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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2006 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 3/7/2014
    Should I fix it or sell it?
    My mechanic tells me this car was in an accident before I bought it (not on the Car Fax) and had a piece of the frame replaced. The engine problems I am having will require a new engine at some point. What should I do: 1) Put in a new engine and then sell it? 2) ...
     
    • Jimm
      3/7/2014 Jimm
      Depends on several factors; cost of the repairs, overall value and condition of the vehicle. Given these pieces of information you will be able to make the best decision.

      What are the issues that require a new or rebuilt / replacement engine?
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2007 Subaru Forester - Engine - 3/4/2014
    What is the whining sound that accompanies this car? Is it the turbo unit or could it be something else?
    Car was fairly recently purchased, mileage about 101500.
     
    • Jimm
      3/4/2014 Jimm
      Yes - it could be the turbocharger or something else. Need more information - when does the noise occur? On start-up, on acceleration - at certain speeds? Have you at least raised the hood to observe any noise / conditions firsthand?
      Difficult to diagnose with any accuracy given the description and lack of details.

      Try using the 'Diagnose' feature on the AutoMD website and then post your reply with as much detail as possible for further assistance.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2012 Subaru Forester - Engine - 3/1/2014
    Best way to hard wire fire depart blue lights?
    I am installing FD volunteer blue lights in a 2014 Subaru Forester AWD. The nights need to be hard wired in. Is it possible to use the empty fuse slots to do this?
     
    • Jimm
      3/1/2014 Jimm
      Possible - first check with the manufacturer of the FD lights (there should be information or sticker on the lights themselves for the amerage and voltage required) and also check with the dealership for their recommendations.
      Last thing you want to happen is find out the lights are not working when you need them in an emergency.
  • mellhead
    mellhead - 1992 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/25/2014
    Why does my car spit and sputter and sound like small backfires?
    It does this while I am driving it.It also feels like the gas isnt getting to it.I just replaced the fuel filter and did an oil change and tuneup on it.What else could be wrong?Help,I am a single mother of 5 and this is my only way of getting around.
     
    • Jimm
      2/25/2014 Jimm
      First step - have the stored fault codes or check engine light scanned - for free - at any local auto parts store; Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA. Then, post a reply as 'add answer' with the specific code for more assistance. There may be a fault code stored in the OBD memory which may not be displayed as a check engine light.

      Possible Causes of Engine Hesitation or Stumble:

      Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this)
      Dirty air filter (change filter)
      Dirty / clogged fuel filter (change filter)
      Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
      Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
      Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
      Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
      Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
      Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)

      Sometimes, what feels like a hesitation is actually ignition misfire rather than lean misfire. The causes of ignition misfire may include:

      Dirty or worn spark plugs
      Bad plug wires / plug wires not connected properly
      Weak ignition coil
      Wet plug wires
  • mellhead
    mellhead - 1992 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/25/2014
    Why does my car spit and sputter and sound like small backfires?
    It does this while I am driving it.It also feels like the gas isnt getting to it.I just replaced the fuel filter and did an oil change and tuneup on it.What else could be wrong?Help,I am a single mother of 5 and this is my only way of getting around.
     
    • Jimm
      2/25/2014 Jimm
      First step - have the stored fault codes or check engine light scanned - for free - at any local auto parts store; Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA. Then, post a reply as 'add answer' with the specific code for more assistance. There may be a fault code stored in the OBD memory which may not be displayed as a check engine light.

      Possible Causes of Engine Hesitation or Stumble:

      Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this)
      Dirty air filter (change filter)
      Dirty / clogged fuel filter (change filter)
      Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
      Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
      Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
      Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
      Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
      Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)

      Sometimes, what feels like a hesitation is actually ignition misfire rather than lean misfire. The causes of ignition misfire may include:

      Dirty or worn spark plugs
      Bad plug wires
      Weak ignition coil
      Wet plug wires
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2008 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 2/23/2014
    When it is cold my car will pause then lurches forward . I have been told the valve gaskets leak.
    It has almost 70,000 miles. If I let it warm up for 5 minutes it doesn't happen. The colder it is the worse the lurch is, and it occurs after I drive slowly or not for a tenth of a mile. It occurs every time and the lurch is worse than last winter. I have been ...
     
    • Jimm
      2/23/2014 Jimm
      First step - have the stored fault codes or check engine light scanned - for free - at any local auto parts store; Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA. Then, post a reply as 'add answer' with the specific code for more assistance. There may be a fault code stored in the OBD memory which may not be displayed as a check engine light.

      Possible Causes of Engine Hesitation or Stumble:

      Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this)
      Dirty air filter (change filter)
      Dirty / clogged fuel filter (change filter)
      Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
      Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
      Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
      Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
      Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
      Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)

      Sometimes, what feels like a hesitation is actually ignition misfire rather than lean misfire. The causes of ignition misfire may include:

      Dirty or worn spark plugs
      Bad plug wires
      Weak ignition coil
      Wet plug wires
      Jimm
      2/23/2014 AutoMD Member
      Thank you. I will have these ideas checked out. sincerely Patricia
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2006 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/21/2014
    Clutch Kit Confirmation
    I found the item on your web site "EXEFJK1001" but am not sure if it is the correct one since I have a 2.0X DOHC engine and it is not shown on your site.
     
    • Jimm
      2/21/2014 Jimm
      There are no auto parts sold directly from the AutoMD website. Please double-check the source of the parts and the correct website.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2001 Subaru Outback - Engine - 1/26/2014
    Could you tell me what parts I need for a headgasket repair?
    I have a 4cyl Legacy Outback Limited. I need parts for a head gasket and valve cover gasket repair. Thank you for your assistance.
     
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/26/2014 HouseCallAuto
      I just completed this job about three months ago on a clients car except '97 but DOHC engine. You will need the parts listed but also expect to have to buy a few hoses that will crack when taking them off as you remove intake manifold. The rubber coolant hose becomes hardened and cracks and no place else but Subaru has. One rather sensitive area is the exhaust manifold flange nuts and studs. I was terrified that the stud might break off so I used an air chisel to split the nut to aid in removal. Spent more than 2 hours workin them. Did not have oxy-acetylene with me but wish I did. You might want to install new nuts and / or studs if the studs unthread with the nut staying in place. I made my own studs out of bolts by cutting the heads off at the appropriate length, not that I wouldn't have paid probably 5 bucks or more for each new stud from subaru but I was in the final stretch of finishing it and I would have had to stop and drive to Subaru and then come back and I would not have finished it the same day. I do wish I had new studs.

      head gasket set FEL-PRO HS26170PT1 (this set inclused valve cover gaskets and intake gaskets etc)
      head bolt set (two of these, one for each side) FEL-PRO ES72212
      coolant thermostat STANT 48457 (best)

      If the timing belts has not been done at all yest or has some miles it would be wise top replace the timing belt and water pump and idler pulleys. I am a neat freak and I even bought new seals for the plastic timing covers, and even brought them home and ran them in the dishwasher. (wife was not home - LOL)

      Good luck. Do Not rush this job. Its gonna be 14 to 20 hours depending on how particular you are.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2008 Subaru Outback - Engine - 1/9/2014
    Headlights rearwindshield wipers not working strange smell in defrost
    103000 mi headlights seem reversed wh car is on and no high beems
     
    0 answer
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2005 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 1/4/2014
    Spark plug tube remove
    how do you get the tube around spark plug out of the cylinder head
     
    • Jimm
      1/4/2014 Jimm
      Supplies: rocker cover gasket; 2 x spark plug gaskets; 5 x RC bolt washers (6 for a turbo); a little sealant (3 bond or similar)

      Tools: 10 mm ring; 10 mm open end; 10 mm socket

      Record your radio pre-sets (you’re going to lose them!)

      Insure the engine is cold

      Hand / E brake on and chock wheels.

      Turn off alarm unit if you have one (or it will go off when you disconnect the battery)

      Remove windscreen washer reservoir

      Disconnect battery leads and tie back towards windscreen

      Remove battery

      Remove battery tray (& clean)

      Jack up car if you have to and remove sump / splash guard

      Position drip tray (make sure it extends to the centre of the vehicle as oil will run across the front cross-member before it falls. Stuff rags etc under the rocker cover (RC) as well.

      Remove the PCV hose from the RC.

      Remove the spark plug leads.

      Undo the RC bolts (note that the top bolts are longer). There’s 5 on an NA (6 on a turbo) and they are not tight (3.6 ft/lbs). The rear bottom bolt is a pain to get at. I found it best from the top - coming at it from the firewall end.

      Grab the oil filler and pull the cover away. Then undo and remove the oil filler.

      Remove the cover – I found it easiest to grab the rear end of the cover and lift vertically past cylinder #4

      Remove old gaskets and bolt washers. Clean up the RC and mating surfaces.

      Insert new RC gasket into cover and position the new spark plug tube seals. Apply a very, very light smear of gasket sealant across the top of the RC gasket.

      Position RC – again lower into position holding rear of cover and then turn into position. Do not yet insert bolts.

      NOW ATTACH THE OIL FILLER – there is a trap in that there is not enough room to fit the rear bolt of the oil filler once you have attached the RC. (I found this out the hard way – I had to find a shorter bolt as a temporary solution!)

      Now slide the new RC bolt washers, metal face outmost towards the bolt head, onto the bolts and insert the bolts (remember the top bolts are longer). Tighten all the bolts by hand making sure that the gaskets have remained in place. Torque the bolts you can get at to 3.6 ft/lbs (i.e. not very tight) grab a 10 mm ring and get a feel for the torqued bolts then tighten the others with similar force (again the rear bottom is a PIA!)

      Reattach the PCV hose and spark plug leads. Be sure to apply a thin layer of dieelectric to the insoide of the plug wire insulators.

      Reinstall the water reservoir, battery tray and battery, reconnect battery leads.

      Remove any rags from under the RC; clean up any oil spills.

      Reactivate the alarm if you have one.

      Start vehicle and let it idle as in an ECU reset. Check for leaks.

      After engine at operating temperature, switch off. Switch back on then go for a test drive.

      Check for leaks and check oil level. Reinstall sump / splash guard when you’re happy that there are no leaks.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    Is there a free website to show how to change cambelt on subaru impreza 2002 4 cylinder 2.0L GX AWD engine
    where to get free information on subaru impreza 2.0L GX AWD cambelt and setting timing
     
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/3/2014 HouseCallAuto
      YouTube most likely has tutorial on changing the belt.
    • John's Auto Repair
      You may also want to try AutoZone's website. autozone.com. They have a help section which would
      probably cover your repair.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    How to tell if cambelt has failed
    is subaru impreza 2.0L 4 cylinder GX 4wd a free wheeling or interference engine
     
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/3/2014 HouseCallAuto
      Debatable topic. Free-wheeling engine but is possible to have intake to exhaust valve contact - not valve to piston contact.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    Suspected cambelt failure on subaru impreza 2002 2 litre gx 4wd is this engine inteference fit or free wheeling
    when trying to start the car engine turned over 2 or 3 times normally then it sounded like it had lost compression similar sound as if the starter motor had become disengaged whilst trying to start but it had'nt could this be a cambelt failure?
     
    0 answer
  • 1wayralph86
    1wayralph86 - 1999 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/21/2013
    My car is over heating after i replaced radiator, water pump, an thermostat. I was told that its air locked.
    219876, running hot, it runs hot while driving, it just started two days ago,inside the car, yes check engine light is on,no other lights are on.
     
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/21/2013 HouseCallAuto
      The subaru engine is well known for bad head gaskets, very very common and more common that most other cars. All these new parts and yet still getting air in system usually = a head gasket. I will assume that you have opened the air bleed on the top of the radiator or near the radiator to purge the air out - Subaru's have an air bleed screw but if you already did that and still running hot then there are no likely other causes here besides the head gasket.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1997 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/14/2013
    Why does car start intermittently (sometimes it starts and sometimes it does not start)?
    Sometimes the car starts and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes turning key repeatedly works and sometimes tapping on the starter works. When the car doesn't start, we may (sometimes) hear a clicking under the hood and around the fuse box under the glove box (at the ...
     
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/14/2013 HouseCallAuto
      1. Bypass the starter interrupt relay by jumping the Blue/White wire to the Blue/Red wire. If the problem no longer occurs the relay may be faulty or it may have an alarm system issue.

      2. Check for a loose ground cable near the starter.

      Here is a picture of starter interrupt relay location and by the way, these two relays are the same so you can swap them as a test. One is for the headlight alarm. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/824/captureqfp.jpg/