DaveMc

Glow Plug problems on diesel engine

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Does anyone know of a problem with the glowplugs on a 2010 Forester Diesel engine, or other diesel engines for that matter?  My malfunction light came on along with the traction control light, and the cruise control also stopped working.  My local garage decised the diagnostic code was for steering function sensor whilst the main dealer said it was the glowplugs. 

 

Struggling to get my head round this one - I can relate why a fault in the traction control could switch off the cruise control, but don't see what that has got to do with glowplugs!  The technician at main dealer told me that it was a known fault with the diesel engine and that the malfunction would affect other electronic systems in the car!

 

Quote of £425 to fix glowplugs provided they don't snap when taking them out...........then it will be more!

 

Anyone come accross this before?

 

Dave

 

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It's possible the Glowplug is shorting out and blowing the by the look of it, also the main fuse which powers up the abs /vdc  (Vehicle Dynamics Control) and the Hill hold feature so does look like it could be that from the list of symptoms it courses. I know in the older models they didn't read up as a code and was a nightmare to find out what the problem was. Look's like they never really sorted it out to make it any easier :(   

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Thanks Gambit, Have you heard of this being a common problem with subaru diesel engines?

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No problem just hope it helps :) 

 

I wouldn't say common but a known fault, just hope it sorts it now :D 

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Did you get any of the error codes they found during the investigation? Flashing glow plug lights and EML's together can often indicate different things (get this on VAG for example and the DPF is suffering for example). I've never worked on the DPF's on a Subaru so can't give any further ideas without any more clues :-(

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Hi. I'm new to this forum - and pretty much forums in general - so apologies If I seem an idiot. I've just had 3rd glow plug fail on 2010 Forester at 29500 miles. I've got the car booked in with main dealer and had a worrying quote of £4000 for the repair should the plug snap when attempting to remove it. Anyone else had similar quote??? (The previous two failed under warranty at around, I think 15 & 20 thousand miles)

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Hello & welcome, sorry to hear about your problems, it does seem steep to say the least ! You'd have expected them to change the lot at the same time if they know about the fault.

There's not many diesel owners here but I'm sure someone will be able to help you out.

And no need to apologise feel free to have a lok around and get involved we're all friendly bunch and beleive me no question is too trivial :-D

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Thanks for the friendly welcome! The dealer wouldn't change them all under warranty because of the risk of breaking ones that were working perfectly OK at the time. The whole fault is weird because the traction control warning comes on and stays on at the same time as the engine management warning light (the traction control failure then takes out the cruise control). I fail to see what the traction control has to do with a dodgy glow plug so those are presumably just error codes triggered erroneously by the initial fault. Another thing I don't get with the glow plugs is that if they are prone to snapping, and have been like that for years, then why haven't they come up with a better design and recalled the lot - especially as it seems to disable the traction control and so becomes a safety matter. Cheers! FNS.

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Yes had the same issue in Australia. Warning lights on cruise check engine park brake and stability control all disabled (not good for a car that says it's safe). Glow plug relay circuit fault P1380 Glow plug No.1 is in need of replacement along with blow fuse. Approx. $510 to $580 to fix one what about the others. After reading this is more common than people think as these engines are just starting to hit the 3 year old 77,000km mark.

 

I just want safety features back and don't care about the glow plugs as car drives fine.

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Probably need the glow plugs in winter here (140 miles off the top of Scotland) but the car cannot pass it's MOT test in the UK with a dashboard warning light on so replacing the glow plug is obligatory. It's the £4000 or so cost of replacing one that the Subaru Main Dealer snaps when attempting to remove it that's the real worry - even more so when they have already failed on three occasions at only 29500 miles/43000 km. Seems to me that these parts should be considered not fit for purpose under UK trading standards laws.

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Seems to me that Subaru Glow Plug failure is quite a common but expensive catastrophe?  I have run into exactly the same issue with my 2010 Outback Diesel, at 104,000 KMS.  Bling, 3 warning lights came on, engine management, traction control and parking brake -  cruise control & hill stop not functioning.

The car is currently in the Subaru dealership workshops, and diagnosed with one or more failed glow plugs.  I too had a similar phone call from the service manager to tell me that they couldn't tell which glow plug was faulty, so all had to come out for testing - & that they were very brittle and sometimes snapped when trying to remove them so might have to be drilled out!  At $165 a pop - I was warned that I could be up for a bill over $1000.   :( 

What doesn't make sense is that there was absolutely no change in the starting pattern - a couple of turns and she fired. No smoke when cold, no indication of roughness- nothing out of the ordinary that I would expect on a cold start with <4 glow plugs operating.  

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My repair went OK and ended up at about £116 in the end, which wasn't too bad. Trouble now is that I'm constantly expecting another one to go - either the sole remaining original plug or one of the replacements - and then I have the threat of snapping plug and that £4000 bill again. If you've only been quoted $1000 dollars (about £560) to replace snapped ones then you're very lucky - or someone has made a mistake. The glow plugs aren't even necessary for starting here at 60 degrees north so I'm sure you could manage without them in southern Australia if it wasn't for the loss of safety features. As I said in an earlier post the problem cannot just be ignored in Britain as the car will fail its MOT test and have to be taken off the road until repaired. The snapping glow plug problem is apparently quite common with other cars as well but perhaps is complicated by the nature of and accessibility of the Subaru boxer engine. Any thoughts on that anyone?

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Picked up the car from the dealership - after settling a bill for $1,300.  Two glow-plugs had allegedly failed (fused blown) and a third had snapped in the socket and had had to be drilled out.  All good I thought - until 5 minutes from home when all three of the dreaded dash lights came back on again!   Took it straight back the next morning to be told that they would put it back on the machine to diagnose what's causing it this time,  quote "it could quite easily be something different".  You've got to be joking...  Watch this space - I'm waiting for their phone call.

Assuming they do get some resolution on this - I still have concerns about long term damage from any metal filings that may have entered the cylinder when they drilled out the 'snapped' glow plug.  Am I being pedantic or should I be trading this car in now?  The Service Advisor was understandably non committal. 

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I think it's clear from the experiences that we've all been having throughout the world that there is a definite problem with the diesel engine that Subaru should be at very least footing the bill for repairs.  My car is now nearly 5 years old and whilst I like it a lot I'm kind of reluctant to upgrade to the latest model in the case the problem still exists.

 

Come on Subaru, if you're monitoring this forum, what do you intend to do about it?

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The issue apparently was common in the Euro4 and Early Euro5 engines. It's not something that affects the newer Euro5 which is the current version. I believe 2012 (don't quote me) onwards don't seem to suffer the same issues

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Yes had the same issue in Australia. Warning lights on cruise check engine park brake and stability control all disabled (not good for a car that says it's safe). Glow plug relay circuit fault P1380 Glow plug No.1 is in need of replacement along with blow fuse. Approx. $510 to $580 to fix one what about the others. After reading this is more common than people think as these engines are just starting to hit the 3 year old 77,000km mark.

 

I just want safety features back and don't care about the glow plugs as car drives fine.

 

hi mate, as your located in Newcastle, NSW you probably never in need of glow plugs anyway  :lol:

 

i did live in Penrith, NSW  :)

 

cheers,

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Hi all, 

I to have a problem with a  seized and now snapped glow plug on my 2010 Forrester and with only 59,000 km on the clock.

As it happens  the warning lights came on (as mentioned above) just before I was booked in for a service at our Subaru dealer.

So when the warning lights came on I took it in and they plugged it in to their computer thingy which detected that #3 glow plug had failed,  "no problem, the GP's are only there to start it,  we will replace it when it comes in for a service next week".

There was no mention by them that this can be problematic/expensive  and my experience with glow plugs has been with an older Landrover where the glow plugs came out easily so I didn't give it another thought.

On the day of the service I get a call from the dealer saying the glow plug had snapped off while trying to get it out and that I had better come in to discuss the our options.

Their initial suggestion was that the motor would have to come out and the head removed, this would cost me about $3,000.

They where however waiting to hear back from Subaru with any suggestions. Subaru were now going to send the dealer a kit to extract the glow plug so things where looking up. The extractor kit arrived some days later and that afternoon I received a call from the dealer saying that they had managed to get the glow plug out but in the process the thread in the head had also been stripped out so there was no thread left in the alloy head. They made a few calls to thread repair experts and it seemed that the motor would have to come out for a heli coil to be fitted. Another call to Subaru was made and they suggested not using a help coil but recommended  that they  fit a thread insert, there was enough meat in the head for it to be drilled out and a thread insert fitted.  So at the mo I am waiting for the thread insert kit to turn up from Subaru and hopefully I can get my car back.

 

My question now is do I keep it or is it inevitable that I will have the same problem in the not to distant future?

When I bought the Forester I was doing a few K's to work but shortly after the purchase I got laid off and am not now doing the long drive to work. So do I need a diesel when I have only done 59k km in 4 yrs? It has been a great car, I go away camping/surfing  and tow my Birkin  (Lotus 7 Style) with it and would happily keep it but with the possibility of a $3,000 plus bill for a glow plug replacement I would be mad.  Suggestions anyone --

 

Cheers Rusty

Newcastle Upon Hunter

 

 

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Surely if it's only done 36,000 miles and it's less than 5 yrs old and this is a known and recognised problem, that subaru should be able to look at this as a warranty issue? I'd certainly be pushing in that direction.

As for whether you have a diesel the general thinking is you need to do more than I think 16000 miles a year to balance fuel and purchase costs in favour of the diesel for similar size engine. The mileage you're doing would indicate s petrol might be cheaper long term option.

That doesn't detract from the fact that with that sort of mileage on the vehicle it should have this problem.

I'm no expert but there are others in here who will have had or encountered similar.

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Hi Rusty,

Your troubles sound all too similar to my own experiences.  My Outback diesel was of a similar age, a 2010 model.  Much as I enjoyed the car and its amazing fuel consumption - I like yourself had grave concerns about future on-going troubles with glow plugs in these motors.  I also took on board Dogkonker's comments that the problem was only resolved by Subaru with more recent Euro5 engines.  I made the decision to trade my Outback in  - this time on a normally aspirated petrol engined 2.5l Subaru Forester, with which- touch wood - I am extremely happy with.  I believe Subaru's strength and reliability lies in its significant experience with petrol engined boxers. The Subaru Euro4 diesel motor is clearly early pioneering for Subaru.  My Subaru diesel, like your own was one of the unfortunate casualties in their learning era.  What I find unforgivable is that Subaru have not acknowledged nor provided any long term solution towards addressing what is clearly an inherent fault with these engines.

So yes -  I've dumped the diesel for a petrol Subi

 

GavM 

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There's possibly some recourse through trading standards based on the "fit for purpose" requirement, assuming you're UK. If not there must be something similar in other countries. There's enough evidence on the Internet to confirm the issue. Not sure if anyone has tackled it this way but I think it's the way I'd go. To have a significant issue as you have in the time and mileage you have could be argued the item was not fit for purpose, whilst it's fine for the plug itself not to be under warranty as a consumable the issue of it not being able to be extracted is a design issue and is therefore a warranty issue. I'd be o. To subaru with that view point even if you didn't buy the car new.

I have a diesel XV but it's a 2014 model and there have been no issues recorded regarding glow plugs that I can see since 2012

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I haven't actually had one snap yet but three have failed so far and the car has still only done 30,000 miles. I agree that Trading Standards may be worth trying should the worst happen. Other manufacturers seem to have similar problems but the Subaru boxer engine presumably makes them more awkward to deal with. If not then comments on a postcard please.

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This is getting common as the diesel boxer is getting bit older.

Quality of the heater plugs is the issue & Subaru needs to address this with the manufacturer.

I have not had one break on removal yet but have bench tested old ones & they do break quite easily as become quite brittle & the body is not very thick.

Unfortunately the Boxer Diesel is not what we were hoping of from Subaru, Fuel economy is not that great for a modern diesel in real world daily use & some potential known issues are expensive & even when been done it not a cure as new parts have not been improved.

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I'd have to disagree about the fuel economy, I use mine on motorway quite a bit and driving around North Wales and I get around 56mpg generally and have had 79mpg on long motorway run (hypermiling) think that's pretty good for 1.5tonne full 4x4. The 1.6 CRV is only around 60mpg extra urban and that's only 2 wheel drive. There have been no issues identified since 2012 though I know there were issues in the earlier engines. Go to any website about any car and you'll see all the same stories, all manufacturers are the same it's just you only notice what you own. Go and get a Toyota and see how often that gets recalled. Honda had the same issue with clutches burning out on civics for several years they never admitted it I had 2 burn out in 70,000 miles and I had a fight on to get it sorted at £2500 a pop. Not saying the subaru diesel is perfect but I do think some perspective is needed. Steer clear of pre 2012 diesels would I think be good advice

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2012 onwards diesel is still too new & in too small numbers to evaluate really.

I'm not totally knocking the Boxer Diesel but it is not a great used buy at present for mpg or no nasty surprises.

Most of my customers are getting 42+mpg for general urban running around & 57+ on long runs.

Indeed fuel being used & driving style can make big differences but I prefer referencing lower figures as most drivers will never see the MPG you are achieving.

I am hoping the new diesels do turn out solid as would likely buy one in the future ...

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I agree that in this country there aren't enough about to see what's really going on, but in Australia they're a big seller which is where I look as there are a lot of diesels out there many of which have done done mileage. It's the same engine as UK as I understand so there's a pretty big pool of info there.

I only use shell diesel, the XV doesn't like nitro for some reason, gets a bit twitchy on the throttle. I do long runs and I plonk it on the motorway at 65-70 in cruise control for 2-3 hours often, that's how I get the fuel efficiency. I only got 79 once to prove concept, someone said you couldn't get over 70 on a 100 mile run. Red rag to a bull.

Personally I quite like the diesel it's got done go, I've got the 2014 version with the nickel plated Pistons or something. It'd don't 18000 miles and had been faultless, I only have new cars though for work mainly for the warranty. I can't have a car out of warranty.

Do sell or repair them then? You're obviously in the trade somehow.

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