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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my 2002 Subaru Forester S for 8 years, and it's sitting on about 142K miles. My car repair knowledge for this vehicle is limited to a synthetic (Mobil 1 5W30) oil change every 5000 miles. I don't use Subaru parts -- I just get what I can from my local Advance Auto.

Tonight, I received a P0328 knock sensor error code on the vehicle. It was diagnosed by an AutoZone associate. Their replacement part is I've spent 2 hours researching the issue and going outside in the dark to look at the location of the knock sensor on the engine block. I believe my motor resembles the setup linked on ScoobyMods.com (can't add link due to forum limits)

I have a few questions:

  • Other than the knock sensor itself ($75 from AutoZone), a torque wrench, and 12" socket wrench extension, what other tools/parts do I need?
  • I see a lot of information about the orientation for this part -- can I not just put it back on so that it looks like it does before I remove it?
  • In some printed instructions, there is talk about removing an engine hose strap. Is this necessary? What am I removing?
  • How long can I safely drive (24 miles round trip, some stop and go traffic, daily commute) before this causes problems for my car?
  • If I don't get the part at AutoZone, can anyone recommend another website for purchasing for the sensor? I wanted to link 2 places I'd found, but I can't until I post 15 times.

This is the other relevant information that could think of to share:

  • The P0328 error code happened just a few minutes ago after 2 hours of sitting outside in 80F+ weather.
  • The O2 sensor was replaced on this vehicle way back before 60K miles.
  • The timing belt was changed at 60K miles. It may have been changed again at 120K miles.
  • I have not checked/changed the air filter myself ever (the box is daunting and afraid I wouldn't put it back together properly).

Wish I'd looked this up long before -- I'd have done more maintenance if I'd taken time to find this type of owner community.

Thanks,
IronChefMoto
 

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2001 Forester L
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158 Posts
I replaced the knock sensor on my old 2.5rs before I sold it, and the install is cake (it took about 20 minutes), the hardest part IMO is getting the knock sensor bolt out because I kept dropping it :facepalm:

-Those are all the parts you need
-Yes you can install it back so it sits exactly how it did before removal.
-I didn't need to remove any engine strap or anything, I just unbolted the knock sensor, unplugged the harness and reinstalled the new one

2000-2002 Subaru Forester Knock Sensor - Bosch

I ordered the one for my 2.5rs from there but someone might be able to recommend a cheaper place.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I guess my only remaining questions are:

  • Same as above -- how long can I drive the car without damaging it with this condition? I need it to commute until the part arrives.
  • Torque wrench -- absolutely necessary? I don't have automotive tools. I'm barely a DIY for house repairs let alone automotive repairs.

God knows I should've been using a torque wrench doing my own oil changes.

Thanks!

IronChefMoto
 

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2001 Forester L
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158 Posts
I read a couple thread and got different torque specs, but it seems like the general number is like 16-17.4lbs of torque. I didn't use on though
 

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2011 Forester X AT
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4,235 Posts
Thanks for the reply. I guess my only remaining questions are:

  • Same as above -- how long can I drive the car without damaging it with this condition? I need it to commute until the part arrives.
  • Torque wrench -- absolutely necessary? I don't have automotive tools. I'm barely a DIY for house repairs let alone automotive repairs.

God knows I should've been using a torque wrench doing my own oil changes.

Thanks!

IronChefMoto
Hey, I have your exact same car and just replaced the knock sensor last weekend, due to the same code. My light kept coming on and off for about three months before I replaced it. I think the car goes into safe mode where it dumps a bunch of fuel, which isn't necessarily good for carbon buildup, but isn't going to immediately kill anything. I bought mine at www.subarupartsforyou.com.

I got to the bolt with an extension with an elbow between the two throttle cables. The bolt holding the knock sensor was stuck on. After using a hammer and a few lengths of wratchet, and pb blaster, I hesitantly used a breaker bar and it finally came off. thank god the head didnt break off. Looks like the sensor was corroded to the bolt.

I used a torque wrench to reinstall because who knows if the knock sensor would ever work right again if I had to helicoil. They're so finicky as is.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the addition information. I'm going to buy the sensor tonight either from SubaruPartsForYou or SubaruGenuineParts. It's ~$80 -- about what I'd pay for one from AutoZone, just not overnighted.

IronChefMoto
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #7
HELP! I started this project with a 10" 3/8 extension, a 12mm socket and 3/8 ratchet and some PB Blaster. The bolt came out without a hitch, but, I turned the socket upside down on when trying to remove it per the Chilton's manual image and accidentally pulled off the female (car side) plastic socket WITH the knock sensor.

What can I do? I have photos of everything that I've done, but this website is very difficult when it comes to posting links to useful troubleshooting information. I haven't fulfilled the minimum post information.

A storm is coming now over my house, so I had to reinstall the disconnected knock sensor (old) and torque it down until I have a chance to get outdoors again.

Any suggestions? Where can I post photos of the issue without this site getting angry about links?

Thanks,
IronChefMorimoto
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #8
I've attached photos of the exposed knock sensor wiring (sans the female/car connector) and two shots (one is blurry) of said connector after I brought it in from the rain.

IronChefMorimoto
 

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2011 Forester X AT
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Crap, it looks like you pulled out the plug from the main harness. You either need to figure out a way to reattach or you need a new harness....

I dont understand what you mean by turn the socket upside down....
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #10
Atomic is correct. I've attached more descriptive photos to this post to explain.

I was looking at the top of the connector (the knock sensor side) and trying to press the tab in there rather than the tab on the harness side. I kept pulling and pulling wondering why the release wasn't working when it popped off and I realized I hadn't looked at the Chilton's manual well enough.

What are my options for fixing the mess I've made of the harness?
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #11
Today is the first day I've had to try and drive it with the knock sensor disconnected like this. I haven't had a chance to get to a dealership to see if it can be remedied, and I've not tried jamming the wiring harness terminal back into the connector yet.

Any ideas on this one? Bueller?
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #12
This issue was resolved by a nice tinkerer/mechanic near my house. He spliced in a replacement knock sensor male connector to the car's wiring harness for $25 and installed the part I'd purchased for me. Also checked my brakes and transmission.

Next time, I'll go a little slower with the DIY repair.

IronChefMorimoto
 
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