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Old 05-21-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
92XJET
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Default Need help with FXT please!

Hello folks,

It's been quite some time since I posted in here; kids, job changes, and move have kept me away and busy, but now I come to the MAIC community for dire help. Some of you know I picked up a 04' Forester XT almost 3yrs ago to replace a 00' 2.5 RS (still own but out of commission) due to growing family. The XT had been great, kept it stock, timely oil changes done. Last Thursday was heading to VRE commuter lot like I do every morning, car running like champ, parked car in lot and hopped on train, when I returned and started her up I let it sit for a minute and then turned the AC on, that's when it started, the rough jerky idle and a put-put sound from muffler. I turned the AC off immediately thinking the car may have needed more time to warm up, decided to keep it off the entire trip home, when at a stop car continued to jerk, tach needle was steady and no CEL light. When driving you could not notice anything, only at a stop you felt it.

Friday is telework day so let the car rest entire day, I had scheduled an oil change at my local Subaru dealer a week before for Saturday so thought it was good timing to have the experts evaluate the issue, on the way there CEL came on with flashing cruise light, car now felt like it was going to stall out when at a stop. Yesterday spent 5 hours at dealer waiting to hear results from their troubleshooting (which I am told was required to address such a complex issue) and the diagnosis was: Found codes P0304 and P0302, cylinders 2 and 4 misfire, recommend to perform compression test, compression test performed and found failed compression from cylinders 2 and 4. Recommend to perform tear down on engine and inspect components, possible concern with the valves. Told dealer will get back to them and headed out. On way back car condition seemed to get worse barely made it home from dealer car was limping back, it stalled 6 times when either hit slow traffic, stop sign or red light. Had to put car in park and keep tapping on gas to keep revs up to keep from dying.

The cost to perform this work is just north of $3,000....I spent $7,000 on the car, which is why it's hard for me to justify cost. I'm perplexed how this could have happened over an 8hr period from when I parked the car to when I returned and started it back up. There were no tell-tale signs prior, no gradual issues leading up to this, just one large smashing boulder of bad luck. The car is still very young only 114K miles which nothing for a Subaru. I'm looking for a second opinion, If anyone has experience with these types of issues and can stop by and examine the car to help avoid going down the pulling out engine route, I would be extremely grateful for your time, and even willing to pay a fee for your time. Also If anyone knows a local garage in Woodbridge that's friendly to Subarus please let me know as well, due to the car's condition it's extremely risky and dangerous to drive anywhere over great distances due to car stalling out. Thank you in advance for your attention with this.

-Abe
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Last edited by 92XJET; 05-21-2017 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:36 PM   #2
infinite012
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Did you check your oil level regularly?
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:12 PM   #3
92XJET
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Did you check your oil level regularly?
Hi. Usually every 1 to 2 weeks. I had topped oil off from midway to full a week prior and was running fine until Thursday.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:33 PM   #4
92XJET
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With 134 views not one person able to assist? Like I said will pay for your time just looking for second opinion. Thank you
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:31 AM   #5
mav1c
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Might just be bad coil packs? Might be worth a try to replace them on those 2 cylinders and see if it helps.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:20 AM   #6
yuephoria
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Hi @92XJET,

At around 120k miles on my '08 Forester XT, I started noticing a rough idle and eventually got a P0304 CEL. Up until this point, I was running a Cobb Stage 1 OTS tune for the last 60k miles and was just going to start a STi VF43 turbo swap with supporting mods. I had always kept up with regular engine oil & filter changes at 3,750 miles with Motul 8100 X-cess 5W40. I routinely fuel up with Costco 93 or Shell V-Power 93.

I took my car to Andrewtech Automotive in Gaithersburg, MD and we set about a methodical process to assess what the problem could be, short of pulling the engine out. We tried changing spark plugs, swapping injectors to different cylinders, swapping coilpacks to different injectors, compression tested, oil analysis, and the P0304 CEL persisted. The only thing left to do after all that was to pull the engine. And sure enough, with the engine out, it was plain as day to Andrew Yates that I had an exhaust valve issue in cylinder 4. I was fortunate in that I brought my car relatively soon when the problem manifested itself, and there was no other internal damage. The valve lash was adjusted, the rest of the engine looked over and cleaned, and it was buttoned up in about 3 days. I have been trouble-free ever since then at over 208k miles.

Andrew Yates did tell me that exhaust valve issues are pretty common in high mileage EJ motors, and that it is considered routine maintenance to adjust valve lash. He even mentioned that the subject is detailed in the Subaru tech manual as such.

I would give a call to Andrewtech and see what they can do for you - (240) 683-1000. I know that Riyaad Ally can ABSOLUTELY beat the dealership price for the valve work!

I understand the cost of the job may not compare favorably in light of what you paid for the car. But think of it this way: it's very likely once you do decide to get the work done, the Forester will last you another 150k miles with routine maintenance.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
92XJET
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Might just be bad coil packs? Might be worth a try to replace them on those 2 cylinders and see if it helps.
Thanks mav1c, didn't know each cylinder had its own coil pack appreciate the feedback that's a good starting point, maybe try plugs, wires, and PCV while at it.

Last edited by 92XJET; 05-25-2017 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:06 AM   #8
92XJET
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuephoria View Post
Hi @92XJET,

At around 120k miles on my '08 Forester XT, I started noticing a rough idle and eventually got a P0304 CEL. Up until this point, I was running a Cobb Stage 1 OTS tune for the last 60k miles and was just going to start a STi VF43 turbo swap with supporting mods. I had always kept up with regular engine oil & filter changes at 3,750 miles with Motul 8100 X-cess 5W40. I routinely fuel up with Costco 93 or Shell V-Power 93.

I took my car to Andrewtech Automotive in Gaithersburg, MD and we set about a methodical process to assess what the problem could be, short of pulling the engine out. We tried changing spark plugs, swapping injectors to different cylinders, swapping coilpacks to different injectors, compression tested, oil analysis, and the P0304 CEL persisted. The only thing left to do after all that was to pull the engine. And sure enough, with the engine out, it was plain as day to Andrew Yates that I had an exhaust valve issue in cylinder 4. I was fortunate in that I brought my car relatively soon when the problem manifested itself, and there was no other internal damage. The valve lash was adjusted, the rest of the engine looked over and cleaned, and it was buttoned up in about 3 days. I have been trouble-free ever since then at over 208k miles.

Andrew Yates did tell me that exhaust valve issues are pretty common in high mileage EJ motors, and that it is considered routine maintenance to adjust valve lash. He even mentioned that the subject is detailed in the Subaru tech manual as such.

I would give a call to Andrewtech and see what they can do for you - (240) 683-1000. I know that Riyaad Ally can ABSOLUTELY beat the dealership price for the valve work!

I understand the cost of the job may not compare favorably in light of what you paid for the car. But think of it this way: it's very likely once you do decide to get the work done, the Forester will last you another 150k miles with routine maintenance.
Thanks yuephoria, the Subaru tech did mention about the valve adjustment needing to be done on these turbo cars and should've been done by previous owner at around 90K mikes which was after I purchased the car so not sure if this could have been culprit. Andrew Tech is out in MD car would not make it that for with it stalling out every other stop or so. Towing out there from Dumfries could cost a pretty penny, will have to research towing options. Very good insight thank you for sharing.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #9
Butt Dyno
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General recommendation - get AAA+. Four tows a year up to 100 miles are included. There is a cooloff period though, you have to have paid for it for 4-7 days before you can do your first tow. I have sent cars to Andrewtech this way a number of times

https://www.reddit.com/r/cars/commen...really_use_it/

It's definitely paid off over the years as I have gone from old car to old car.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:53 PM   #10
92XJET
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butt Dyno View Post
General recommendation - get AAA+. Four tows a year up to 100 miles are included. There is a cooloff period though, you have to have paid for it for 4-7 days before you can do your first tow. I have sent cars to Andrewtech this way a number of times

https://www.reddit.com/r/cars/commen...really_use_it/

It's definitely paid off over the years as I have gone from old car to old car.
Great tip thanks for the recommendation Butt Dyno!

(PS: longtime fan )
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:13 PM   #11
Butt Dyno
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NP. Andrewtech ALL THE THINGS!
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:02 PM   #12
92XJET
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Hey party people. Thought I'd update this thread and pass some knowledge as well. Seldom do I use the word stealership, I've had great experiences at several of them, even the one I'm writing about which I've had oil changes and brake work done before, but this was the first time they had tackled a major issue. Having the Subaru techs examine and diagnose my issue gave me assurance that they above all would know their vehicles inside and out since they service hundreds of them a month, and have a wealth of knowledge - both historical and technical about their product. That being said, on a recommendation from a neighbor decided to take my Forester to a local shop a few miles from my home, after 2hrs of troubleshooting the smoking gun component was revealed...Timing Variable Oil Control Solenoid. All the devilish behavior my Forester was exhibiting ceased, and was now happy and healthy again, all over a $130 part. So if anyone's Subaru begins showing symptoms like described in my OP, check out the solenoid, so you can avoid a $3,500 bill advised by the Subaru techs for complete engine tear down. I won't call out the dealer to spare them the shame. Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:06 PM   #13
yuephoria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92XJET View Post
Hey party people. Thought I'd update this thread and pass some knowledge as well. Seldom do I use the word stealership, I've had great experiences at several of them, even the one I'm writing about which I've had oil changes and brake work done before, but this was the first time they had tackled a major issue. Having the Subaru techs examine and diagnose my issue gave me assurance that they above all would know their vehicles inside and out since they service hundreds of them a month, and have a wealth of knowledge - both historical and technical about their product. That being said, on a recommendation from a neighbor decided to take my Forester to a local shop a few miles from my home, after 2hrs of troubleshooting the smoking gun component was revealed...Timing Variable Oil Control Solenoid. All the devilish behavior my Forester was exhibiting ceased, and was now happy and healthy again, all over a $130 part. So if anyone's Subaru begins showing symptoms like described in my OP, check out the solenoid, so you can avoid a $3,500 bill advised by the Subaru techs for complete engine tear down. I won't call out the dealer to spare them the shame. Thanks for reading.
Congrats and thanks for sharing about your fix!
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:51 PM   #14
mav1c
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Good to hear it wasn't a big issue. Can you post part number for future reference?
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:00 PM   #15
Mach V Dan
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Just as a little follow-up -- the fact that the car had TWO single-cylinder misfire codes, on the SAME bank, would not be consistent with most conditions that require short block replacement. A burned valve would usually cause a problem with ONE cylinder, as would a cracked piston. It would be very unusual for one bank to have two cracked pistons or two burned valves. I have seen issues where the intake manifold was leaking on one side, causing misfires on two adjacent cylinders, but that obviously is not a bottom-end problem.

Take dealer diagnoses with a grain of salt, and get a second opinion before performing any major surgery.

--Dan
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:01 AM   #16
yuephoria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach V Dan View Post
Just as a little follow-up -- the fact that the car had TWO single-cylinder misfire codes, on the SAME bank, would not be consistent with most conditions that require short block replacement. A burned valve would usually cause a problem with ONE cylinder, as would a cracked piston. It would be very unusual for one bank to have two cracked pistons or two burned valves. I have seen issues where the intake manifold was leaking on one side, causing misfires on two adjacent cylinders, but that obviously is not a bottom-end problem.

Take dealer diagnoses with a grain of salt, and get a second opinion before performing any major surgery.

--Dan
Mach V
FastWRX.com
Good to know, Dan.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:10 PM   #17
92XJET
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Good to hear it wasn't a big issue. Can you post part number for future reference?
Sure on the invoice part number reads: 10921AA020


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach V Dan View Post
Just as a little follow-up -- the fact that the car had TWO single-cylinder misfire codes, on the SAME bank, would not be consistent with most conditions that require short block replacement. A burned valve would usually cause a problem with ONE cylinder, as would a cracked piston. It would be very unusual for one bank to have two cracked pistons or two burned valves. I have seen issues where the intake manifold was leaking on one side, causing misfires on two adjacent cylinders, but that obviously is not a bottom-end problem.

Take dealer diagnoses with a grain of salt, and get a second opinion before performing any major surgery.

--Dan
Mach V
FastWRX.com
Thanks for chiming in, Dan. Good advice.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #18
92XJET
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So I thought about this and decided I didn't want anyone else to fall victim to this dealer fleecing customers for unnecessary repairs, nor did they try to make amends by at least refunding the diagnosis fee for the unwarranted work they were proposing. Therefore based on my experience, I would avoid Sheehy Subaru of Springfield for service.
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