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1999 Forester
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1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just bought a used 1999 Subaru Forester with 141k miles on it. Just today, after owning it for all of three days, I notice a burning rubber smell from under the hood while the car is idling, particularly when I am stopped with my foot on the brake (seems less smelly when the car is simply parked). I noticed this after taking the car through an auto-car wash and saw a small amount of smoke coming out from under the hood, as well.

Later in the day I had to drive about 50 miles for an appointment, and on the way back home while on the highway, the check engine light came on. Thankfully I got an new inspection sticker BEFORE the light came on :icon_confused: The car wasn't making any smells while in motion (at least none that I could tell), but the smell is very obvious while stopped at stop lights and that sort of thing. I haven't seen smoke other than the incident at the car wash. I know you can only tell what's wrong by seeing the problem in person, but could you give me an idea of what could be going on and if the possible list of bad stuff are large expenses (like over $500?)

Also, I noticed yesterday in the rain that the front windshield wiper fluid squirters aren't working. The rear squirter is fine, and the main wiper fluid basin is full, so what could be wrong with it? I know in other cars I've had you hear a small motor or something when you squirt the wiper fluid, but I heard nothing in the new car.

I have to admit, I bought this car kind of hastily - I didn't take it to a mechanic to get checked out, I just judged it on the (very short) test drive and the fact that my best friend and several other acquaintences have Subarus and love them. I also apologize in advance for not knowing a whole lot about cars, Subarus in particular, but I am very eager to learn more.


Thanks in advance!
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
probably an oil leak. could be something as simple as valve cover gasket or other fairly easily replaced seal, or something as major as headgasket oil leak (although 99 is more likely to either leak internally or leak coolant external). could also be the plastic "oil separator plate" on the back of the motor that requires removal of either engine or trans to replace. could be grease from a torn CV boot getting on the exhaust.

just have to take off the plastic under pan and take a look. if things are too dirty clean them up good, drive a little, and look again.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,825 Posts
+1 for torn CV boot. You can also do a visual of the cylinder heads and hard to reach areas with a handheld mirror and flashlight (reflect into mirror to illuminate underside) +1 as well for removing the under belly pan and do an inspection from that perspective. Because you are seeing smoke check especially above and around the exhaust pipe areas, since you are seeing smoke the oil must be burning on something hotter than the engine. Check the oil filter to see if it's leaking a bit, sometimes it's just not on tight enough and slowly drips.

As far as the windhield wiper washer is concerned, have a listen while someone operates the control, if you don't hear the pump, replacements can be bought at most auto supply stores, pretty simple.

The check engine light code can also be read at most auto supply places for free, ask them to explain what it was and what might need replacing, you can tell us back here as well (exact code, not I think it was...). Guessing is just that.
Caveat: you get what you pay for, looks like you've just started learning.
 

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1997 2.00 S Turbo
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5 Posts
Burning smell.

Hi I have just acquired a '97 S turbo which has this problem and the inner c/v boot was split. Got this replaced but the smell remains. I only notice when idling or as soon as I turn the ignition off. Think I can see some oil, though not a lot, in the clinder head area, will take a closer look and let you know what I find. Just love the car, drove company cars for 40 years, mostly VAG, finally got something a bit different for my retirement and I can tweak it anyway I want. My son has an Imprezza and I really like it. My car is a Japanese spec. car imported to the UK. I think the original lump was 240BHP, but a previous owner tried to run it sans oil!. The present engine is ex a '97 Imprezza with the smaller turbo I believe is normally fitted to an automatic, I believe it gives me close to 200BHP which I am quite happy with. Any comments on this set-up would be appreciated.

Dave. (N. Ireland)
 

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Administrator
2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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19,623 Posts
The front and rear windshield washers have separate pumps.
Start by looking for a disconnected wire.

If not, then check for a bad pump by holding onto it when somebody else closes the switch. Does it feel like something is trying to happen there?

If so, try cleaning out the nozzles with a pin.

Disconnect the hose from the pump and blast the tubing with compressed air.​
 

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2001 Forester Turbo 2L Automatic
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6 Posts
I have almost identical problems with my 'bargain' petrol turbo Forester, 2001 petrol turbo, 133,000 Kms. Drove fine on the test drive, but now when I start her up, smoke appears in the engine compartment, on the passenger side (LHD) but I can't see any hoses leaking. The oil and coolant levels seem to be normal and holding up. It's fine on long journeys, drives normally.
I've read loads of stuff in the forum and I reckon oil or other fluid is dripping from somewhere onto the exhaust.
My questions are:
Worth taking to a mechanic, and does it need to be a Subaru dealer (i.e add a 0 to the bill)?
Does it sound serious?
Likely causes: valve cover gasket or torn CV boot (where the heck are these things)?

I also have washer issues but I've got enough info from the forums to check out the motor.

Thanks in advance
 
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