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04 Forester XT
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, long time reader first time poster.

I have an '04 Forester XT, and about 2 months ago at 90,000 miles replaced drive belts. When I got my car back there was a bit of squealing and at low speed cornering I experienced shuddering through the steering wheel. I figured it was the drive belt tension that was off, but since my life was getting hectic with an upcoming work relocation and holidays etc, I didn't take it in for a while, but eventually I did and asked to have the belt tension checked/fixed, and that seemed to reduce the problem.

Last month I made the drive from California to Texas, and now I'm getting some of the same problems, but worse - at low speed cornering, there is no shuddering, there just doesn't seem to be any power steering at all, and it also causes the battery signal light to come on (which I think is actually a low voltage indicator?), and now even more recently, when the front of my car is pointed down hill (like coming out of my downward sloping drive way) or coming to a stop at a stop sign at low speed, or cornering at speed, the low oil pressure light comes on.

Are these all belt related issues? If they are, can the tension be adjusted, or will I need a new belt already due to wear from it squealing? I'm thinking another possibility is that the power steering pump or alternator is not turning freely maybe, and that causes the belt to squeal?

Also the oil pump doesn't run off the drive belt, so is the low oil pressure problem unrelated? I checked the oil level and it was actually so low it didn't show on the dipstick, but I had an oil change right before I did the 2000 mile drive... could it be that driving ... fast... for some stretches of that drive (hey there's not much out there in certain stretches of Nevada... and Utah... and Colorado... and New Mexico... and West Texas - and you gotta test the speed limiter sometime!) burns oil? Also since the oil pressure light has come on a few times (only for a second or so) while driving, should I be inspecting anything else? I'm thinking the oil might have just been low, and sloshing it when stopping and cornering made the light come on but hopefully that's not enough to actually damage the engine?

Any way, I would appreciate any advice, especially since out where I am now there aren't a lot of Subarus, so the more I know going in hopefully the better off I'll be.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
The oil light.

1. check the oil level
2. if the level is low add to it.
3. if the oil level is fine or the light still comes on after adding to it, put a oil pressure gauge on it.
4. slim chance it is related to the light

The belts sound like they may have been glazed over from being run loose the first time.
 

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Registered
04 Forester XT
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah the oil light was low oil, that's fixed now.

Now I have started noticing at very low speed cornering (with no power steering) my emergency brake light comes on? The parking brake is definitely all the way off, so I'm not sure what to make of that one...
 

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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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167 Posts
Sounds like u're low on brake fluid as well, that may be coming just from normal wear of the brake pads, but in that case it is very rare it goes so low that the brake light comes on, so u may have a leak in the brake system which is something very bad ! Take care of that car, don't let it run so low on fluids . . .
 

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Registered
04 Forester XT
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like u're low on brake fluid as well, that may be coming just from normal wear of the brake pads, but in that case it is very rare it goes so low that the brake light comes on, so u may have a leak in the brake system which is something very bad ! Take care of that car, don't let it run so low on fluids . . .
I replaced all fluids 2000 miles ago... I'm thinking the place I brought it under-filled and under-tightened everything. Up to that point I had nothing but good service from them too :-(
 
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