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Registered
1998 Forester L Auto
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I introduced myself in that forum post and I'd like to post here the few problems I have with my new Suby.

I have a good amount of mechanical knowledge, enough to feel very comfortable taking apart the engine to do stuff like head gaskets. I just haven't worked on Suby's before so I'm learning and doing research first.

I just got an 01 Forester S with about 170,000 miles on it and like any used car it does have a few minor problems that I'd like to ask about. It's an automatic, mostly cause it's a car my wife will be using mostly and she can't drive manual :icon_frown:

First, the interior smells like fuel sometimes. I've been trying to find a leak, but can't seem to find one yet. I intent to see if there is an access panel to the tank and maybe just a leaky gasket or something, but we have been BOMBED with snow this week and I haven't been able to get to it.

Next is that the windshield squirters aren't working. The front and back do not work, but when I try to use them the wipers do indeed engage. It does have fluid in it. I'm thinking it's the pump because I can't even hear it engage. But again, I'm new to Suby's and maybe it's the switch??

When starting the car there is a quick grind. IMO is sounds like maybe some type of bearing or something. Not sure on this one, maybe the starter has something loose inside. But she fires right up without any problems. A friend of mine suggested a pilot bearing or something, but he hasn't actually looked at it yet.

I'm all ears to things that I should check on this car. I've checked a lot already and it's a sound car. I don't have a maintenance record to go from so when it warms up this spring/summer I have some work to do. I'm planning on timing belt, water pump, head gaskets and other regular tune up stuff. Anything I should be aware of? The head gaskets are sound right now, but I've read that they can be a problem and so I'm just gonna go ahead and replace them while I'm doing the rest of the work.

Any particular type of oil this 2.5L engine likes? I live somewhere that gets pretty damn cold, but not all that hot in the summer. That doesn't mean that I won't be driving to Phoenix sometimes in the summer so I might just need to have a winter oil and a summer oil. What oil do you guys all recommend? I will be using Suby filters just because I believe in factory filters. I'm a huge VW nut and I always use VW filters when changing oil on my dubz.

I'm open ears to suggestions, comments and the like.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Registered
02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
Fuel smell may be a rotted inlet pipe, there is a sort-of recall on them if you search the forum.

I use NAPA filters which I believe are Purolator, which was the same brand as Subaru US uses last time I checked.

Can't help you with the rest, but welcome aboard. :)
 

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01 Forester S
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129 Posts
i have an 01 S with 110,000. too bad no records. timing belt service is due at 105,000, your over so if it hasn't been done it needs it but maybe it was?

I'm at 110,000. outer front cv boot ripped but has been for over 4 years and its still working somehow. Got a couple codes saying my cat was running below effic. so will see about that. i'm also way over on when they say to replace my spark plugs but its still running ok and I am avoiding any expenses unfortunately at this time due to the economy sucking.
 

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2018 Forester ∞
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221 Posts
Motor oil
The local dealership only uses Castrol, so that's what I use as well.

Fuel smell
Since you're new to Subarus: have you checked the fuel filter? It's near the top of the firewall on the driver's side.

Last, the contacts on the windshield washer fluid pump connectors (what a mouthful...) on my '98 were really grimy when I first got the car. I cleaned them out just because of the way they looked, without knowing if the pump was working or not, but it's worth a look.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Registered
1998 Forester L Auto
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.

Yes, I only use Castrol or Valvaline, but I would like to know what grade to use here in the cold temps of Flag. I was thinking 5w-30 for winter and 10w-30 for summer.

I will check the fuel filter. Is there an access panel to the tank/fuel pump to check this inlet line?

I'm not sure it's the connectors for the w.wiper squirters cause even the one in the back isn't working as well. But if it's on the pump side I'll check that.

So Napa filters eh? Thats good to know.

And yes, timing belt etc is on my list once it warms up some and I can get to my garage cause right now it's buried by all the snow we have.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,484 Posts
As to the oil you use, I'd recommend staying with the recommended 5W-30. You don't want to up the low end, since that allows the correct lubricant flow when the engine is first started (cold). :wink:

You can use whatever brand you like. My personal preference is NAPA Gold oil filters, which are made by WIX & Valvoline MaxLife 5W-30 synthetic-blend. I use this in all my vehicles. I use the every 4 months or 3K miles for the oil & filter change. I figure this is cheap insurance for a long lasting engine. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
A good hdeo for summer - like rotella t 10w-30 and ??? for winter maybe Yardman 5w-30 snowblower oil API Sj - lots of zddp! If synthetic maybe pentosyn or M1 0w-40 all year round. Maybe M1 high mileage 5w-30 in winter - its SL rated.
 

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Registered
1998 Forester L Auto
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanx for more info

I'm pretty sure that I have the starting grinding diagnosed. It's gotta be the starter cause it only grinds on starting and continues to grind and wind down after the starter is engaged. It's not heard at all afterwards, including during acceleration and deceleration.

Btw, I just found another problem, hopefully someone has experience with this. I'm about to go do a search, but I'm gonna go ahead and ask since I'm typing this.

The air selector switch is stuck on front air no matter which position the switch says it's in. This is important to me because without a defroster my windshield is fogging up like crazy. I didn't notice earlier cause it's been driven limited because of all the storms we have had. But yes, I need to fix it. Is is vacuum driven? Can I just take it apart and switch it manually so that it's permanently stuck on defrost with feet? At least if its stuck there then I'm ok for now and I can fix it the right way later. But maybe this is an easy fix.
 
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