First post? Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a nice car which should give you a lot of driving fun.
I just bought a pretty good example of an 09 XT with 140km (~88k miles). Timing belt has been replaced along with one cat. Other than a .5" steel undercarriage shield, she's bone stock.
After prolonged driving, if you turn on the air there is a burnt oil smell. Strangely, if you have the windows open or are just standing next to the car, you can't smell it. And you can only smell it while the car is stationary(at a light for example).
Just for grins, have you replaced your cabin air filter? It's behind the glove box. Subaru finally roared into the 20th century - replacing the cabin air filter on '09-13 Foresters does not require complete vehicle disassembly. If this filter has not been replaced in the last year or so, you might wear a bio-hazard suit when doing this task ;-)
She pulls strong(I think. I've never driven one of these before), although the 4EAT is a bit dimwitted.
It's an old transmission design . . . old but tested. On the bright side, 4EATs are very tough - almost bullet proof. You might buy a case of Subaru ATF HD and, every time you change your oil, drain the transmission. Only about 4 quarts of ATF will come out of the pan. Measure what came out. Then add enough new to keep you in the game. After 3 oil changes, your ATF will be about 90% changed. That may or may not solve your problem but it's a good thing to be doing. Even 4EATs need love.
If the vehicle pulls strong, that's a sign that your turbo is still working.
Recently (since it's gotten colder) there is a whirring whine that's present and goes up and down in intensity with throttle.
Could be lots of things. Work on the devils you know. If the whining devil doesn't depart, deal with him later. BTW, complete your user profile so we know if you're in Miami, Florida or Caribou, Maine.
I bought a crawford AOS can as soon as I got the car because of the feared ringland problems etc and also 3, screen-less banjo bolts to replace for fear of them getting clogged up(see I did my homework!)
Hmmmmm, are you sure on that part about the screens? I think Subaru did away with the screens. I think they were gone even on my '06XT . . . I didn't even bother to look at my '12XT.
If the turbo is beginning to go (evidenced by burnt oil smell plus whining noise), and since replacing the banjo bolts and installing the AOS are pretty involved pieces of work in the neighborhood; should I look into a turbo replacement to do at the same time as the initial 2 things(AOS and banjo bolts)? I just hate the idea of unpacking the engine compartment to do an elective replacement only to have to pay for the same 6 hours of labor to do the turbo a few weeks later.
Your TD04 should last longer than 86k miles - much longer on a vehicle with a 4EAT. Reason being that your engine rarely gets above 3000 rpm (unless you're constantly shift into F&F mode). Why not start by doing a few other things first:
- Start keeping very careful oil usage records. Get a consistent way of checking your oil (e.g. drive into garage, wait 5-20 minutes, check oil, write down results). Exactly how you do this is less important than doing it consistently. You want to determine if the engine is using oil (in the combustion chamber and out the exhaust). You mentioned a Crawford AOS. Whatever oil is accumulated in the AOS should figure into your oil usage records. I've got a Grimmspeed AOS, so I don't have to worry about that!
- Remove the under-engine cover. Are you leaking oil? EJ25x engines tend to be leaky, so don't be surprised if your engine is a leaker. A common place to leak is around the oil filter / filter mount - which oil then blows back under the engine creating a royal mess. By carefully cleaning the oil and checking this area frequently, you can zero in on the leaking source (and maybe even fix it!)
- While you are under the vehicle, check for leaks and drips from the valve covers. Sometimes, they can leak oil, which then drips onto the exhaust.
- Remove the intercooler and look inside. If it looks like an Oklahoma oil field, then your turbo bearings and seals are bad. Just slightly tacky? That's normal. If 'normal', then your turbo is probably okay. I'd bet on the turbo being okay.
Report back on what you find. And, above all, enjoy the car. XT Subarus are a lot of fun - and very addictive.