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2019 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am a new Subaru owner, I have own a 2019 Subaru Forester for 2 years. On 30 December 2021, my vehicle stalled out in the middle of the highway on I-95S in Massachusetts as I was driving around 55-65 mph. The engine lost power, the steering wheel got really stiff, and the vehicle started sputtering.
I shut off the vehicle a few times and tried to start it back up with no luck. I maneuvered to get the car to the breakdown lane and ultimately had it towed to the dealership. Diagnosis revealed that both tumble generators in the air intake manifold failed and the car also needed the gas line to be replaced.
The car is 2 years old and is approaching 65,000 miles. The dealership and Subaru America refuse to cover the full cost of the repairs under the claim that it is no longer under warranty and lack of proof of regular maintenance for the past 2 years.
They are offering $750 as credit toward about $1900 of work to fix the vehicle.
I have spoken to a number of mechanics and no one can remember the last time they had to do work on an intake manifold, especially on such a young vehicle, and some didn't even know what a tumble generator was.
After looking into this a little further, Subaru has a number of complaints and recalls with the NHTSA related to this issue and it is a miracle that no one has gotten hurt yet from these incidents. So far both the dealership in the Massachusetts Metrowest area and Subaru America have refused to cover the cost of the repairs.

I wanted to share this experience and shed some awareness regarding this vehicle and also learn if anyone has had
a similar experience recently. Subarus are supposed to be reliable vehicles and the company should stand by its brand, I am not sure what is going wrong here. Perhaps, I am a little naive but I feel this is something that should be covered by the dealership/Subaru
Appreciate any feedback or comments you may have.
 

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66 Posts
Sorry to hear about your issues! Please keep us informed as how things progress. It is not great when Subaru won't cover the repair when the engine is just out of warrantee.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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592 Posts
@tilop Terrible news. Never even heard of tumble generators. Add them to the growing list of repairs that cost more than the Gold Plan extended coverage.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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for completeness' sake, the "lack of proof of maintenance" -- was this actual lack of maintenance? or just lack of documentation that you did it? What maintenance does Subaru claim would have helped prevent this problem from happening?? I would think you should argue the last point, they haven't explained how dealer maintenance could have prevented anything.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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721 Posts
It's my understanding that the DOHC engines have had them for years. Maybe always?

The SOHC (EJ253) did not have them.

Lack of having the intake cleaned might cause failure, but only if it was mechanical.
 

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"just upstream" may not apply to direct injected engines though
This was my thought. I thought 2019 0n Foresters had direct injectors. Where would a tumble generator go to affect fuel flow? Maybe affect air flow through the manifold?
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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It would still affect the airflow into the combustion chamber, "tumbling" to help the fuel spray to be better distributed.

It must be of some benefit, or else they would have eliminated the tumblers when they went with direct injection. It would be a pretty big production expense for zero benefit.

I guess the EJ253 AVLS also doubled as tumblers, as the two different flow rates for the intake valves would achieve the same result.
 

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2019 Sport CVT
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831 Posts
How often did you replace the air filter and do you have receipts?
 

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2019 Touring (54k miles 5/2021)
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I wonder if this is more of a reason to use Subaru’s top engine cleaner on a regular basis. How else do you maintain a tumble generator? Could be a freak failure? Subaru should definitely step further up to the plate for further goodwill repair assistance.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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Since it doesn't block both intake paths, it makes me wonder why the engine stalled. It should have at least ran halfway decent at lower RPM. Just down on power at midrange to redline.

If it is the actuator/solenoid that failed, their lack of maintenance records argument is pretty weak.

It like saying since you didn't keep track of oil changes, we aren't going to warranty your alternator.
 

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2019 Forester
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It's interesting that the illustration is a direct injection engine. But then that may not be Forester specific.
Yeah and the TGV would not cause a complete loss of power.

My guess is fuel line failure and engine lost fuel pressure.

The TGV scenario is absolute crap by the dealership.
 
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