Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
2005 Forester X
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'm not just a Forester Dummy...I'm a auto idiot!! I've been studying but I wanted to bounce a few questions off of some experts so let me fill you in on what's going on right this minute...

1. Routine check discovered coolant in the oil/head gasket needs to be replaced
2. New timing belt needed
3. Check engine light on with Cruise light blinking
4. Transmission service needed

Here are my questions -

1. Should I just have the timing belt done when the head gasket gets replaced? What else should I have fixed while they're in there? I read something about tensioners, idlers, water pump, thermostat, all seals including cam and crank and pulleys...is that about it or am I missing something? What about an oil pump o-ring? Is transmission service included with any of this? New coolant?

2. Do I have a serpentine belt on my 2005 Subaru Forester X? Should it be replaced as well? I need a full tune-up...is this included and will this change belts and hoses? What about pcv valve, plugs and wires, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, distributor cap and rotor, ac system and cooling system? What about a rear diff fluid change?

3. I've been told something about my CV Boots/Joints...I read that it's cheaper to just replace the entire axle. True and will I need all four??

4. Check engine light...cat converter or oxygen sensors? This is totally foreign to me!!

I apologize for all the questions but I'm just trying to go in without being completely in the dark on what's needed so please, if I left something out, let me know. I've put aside a chunk of money for car stuff so I want to take care of everything possible asap. Thanks!!

Stephanie
2005 Subaru Forester X
105,000 miles
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
39,784 Posts
I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

Has the CEL code been read? :confused:

If you're going to have the head gaskets replaced, with your miles, it makes sense to have the timing belt & associated parts changed while they're in there. :wink:

As to the other services. Have you signed up at MySubaru? Your required maintenance schedule can be found there. :smile:

If you want to tackle some of those things, do your research & go for it. Not everything needs to addressed at the same time. In my experience, if I have too much done at the same time, something always gets screwed up! :icon_eek:

Bottom line, if it sounds too expensive or it doesn't feel right, get a second opinion on the repairs!

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Okay, I'm not just a Forester Dummy...I'm a auto idiot!! I've been studying but I wanted to bounce a few questions off of some experts so let me fill you in on what's going on right this minute...

1. Routine check discovered coolant in the oil/head gasket needs to be replaced
2. New timing belt needed
3. Check engine light on with Cruise light blinking
4. Transmission service needed

Here are my questions -

1. Should I just have the timing belt done when the head gasket gets replaced? What else should I have fixed while they're in there? I read something about tensioners, idlers, water pump, thermostat, all seals including cam and crank and pulleys...is that about it or am I missing something? What about an oil pump o-ring? Is transmission service included with any of this? New coolant?

2. Do I have a serpentine belt on my 2005 Subaru Forester X? Should it be replaced as well? I need a full tune-up...is this included and will this change belts and hoses? What about pcv valve, plugs and wires, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, distributor cap and rotor, ac system and cooling system? What about a rear diff fluid change?

3. I've been told something about my CV Boots/Joints...I read that it's cheaper to just replace the entire axle. True and will I need all four??

4. Check engine light...cat converter or oxygen sensors? This is totally foreign to me!!

I apologize for all the questions but I'm just trying to go in without being completely in the dark on what's needed so please, if I left something out, let me know. I've put aside a chunk of money for car stuff so I want to take care of everything possible asap. Thanks!!

Stephanie
2005 Subaru Forester X
105,000 miles
This is quite the complete car project!!First things first...where did you get the idea you needed to do all this? Are you just doing the 105K mile maintenance? Who checked out your coolant and told you there was oil in it? Is the car overheating? Did a mechanic tell you your CV boots were torn?

If you are financially able it is best to do all the head-gasket and timing stuff at the same time. When they do head-gaskets have them also change the water pump, thermostat, timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, and timing belt. This is also a good time for new spark plugs.

The Forester doesn't have a serpentine belt per se, but there are 2 accessory belts; 1 for the A/C, and 1 for the alternator and power steering pump. It is a good idea to change those at this time as well. I would also pop for new valve cover/spark plug gaskets.

The check engine light is probably on due to the rear 02 sensor. I would hope you don't need a new catalytic converter, they should last the life of the vehicle.

If the CV boots are torn, it is usually just easier to buy a re-manufactured axle if you are doing it yourself. I don't think it would be cheaper at the dealer to replace an axle vs, just the boots.
 

·
Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
19,058 Posts
Welcome! It sounds like you've done your homework here.

Where do you live? One of us might be able to recommend a good independent shop in the area who would be more reasonable and selective than a dealer. Or provide a second opinion, especially regarding the head gaskets.

Okay, I'm not just a Forester Dummy...I'm a auto idiot!! I've been studying but I wanted to bounce a few questions off of some experts so let me fill you in on what's going on right this minute...

1. Routine check discovered coolant in the oil/head gasket needs to be replaced
If so, this has to be done.

2. New timing belt needed
105k miles is exactly the time this is due. Timing belt is the one piece of scheduled maintenance that can kill a Forester if not done on time. There should be some economy of scale in getting it done with head gaskets.

3. Check engine light on with Cruise light blinking
It could be anything. Have the code read FREE at AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, or the like.

4. Transmission service needed
If this means replace fluids, it's probably time to do it.

Here are my questions -

1. Should I just have the timing belt done when the head gasket gets replaced? What else should I have fixed while they're in there? I read something about tensioners, idlers, water pump, thermostat, all seals including cam and crank and pulleys...is that about it or am I missing something? What about an oil pump o-ring? Definitely tensioners, idlers, water pump, thermostat. Most of those can break the timing belt if they fail. Other stuff is not my area of knowledge.Is transmission service included with any of this? No New coolant? Part of head gasket and water pump job.

2. Do I have a serpentine belt on my 2005 Subaru Forester X? Should it be replaced as well? I need a full tune-up...is this included and will this change belts and hoses? 'Full tune-up' isn't really a defined term. What about pcv valve, plugs and wires, air filter, cabin filter Cabin filter is vastly overpriced at dealer! Easy DIY for a bit over $10 with an aftermarket filter, fuel filter Fuel filter is buried in the fuel tank and essentially unchangeable unless really needed., distributor cap and rotor We don't have cap and rotor. Electronic ignition! , ac system and cooling system? What about a rear diff fluid change? See cars101 for maintenance schedule. If you don't have records of previous work, assume it hasn't been done!

3. I've been told something about my CV Boots/Joints...I read that it's cheaper to just replace the entire axle. True and will I need all four?? Not my bag!

4. Check engine light...cat converter or oxygen sensors? This is totally foreign to me!! Get the code read

I apologize for all the questions but I'm just trying to go in without being completely in the dark on what's needed so please, if I left something out, let me know. I've put aside a chunk of money for car stuff so I want to take care of everything possible asap. Thanks!!

Stephanie
2005 Subaru Forester X
105,000 miles
 

·
Registered
2005 Forester X
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
This is quite the complete car project!!First things first...where did you get the idea you needed to do all this? Are you just doing the 105K mile maintenance? Who checked out your coolant and told you there was oil in it? Is the car overheating? Did a mechanic tell you your CV boots were torn?
Subaru dealership let me in on the head gasket issue. No, car isn't overheating and a mechanic from a shop told me about the boots.

If you are financially able it is best to do all the head-gasket and timing stuff at the same time. When they do head-gaskets have them also change the water pump, thermostat, timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, and timing belt. This is also a good time for new spark plugs.

The Forester doesn't have a serpentine belt per se, but there are 2 accessory belts; 1 for the A/C, and 1 for the alternator and power steering pump. It is a good idea to change those at this time as well. I would also pop for new valve cover/spark plug gaskets.

The check engine light is probably on due to the rear 02 sensor. I would hope you don't need a new catalytic converter, they should last the life of the vehicle.

If the CV boots are torn, it is usually just easier to buy a re-manufactured axle if you are doing it yourself. I don't think it would be cheaper at the dealer to replace an axle vs, just the boots.
Thanks for the info!! I don't like being talked to like I'm a complete idiot, though I'm feeling that way about now. It's hard to find someone who will take some time and just talk me through the different areas that need to be covered...appreciate it!
 

·
Registered
2005 Forester X
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Another potentially dumb question but exactly how many belts/chains does my Subaru have? I know there's the TB, A/C belt and alternator belt but I keep seeing the terms "drive" belts and camshaft belt. What about specific hoses and wires to have checked or replaced? Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
04 Forester X, MT
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
There is the timing belt. It is behind the black plastic covers on the front of the engine. This belt has teeth that fit on cogs to maintain the proper relationship of the camshafts and crankshaft ("timing").

- There are 2 accessory belts, which is where it gets a little confusing. I feel the proper term is "drive belts".
- On older cars the accessory belts were "V-belts" so-called because of the shape of their cross-section. There were often 2 or 3 belts on a vehicle.
- It is common on many newer cars to have 1 "serpentine" belt to power all the accessories.

So, the design of the Subaru accessory "drive belts" is more like that of the serpentine belt, but there are 2 of them and the routing of them is more like the classic routing of V-belts (not winding around all the components like a serpent).


As far as hoses and wires, I would recommend replacing spark plug wires. In addition to the big upper and lower radiator hoses, there are other coolant hoses:
A small "heater hose" size one near the thermostat housing under the motor.
2 heater hoses near the firewall and brake booster.
2 small hoses the size of fuel lines that go to the throttle body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
If you look at your coolant overflow reservoir, which is attached to the radiator and is a somewhat transparent container, is there some brown or black residue mixed in with the green coolant? The coolant should be green, if there is any black or brownish residue that pretty much means your head-gaskets are failing. If the coolant is just green I would advise against doing head-gaskets and maybe look at another mechanic as they may be trying to screw you.
 

·
Registered
2009 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
If you look at your coolant overflow reservoir, which is attached to the radiator and is a somewhat transparent container, is there some brown or black residue mixed in with the green coolant? The coolant should be green, if there is any black or brownish residue that pretty much means your head-gaskets are failing. If the coolant is just green I would advise against doing head-gaskets and maybe look at another mechanic as they may be trying to screw you.
Or you can check your engine oil. If there is any "milky-white" or gray coloring in the oil, then it has water / coolant in it.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top