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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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Discussion Starter #1
I did a search for this issue and found threads describing a similar problem, however, none of the original posters ever posted their resolutions. So, I’m going to bring up this problem again.

04 X, 5-speed, 111K. Yesterday the engine suddenly started stalling right after start-up. After several tries the car will stay running, however, it revs low at first before returning to normal after it’s driven for a few minutes and then it runs fine. The car needs to be sitting for at least an hour or so before the problem occurs.

Information that may be relevant:

I installed a new battery a month ago. The battery I replaced only lasted only 39 months. But then I live in a hot dry climate, which I know is particularly hard on batteries (The original battery last 2.5 years). Even with the new battery, it seems like the engine still cranks slowly sometimes on cold starts. But I could be wrong.

Spark plugs, spark plug wires and fuel filter were all changed at 90K.

I run only name brand gasoline, mostly Shell, and add a bottle of Techron at every oil change.

Thanks in advance.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,440 Posts
Have you checked the battery voltage? If it's low, either the new battery is defective, or your alternator may be failing & isn't charging the battery fully.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2003 Forester X Auto
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947 Posts
Possible dirty Idle Air Control Motor. They get carboned up sometimes. Mine surged on start up a few times and that was the problem. Took it out, cleaned it up with some upper intake cleaner, put back in and problem solved. Couldn't tell you where your IAC is as the '04s are different from the '03 intake manifold. I think yours may be drive by wire throttle.
 

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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The problem is turning out to be intermittent. Does this change any of your ideas?

The alternator was high on my list, but I'll test the battery first.

I think I know where the IAC is. Do I need to disconnect it in order to see if it is dirty or would I be able to tell just by looking at it?

Thanks for the ideas so far.
 

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2003 Forester X Auto
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947 Posts
Do I need to disconnect it in order to see if it is dirty or would I be able to tell just by looking at it?

Thanks for the ideas so far.
It's dirty on the inside. It would have to be removed from the intake plenum and cleaned as well as the opening/cavity it was removed from. I would still check the charging system first as Bobby stated because if the voltage is messed up, it's going to send weird signals to the sensors and operating systems.
 

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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just a quick update FWIW...Took the car to the dealer. They kept it for two days and it only stalled on them once. They couldn't find anything wrong. No codes in the computer and everything else tested out fine. They cleaned the throttle body, but they didn't charge me anything so it couldn't be anything too extensive.

So I'll see how it goes. I found the IAC. If it happens again, I'll try cleaning it.

Thanks again for the comments.
 

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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The car ran great for two weeks and then two days ago the stalling right after start up came back with a vengeance. Then it started to stall while approaching a stop. Finally, the CEL came on. Turned out to be the IAC. You called it BlueBrick

Thanks.
 

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1998 Forester
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213 Posts
If anyone else has stalling issues this is how you do the idle relearn 1st remove the throttle body and clean it It's only 4 bolts once the air box is off. Most people do not remove them to clean them out. If you are careful you can reuse the gasket.

Disconnect the battery during the throttle body cleaning. After you put everything back together. Before you start the car have the steering wheel at center, the a/c off, Radio, and anything that draws current from the battery that can be shut off. Let the car idle until the cooling fans cycle two times.
 

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2004 Forester X 5-speed manual
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Jinx,

Not entirely sure if you're asking me or craigbhp...I did get a solid CEL, but no other lights. Don't know what the code was. I didn't ask.
 

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I have the same problem with my 06 Forester. It stalls on the first crank but starts on the second intermittently. Any ideas? I'm not sure where the IACV is however I replaced the MAF sensor an O2 sensors.
 
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