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Old 03-02-2004, 09:21 PM   #1
wadejg
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Member#: 41649
Join Date: Aug 2003
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Easton, MD USA
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XTi
PSM

Angry Erratic FXT idle

I've got a 2004 Forester XT with 13000 miles on the odo. I just got the car back from having the rear differential replaced. I noticed that the idle seemed even rougher than before...and it was never particularly smooth. When warm, at idle, the tach will fluctuated every 5-10 seconds between 500-1000 RPM. And every once in a while it will actually stumble and go down to about 250RPM and almost stall out, with a bit of a shudder. The idle is erratic enough it will actually jangle the keys in my ignition at a stop. It does not just correspond to the AC compressor cycling.

I can't say for sure that it changed right after the rear diff was replaced but it seems like it to me...but my wife disagrees...she said it was just as bad before the service.

I'm obviously back to have it serviced...I've owned the car for 6 months and I'll already have had three days in the shop with four service trips so while I love the car I'm not enthused about Subaru reliability and can't see myself getting another one. :x I hate to think about what will happen if I start modding the car like I want to...the dealer will say everything is a mod problem.

Anybody out there with an erratic idle on a new XT?

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXT

Last edited by wadejg; 03-03-2004 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:23 AM   #2
swingkid
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04 Forester XT
Porsche 914 w. suby six

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I have the same problem but not as severe. My xt definatly wiggles more than any other car I've been in. I haven't had the keys actually jingle, but its enough to make you dizzy if you're reading a newspaper. You can actually see the car wiggling from outside. I just tell passengers it has a hot cam. The dealer claims the eratic idle is normal because it has heavy pistons. If this were the reason (I really doubt it is), the idle should be consistantly lumpy. At least it was documented with the dealership incase I have problems later. Ive owned several Porsche and Subaru flat fours, sixes and turbos, never had such an embarrasing idle.
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:46 AM   #3
Kostamojen
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Do a proper ECU reset.
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Old 03-03-2004, 09:16 PM   #4
Black Blur
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Even with the radio off, at idle, my FXT is so smooth, sometimes I can't even tell it is running.
Kostamojen is right; ECU reset for starters.

Courtesy of "Fast Lane" in Maine:
"The easiest way to reset the ecu is to disconnect
the cable from the negative battery terminal and
then press/hold the brake pedal for approximately
20 seconds. Reconnect the cable and you are good to go."
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:52 AM   #5
Caddy Daddy
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Quote:
Originally posted by wadejg
When warm, at idle, the tach will fluctuated every 5-10 seconds between 500-1000 RPM. And every once in a while it will actually stumble and go down to about 250RPM and almost stall out, with a bit of a shudder. The idle is erratic enough it will actually jangle the keys in my ignition at a stop.
doesnt seem sound to me. our FXT, when at idle at a stoplight, will ever-so-slightly develop a harmonic vibration that can be felt, but it is very faint. the rpms do not fluctuate. the car does not heave or die. it just slightly vibrates enough that if you paid close attention you would notice it. i attribute it to motor mounts or bushings with slack somewhere.
nothing like what youre experiencing. start keeping a detailed log of whats happening to the car, and definetly get that serviced at the dealer

what does an ECU reset do?
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:14 AM   #6
Corkfish
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The boxer design naturally has a slight side to side idle. If it's severe, start with the easiest things first. Water in the gas?
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:28 PM   #7
wadejg
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Location: Easton, MD USA
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2004 Forester XTi
PSM

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As an update. I didn't take the car in for service right away not because I didn't think I needed to but because I just didn't have time. After driving it for about 1 week and about 1 tank of gas the idle had resolved and is perhaps better than before.

If I were to guess, the ECU got reset at the dealer when the rear diff. was replaced and the ECU seemed to run pretty poorly before it "relearned." I'm still not enthused about my reliability but at least my rear diff no longer whines/makes a burning smell, and my car doesn't rock like drunken water buffalo at idle.

Anybody else out there with a really rough idle following an ECU reset?

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXT
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:47 AM   #8
Caddy Daddy
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'00 Ducati ST2

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Quote:
Originally posted by wadejg
After driving it for about 1 week and about 1 tank of gas the idle had resolved and is perhaps better than before.
you took in consideration a bad batch of fuel?
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:23 AM   #9
Scooby South
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OK guys....We have an STi in the shop right now thats doing the same thing....No codes, no lights...However it looks like a bad Front 02 sensor...Disconnect the front 02 and see if the idle smooths out.....if it does...its bad...

Hope that helps

Bill
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