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Old 03-21-2004, 07:15 PM   #1
Captain Ding
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 5773
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Allentown, PA, USA
2003 Forester XS
Pacifica Blue

Default PPPPPing

I own a manual 2003 Forester XS. Ever since I bought it about a year ago, there's been a very persistent ping under light throttle conditions on any sort of uphill grade from around 1800-3500 RPM after the car is fully warm. It gets worse with warmer outside air temperatures, but it goes away under harder throttle (50% or more). This alone proves that it's getting enough fuel and makes me believe it's an ECU issue of some sort, most likely too much timing in that part of the ignition map. I brought it to the dealer no less than 6 times. So far we've changed plugs/wires, the thermostat, the coolant temp sensor and re-flashed the ECU. I've also had a couple of visits from SOA techs. The problem still exists as it always has. At first I thought maybe the knock sensor wasn't working, but when driving around with the tech, the knock sensor was pulling all kinds of timing out of the engine. SOA has decided not to pursue the problem from this point on, stating that it is a known problem with 2003 Foresters. They acknowledge that it IS a problem, but don't know how to fix it. Any ideas? I've tried all brands of gas up to 93 octane and still get a bit of pinging, but generally run on 87. Would colder plugs buy me anything???
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:50 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 47949
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dublin, Ca
04 Forester XT
Porsche 914 w. suby six


I'd check to see what the lemon laws are in your state, specifically "reasonable number of repair attempts".

My dealer is smart, they refuse to acknowlege anythings wrong (atleast in writing).
swingkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2004, 01:17 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 54788
Join Date: Feb 2004
2004 Forester XT
Java Black

Default ORI

If you have over 12000 miles on the car you may be experiencing
a phenomena called Octane Requirement Increase (ORI). This
occurs in all cars because the small amount of unburned gas in
the cylinders or incremental amounts of lube oil leave a small
residue that insulates the cylinder and raises the combustion
chamber temperature and/or creates a "hot spot" that causes
preignition. Under part load the engine is relatively lean and this
enhances preignition conditions. Under rich conditions the excess
fuel absorbs the heat as it evaporates and reduces the conditions that cause preignition or "ping". The only real solution is to clean the combustion chambers. To do this without disassembling the engine I would advise using some of Chevron's
gasoline detergent additive called Techron. In 25 years in the
gasoline business this is the only additive treatment that I have
ever seen that works. It will give your engine a thorough enema!
You can usually find this in Walmart or Farm and Fleet stores and of course at Chevron stations if they market in your area.
Chevron claims one treatment will reduce the engines octane
requirement up to 3 numbers. The problem is this is not a
permanent solution. The combustion chamber deposits come
back after about 3000 miles and another treatment is necessary.
A friend of mine had this problem so severe in a Cadillac that the
pinging burned a hole in one of the pistons. Cadillac made good
on the engine but wanted to walnut shell blast the cylinders of the new engine about every 5000 miles at a cost of about $600.
He got rid of Mr Goodwrench. Some engines are very prone to
this while most are not. I hope this helps.
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Old 03-22-2004, 08:21 AM   #4
Captain Ding
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 5773
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Allentown, PA, USA
2003 Forester XS
Pacifica Blue


Sounds like it's worth trying. I'll give it a shot! Thanks.
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