn’t start.
Just wondering whether if car would’ve been able to drive 8000 hard miles without air intake system as dealer is suggesting.
 

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2001 Forester
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Something is amiss with this dealer. They owe you not only the intake system, damage to engine internals no filter to filter out dirty air going into the engine. I am surprised that the vehicle ran the 8000 miles....The stalling out and dieing would be signs of the missing intake system.....You may want to get legal advise on how to approach this.....
 

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2010 Forester
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What did your service include? My guess is "throttle body cleaning" similar that would have involved removing all that.
Or they at least show "checked or replaced air filter".
At the very least they would have noted something like that as missing on your receipt.
Bottom line is they screwed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes. I’m certain they screwed up. I took it in April 14 because it began shaking and shuddering on idle with a little hesitation and then popping on acceleration. I assumed O2 sensor or spark plug valves.

took it to dealer service department and they did a “full inspection” and gave me a huge estimate of all the problems. I elected to do spark plugs, valve covers and tube seals.

Got vehicle back and it was still shuddering and shaking. After ~200 miles it died.

Prior to service it had been driving great until the shuddering started, but like I said, I’d driven about 8000 miles with no issues, including a couple 600 mile road trips.

after service, dead car.
I’ll be calling their manager today. Grrr...
 

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2003 Forester
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FWIW my 2003 engine bay looked the same and with the speed density setup these engines will run with literally nothing attached to the throttle body. At a minimum I would run with at least the airbox for filtration and PCV reasons. The large canister to the left is for intake sound mitigation and the rest of the plumbing is to pick up colder, slightly pressurized air from the front of the car. Seems like a possible post throttle body vacuum leak. Or since they touched the plugs it could be something ignition related.

Sounds like it needs to be shipped to a more competent mechanic.
 
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