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2012 Forrester 4 sp auto
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2012 forester, 2.5 non-turbo still has less than 7000 miles. Since new it has sprayed a liquid from the tailpipes. I have had it in to dealer apprx 3 times complaining about lower than normal gas mileage, and 'juicy' tailpipes. Answer was wait till engine breaks in, water is normal combustion product. Maybe, I've never had a Subaru before... but I never had a vehicle spray from the tail pipe like this when new. It's not gasoline, doesn't ignite with a match. I think the spray has been increasing. Searching the internet I read of Subaru headgasket problems, but for years preceding 2012. I am thinking of having it independently diagnosed. Anyone have any thoughts or advice?
 

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Premium Member
2014 2.0XT Limited CVT
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416 Posts
Water coming from the tail pipe is normal. It is water condensing from the engine exhaust because of the cold air around your vehicle. When you shut down the Forester there is warm, moist exhaust in your exhaust system. As it cools, it condenses. When you start up in the morning the engine exhaust pushes that liquid out the tail pipe so you get dripping/sputtering. After the dripping has finished you may still see the exhaust as that white vapour cloud coming from the tail pipe. Some vehicles are worse than others depending on the exhaust system length and configuration.

However, there is another possibility, although I doubt it's the case for a newer Forester like yours. Are you losing coolant? If your coolant level is dropping more that normal you may have a gasket leak that is sucking the coolant into the engine and out the tailpipe. The water that drips from the tail pipe would have a sickly sweet smell if that were the case.

I suspect you're seeing normal condensation. Can't explain the lower than normal gas mileage because I don't know what is normal for you. The switch to winter gas with higher ethanol contents could explain both. Also, the colder temperatures might contribute to both.
 

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2007 Forester XT
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143 Posts
Very likely just normal behavior. Usually you can smell/see it if coolant or oil is being burned and coming out the tailpipe. Moisture/water out the exhaust is normal, especially when cold.
 

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2004 Forester XTi 4EAT
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1,430 Posts
Water out the tail pipe is a sign that your engine is running like it should and that your catalytic converters are doing their jobs.
 
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