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98 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, i bought my forester a couple weeks ago and when I bought it the check engine light was on. The guy told me it was a spark plug that needed changed on the #3 cylinder. So i changed out all of the spark plugs with Bosch double platinums. The car ran a little bit better but i still noticed hesitation and lagging and the CEL was still on. I ran the diagnostics at the auto store and it told me it was a knock sensor malfunction. So i bought the sensor and came home. I took the ground off the battery first, then removed the mass air flow box. I then disconnected the wire attached to the knock sensor. I tried to loosen the bolt on the sensor but it would not budge. Bad weather was moving in so i reconnected everything in the same order in which i disconnected it. I went inside to try and figure out a way to loosen the bolt, and then my roommate got home and told me my brake lights and turn signal lights were slowly flashing and there is a clicking noise coming from under the drivers side dash. I pulled the logical fuses to check them and they were all fine. I started the car and the check engine light was off, but the clicking and lights did not stop. I turned the car off and checked the ground again to make sure it was properly tightened. I turned the key to the ON position and i heard some other clicking noises and when i turned it over the CEL was flashing. If anyone has any experience with this problem please post or PM me, I need to get this thing going.
 

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1999 Forester
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12 Posts
My does the same thing when the battery is disconnected. There should be a black button under the steering wheel, its close to where you plug in the diag tool.
 

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377 Posts
Most swear at Bosch plugs, not by them. I've never used any so don't have any opinion.

You may need a good 1/2" ratchet, 1/2x3/8 reducer, wobbly extensions w/ correct socket to bring some torque to bear on the bolt holding the knock sensor.

Electrical problem could be related to poor battery connections and/or weak battery. Check battery connections and voltage (12.2 is fully charged voltage).

You should state your year/model forester in your signature line.

I have had to replace two ignitor modules on my forester. This seems to be a weak point of the ignition system. Flashing CEL w/ code/s (P0301-P0304) for engine miss is usual indicator.

good luck
 

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98 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
First off I want to say thank you for your help, I appreciate it very much. I tried disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it but it did not change anything. I then tried the reset button after having the key in the ON position. I held it for 15 seconds and the locks clicked and some other things kicked on/off, im assuming that was jus the computer resetting. The flashing of the warning and brake lights stopped, but when i have the key in the ON position under the hood there is a clicking noise, and it somewhat feels like the car is going to go ahead and try to turn over itself but it will just click again and repeat. The car will start but the CEL is flashing, I am trying to determine if I should drive it to the Auto Store or not so I can run to the diagnostic. Any more advice or suggestions is greatly welcomed and appreciated. I am new to the world of cars, but I am learning. I have 5 volumes of service manuals and tools to get the job done, but problems like these are not in the manuals of course! O and it is a 98 Forester L, I need to still add that, thanks for the tip tho!
 

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17 Forester Premium
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106 Posts
The car will start but the CEL is flashing, I am trying to determine if I should drive it to the Auto Store or not so I can run to the diagnostic.
Test drive it around the parking lot and see if it's safe to drive, then go to Autozone or other place, pull the codes and ask them to reset the ECU(your car computer).

If the knock sensor doesn't come off use a breaker bar to loosen the screw.

Also stay away from Bosch plugs in a Subaru. It appears that some Japanese cars don't tolerate plugs other than NGK. When I used to be on Nissan Maxima.org forum, there wasn't a single member who had a good experience with bosch plugs. I think the part number for NGK copper plugs is BKR-5E11 , and you have to gap them according to spec on NGK website.
Good luck !
 

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98 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It just keeps going!!!! Okay, I checked the battery connections and the positive was a little corroded and the negative was slightly loose. So i bought new terminal connectors and replaced them, after cleaning the terminals first of course. I then restarted the car and the flashing lights started again so I held the reset button for 15 seconds and the warning lights stopped flashing. The CEL is still on and flashing, and the clicking noise i referred to when the key is in the ON position appears to be the AC clutch, it kicks on and off until I start the car. After replacing the terminals I took the car back to the store to run the diagnostic and I got waaaay to many codes, I believe 9 in total. It had a couple that said 02 sensor malfunctions, speed position sensors, mass air flow sensors all kinds of stuff. The car is running and seems to be like the day that I bought it, just some lag and hesitation at certain times. I think that a new knock sensor could fix that, but I am starting to think that the ECU just needs to be reset, or is that what the little black button is for? I am so dumbfounded at this point, I do not have the money for a shop to fix it, and i am staying positive by looking at this as a learning experience. I understand there is only so much you great people can do through these posts, but any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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1998 Forester S
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10 Posts
Ok, not threadjacking here, but im having the same problems and recieved a little advice from my well-versed-in-the-subaru-world brother-in-law. He told me to replace plugs as well- but pay special attention to #3(Driver side, closest to firewall.) If it was heavily fouled with carbon, that usually sets of the knock sensor code, because that cylinder is the closest one to the sensor itself. Btw- I already replaced the knock sensor. Worked like magic for one day, then same ol' problems came back, but worse.
He also told me to replace the fuel filter, and run injector cleaner. Replacing the spark plug wires and ignitor is also a great idea too. Im doing these one by one, and will post with results, maybe we can figure this out together.

:icon_question:
 

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1998 Forester
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213 Posts
The parking lights flashing is the alarm system. The check engine light flashing means there is a very bad mis fire this can damage your cat. Take the bosch plugs out and use ngk or denso plugs. If you still have a mis fire try to switch the plug wires between cylinders and see if the mis fire changes cylinders.
 
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