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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm new here and looking for some advice. I'm currently eyeing up a 2015 Manual Forester 2.0D-L S4 and I've heard that people have had DPF troubles with short range driving in the diesel. I live in a coastal town north of Sydney so I'm not doing small distance, city driving but I'm by no means travelling hours at a time, every day. My girlfriend and I will travel to the snow and north about the same distance.

Is this a big enough issue for me to be worried about going through with the purchase? I am aware that you can drop into 3rd to help with burning off emissions.

Really just looking to hear some opinions about the car!
I'll be selling my 1997 Subaru Impreza so it will be a welcomed upgrade if plausible.

Mac
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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186 Posts
I like mine!

Only downside is that there aren’t many aftermarket upgrades for the diesel. However some WRX components do fit, and others will with some modification. Eg Intercooler, Radiator.

About 148,000 kms, only issue has been the radiator cap needed replacing.
 

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2010 Forester Diesel 6MT
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769 Posts
Hang on to the old Impreza (at least for a while) if you get the diesel- you may need it!

Get the car inspected by a diesel car specialist. If the car is OK they can be good, efficient vehicles. See below, digest and if you can handle the issues then decide if the car may be for you.

But remember: every car has its own issues- just some more than others.

Most of the issues with the earlier diesels (like mine, 2010) seem to have been fixed by 2013/2014, maybe earlier. The engines themselves seem mechanically robust. You still need to be aware of the DPF & associated systemic (e.g. EGR) issues though. A clogged DPF is not a problem, it's a symptom- and unless you get the problem fixed, the symptom will recur. Short city driving is only one problem. DPFs need approx 15 mins at 80+km/h (any highway driving is OK) every so often... and they don't tell you when. Note at this point, the car is starting to drive you rather than you drive the car...

1) Find a good local independent diesel mechanic and/or independent Subaru specialist and go ask them about the DPF issues.Find out what they are, what causes them and how to ameliorate them. If you can deal with the issues, the car may be for you.

2) Get yourself an OBD reader and check for yourself. For example, a Bluetooth Dongle and Torque Pro on an android device (plus the readout codes on this site or elsewhere). This should be <$100 or so if you already have the android device. Then check the DPF values:
- if the ASH (not soot) is zero or close to it, then either a new DPF has just been fitted or a forced regen/reinstall setting has occurred. Find out why. Driving away (in the Impreza) is likely be a good option.
- with the OBD reader and bluetooth, you can monitor yourself for regens and timing and drive accordingly..

3) 2015 gets the CVT and I'd be more worried about that- I believe Subaru use (modified) JATCO CVTs and JATCO are reckoned to be the worst of the lot. With a large, comparatively heavy vehicle and loads or torque, I think it's a combination for transmission failure in relatively short time esp. if the car's been given 'the boot' or done towing. The replacement/overhaul cost will be horrendous and I don't know if the overhaul aftermarket is up to it yet (funnily enough, it is for the DPFs now). In my personal opinion, you'd be safer stepping back a year or two to a standard auto or the manual.

4) If you're confident and can handle it, approx $500 may get you a device that allows you to do your own forced regens as necessary (cars up to 2014). One self-executed forced regen when needed can effectively recoup its cost. And you get all the other controls and readouts, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks @pitrack_1 would you ultimately say that the petrol alternative would be a better option to look into? With what you said about the CVT it's made me a bit cautious.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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2015 gets the CVT and I'd be more worried about that- I believe Subaru use (modified) JATCO CVTs and JATCO are reckoned to be the worst of the lot.
No, it is not a Jatco, but made by Subaru in-house. The Subaru CVTs seem to be more reliable that the 4/5-EAT conventional automatics they replaced.

The Jatco CVTs have pushed steel belts of nearly 400 steel elements held together by 2 'ring packs' made up of up to 12 thin metal bands on each side of the belt.

Subaru's Lineartronic CVT has a pulled chain

With a large, comparatively heavy vehicle and loads or torque, I think it's a combination for transmission failure in relatively short time esp. if the car's been given 'the boot' or done towing.
The diesel has the same torque, 350Nm, as the 2.0 XT and the 6 cylinder. The higher torque rated CVTs in these are proving no less reliable than those used in 2.5 N/As. The most common point of failure in both seems to be the valve body solenoids, not the chains and cones.
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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186 Posts
Maybe write down all the pro’s and con’s for each vehicle that you’re interested in. Then prioritise each item on each lists, based on severity/impact, likelihood of occurrence, and whether it’s something you can or can’t live with.

The conscious brain, in general, can only cope with decisions with around 7-9 elements. It is the brains subconscious thought process that has the power to analyse very complex problems. However, it does need the background information, and plenty of practice/training to become skilled at making analysis/decisions, in a fast/timely fashion, that are accurate and approximate the line of best fit for the multitude of parameters concerned.

Choosing a car, is one of those decisions that have way too many variables, for the brain to crunch consciously. The idea is to load the brain up with as much factual, logical, and relevant information as possible. The key however, is to actually understand what the info is or means (not just memorise it). As the brain processes all this info in the background, it develops what we know as our ‘Gut Feeling’ or ‘Intuition’. If you put the effort in each time, the process gets easier and faster as life goes on. And information gleaned from one process goes on to facilitate 100’s in the future.

Where this thought process becomes extremely important, and comes into its own, is when you are faced with a plethora of opinions, and personal experiences. It allows you to ‘qualitatively’ analyse ‘highly subjective’ information/material, and apply it with context to your own personal situation (it’s the only way to get valuable information out of any Internet Forum. Because each of us will be adding our own spin on the subject, based on our experiences, emotional reactions, and actual understanding of it).
 

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2010 Forester Diesel 6MT
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769 Posts
Thanks @pitrack_1 would you ultimately say that the petrol alternative would be a better option to look into? With what you said about the CVT it's made me a bit cautious.
Petrol would perhaps be a 'safer' alternative. You may have more choice in vehicles.

No, it is not a Jatco, but made by Subaru in-house. The Subaru CVTs seem to be more reliable that the 4/5-EAT conventional automatics they replaced.
...
Thanks for correcting me, slothman.

The conscious brain, in general, can only cope with decisions with around 7-9 elements.
7-9??? I should be so lucky.
 

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Interesting discussion.

If you are going to move to a consumer diesel vehicle, Subaru or not, you have to embrace the DPF life with longer, higher-speed driving instead of just mall or school runs, you have to monitor your soot level, etc.

This is applicable even with newer utes with the DPF. The local Ford dealer here even built a much larger service centre just to accommodate engine and transmission replacements. The engine replacements are almost always due to clogged DPFs just because many people who buy their Rangers do not read the manual and just drive their trucks like they do with their cars - lower speed runs to the school, pub, mall, etc.

Another think to take note is that with modern diesels, you have to make sure that everything is running at peak efficiency including the EGR and boost/vacuum levels so the ECU won't have to pump more fuel, causing a richer combustion, thereby clogging the DPF more often. Many Subaru diesels also suffer the same issue as the Toyota ones (1GD-FTV), where boost leaks cause the engine to run richer, clogging the DPF more often. Toyota's issue is with the air filter box not sealing properly and Subarus diesels with intercooler piping cracking or leaking. If you have a Toyota with that engine and you solve or mitigate the air box leak, you can enjoy its reliability even more. With Subaru EE20s, many people just use uprated silicone hoses to make sure that the intercooler piping is leak-free.

Clogging of injectors and EGR can also cause DPF abnormalities and some engineers blame the low-sulphur fuel, causing bacteria to build up in vehicles' and fuel stations' tanks. This can be mitigated with the use of additives, which break down the bacteria to safe combustion/fuel filter levels. Cheers.
 

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Nice, that's one less worry, it's much easier to maintain and it's much less sensitive to boost/vacuum leaks. That's the beauty of older diesels, at least those without DPFs.
 

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2015 SJ DIESEL L FOZZ CVT
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Just spotted this thread after my 1st post about the 2015 diesel in the last 2.5yrs.
The first 2.5yrs of our diesel, regular trips were to local towns, never less than 20 or 40km's ea. way depending on town of destination.
Shifting into town, (last 2.5yrs), I thought that if it gives any DPF probs then it's out of here and replaced by a petrol.
After about 14,000km in that time, rarely going out of town, it has continued to be DPF faultless.
I think as owners of a diesel we have been lucky, hopefully it continues to be so economical and good to own with some QLD trips on the horizon this year.
Would I take the punt and buy a 2015 s/h diesel now, only if it had a verifiable history (similiar to ours) and even then prob. opt for a petrol to take the risk out of the deal to a greater extent.
The diesel is a beaut little motor though, love it, the torque is bldy gr8 :D
 

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2016 Forester 2.0 D XC
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My wife has a 2011 Legacy diesel and the DPF light came on. Took it to the local mechanic who said DPF was fine, no issues, was regenerating ok. We could not get the light to go off and finally, the whole dash lit up like a Xmas tree. Went back to the mechanic and we finally got to the bottom of the issue. He had just seen a similar aged Legacy with the same issue. But it was easier to remedy - the turbo boost hose had split but the split was in plain view. Our Legacy's turbo boost hose had split on the underside - the sensors couldn't make head nor tail of what was going on and decided to throw up the DPF light. Got the hose replaced and everything went back to normal. So, just be cautious if you see the DPF light come on; it's not always related to the DPF. Wife's Legacy does a lot of daily miles. 20 mile drive into the local city (usually crawling in with rush hour traffic) then a lot of stop/start city driving all day and then a 20 mile drive home. DPF has never given us any problems.
 

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2016 Forester 2.0 D XC
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P.S. the torque on the Legacy and the sound of the engine are just sweeeeeet! Brings a smile to my face when I get chance to drive it and I can floor the accelerator!
 

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2016 Forester 2.0 D XC
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Would you believe ABFoz, a friend of mine in England wrote to me at the same time we were having this problem telling me about his Landrover Defender that also had the exact same issue.
 
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