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Old 04-28-2004, 09:32 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 35891
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: syracuse, ny
1999 Forester L
Aspen White

Question Stumbling 99 Forester - Please Help

Hello all,

Hoping that I could get some advice from all of you Subaru Geniuses. I have had my 99 Forester L for about a year now and have had a cold start issue since purchasing it. It was noticed when I had a buyer's inspection done at the time of purchase. The previous owner replaced the spark plugs and wires right before I bought the car.

Last year, the car seemed to lack power after a cold start for at least 5 minutes or so. It requires a 10 minute warm up in order for this not to happen. Basically, it seems like power is only at 25% at startup. I had the dealer check it out and they said they couldn't diagnose if it didn't have any error codes.

This past month it has gotten considerably worse. Very rough start, feels like it is going to stall out and the problem seems to last quite a while longer (10 minutes or so). The check engine light also flashed the other day. Brought it to the dealer again and they said they couldn't diagnose as no codes were recorded. There is also a distinct smell of gas and mileage has gone down considerably although my driving habits have recently consisted of driving the 5 miles between school and home lately (not allowing a lot of time for the engine to really run much). I had them completely check it out and they found nothing peculiar.

Not really sure what to do, but it seems like a serious problem to me. Have had two dealers check it out and still no resolution or even knowledge of the problem. I feel like they are relying too much on the OBC codes to diagnose rather than trying to seek out the probem.

Sorry for the long post, but I would really like to figure out what is wrong with the car. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-29-2004, 01:06 AM   #2
Back Road Runner
Scooby Guru
Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
2004 Forester STI


Hehe, sounds like my old Ranger, carburated with a choke that ran off temp sensitive coil. That thing would run rich all wither and get like half the milage. When that choke stuck open it ran like crap. It would smell like gas every time you got out of the truck.

If I had to guess something, it would be along similar lines, although the Subaru is of course not carburated. There may be a choke issue or something. It might be a sensor or something mechanically sticking. I'm quite new to Subarus, so I really don't know about their mechanics or computer systems and if they do anything special or out of the ordinary compared to other cars.
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:33 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 39503
Join Date: Jul 2003

I had a Toyota Tercel that used to do that. It turned out to be the valves. They put put a scope into the engine and found that the valves were all coked up with carbon and the car needed a valve job ( the thing only had 48,000 miles on it!). Try some Chevron Techron gas treatment as well.

Last edited by Corkfish; 04-29-2004 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:36 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 35891
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: syracuse, ny
1999 Forester L
Aspen White


Hmm, thanks for the replies. So, I should have them check the valves for build up, and be aware of a sensor that might be stuck? Anybody else have anything like this happen specifically with a Forester?

Thanks very much for your help.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:24 AM   #5
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Member#: 57149
Join Date: Mar 2004
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Vermont
TMHK Thomas B Hanks
First 6


It could be a bad BPT valve. Remove the valve and bang it against your hand, If water comes out then it needs replacement. But it could also be the Air Control Soleniod Valve. Some times they get really carboned up. you can sometimes fix it by removing the valve, sparying the "flapper" with carb and choke cleaner, then work the flapper with a little screwdriver. those are my first thoughts. good luck.

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Old 05-01-2004, 10:01 AM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 56687
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis
2000 Forester L


What is a BPT valve?

'00 Subaru Forester L
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