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2001 Subaru Forester


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gbsk
Novice

Apr 15, 2017, 6:31 AM

Post #1 of 12 (823 views)
  post locked   2001 Subaru Forester  

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester with a 2.5 engine. I bought the car one and a half years ago in SLC and drove it down to NM and back to SLC and all the way to Alaska. I never had any problems with it at all until a month go. The engine was overheating all of a sudden and the check engine light came on. I found someone affordable to fix the car. When the problem started, white smoke came out from the tail pipe. I and some people on this forum thought it was a blown head gasket. The guy who is fixing the car said the car was idling at 1200 RPMs when he got it. He tightened the bolts on the head and did a compression check on it and it has held compression. He put in new plugs, water pump, and timing belt. thermostat and oil pan gasket (oil change). The mechanic also put in a new belt tensioner since the old one was frozen and would not move. He showed it to me. He said he could not tell where the mark was on the timing belt.so he had to try to time it 7 different times. by taking things out and putting them back in so he could time it.

This is where I cannot understand what is happening. I am not a mechanic though. I will put in a comment that I do not think he is trying to screw me. He gave me a price for his labor and seems to be sticking to that price. for the mount of time he is putting in, I think is not not making that much and he would just as soon not be doing the job. He claims the timing is right now. Here is where it gets weird. He said he needed to put a cam sensor in, which he bought and I need to repay him for it. Now he says the battery does not work. I used it all winter without plugging it in and sometimes started it at -20 F. and even at 0 a month ago. He says the pistons are firing in this order: 3,2,4,1 instead of 1,2,3,4, or 1,3,2,4,( I forgot what order he said). He said all the plugs are now fouled out. As I said earlier, he put all new plugs in on Friday. Now, he says I need a new battery, new plugs, new plug wires (which are not that old - maybe a year) and a new ignition coil. I do not want to just dish out money for parts if the car is not getting any better and even worse with new plugs going bad and new battery, which worked fine earlier. He told me he called up an uncle who ran a shop and Subaru and sent his uncle and some friends pictures of what he is doing and they told him he is doing the right thing. I told him to stop until we get something figured out. Does anyone have any advice?

Here is info I got from mechanic later.

This is infornation I already knew and have used... Today, I even went through the whole procedure again to be sure I havent missed anything...I come to the same conclusion Ive done it right 9 times now. My point is if it was off to begin with then using the procedure isn't working and I have to figure out whats causing it to flood the spark plugs and change the ignition timing. I dont know of a way to test accurately whether the coil is working properly. And if my timing was off then I would actually get a timing code...like I did when the camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensors were bad. The vehicle came in running however non off the parts where working correctly to begin with....you might want to let these other mechanics know that before giving me info I've already given you.

My problem with this is that I don't see why the parts suddenly did not work. He said now I need a new battery when it worked all winter just fine and it did not have a heater. He also just bought a new cam sensor and thinks I need a new ignition coil. The brand new plugs are fouling out. I drove the car over there but was sure that I had the radiator filled with water so it would not overheat. The following I do not understand but assume it is about the timing.

Cam R 12oclock at block meeting point crank tdc middle key with line cam L 12 oclock cut mark in cove r...
Yes this is an interference engine 2 x 2 firing order is 1324

Thanks
GB


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 6:54 AM

Post #2 of 12 (818 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

GB - Who's working on this, you or the mechanic or why is this up to you except to agree to what is found and yes or no to that additional expense?


It got hot apparently and you found a place or tech to take this on. For whatever reason it got hot is probably done with now something isn't right with the thing and this tech isn't or hasn't figured out what yet.


I'll just say that with 4 cylinder engines when you've disturbed wires to plugs usually at the coil or cap you also need to note direction you use firing order. You stated just for the example 1,2,3,4. Now put them on in opposite direction like clockwise or counter clockwise you get the other sequence. I didn't look up anything for correct order and if you count CW or CCW but it's a place a mistake could be easy and car would barely run if at all.


Noted with this interference engine that it took some tries to get which belt on properly? If the one does both valve timing and accessories or just one other item it is cogged to be exact. I can't know how many cogs (notches) a belt that runs valve timing can be off and run without damage? A tensioner was replaced that was frozen probably could spin the water pump well enough on this causing the overheat?


I'm not looking up details for this specific engine as it's in someone else's hands right now who should find out the problem not you the customer?


T



gbsk
Novice

Apr 15, 2017, 7:12 AM

Post #3 of 12 (812 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

T

Thanks for the reply. The mechanic is working on the car. However, I am paying for it and I do not want to keep throwing parts and money at it if they are not needed. the mechanic is stymied. He said he asked his uncle who owns an auto repair shop and another guy and they said he did things right according to him. I told him to stop working on it until the thing is diagnosed. That is why I asked here. He is talking about the timing belt. The timing sequence should be okay according to another source. Why are the new plugs fouling out and why does the battery that was previously good not work and the car not run right?

Thanks
GB


kev2
Veteran
kev2 profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 7:22 AM

Post #4 of 12 (804 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

"found someone affordable to fix the car" - .


http://www.google.com/...m=bv.152479541,d.eWE


(This post was edited by kev2 on Apr 15, 2017, 11:12 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 7:34 AM

Post #5 of 12 (804 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

Of course you are interested and are paying for this work. If this tech/mechanic is parts tossing to stumble on the actual problem that's not very professional IMO.


Battery? IDK - if allowed to go dead car batteries don't like that even new - they are not like "device" batteries at all. That could be mechanic error leaving a hood light on or something or just bad luck? Neither of us know this it would be tested by the mechanic.


If he/she left a light on perhaps overnight and knew it or found that the next time they know or should it's not good for the thing and take some responsibility for mistakes.


Did they convince you or themselves that no head gasket problems came from the overheat? I question that about now. It's not always easy to know for sure if not dramatic. Fussing to get a belt on properly isn't really a good vote of confidence this person or place is properly set up for this car.


That does happen and the person or shop should say so. For a shop or tech to just take on all makes and models to me is rare. Some are just parts nightmares or too many one time tools needed so either take them all on or send them on to someone who does.


I know - it's a Subaru and has a great overall reputation in biz a long time. The car maker does do some things differently than most others so would have different common things to just them as TMK they only make a "flat four" I call it engine unlike any other company I think that's just them. VW made a flat air cooled four for ages on end and might still for some locations?


Talk to this place so you understand each other on parts, costs. If they asked you to help that scares me!


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 3:14 PM

Post #6 of 12 (777 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  


Quote
the mechanic is stymied. He said he asked his uncle who owns an auto repair shop and another guy and they said he did things right according to him.


That's not a mechanic or anything close to one. He doesn't know what he is doing and frankly, you get what you pay for.

If you simply pick the cheapest guy, then it is very likely your dentist knows more than him.

Any tech worth a crap could tell you within an hour what is failing and why.

You had a frozen belt tensioner and then you suddenly have white smoke out the tail pipe. It sounds to me like you overheated from the belt failure and now you have a blown head gasket.


Quote
He tightened the bolts on the head and did a compression check on it and it has held compression.


That right there proves the guy is a moron. You never simply tighten head bolts.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 15, 2017, 3:15 PM)


gbsk
Novice

Apr 15, 2017, 6:49 PM

Post #7 of 12 (769 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

Maybe I did not explain this right. There was white smoke coming from the tailpipe before I took the car in. The mechanic checked it. He said a bolt on the head was loose and tightened it. He said the compression is now good. He put in some parts as I indicated and put in a new timing belt with the mark at top dead center. However, the new plugs keep fouling out and it needs a new battery. Does that make more sense?

Thanks
GB


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 6:55 PM

Post #8 of 12 (765 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

Maybe I didn't explain it right.
Your mechanic is a hack and doesn't know what he is doing.

He DID NOT rule out a blown head gasket. You cannot rule it out with a compression test and if you had a loose head bolt, you engine is junk so I think he was lost in space on that.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 11:30 PM

Post #9 of 12 (753 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

Spot on HT. This mechanic should have refused this work not equipped for this job. Hack or lack of experience or both. Affordable to you is now a disaster. GB - bargain prices or labor rates do not = a bargain at all - look at what's already gone wrong,


T



gbsk
Novice

Apr 16, 2017, 7:36 PM

Post #10 of 12 (741 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

The mechanic did get testy with the response I sent him. He thinks I only sent him my interpretation and not his side. Here is his response.

I've been sending responses to all these emails...not sure if your getting them. Heading to O'Reillys to charge battery...whether it holds or not I need the vehicle to crank over...
email 1:
I'm still working on it...I'm sure the timing was retarded when it got here and putting at tdc like specs say just made it worse. So im doing 1 cam 1/4 turn at a time till I get correct spark then going to the L and doing the same...that's what I've been doin all this time. Just try'n to get it at a correct location...at this point I'm positive it was 4 teeth off when I started this...and should've never put it at tdc like book says.
email 2:
Using spark testers and voc tester came up with what you guessed it your ignition coil is not working properly...I didn't need to go through all this to know I was right...and before we started this job I told you what your compression was 1=149.1 2=149.4 3=148.2 4 = 145.4 Also, I suggested head gasket replacement, oil gasket, oil change, full tune-up, water pump and timing belt kit, and cv axle passenger side replacement...I also only charged you for 6 hrs. of labor @40 ...this job calls for a lot more than you want to pay... I told from the beginning that working on it could start other issues but would try and work around what I could...I've also told you that if you want or need to take it somewhere else go ahead. But when y ou neglect to tell the other mechanics the whole story. I'm done.
At this point, you owe me $200 still on work done and $62 for camshaft position sensor.
email: 3
This is information I already knew and have used... Today, I even went through the whole procedure again to be sure I haven't missed anything...I come to the same conclusion I've done it right 9 times now. My point is if it was off to begin with then using the procedure isn't working and I have to figure out what's causing it to flood the spark plugs and change the ignition timing. I don't know of a way to test accurately wh ether the coil is working properly. And if my timing was off then I would actually get a timing code...like I did when the camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensors were bad. The vehicle came in running however non off the parts where working correctly to begin with....you might want to let these other mechanics know that before giving me info I've already given you.
Now, with all that said I am still working on it. And, when talking to another mechanic you need to tell them everything not just half the story. I will not do a Leak down or a Wet, there is no need. The compression is fine for what you're asking me to do. I have fixed the issue with Cylinder 4. Which you saw yourself that the code went away. Even the two other codes went away after replacing the sensors. You were present for the first one [Crankshaft Position Sensor]. Then, I noticed the third code [Camshaft Position Sensor] and replaced it. Now, there are no codes period not even Timing Out. So, that tells me there is another underlining issue other than Timing being off. Plugs are wet, no spark to Cylinder 1 or 3, and a backfire. Reasons: Ignition Coil is not firing on 1 and 3, Timing is off by who knows what amount before it got here at 1200 rpms@ idle and now having done TDC reference from Subaru Spec. Guide could be off by more than 20* give or take a direction. But not replacing Ignition Coil is fighting a dead horse in my opinion. The other dead horse is speculation that I don't know my job. Even, if I didn't know my job there's' too many places on the internet not to figure it out for any DIY; which I'm not. ALLdata is what I use and live by it. If, you want someone else to do the work fine but pay me what's owed. I've done my JOB correctly and very cheap I might add. I'm fairly close on Timing @ the moment but with the other stuff going on:
Battery Cranking AMPS
Ignition Coil
Wire Set possibly bad
New Plugs possibly fouled do to Ignition Coil dumping fuel on them and Timing being retarded before Timing belt change.
Anyways, you figure out what you want to do. I'm doing what I knows right. I want the vehicle to turn over and drive away as much as you do. It coming here driving and starting is the only reason I'm still even trying. But not because I don't know how to do my job.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 16, 2017, 7:42 PM

Post #11 of 12 (737 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

We don't need or want to see your back and forth with your so-called mechanic. We have advised you that you are just wasting your money with this guy.

You get what you pay for and in this case you are paying for someone that doesn't know what he is doing. If you are just going to forward our comments over to him them I'm just going to close this thread. It is going nowhere.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Apr 16, 2017, 7:43 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 16, 2017, 10:36 PM

Post #12 of 12 (727 views)
  post locked   Re: 2001 Subaru Forester  

GB - thread is locked and you should be able to still read it. It's over with this mechanic! It's fine to learn on his part but charging for it now stating unknown problems isn't how it should work.


Yup - now suggest you cut losses with this person and find a real mechanic who isn't going to be pleased that it's been fussed with already by a total novice at this.


Not such a great place for the web you learn this stuff hands on over years of training then apply it to the real world not learn it on customer vehicles. Just me perhaps but made my mistakes on my own vehicles first before do that work for another. Before formal tech training, during formal tech schools then with the real world WITH experienced help at hand.


This went all wrong. This guy doesn't know how to test what he's already done or diagnose ongoing reasons it's not all done yet or why. That's not how this should work for you.


Good luck. Chose a plan B and get out of this and on to someone or place that can get you out of the problems now worse than before you began IMO,


Tom







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