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· Registered
2009 Forester
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm a new Subaru owner, bought a new '09 XT Ltd one week ago from a dealership 3 hours away (I live in the boonies). Due to the time of day of the purchase, there was no time to install certain accessories so I took the car home and returned this weekend for various accessory installations.

While driving back to the city yesterday with the temperature about -30 deg Celcius and about and hour and a half into the 3 hours drive, a significant amount of smoke was coming out of the exhaust, and smoke began to fill the car interior. I pulled over, called the dealership first, and they advised me to get towed the rest of the way. Perfect, already on a tow truck with only 700 kms on the thing.

After a 5 hour wait and 5 phone calls with Subaru C.A.R.E. program (what a joke that program is, every call I made it was as if I was calling for the first time) the Forester was loaded on the flatbed and concluded its journey to the dealership. (Ended up using CAA for the tow by the way, Subaru CARE only covers up to 100 km).

Anyways, it turns out the PVC valve froze leading to all that smoke and not much oil left in the engine. The service manager told me that he has seen this before and that Subaru is in the know. Looks like on cold days and highway driving, the location of the PCV valve and the intake scoop can lead to it freezing. Note that not a single 'advisory' was displayed on the dash, ie CEL, Oil etc. A field fix I am told is to cover the intake or PVC with cardboard somehow? This post is to give a heads up to those with 09 Foresters with Turbo's that this can happen when it is Cold, and it was cold I'll say that.

Well, my new car is in the shop, 300 kms away with an interior which smells like oil. Does anyone know what questions I should be asking prior to accepting my vehicle back. Could there be permanent damage to the engine, Turbo etc.

I know it's bad luck, the dealership was actually really good and gave me a Tribeca to drive back home (made me glad I bought the Forester). I just find it funny that these new cars can be so finnicky and makes me wonder if I made the right decision buying it. Having cardboard as a fix in cold weather makes me shake my head a bit.

· Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
8,068 Posts
I have had this happen on my '95 F-150 twice since I bought the truck new. Both times were on sub-zero days.

Questions I would ask:

1. How much oil was left in the engine? or How much they added?
If it was more then 2 quarts low, I would ask that they extend the engine warranty being it is a new vehicle and there is a chance of possible long term damage due to the low oil. They may argue but I would kindly push for it. Even if you have to call 1-800-SUBARU-3 and start a claim.

As for the oil light not coming on. It is a oil pressure warning light not a oil level waring light. Being that the light did not come on, you had significant pressure even with the low oil. Now the question comes to be How hot did the oil get? Over heated oil doesn't offer much protection against wear. Being that it was a cold day odds are in your favor.

Other wise I wouldn't be too worried. Cardboard fixes have been done for years in the cold climates. Placed over oil coolers, tranny coolers and radiators to help keep things warm.
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