('09-'13) Diesel stalling problem - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Diesel stalling problem

Hi Everyone,
Ive got a 2010 manual Diesel forester with the EE20 Diesel engine.
Ive been having some problems with the engine just randomly shutting off, especially when its cold (air temp makes no difference). Sometimes it has trouble sitting on idle and you need to get it up over 1000rpm to keep it running but then sometimes it will also shut down while driving at slower speeds.

It doesn't run rough or blow smoke and still feels like it has a normal amount of power. Ive had it at a subaru dealership and a mechanic that only works on subaru and they have all seen it stall but nobody can figure out why its doing it. Im not really mechanically minded but off the top of my head I can say that its had the following done in an attempt to find the fault.
All service items replaced e.g. fuel filter ect
injector/fuel pump relearn
all fuel lines and pressures checked
DPF/ash levels checked
injectors are all within specification
no fault codes are showing up at all
all sensors have checked out ok inc crank position sensor
EGR clean and check.

The independent subaru mechanic who has a very good reputation where I live has conceded defeat and has handed the car back to me after having it for over a week (he didn't charge me anything for labour which is good). So I don't know where else to turn. Im getting close to just trading it in on something else but if anyone had any ideas I would love to hear them.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 04:42 AM
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Check you battery/electrical system. Couldn’t tell from the write up if you had!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:05 AM
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I am unfamiliar with this design, but I have owned 4 VW diesels, two of which where direct injection motors.

Where is your diesel located?

What brand of diesel are you using?

When you say cold, you mean the engine. Does this always happen when the engine is cold? Or warm too?

Has anybody checked the fuel shut off or the electrical side of the fuel system of the car? As in relays and solenoids.

Has anybody checked the fuel tank for contamination or water?

When the engine idles poorly or stalls what is the fuel level?

Have the fuel system pressures been checked under load or over an extended period of time?


Air introduced into the fuel lines will cause a stall as will poor fuel delivery. I believe you have a common rail system, so the injectors should see the same operating and static fuel pressure at same time.

How long does the fuel system hold system pressure after shutdown and is it within known specifications? When cold? When Warm? When Hot?

Are there any electrical or vacuum controlled components in the fuel delivery system, including the fuel return back to the tank? If so, do they control fuel return to the tank and fuel volume and pressure at the injectors?

Last edited by karlaudi; 05-28-2019 at 06:59 AM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:24 AM
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I remember from my Rabbit Diesel days that the injection pump had an electric solenoid fuel cutoff unit. Is the connection tight? Is the terminal on the lead-in wire connected properly (i.e. a good crimp connection)?

Good luck.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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@oliovlov Hi thanks for the reply. Yea the battery and electrical systems have been checked by both mechanics.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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@karlaudi Hi. The car is located in Brisbane, Australia. Im not sure of you have it where you are but 99% of the time the vehicle is run on bp ultimate diesel which I guess would be the diesel version of the 98 octane premium unleaded that bp sell in the sense that its meant to keep the fuel system clean and provide a little more power.

When i say cold I just mean the engine, not the weather. It can be a 35c day (95f) in summer and it will still do it for the 1st 10-15min of operation. Has done it once while warm but its very raree. I know all the electrics of the fuel system have been checked and the tank has indeed been checked for water. The problem occurs regardless of fuel tank level.

I am unsure about fuel line pressures and holding pressure after shutdown. That is something I will follow up with when I speak to the mechanic next.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 01:54 AM
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Would be interesting to see engine control unit data. Mechanics should have created some log files.
Sensor values, selected injection mode, which multi-injections (these depend on coolant temperature), whether ECU tries to increase injection quantities during stall and so on.
Feel free to send me all you can get - files (text or binary), scanned printouts etc.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 04:58 AM
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imo, this is temp of coolant related, the ecu adjusts fuel pump to send more fuel when cold, til the temp is at operating normal , replace whatever temp sending sensor is used here , because , unless you have a head gasket failure, it is not getting enough fuel to run when cold, either that or the ecu itself is bad, and that does happen too ,................. my opinon sight unseen as long as dpf system is good and air flow thru the system intake and exhaust is good as you say
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subi1990 View Post
@karlaudi Hi. The car is located in Brisbane, Australia. Im not sure of you have it where you are but 99% of the time the vehicle is run on bp ultimate diesel which I guess would be the diesel version of the 98 octane premium unleaded that bp sell in the sense that its meant to keep the fuel system clean and provide a little more power.

When i say cold I just mean the engine, not the weather. It can be a 35c day (95f) in summer and it will still do it for the 1st 10-15min of operation. Has done it once while warm but its very raree. I know all the electrics of the fuel system have been checked and the tank has indeed been checked for water. The problem occurs regardless of fuel tank level.

I am unsure about fuel line pressures and holding pressure after shutdown. That is something I will follow up with when I speak to the mechanic next.

Then I think it is very safe to say that the quality of the fuel you are using is not the source of your problem. It is most likely a fuel volume / pressure control problem. But I keep an open mind here. subdiesel, I think, is on the right track here and the key will be finding the correct symptoms under the right conditions to find the component(s) that are causing the problem.

In the early 1980s when working my way through a College Automotive Service Technician program, the over mantra of my professors for successful repairs were three simple words; basics, basics, basics. Make sure everything is as it should be before assuming the problem comes from something complex or obscure.

Please keep us posted on your progress in resolving this problem.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 09:14 AM
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Hi subi1990,

interesting issue (for us) and no doubt frustrating issue for you!

We had our 2010 cut out once on a freeway on-ramp under full throttle. Luckily it was a downhill ramp and the engine cut back in by itself.

Only ever happened once, shortly after that we had a split turbo elbow/piece. I'd suggest you check all the intake hoses/pipes for splits, looseness or leaks. This may not be the issue but it's an easy one to do that hasn't been mentioned yet and is common on these vehicles, especially 2010 ones.

Apart from that it could be a multitude of things and I'd suggest a proper diagnosis from a proper readout, like subdiesel suggests (G'day subdiesel, good to see you're still watching :-) ) may be instructive as it will show what is happening at the stall- what may be varying, out of spec, abnormal, etc. It could be anything yet from a valve timing issue through intake, fuel control, sensor, ECU failing, malfunctioning solenoid/valve, excessive carbon buildup or even just a loose ground connection.

As karlaudi says, it's unlikely it's the fuel itself now and it's good that the basics have been checked. A good professional scanner readout with real-time (Mode6?) data of multiple parameters is what you now need for further insight. If your mechanic hasn't done that, then they're perhaps not quite THAT good...unfortunately these are not 'old school' diesels and need more than a oil bath air filter and a bleed of the injectors every so often.


Patrick
2010 Forester Diesel (wife's now)
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by leland grant View Post
imo, this is temp of coolant related, the ecu adjusts fuel pump to send more fuel when cold, til the temp is at operating normal , replace whatever temp sending sensor is used here , because , unless you have a head gasket failure, it is not getting enough fuel to run when cold, either that or the ecu itself is bad, and that does happen too ,................. my opinon sight unseen as long as dpf system is good and air flow thru the system intake and exhaust is good as you say
Thanks mate, I feel like you might be on to something here.
The last mechanic who looked at it told me that the problem stopped occurring as soon as the coolant temp reached 40 degrees C.
Upon the previous independent mechanics recommendation I've got it booked in at a bigger dealer about 2hrs drive from me. Apparently my local dealer is mainly made up "technicians" and only 1 mechanic in a large busy dealer workshop and this other place is meant to have a much better reputation in the industry. So we'll see how it goes.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 07:50 PM
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The attached information on the EE20's DENSO Common Rail Fuel System may be posted somewhere here on the forum, but I found it searching the net.

I think it gives a nice over view, and may help in troubleshooting.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SUBARU EE20 ENGINE_info from DENSO.pdf (1,017.3 KB, 70 views)
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone.
Just thought i would update.
Ive had the vehicle in at the biggest subaru dealer in my state (queensland) on the reccomendation of the 2 previous workshops.

They have said there is a problem with the timing chain and that it will be approx $2100 (aud) to fix.
Does this sound right? Its a lot of money.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subi1990 View Post
Hi everyone.
They have said there is a problem with the timing chain and that it will be approx $2100 (aud) to fix.
Does this sound right? Its a lot of money.
Hi subi1990,

let's be careful here. I'm making some assumptions here since I haven't actually heard/seen your communications with the workshop but the following is a bit of a bugbear of mine.

a) You brought your car the the dealer workshop with a stalling issue and presumably asked them to quote/fix the stalling issue.

b) From what you've reported the dealer workshop has said that there is a timing chain issue and quoted to fix it.

Note the difference between what you asked for and what was quoted. This is where you have to be careful. They may have found a legitimate timing chain issue and quoted to fix it, but will it fix your problem?

Because if you accept the quote and they fix the timing chain but the stalling/stopping issue is still there, you're $2100 worse off and still where you were with regards to the original issue. You may have no 'come-back' as you accepted their quote and they carried out the accepted quote.

Go back and make sure that their quote will actually fix the original stalling/stopping issue. If they are sure that the timing chain will fix the issue, then get them to say so on the quote- that it will fix the stalling/stopping issue. They won't like it, but it's what you're after. that way, if it doesn't fix the issue, you can go back and claim they didn't carry out the work you requested- and they quoted.

Patrick
2010 Forester Diesel (wife's now)

Last edited by pitrack_1; 06-06-2019 at 07:22 AM. Reason: typos
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone.
I just thought I would update incase anyone has the same problem.
I decided to get the timing chain replaced as per the dealer recommendation.
Ive had the car back for about 10 days and have been driving it to work everyday and it seems as though the car has been fixed. Its now running really nicely and seems smoother than before and the fuel economy has definitely improved as well.

So hopefully this is a case of problem solved.
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