Subaru Forester Owners Forum - View Single Post - ('98-'00) Seattle '99 Forester L loss of power while driving - 176k
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
Forum Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 14
Car Year: 1999
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: Auto
The loss of power issue occurred again a couple of times in the next few days after the initial issue - the general symptom is a sudden loss of revs. In every case it was manageable by increasing gas to the engine. If at a stop, putting the car in neutral and gunning the engine to idle at a proper idle point or above also would lead to the car resuming normal operation after a few minutes.

The first time the issue occured was in traffic on relatively flat ground. Subequent instances have been always nearly immediately on starting the car after a relatively short time parked, half an hour to forty five minutes, and often with the car in a nose-up position at a stop juncture such as a stop sign from a parking lot on a slight incline or at a stop light.

The issue will also cause the check engine light to flicker at forst and then to start flashing. The flashing stops and the light stays out when the car as the car is driven. The low revs issue is not persistent and when it goes away on these relatively short drives the check engine light also turns off.

When the car is parked the engine smells slightly overheated. The temp gauge on the dash is responsive and the issue appears to resolve after the temp has started to climb. The temp on the drives as reported by the gauge is never higher than 30%.

After the initial issue occurred I carefully inspected the engine for a loose hose or missing cap, checked the oil level, and called the dealer to see what they suggested. I had the car in to Carter just before these issues began occurring for an oil change and fluids inspection and top off.

The service rep I spoke with was rude and sounded harried. He did say that the correct course of action was to pull a code, which was expected to have been thrown and recorded by the engine light behavior. He also brusquely informed me that they had no availability for two weeks, that I should expect to wait about two hours to be seen, and that should the code not produce an attributable issue associated with their maintenance I would be charged their standard diagnostic fee of $130. uh, no.

So I obtained a buddy's code reader and ran it - no code! I kept the reader for a week in case the issue recurred and it never did until yesterday.

Poking around here and elsewhere I did see a couple of somewhat similar reports to mine, associated, unsurprisingly, with more recent Foresters. One of the reports also seemed to associate the loss of revs with an oil change at "the dealer" and to be from a Seattle-based poster. This individual also found the dealer to be argumentative and independently verified that they had overfilled the oil reservoir. On producing photocopied pages from his maintenance manual documenting that overfilling was a non-recommended procedure they grudgingly drained and refilled his oil.

However, he and others experiencing loss of revs due to excess oil were also observing blue smoke and smelling burned oil, something I am not seeing. I am not able to accurately interpret the oil level from my oil stick beyond being able to note that the oil appears clean and new and there is a lot of it - it extends at least up to the highest notch on the indicator stick but I have a difficult time determining where the fill line is and where the liquid stopped on the dip stick.

Yesterday when I got the car home I noticed that there dod not appear to be any visible coolant in the coolant reservoir, which I found surprising as the invoice I have from the dealer indicates that all fluids were topped off.

So I think I am back to tracking down an ODBC reader and keeping it handy. I might call Carter again and be a little more argumentative.
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