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2010 Forester X Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

So we bought the 2010 Forester for my wife. We owned the car a little less than a month and we always see the blue coolant/temperature light when we start the car in the cold morning. It takes about 30 seconds (or sometime longer) before it clears itself. According to the manual, it is okay to be blue and I have read that it is to indicate the engine is not warmed up yet.

My wife refuses to move the car until the blue light disappears. (Any advice?)

We are wondering how long it takes for the blue light to clear for other 2009/2010 forester owners. Can you also indicate whether your forester is in a cold weather or warm weather environment. That would be helpful too.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
Welcome to the Forum, it takes 3 to 4 min before mine goes out now that winters here.. And your wifes smart to let it warm up before driving. It could possibly prevent costly head gasket repairs later in the cars life.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,572 Posts
I belive that regardless of the light it's healthy to drive with no hard driving until the engine got some heat. If it takes around 30sec before it's gone I say let it stay stay parked until the light is gone but I can't see why you should need to, It's just better for the car I belive. Frozen oil is bad for a running engine anyway.

Hope someone else can chime in on this.
Not so helpful for your blue light.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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My recollection is that my car's blue temp light turns off when the coolant temp reaches ~122F (~50C). How long the engine takes to reach that temp will depend on ambient temp, initial loads, etc. It'll be one thing in the summer, and another in the winter. I've never let it just sit and idle long enough to extinguish the light.

(Any advice?)
Personally, based on 40 years driving experience, I think it's OK to gently drive off if the indicator is blue but the engine has idled for five- or ten seconds or so. Just no hard acceleration or high-speed driving until the blue light is off.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Hello,

So we bought the 2010 Forester for my wife. We owned the car a little less than a month and we always see the blue coolant/temperature light when we start the car in the cold morning. It takes about 30 seconds (or sometime longer) before it clears itself. According to the manual, it is okay to be blue and I have read that it is to indicate the engine is not warmed up yet.

My wife refuses to move the car until the blue light disappears. (Any advice?)

We are wondering how long it takes for the blue light to clear for other 2009/2010 forester owners. Can you also indicate whether your forester is in a cold weather or warm weather environment. That would be helpful too.
Ask her if in her last car she refused to move the car til the temperature gauge needle (if it had one) moved into the "normal" zone, because that's what she's doing right now.

It's no different than any other car, you don't hammer on it til it's up to temperature. In the winter I will run my car for a minute or two before I gently drive it til it's fully warmed up, but I'm not gonna sit there until it's fully warmed up, that'd take like 7 minutes or something in my Forester.
 

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2007 Outback 2.5i
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486 Posts
The warning lights are red and amber. The indicator lights are green and blue. Does she stop the car if the high beams are turned on? :raspberry: Worse case, take the damn bulb out :biggrin:
 

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2004 STI 6MT (2005)
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2,934 Posts
Haha, I love your replies!! I must say that I've learned something from this thread though as sometimes I start the car and floor it out of my driveway. (Sorry Fozzie!!! I'll never mistreat you again!)
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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702 Posts
I was about to echo everyone else's sentiments here, that it's okay to drive off with a light foot before the blue light goes out (cuz I sure do)...but decided to check the owner's manual first. Nine again, my 09 2.5X has the same engine as your Forester. The manual's section regarding the coolant temp light says "Illumination in BLUE indicates insufficient warming up of the engine." (pp 3-13) The section on starting the vehicle states "The fuel injection system automatically lowers the idle speed as the engine warms up. While the engine is warming up, make sure that the selector lever is at the P or N position and that the parking brake is applied." (pp7-9).
So, it would seem that Subaru agrees w/your wife...that it's best to wait until the blue light goes out before driving off. And that really surprises me....:confused:
Steve
09 2.5X AT
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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40,552 Posts
Curious... if the later Foresters had a coolant temperature gauge, would you wait until the gauge pointer moved upward before driving off? I would guess not. :wink:

On the newer vehicles, the ECM will compensate for the operating temperature by increasing the idle speed, fuel mixture, etc. A wise person would understand diving gently while the engine is getting up to the normal operating temperature will ensure a long lasting engine. IMO, unless it's extremely cold, it's better to start & gently drive off.

Just my .02 cents worth. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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1995 Saab 900
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4 Posts
My '10 Premium takes awhile for the blue light to go out. In fact, I'm not sure I've actually let it sit and idle until the light went out by itself...maybe once or twice, but it took awhile. Strangely enough, if I let it warm up for about 30 seconds or a minute, then gently drive off, the light goes out in another 10 seconds of driving. Almost like a short bit of driving helps her warm up faster?
It's funny though, how a blue light telling you "I'm not warm yet" is more effective than the standard temperature gauge at convincing us to let it warm up a bit longer...but it's true. I think with the standard gauges, we all could "assume" the car had warmed up enough without the needle moving.

So...basically, I let her warm up for a minute, then just drive very gently until the light goes out.
 

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2009 Forester
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Blue Coolant light

I always try to wait for the light to go out on my wife's 2009. Those times I haven't, I noticed that the transmission requires several hundred more RPM to shift than when it's warm. Whether that's the computer or the AT I can't say, but it does remind me that it's not only the engine that needs warming up.
 

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2010 Forester X Limited
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for everyone's reply to my questions. This forum has been very helpful.


Jared_N really clarified it for me.
I notice that my Venza (our other car) does have the temperature gauge and it does take a quick moment to reach the middle or the normal temperature.

The Forester does not have the temperature gauge, but rather have this indicator, i.e. the blue light disappears when the temp reaches normal.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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...the blue light disappears when the temp reaches normal.
This may be a (-nother) semantics issue, but blue temp light "off" does not necessarily signify "normal". This discussion may be useful reading.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,241 Posts
The blue light most definitely does not signify "normal"

My 09 OBXT has a gauge AND a blue indicator light. The light goes off when the gauge reads about 1/4 to normal.

I usually get in the car, start it, and put on my seatbelt before driving off. I don't think it's ever seen more than 2500 revs before being completely normal though.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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I have a 2010. If I am not in a rush, I let the car sit and the "dummy" light goes away by itself. If I am in a rush, I wait 'till the rpm's drop to 1k and then I drive slowly until it clears.
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
I have a 2010. If I am not in a rush, I let the car sit and the "dummy" light goes away by itself. If I am in a rush, I wait 'till the rpm's drop to 1k and then I drive slowly until it clears.
Intresting.. I had never read that part of the book.. Now reading it I see what you guys mean... It does however say the AT will stay in lower gears to bring the engine revs up to help warm the engine faster.. But all in all its really not well stated what to do..

But our 01 Forester book says.. We recommend that you drive moderately until the pointer of the temperature gage reaches near the middle of the range.. Engine operation is optimum with the engine coolant at this temperature range and high revving operaration when the engine is not warmed up enough should be avoided..

The book on the VW says start engine.. When the oil light goes out start to drive keeping the engine at lower speeds until its warm.. Excess idle time causes excess engine wear and waste fuel..

The book on the Mercedes says about the same thing..

I have always started the car and when the oil pressure is up I have driven off keeping the revs down.. I have never had any engine problems and have driven some of our cars for up to 750,000 miles.. So guess I will stick with what I know works.. And with the much thinner oils we use now, I think it will be less of a problem..

I bet over the 10 to 15 years most of us own the cars idle time would use enough gas to drive thousands of miles if you let it set until the light goes out all the time.. However I do think every one should do what ever they think is right..

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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We are wondering how long it takes for the blue light to clear for other 2009/2010 forester owners. Can you also indicate whether your forester is in a cold weather or warm weather environment. That would be helpful too.
I timed my 09 car's "blue temp light off" cycle this morning before running a few errands: just over two minutes from 29F ambient to blue light off (122F / 50C coolant temp per OBDII > iPod Touch w/ Rev2) with the seat warmers on LOW, the windshield defroster on, and the blower motor speed set to "2".

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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That's the status of my needle gauge JUST as the light goes off.
 

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Our salesman said the rpm would stay a bit higher until the light went off but that we could drive off with the light still on as long as we were driving reasonably, ie not suddendly on the highway doing 60.

I'm in Montreal Canada and with the temperature below -10C we let the car warm up for a minute or two and then take off slowly, the light is usually off by about two or three blocks from home.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... your wifes smart to let it warm up before driving. It could possibly prevent costly head gasket repairs later in the cars life.
Others of us do not believe that gentle driving during warm up has any effect on the head gaskets.

Some car manufacturers discourage warming up by idling. The Owners Manual of my Toyota says:
Engine should be warmed up by driving,
not in idle. For warming up drive with
smoothly turning engine until engine coolant
temperature is within normal range.
The general advice is to not warm up by idling:
Myth #1: The engine should be warmed up before driving. Reality: Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today's modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving away.
Idling Your Car
The problem is, letting your car sit and idle is the slowest way to bring it up to operating temperature because it’s generally sitting in your drive at just above idle speed. And this method to warm up also invites other problems... Even when it’s 10 degrees F outside, start your car, let it run for 30 to 60 seconds to get all the fluids moving, then drive off gently. Your engine will warm up faster, your exhaust system will get up to temperature faster so the catalytic converter can do its thing, and you’ll use less fuel.
Should I let my car warm up each morning?
 
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