Subaru Forster died suddenly- please help

Dear Car talk lovers,
Hi! I hope you all are having a nice day. I was too, till my car suddenly make a screeching noise and just died on the road. It sounded like I drove over some garbage thrown on the road, like a cardboard box or something. I have a 2003 Subaru Forester with 147010 miles. I have had it for one and half years. The seller had the transmission job done two years ago. It has a new water pump, spark plugs, tune up. The only thing that is not working is my driver side window. I was going to get it replaced this weekend.

I am not sure what happened. I am up to date on oil change, maintenance, and all the essentials. The car engine seemed slightly loud when I started it this after noon. I went to the grocer store, turned the A/c on and was on my way home. I was driving on the main road and the car stalled. I checked and made sure the fluids are full, Tried to start the car to drive it out of the main road, no luck. The police officer felt that it is a hazard to wait for the toe truck on the main road, hence ordered her tow truck.

The car is in my parking lot now. When i tried to start it, the check engine and the battery lights are on and the engine is making a hell of scratchy noise and the engine seems to be accelerating on its own.

I love my car and do take a good care of it. I appreciate your input regarding this matter. Could not reach the mechanic due to the long weekend. Will tow it to the garage on Tuesday. I want to know what exactly do you think has happened. All I can say is we are going through a heat wave in CT. I park the car outside in the parking lot. Please suggest what to do? Thanks
Happy Labor Day!

Maybe a new battery is all you need. Things can get squirrely with a dying dead battery. ( no offence to squirrels, or tree rats as you prefer.)

Many Thanks…

When if ever was the timing belt replaced. If that broke you are in for a big repair bill

When was the timing belt changed? It is due at 105,000 miles.

Yes, it was replaced.

The car is starting, but it making a profound amount of noise. It slightly smelled like gas when I stepped out of the car. All the belts are intact, oil is full, so is the radiator fluid.

I’m wondering if something driven by the serpentine belt has seized up, such as the a/c compressor or alternator. Have you tried starting it with the a/c turned off?

It is impossible to diagnose this at a distance, Just have it towed to your mechanic on Tuesday. Do bot go to any national chain shop, if you don’t know a good mechanic, go to the mechanics file on this website.

Morning, yesterday I tried to turn it on. First it won’t start, then it started with the loudest screechy sound ever. The check engine light went off. I don’t recall if the a/c was off. I normally turn it off as soon as I get home.
I will start it once more with the a/c turned off. I will try to record the sound and attach the file, if possible. I don’t want to cause more harm.
I will tow it to my mechanic, who has been taking care of it all along. He is reliable and a good guy.
It must be something to do with the heat wave and I have been using the a/c a lot lately. Since, both the driver side and passenger side windows are not going down, I was planning to get that fixed first. Now I am having this new issue. Such is life…Have a great day!

Sure sounds like the AC compressor locked up and the AC clutch is not releasing. Turning off the AC should open the clutch but it may not if the clutch has also seized. I hope for your sake that is all it is. Fixing it could be $1000 or a bit more but your mechanic may be able to disable the AC so the car runs but the AC won’t work until you either have the funds to fix it or decide you really don’t need AC in CT.


Here we go. This is how the engine sounds. Thanks

Could it be the alternator?

I don’t know about the others but this file won’t open on my computer. If it’s a shrieking noise, yes it could be the alternator if it has seized up or anything else that’s driven by the serpentine belt including idlers and tensioners if they have seized up.

I couldn’t listen to it either. I never did understand the media players.

Sorry that you cannot open the file. It is a shrieking noise. The check engine light is off. The alternator was warm to touch after the car ran for three minutes. Thanks for your guidance.

Just click on the uploaded file, your computer will convert it and you can see the video. I am using a mac, that could be the problem.Taking it to the mechanic tomorrow. Will let you know the diagnosis. Good night!

Nope still can’t. I guess I’m not Mac compatible. Alternators get warm but I also had one lock up on the kid’s car. It just spun the pulley off though and didn’t stall the car. I also had an AC compressor lock up and again that just squealed the belt till it burned off but never stalled. Best to have someone do a look see on it at this point. Hopefully the stalling is due to a small engine and not an internal issue.

ok thanks