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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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Discussion Starter #1
So I just bought a 2004 XT from a guy. Right before I bought it he had the turbo fail so he had a mechanic replace it with a new VF39. Since I picked it up from his mechanic, it has had a CEL on which they discovered to be P0021. The mechanic said, "I have no idea what that code means," and they sent me on my way. (I figured I would ask you folks after I do some research of my own.)

Yesterday the battery failed (it was the original battery so I don't think that's a big deal) and I replaced it. The CEL cleared probably due to the battery being out of the car. The guy at Napa suggested the CEL might be due to the battery needing to be replaced.

The CEL came back last night and is still going, so I did some research. I found these posts:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/05-xt-p0021-p0011-cel-codes-no-oil-68133/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f62/best-driving-practices-05-fxt-47932/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/newby-blown-turbo-already-58028/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/problem-fixed-whys-my-car-slow-65753/

After reading all of those I'm getting mixed answers. "It's the turbo", "It's the AVCS do-hicky", "Replace your timing belt or your car will DIE" and "Change your oil and pray to the XT gods"

My last Forester died on me in December due to the timing belt breaking. I just bought this car and I'll probably snap if it happens again on my gorgeous new-to-me XT. Seriously....I'll kill somebody. :chair:

Do I worry? Do I wait it out and hope for the best? Please help....I can't stand to lose another Forester. I fought too hard to get this one.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Wait... the mechanic just shrugged his shoulders and played stupid, and you bought the car anyway? :confused:

P0021 is most likely indicative of a jumped timing belt, so you should look at replacing it asap or you might incur damage. Also, I hope the car already has the supporting mods for the VF39 installed, most notably some sort of engine management?
 

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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I had my Subaru mechanic look at it and he said when he has time he'll look at it and that it probably isn't a big deal.

The timing belt is due for a change and I had already planned on doing it soon. I even had the cost of it deducted from the sales price.

No supporting mods yet for the VF39. I'm getting a COBB AP on monday and I'm going to start putting together a collection of parts for stage 2.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just called Surgeline tuning and talked to "Jeff". He says that it's impossible to know without doing any additional diagnostic work. He says I should get the 60k service and the timing belt done ASAP.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5spd
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Took it to the subaru dealer. They said it could be a bad sensor. Cleared it and said come back and they'll dig further.

Did a timing belt replacement and they looked at the turbo and said it was fine to run as is.

I'm getting a tune weekend after next once I get the rest of my mods here.

Thanks for the input folks.
 

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If the Belt was the problem, you would have noticed it in the way the engine operates. If it were a sensor problem you would get a code for the sensor, or not be able to start the car. That code generally means there is a clog in the AVCS system somewhere. I think 21 is left side and 11 is right, I can't remember. Being that the turbo was failed and replaced, that's also an indication of a clog in the oiling system. Generally the oil doesn't get changed enough, breaks down and causes wear, which clogs passages, and causes AVCS codes and a turbo failure, at least on FXT's. What you should do is change the oil, idle for 5-10 minutes so it gets circulated, then change the oil and filter, clear the code and drive it. If it comes back again remove and clean the AVCS solenoids, and lines, clean or replace the AVCS filters, change the oil, clear the code, and drive. If it comes back again, remove and clean the the AVCS sprockets, all passages, change the oil, clear the code and drive. Or just take everything apart and clean it all, its just cheaper and easier to do it the way listed above.
 

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Smartest thing I have heard all day

That code generally means there is a clog in the AVCS system somewhere. I think 21 is left side and 11 is right, I can't remember. Being that the turbo was failed and replaced, that's also an indication of a clog in the oiling system. Generally the oil doesn't get changed enough, breaks down and causes wear, which clogs passages, and causes AVCS codes and a turbo failure, at least on FXT's.
I just had a turbo fail on an 05 XT. Mechanic said, it is probably a new turbo that the previous owner put on because it looked clean. Something is starving it of oil. I needed this. Thanks.
 
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