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2020 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have owned our 2020 Forester since Nov 20 and we have noticed that it doesn't like the cold weather at all.
Today while it is cold outside -25C we let the car warm up for 20 minutes and still couldn't get it over 50kph on an 80kph road, this with a near 4000 RPM.
I find this unacceptable and dangerous.
99% deal breaker for me.
We live in Canada and it's not like it's not cold here.
Been searching these forums and it seems this problem goes back a decade+
Anyone else with this issue, is there a fix? AND NO warming it up for 30 minutes isn't an option nor is driving for 20km at 30kph to warm up the engine.
Not impressed, even Kia does better.
 

· Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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6,599 Posts
Define "still couldn't get it over 50kph". What are you doing? What or why do you feel you cannot drive over 50 kph? Idling 20 minutes also slows down the rate your engine get's up to operating temperature further making your situation worse.

Also most car manufacturers are being pushed by EPA to get the engines rev'd up higher while they are cold to speed the warm up process. Idling these new GDI engines does not get them warmed up at all. Just get in and drive the vehicle.

Again I still do not understand why you feel you must restrict your driving speeds.....
 

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18 Posts
I have a 2021 and do not have this problem. It hasn't been that cold out east this winter, but last weekend I think it was down to -20C. I didn't touch the car all weekend, but I drove out Monday morning (-15?). I know my car revs high, ~2000rpm in the cold. I find it annoying so I don't idle long. I probably only took 30sec to a 1 minute to put on my seatbelt and take my gloves off, drove about a km to the highway, with an uphill on-ramp. No problems accelerating to 100km/h, if not up to 110.

I only got this car about two months ago, and surprised to see posts about this. This thread I saw mentioned maybe there is a problem with your "thermostat" on the Forester. In other words, if any of the many sensors reads your engine temp/o2 wrong, your engine will be retarded and cause a loss in performance. Either way, your car is new, did you ask the dealer? (I think I've seen some posts about people complaining about how slow it takes for the car to warm up the interior, but I find it pretty quick. I usually have heat coming out within the first 2km.If you're not getting heat, that's a pretty good sign that your car is running colder than it should. BUT, like I said, it hasn't been consistently below -10C these days and we're under a curfew in Quebec so I haven't been driving at night)
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,652 Posts
There is something wrong with your car--there should be nothing preventing you from getting to freeway speeds within a few minutes of your starting it although you should not give it full throttle till it's warm. Take it to the dealer and have it repaired under warranty. Warming up a car while it sits in place is not a great idea, particularly with direct injection. Subarus are great in the cold; they are in widespread use in Alaska and other ultra-cold places.
 

· Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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6,599 Posts
Could be the new car phobia. It's my 2021's first winter and still in the 1K mile engine break in period. I don't push it hard either. It's a learning experience.
My concern is there are some owners that believe the engine should never be revved past 3500-4000 rpm unless the engine is fully warmed up. But with these GDI engines, warming them up by idling does nothing and driving them slowly also does not help. GDI engines are more energy efficient compared to non-GDI engines. They produce less heat per given spark. With the higher compression, more of the energy is devoted to actually moving the car and less "wasted" heat is given off. This wasted heat is what was used in non-GDI to get them warmed-up. These GDI engines are now functioning more like diesels. And diesels take a very very very long time to get up to operating temperature. My diesel in the winter time take nearly 10 miles/16 kms to get up to operating temperature.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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324 Posts
The way I'm reading it, and I could be wrong, is not that HE wouldn't go over 4000 rpm/50 kph, but that he couldn't get the CAR to go over 4000 rpm/50 kph. That would definitely be an issue I'd take up with the dealer.
Same here. 4000 rpm to go 50kph/31mph is like being stuck in first gear. If it had gears. 😉
It definitely needs a trip to the dealer for a warranty fix. Or did they accidentally put the selector in 'M' instead of 'D'? I've read here of others doing that if they don't pull back perfectly straight on the gearshift. My wife did that once or twice on ours, too.
 

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2018 Forester XT
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1,662 Posts
I agree with @hoshie and @deechee built for the winter and take it into the dealer to make sure that the thermostat is not stuck in the open position making warm-up times nearly impossible.
my reply was tongue and cheek, since it is what subaru says.

some parts of the forester work very well in winter and harsh conditions.

whereas other important parts of the forester were clearly not tested in harsh conditions and are fragile/perform very poorly.

never had a problem with it running properly in cold though.

...and guess what...it is -30 here right now haha
 

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1999 Honda Accord EX 5MT
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81 Posts
...and guess what...it is -30 here right now haha
Wow - is that Celsius of Fahrenheit? - either way, cold!

I know there were reports of low heater temperature output beginning with I believe the 2014 model, but this seems totally different. I realize engines now typically generate less heat than previously, but it seems that's been compensated for in the last few years. I don't recall any reports of low heater output in models a few years old. But not being able to exceed a certain low speed?

While certainly not efficient as modern vehicles, my car and truck that are around 20 years old have great heaters.
.
 

· Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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6,599 Posts
I realize engines now typically generate less heat than previously, but it seems that's been compensated for in the last few years. I don't recall any reports of low heater output in models a few years old. But not being able to exceed a certain low speed?
They compensate by programming transmission to get engine to rev higher. But some owners don't like this!
 

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2018 Forester XT
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1,662 Posts
My biggest gripe is Subaru glass. It’s a complete joke. 4 windshields and a cracked sunroof. Unacceptable and Subaru knows their glass is is a huge problem.

I also believe they corrode in areas and are faulty in that regard.

but again, never had a problem with it running in extreme conditions. With great tires it’s a reliable snowmobile
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport/2018 Crosstrek Prem
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320 Posts
Fyi, I post this a while back ago in the transmission section and admin moved it to love it or hate it section. I don’t think it was right but I did not object. Many other did not believe there is an issue w Subaru cvt programming. Thanks for sharing the same finding.
Basically what I found is when cvt fluid temp is too low, cvt is programmed not to shift to higher gear ratio. Not sure if it is to protect the cvt or make it warm up engine faster. I read it on other forum that it help reduce the warm up time by turn off the heat. I tested with my wife’s 18 crosstrek last week when it was at 10 degree f. My wife was pissed because we drove 10 min without heat. But for sure the cvt shift fine after 10 min.
Now it come to my question. Would you rather freeze to death or get nailed on highway because the car could not merge onto highway at proper speed.
 

· Registered
2020 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Define "still couldn't get it over 50kph". What are you doing? What or why do you feel you cannot drive over 50 kph? Idling 20 minutes also slows down the rate your engine get's up to operating temperature further making your situation worse.

Also most car manufacturers are being pushed by EPA to get the engines rev'd up higher while they are cold to speed the warm up process. Idling these new GDI engines does not get them warmed up at all. Just get in and drive the vehicle.

Again I still do not understand why you feel you must restrict your driving speeds.....
I guess I wasn't clear enough, while pulling out onto an 80kph roadway (after at least 20 minutes warming up the vehicle) while cautiously gunning the engine to go faster than 50kph all the engine would do is rev up past 4000 rpm. So it is not like I was doing something to prevent me from going faster the engine literally would not respond.
Where this is dangerous should be obvious because I know no roadways where the traffic you are merging into will joyfully allow you to gradually pick up speed for 500meters +.
 

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2020 Forester
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Same here. 4000 rpm to go 50kph/31mph is like being stuck in first gear. If it had gears. 😉
It definitely needs a trip to the dealer for a warranty fix. Or did they accidentally put the selector in 'M' instead of 'D'? I've read here of others doing that if they don't pull back perfectly straight on the gearshift. My wife did that once or twice on ours, too.
No, I used to drive a standard for like 20 years and have experimented with the M on the Forester. I am pretty careful and that's the first thing I checked.
 
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