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2014 2.0XT Premium CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy-

After 2 "unfounded" visits to the dealer, I thought I'd turn here for advice. I've tried general internet searches, and searches in this forum and haven't found other occurrences of this issue.

I'm not very motor-savvy as my description will undoubtedly reveal, so please let me know what additional details may be of use in leading to a conclusion.

The issue: On "spirited" acceleration. . in heavy boost, I have noticed what appears to be brown to dark-brown smoke coming from the exhaust, trailing behind the car. It is not reproducible 100% of the time. It tends to happen when I've not been in heavy boost for a while. It's hard to quantify what "a while" means, but for example after an occurrence, it will not show up again during the same "drive" . . and most of my drives are not more than 20 min. in the Denver Metro area. The next day however, it could happen again. I do not drive the car hard. . I normally go a week or more at a time before "getting ON it" merging on the freeway or whatever :) My usual scenario of heavy-boost is going from about ~20MPH to 55-60MPH. I run and always have run Mobil-1 5W-30 synthetic. I cannot see any smoke when revving briefly in neutral. Granted, it doesn't appear the turbo engages in heavy boost while in neutral, and rev-limiter kicks it in at 4k I believe. Since I only noticed it a couple of months ago, it's been entirely during cool weather here in Denver. . but I've seen it in temps varying from 30-60 degrees. . with no correlation to temperature observed so far. The car has about 10.5k miles on it. . I followed the break-in tips for the first 1,000 mi. - no constant speed for an extended period of time, no spirited acceleration, etc. For the first 4 months I was averaging 2,000 miles/mo., but for the last 5 months it's about ~500 miles/mo.

The dealer visits: On the first visit, they thought it could be related to my oil level being slightly over the full mark. Since they'd performed the last oil change they gave me a complimentary oil-change and set the level properly. This didn't fix the issue. On the second visit, they couldn't replicate the issue and suggested it could be a fuel-quality issue, and suggested I try different brands/octanes. I've always put in 'premium' fuel, which in CO is 91 Octane. And I use Costco fuel. My first opportunity to change fuel brands came this past weekend when close to empty I put in 14 gallons of Conoco 91 Octane. The issue still exists.

It's frustrating having to waste time at the dealer, taking time away from work, only to have the issue not be reproduced. Perhaps I need to contact SOA Corporate. It would be great if their service manager or a tech could drive it a day or two to/from home, etc., to see what I know to be a reproducible issue.

Anyhow, I'd be interested in hearing more about what prudent steps should be taken to lead to an accurate diagnosis. I worry about sinister problems such as with seals and what not. Let me know if there's any additional detail I should provide which might help shed light on the matter.

Appreciate it very much!
 

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2014 XTP CVT
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2004 Forester XTi 4EAT
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Just wanna add the turbo spins as soon as the car is started :) Hope you get your issue sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Wow. ASP1135 thanks for your post. the loose inter cooler clamps and loose turbo output clamps sounds like a widespread issue in the OzFoz forum. Very useful. I'm amazed at this find and the reports of how it has resolved the reported hesitation issues, including smoke from exhaust. Here's the thread on OzFoz OzFoz.com • Login (requires login).

While my issue doesn't have any of the other symptoms such as hesitation, this could explain the smoke. I'm a little nervous about tightening the clamps up myself although it sounds pretty easy.

What would it take for Subaru to take note of this issue, replicate/validate, and issue a recall or at least a TSB if appropriate?
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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2,752 Posts
I'm a little nervous about tightening the clamps up myself although it sounds pretty easy.
The top clamp is right under the plastic engine cover. There are two pop-clips to remove at the back then it pulls right off.

The bottom one, by the turbo, is harder to get at as the skid plate has to be removed, but that's just a few bolts holding it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I went ahead and pulled the engine cover and tightened the 3 clamps associated with the intercooler inlet/outlet and the exhaust-smoke issue seems to be RESOLVED! Very happy!!!
 

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'19 Forester LTD CVT
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3,248 Posts
Interesting, thanks for reporting back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well the problem is back. . I understand Subaru HQ is working on a fix but it's rumored to be a software update only. I'm afraid that will just mask the underlying problem.

Next I might try the clamp swap-out and ECU reset the Australian folks have reported to work so well on OzFoz.
 

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Well the problem is back. . I understand Subaru HQ is working on a fix but it's rumored to be a software update only. I'm afraid that will just mask the underlying problem.

Next I might try the clamp swap-out and ECU reset the Australian folks have reported to work so well on OzFoz.
The beta fix is a software update and new spark plugs. Mine goes in on Tuesday so will see how it goes
 

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2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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The beta fix is a software update and new spark plugs. Mine goes in on Tuesday so will see how it goes
Please post back if this solves things.

Mine has the same issue (mild intermittent hesitation and smoke) and I haven't bothered to take it to the dealer yet as I'm waiting for the release of a service pack to fix the notorious hard start issue that some of us have with our XT's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
If anyone in the US needs the clamps referenced by Danoz in his how-to on OzFoz: OzFoz.com • Login (note, you need an OzFoz login in order to view the thread) I have 3 extra sets of the quality Breeze clamps (had to buy them in bulk due to the 10-count minimum) I'm happy to ship to you at my cost, on the cheap. Just PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ive had a few occurrences of smoke under boost - only at WOT or near WOT
Yep. . that's exactly what mine is doing. Thanks for your post. I'm replacing the cheap loose clamps this week or early next week. . looking forward to the outcome, will post back.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i 6 spd
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Couple of comments here. I have an electronic turbo diesel and when first punching my foot to the floor after tooling along at low power, some dark smoke results. This is because my foot has told the computer to dump a bunch of fuel and there isn't enough boost yet to burn it. Now the engine in question is a '96, so hopefully things have become more advanced, but one never knows. If you do have loose charge air hose clamps, this will contribute to the issue bacause you're losing boost pressure.

BTW, your turbo may well be spinning while revving the engine in neutral, but you won't see much, if any, boost. At least I don't on diesels with boost gauges. Since fuel delivery is related to manifold pressure/vacuum and what the exhaust gas mixtrue sensor reads, this will reduce fuel delivery to less than you'll see under load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well, I went ahead with the Danoz fix (clamp-swap, and ECU reset) and knock-on-wood, smoke problem is GONE! The car pulls hard and smoke-free under WOT. I fully expect these better clamps to hold their tension over time. . very happy to have this issue behind me.

EDIT: my extra clamps have been sold. Thanks everyone! I'm sure someone will do a group-buy for the US folks in need since they are only sold by dealers in quantities of 10 by ea size (3 different sizes are needed for the 'Danoz fix'). . so far as I've found.
 

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2014 Forester XT Premium CVT
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Well, I went ahead with the Danoz fix (clamp-swap, and ECU reset) and knock-on-wood, smoke problem is GONE! The car pulls hard and smoke-free under WOT. I fully expect these better clamps to hold their tension over time. . very happy to have this issue behind me.

Still have 3-sets of these high quality Breeze Liner Clamps I'm willing to ship anyone in the US at my cost. (PM me for logistics). They are only sold by dealers in quantities of 10 by ea size (3 different sizes are needed for the 'Danoz fix').
Thank you County for the clamps! :woohoo:
 

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2013 Forester XT CVT
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Guys, Danoz here form the OZFOZ forums. So glad you guys are fitting the new clamps. I have done 7000km (4300 mi) now without an issue.

Glad you got it done county, you too marmonduke. :)

Everyone, check you clamps downstrem of turbo... If they are Tridon brand they WILL fail. If you tighten them, they will work loose after the first boost cycle. I have been arguing with Subaru here in Australia where they flatly deny any issues. I cant help but think that if the FA20DIT WRX shows the same symptoms they will snap to attention. I will start a thread with my guide from the ozfoz forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Has anyone in the US had the updated PAK file loaded, which is the supposed fix for this exhaust smoke problem (well, according to Subaru)?
 
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