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2006 Forester 2.5 X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Let me start off by saying I'm new to the Subaru Forums. I'm a woman in my early 20s new to doing my own work on my car, so I might not immediately pick up on acronyms, etc. I'm happy to learn!

I bought my 2006 Forester 2.5X last month, with 101,001 or so miles on it. When I originally got it, the fuel pump system needed to be replaced due to gas that had been sitting in the gas tank. The previous owner left it sitting in the Texas heat with a full tank of gas, and that caused an issue with the fuel pump? I'm starting to think it could've been misdiagnosed, but I'll get to that in a second.

I got the fuel pump replaced, and the car ran fine for a week or so before it wouldn't start. The car will try to start, choke, and shudder and then die. The battery seems to be working because I can hear the solenoid clicking, but the engine won't start. I took it to a new shop, and they told me that the fuel pump needed replacing again. This was 9 or so days after I had the original fuel pump replaced. I thought, huh, weird, and asked them to check the whole fuel system, batteries, etc. They didn't find anything else in their diagnostic that they could see that would be causing the fuel pump to die, so I chocked it up to a bad part from shop #1.

Fast forward a few weeks to the other day. I'm out doing delivery driving, when I try to start the car and I encounter the same issue again. The car will try to start after I crank it, before it sputters and dies. The Check Engine, Oil Light, Battery Light and AT OIL TEMP Light all come on. I let it sit for a few minutes before I tried it again, same thing, wouldn't start. Finally, I tried to crank it a third time after praying to every god I could think of, and it started and I got it running.

It ran fine until today, when it wouldn't start again. Same thing as before. This time though, it took about 10 - 15 cranks before I could finally get it started and running like normal. This tells me I might be having a starter issue, but I'm not sure because the shuddering after it dies throws me off. It seems like the fuel pump is acting up again, but I can't imagine would be causing two fuel pumps to die. The original issue could have been misdiagnosed as well.

I was wondering if anyone else here has seen this in these models? Attached is my dashboard, in case that's helpful at all. I'm really scratching my head over this one. Thanks in advance. If this isn't the right thread for this, let me know and I'm happy to move it.

Speedometer Odometer Motor vehicle Car Tachometer
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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2,040 Posts
I don't have anything like a full answer, but a couple of points: 1) your starter sounds fine to me, it sounds like the electric starter motor turns over the engine every time, just sometimes the engine won't start running, right? 2) It's normal for the oil pressure and alternator lights to be lit up if engine rpm is zero and the ignition is turned on. I'm less sure about check engine and A/T temp but probably also.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5 X
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't have anything like a full answer, but a couple of points: 1) your starter sounds fine to me, it sounds like the electric starter motor turns over the engine every time, just sometimes the engine won't start running, right? 2) It's normal for the oil pressure and alternator lights to be lit up if engine rpm is zero and the ignition is turned on. I'm less sure about check engine and A/T temp but probably also.
Yeah, it'll start but the engine won't run and the car will shudder before it dies. This morning it started fine. I've noticed the issue happens after a day of long driving usually, where I'm stopping and starting a bunch.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5 X
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE: It ran fine yesterday for a couple errands, but when I went to start it this afternoon it wouldn't start at all. It'll crank but will not start at all. I have a video of how it'll crank but not start at all, I'll try to embed it in this thread.
 

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2012 Forester 4 speed auto
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When you have the engine running turn on every accessory especially the lights. The engine speed should increase with the high load or the lights should dim. The lights should brighten when you rev the engine. If not first look for a loose drive or serpentine belt, bad battery connectors, or defective alternator. Voltage at battery with engine run-in should be 13.5 to 14.5 volts.z Fuel pump needs amperage to run. It needs enough and not too much which could burn it out.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5 X
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi everyone. I'm having an issue with my 2006 Subaru Forester's fuel pump. I made a more in depth post here but I wanted to make another post for some visibility. If that's not how ya'll do things here, my apologies. Moderator note - threads have been merged!

I've gone through 4 fuel pumps since I bought the car in July, and each time it's about the same. I get a new pump, the car will run fine anywhere from a few weeks to a month, and then will eventually get harder and harder to start before I can't start it at all. I got a new pump from Subaru (not an aftermarket vendor like World Pac like I have the last two times). My mechanic today told me that he's stumped by the issue and recommended I take it to a local dealership to see if their specialist is able to diagnose the issue. The whole pump assembly (filter, sending unit) has been replaced, and he said the electrical wiring harness doesn't seem to have any corossion or grounding issue. The pump is getting power, but for some reason it just cannot get fuel to my engine after a while. Only thing I can think of is that another shop I had look at it recommended that at some point the fuel tank needs replacing due to being rusty. Could that be a problem causing fuel to not get to the engine?

The pump is under warranty and such so that at least is covered, but I'm getting to the poin where this car feels more like a money suck than something worth fixing.

Would appreciate opinions on whether or not it's worth taking to the dealer, what could be wrong, etc. I'm really at my wits end with this issue, and if older posts on this subject are any indiciation, so are a lot of other older Subaru owners as well.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Have the mechanics been able to replicate the problem themselves? Ideally they could test the fuel pressure.
[It is possible the fuel return valve is full of crud too?]

Has the fuel level always been at a similar point when you've had issues or has it happened when full/half/nearly empty etc?
[Your Forester has more than 1 fuel pump, you have what is called a "Jet pump" in the tank too, which pumps fuel to the part where the main pump is. Imagine if your fuel pump is the shape of a pair of saddle bags on a horse. The main pump only pumps from one side. If that side gets low, the jet pump moves fuel from the other side - a simplified explanation
The fuel tank diagram is below so you can see what I mean]


Has the issue typically occurred when the car is on an incline or a camber (So not perfectly flat)

Have you seen the old fuel pumps that have previously failed or any mention of crud being sucked up and found in the filter "sock" ?

When the issue occurs, have you tried loosening (to break any possible vacuum), then tightening the fuel cap to see if that happens to help ?
[You mentioned full tank left in Texas heat, so perhaps something got over-pressurised or a vent valve is sticking?]
Map Font Parallel Diagram Auto part
 

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2006 Forester 2.5 X
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@TMX These are all great ideas. It's possible the pump in the actual tank is a problem. I have the older pump and will check if there's crud in the filter to see if it's possible it's getting clogged over time. It's never happened on an incline it'll always happen after a longer day of driving and parked in my parking spot at home. I have tried loosening the gas cap, no dice.
 
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