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04
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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last couple of months my 04 Forester has had a problem we are trying to diagnose. It has been a very wet spring and about a month and a half ago I started the car up and it ran very rough and the Check Engine light came an and started flashing at me. Decided to run it a bit and the car settled down, but light continued to flash. Pulled over into a gas station (tank was low) and filled up and put some HEET in tank. Car started and ran fine, but Check Engine light remained lit, but was no longer flashing. Took it to a shop and they hooked it up to a diagnostic computer and found no problems and light went off.

A week or so ago car had trouble again, but this time light came on and did flash. When I started it up later light was off. Day before yesterday car idled and ran rough again for a few minutes and CE light is once more back on.

Since the mechanic found no problem with the diagnostic computer, anybody want to hazard a guess to what is going on here? This is our primary car and had planned on traveling 14 hours tomorrow to begin a week vacation. Now thinking we will take other car.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
Most likely the coil pack going bad You can attempt to recreate the problem by using a spray bottle with water and misting the coil area at night, you may even see some sparks. If you experience the same symptoms, then it's time to replace the coil pack and while you are at it definitely the plug wires and even possibly the plugs for good measure.
This was fairly common on the first generation of Foresters, but can be found on later models less frequently.
As the engine warms it dries off the coils and the problem disappears but eventually returns under damp conditions more often than not.

Flashing CEL indicates engine misfire and that could lead to damaging the emissions systems namely the 'cat' ($$) so don't drive it far when this is happening.

Keep us informed as to how it works out.
 

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Registered
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm, well that does not sound good at all! The car sputtered and missed a little this a.m. and the light flashed for a few seconds. Seems that if there is a possibility of wet driving conditions, we might be setting ourselves up for some grief on the road. Best put it in the shop when we get back from vacation and take the other less comfortable car on our trip. :icon_frown:
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Most likely the coil pack going bad You can attempt to recreate the problem by using a spray bottle with water and misting the coil area at night, you may even see some sparks. If you experience the same symptoms, then it's time to replace the coil pack and while you are at it definitely the plug wires and even possibly the plugs for good measure.
This was fairly common on the first generation of Foresters, but can be found on later models less frequently.
As the engine warms it dries off the coils and the problem disappears but eventually returns under damp conditions more often than not.

Flashing CEL indicates engine misfire and that could lead to damaging the emissions systems namely the 'cat' ($$) so don't drive it far when this is happening.

Keep us informed as to how it works out.
Most likely coil pack, I fixed a very similar issue by putting di-electric grease on the contacts on the coil pack.
 

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2001 SOLD!
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1,413 Posts
Pull each connector off the spark plug and inspect them. Also at the coil pack end. I was getting a misfire CEL and car would miss at 5000RPM. The spark plug connector on #1 was fried and stayed stuck on the spark plug. The wire was really melted too.

Like mentioned above, Sounds like your coil pack might have a crack and humidity is getting in. Once the engine warms up, it dries it out and it runs better.
 

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4 Posts
ooo that sounds bad. not really sure what could be wrong. def should take the other car to be on the safe side.
 

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2002 Forester Automatic
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1 Posts
New guy here,
I am having similar issues. After a heavy rain and sometimes in very humid summer days (Minnesota ya know) my 02 forester runs rough for a while and then seems to calm down and be fine. This does not occur in winter. Did replacing the coil pack take care of your issue? Also, can anyone point me to instructions for replacing the coil pack?

Thanks in advance
 

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99 SF 4EAT
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191 Posts
At night in the dark have the car running and use a spray bottle full of wire to spray all over the coil pack and the ignition wires. If you see any sparks or hear loud clicking youve found the problem.
 
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