SureTrack Community Fix: Wait And See Subaru

Real Fixes from Mitchell 1’s SureTrack® expert information resource are documented issues from actual shop repair orders and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you correct issues that are not easily diagnosed using OEM information alone. SureTrack is available at no additional cost in our ProDemand product.


Comebacks are never a fun thing, especially when you might need to do a major teardown to find the problem. Sometimes patience is the key. SureTrack community member macdonald.motorworks had a Subaru Forester in the shop that had previously repaired and now has started smoking at startup. They posed the question to the community, and with the help of fellow community member juniur and others, they were able to resolve the issue quickly.

The following Community Fix summarizes the interaction between members of the community that led to the solution.

Vehicle
2010 Subaru Forester XT Limited 2.5L

Title
Smoke from exhaust after sitting, piston ring alignment.

Complaint
Customer complains that car smokes at startup after sitting.

Diagnostic Steps Performed/Parts Replaced
Original repair was for classic oil and coolant leaking from head gaskets. Now that repair is done, on initial startup shows smoke from exhaust after car has sat for a period of time. Ahead of repair there was much less smoke from exhaust (according to owner). Car has 220,000 km on the clock. During original repair we replaced head gasket, had our motor machine ship skim the heads, installed new valve stem seals. Also replaced passenger bank VVT solenoid and oil pressure sensor (driver side was ok). Owner claims he’s driven the car only 200 km since repair. I’m wondering if other have found this to occur and if so, any advice. This engine drives well, is quiet, no check engine light etc.

Best Answer from Community Member juniur
This doesn’t help your situation but we put 3 remanufactured engines in the same Outback for this type of problem. I don’t know what the rebuilder finally did to remedy the problem. I think I remember reading about Subarus having piston ring trouble.

Cause
Just wanted to follow up with everyone – the burning oil problem has completely settled down according to the owner. I am putting this down to the ring-gaps all lining up and the car just needed to be driven to settle things down.

Correction
Driving vehicle more cleared up the smoking problem.


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About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.