2004 Forester 2.5XS Won't Start Properly


Asked by Oct 18, 2016 at 07:25 PM about the 2004 Subaru Forester XS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So most of the time this car will turn over perfectly fine. However, if I drive it
for a short period of time, turn it off and walk away for a little bit, it will have a
hard time turning over. The Engine will sometimes run at 300 RPM in idle and
when I try to throw it into Reverse it will sputter, throw up the At Oil
Temperature light and cut out. Sometimes I have rev the engine and quickly
throw it into Drive while the RPMs are still up just to get it moving. The engine
will shake when stopped during these times.
I've been making it a point to give it time to cool in between times but it really
is starting to become a pain

2 Answers


I suspect your car needs a new IAC (idle air control valve) but it might also need a tuneup. How many miles on the car?


what kind of mpg are you getting? this could be quite a number of things.. Do you have any codes/CEL on? IAC (in my experience) usually start failing with stick open/close/open/close syndrome (especially at idle - obviously) or fail shut and stall. I'm wondering if you have an injector that is stuck open and leaking fuel and then the O2 says, too much fuel - lean it out. I could also see this being a dirty air temp / volume / maf (whatever yours has) issue, possibly. You could start by doing some reading on cleaning air intake sensors for your year. Buy the expensive ($8-10?) can of MAF cleaner and just take your time. Please keep us posted with updates/questions.

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