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2005 Forester XT
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been having a fair bit of trouble with my 05 Forester XT lately and after a few repairs (new cam position sensor when one went bad, new crank and coolant temp sensors), I thought I had it back to normal. I would occasionally have an issue where when I'd start it and it would rev up to about 2k, then act like it was going to stall, before finally getting back up to operating range. I decided to replace the fuel filter just in case, which I did two weeks ago. At the same time, I noticed I was a little low on oil, so I filled it up.

Now, I'm getting the "start, nearly stall, then goes fine" problem after EVERY warm start. This is then followed by a fair amount of smoke when at an idle. The smoke smells oily and I'm not using any coolant. Cold starts are fine, but I noticed yesterday afternoon that I was still puffing out a bit of white smoke at idle (although not nearly as much as if the car had been restarted warm).

Now, I've got my fingers crossed that I just overfilled the oil and I'm just burning it off, but after reading another thread here by an owner with similar problems, I'm wondering if my turbo seals are going. Tonight I'm going to drain the oil and fill it exactly to full; at the same time I'll pull the intercooler and see what it looks like.

I have a couple of questions though - could the "start, nearly stall, and then go fine" issue be related to the turbo seal? I don't see people mentioning that when as a symptom of that kind of failure, which is why I'm curious.

Secondly, if I do find a bunch of oil in the intercooler, I'm not going to be able to get a turbo until at best, next weekend. Should I park it and borrow a car for the week, or is it safe to drive so long as I keep up on the oil level and take it easy?
 

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2005 Forester XT
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Well, just got home and it's still smoking quite a bit. Any lengthy time idling has the blue smoke pouring out the back.

I popped off the oil cap while it was running and there was a slight puff of smoke, then nothing. I could feel puffs of air, but I didn't see any smoke. There was plenty of smoke out of the tailpipe.

I'm going to grab dinner and pull the intercooler - at this point I'm hoping for oil in there and an indicator of a blown turbo. I'm hoping it's not a more serious problem...
 

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2005 Forester XT
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, looks like the worst - pulled the intercooler and while there was a little oil, it wasn't excessive and didn't look like pictures I've seen. My oil level looked on the high side, so I drained it and refilled it (thinking maybe I overfilled it last weekend when I topped it off). I pulled it out of the garage and let it idle while I cleaned up. No smoke and it started fine, so I went for a quick drive up and down the street.

When I got back it was smoking as bad as before and I pulled off the oil cap and there was obvious smoke coming out.

So it looks pretty bad - I may attempt a compression test tomorrow, but more than likely I'll try and get it into a shop in Toledo so they can get started on it ASAP.
 

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2009 Forester XT Auto
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218 Posts
Smoking at idle is usually the result of blown exhaust side oil seal on the turbo if it is white & thick like mine was. Now if its bluish it could actually be burnt during combustion which isn't any better.

A compression test is definitely needed. Could be bad rings or bad valve seals.

Mine would load up with oil at idle on cold start and once you took off you could see the fog left behind. It did seem to smoke ever so lightly on a good amount of throttle.
 

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04 Forester XT
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25 Posts
Your symptoms, by that I mean, the almost dying on you--sounds like what was happening to my car back in Dec 08 when my turbo was shot and before the new one was installed. That's all I got.
 
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