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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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  • thacker325
    thacker325 - 2002 Subaru Outback - Engine - 5/12/2013
    Why does my car hesitate when I step on the gas
    The car has 175.000 miles on it. It hesitates when I step on the gas, when it is already warmed up, while I am driving. Doesn't happen all the time. Happens when I go up a grade. Check engine light doesn't come on. Bought the car used about 3 weeks ago and noticed ...
    • Bill
      5/12/2013 Bill
      Could be as simple as dirty fuel injectors Could be transmission related because of hill comment. The vehicle has a few miles on it and unless you recieved maint. records you are really having to start your preventive maint. from scratch. Change oil and filter, spark plugs, air cleaner filter if looks dirty, use some fuel injector cleaner and check transmission fluid, front axle boots for damage, etc. No magic here, just a few tips. Hope it helps.
      5/12/2013 Bill
      If check engine light not on then it is possible some codes may be stored in the ECU likeJIMM has suggested.
    • Jimm
      5/12/2013 Jimm
      First step - have the check engine light or stored fault codes scanned - for free - at any local auto parts store; Advance Auto, Auto Zone, NAPA. Then, post a reply as 'add answer' for more assistance.

      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
  • TheDude
    TheDude - 2005 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 5/11/2013
    Is it bad to accelerate or step on the gas while cruise control is on?
    • Jimm
      5/11/2013 Jimm
      No - the cruise control will only disengage with action from the gas or brake pedals. Won't hurt anything.
      5/12/2013 TheDude
      I thought so, but the thing is... my engine light came on after I went passed 120MPH? I thought I forgot to cancel cruise control. Car did this jump/pull like 3 times while accelerating/decelerating.
  • Kat
    • Jimm
      5/11/2013 Jimm
      OK - need more information. Is there any question or issue regarding the engine or spark plug wires?
  • drewb
    drewb - 1992 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 5/9/2013
    While charging battery, why do parking lights come on?
    Car has been sitting for a couple months. Battery died while sitting. When I hook up the battery to charge it the parking lights come on.
    0 answer
  • chuck8_
    chuck8_ - 1998 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 4/28/2013
    Car feels like a stall after a few minutes
    Start driving and the car starts to feel like a stall at a higher rpm but just slows down to a stop and the rpm idles low. Then I turn off the car for 30-60s and start it and I can drive again. Also recently changed gas filler do to rust. Doesnt feel like the ...
    • Jimm
      4/28/2013 Jimm
      If there was rust in the fuel filter, then the corrosion in the fuel system may be part of the problem. The fuel pump usually also has a strainer at the pick-up (inlet) side - this may become clogged.
      The problem sounds fuel delivery related; contaminated fuel lines, corrosion / rust inside the fuel tank or the system, clogged fuel strainer at the fuel tank. This would explain the intermittent stall condition - the fuel flow is getting choked off at some point to lower fuel pressure / delivery to the engine.
      Try the many on-line auto parts sources, such as; or for the replacement parts. For example, they (RockAuto) list the fuel pump strainer from around $3.00 for your vehicle.
      4/28/2013 chuck8_
      Would it be better to have a mechanic do it, the tiny bolts for the pump are rusting or have the tank flushed? Because I had a feeling rust might be lingering at the bottom of the tank if it takes a few minutes. My dad also suggested checking the distributor cap. Thanks for the help
  • bsmith197
    bsmith197 - 2003 Subaru Forester - Engine - 4/10/2013
    What are the symptoms of a bad water pump?
    • HouseCallAuto
      4/10/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Water pumps can go bad by leaking with no noise present, leaking with a bad bearing noise present, no leakage and no noise but the engine overheats (bad water pump impeller). Just remember that most of the time no matter what, the water pump is pumping water and rarely causes the engine to overheat. The fact that you are asking about this tells me that your engine is overheating I a assuming? This 2.5 Subaru engine has been well known for bad head gaskets, just sayin'.
  • grangespencer
    grangespencer - 1995 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 4/4/2013
    Where is the fan switch location?
    the fans work just not getting signal from temp switch and I can't find it?
    • CVO
      4/4/2013 CVO
      1.The Radiator Cooling Fan Motor Relay is located:
      Under hood, drivers side, front side of strut tower,mounted in fuse/relay box on the fenderwell.
      Air conditioning

      2.The Radiator Cooling Fan Motor Relay is located:
      Front seating area, driver side, under dash, mounted in relay block
      Except air conditioning
  • Jim
    Jim - 2003 Subaru Forester - Engine - 3/31/2013
    Rough transition while going through gears, looked under car, saw something weird
    Went over/through huge pothole the other day, looked under car, see some kind of plastic cover with black stuff on it that smells like oil. I'm wondering if I may have busted something related to the oil when I went over the huge hole. The plastic cover is on the ...
    • Joe Boulay
      3/31/2013 Joe Boulay
      I would start off by checking your engine oil level. I would assume that you have already done that? Then check all other fluid levels. I would pull off the gravel guard to better assess the damage.
      Hope this helps you
      Joe Boulay
      Automotive Technician & Author of the book “If That Car Could Talk”
      [email protected]
  • billeaglefeathers
    billeaglefeathers - 2007 Subaru Outback - Engine - 3/22/2013
    Can I replace standard NGK plugs with platinum or iridium plugs?
    • racel4750
      3/22/2013 racel4750
      Definitely, check the cross-reference table.Spark plugs are cathegorized on heat range, resistor type, and reach.
  • chevyblazer
    chevyblazer - 2004 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 3/21/2013
    I have an issue with the engine turning over and I have spark air and fuel what could it be
    Help me
    • spanionneo
      3/20/2013 spanionneo
      Check your battery voltage. A weak battery will keep certain modules from functioning properly. Without any loads on battery, it should read no less than 12.4 volts. Any less, replace.
    • neomyejohn
      3/21/2013 neomyejohn
      Have you checked the engine plugs that are attached to the engine from the battery? This is where the problem might be. Just check it but if the problem persists, have a mechanic check it for you.
  • jasonb
    jasonb - 1986 Subaru Brat - Engine - 3/8/2013
    Replaced battery and now there is no power to key .
    i took test light seems to have power to starter ? any ideas where to look .thanks..
    • CVO
      3/8/2013 CVO
      Could be a bad starter ?

      First, check the battery and starter cables for their tightness or free of corrosion and physical damaged.

      See this Starting system simplified diagram. Have a help from an assistant to crank the engine, use a 12 volt light tester or a digital voltmeter, apply it to the starter control circuit.
      If there is light or 12 volts and the starter isn't cranking, then the starter is the culprit. Have the starter to bench test for free at the local auto parts stores.
      If there isn't no light or no volts, then the ignition switch is the culprit.
      Check the starter relay and position the Automatic transmission shifter in neutral.

      Note: a 3/4 charge battery is 12.50 volts
      A discharge battery is 11.75 volts.
      A battery under a cranking load and it is reading less than 7 volts,it will be a recycled battery.
      3/16/2013 jasonb
      thanks for the response cvo,jason.. there again i have power to starter , but no power to anything when key is on..prev owner (lost keys) i think. and added a aftermarket igition i will start with testing starter ..thanks again
    • Ray
      3/8/2013 Ray
      Check cable connections, check fuses. Do you have power to the small wire on the starter when you turn the key?
  • rolandbigley
    rolandbigley - 2002 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/21/2013
    Car idles rough hesitates when driving all speeds, eats gas bad when running this way but comes out of it then runs fine
    for a few days to a week then starts running bad again. check engine light came only code read : bank 1 sensor 2 P0136, replaced: plugs,fuel filter,air cleaner,02 sensor [downstream] checked for leaks, loose wires ect. cleaned fuel system. need help getting ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/21/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Replace the front O2 sensor even though there is no code. use a direct fit sensor only, no universal sensors.
      2/21/2013 rolandbigley
      ok will try that by direct fit do you mean factory subaru or is bosch ok? thanks
      2/21/2013 HouseCallAuto
      I simply mean do not use a universal sensor, use a sensor that comes looking just like the one you remove and requires no splicing of wires.
      2/23/2013 rolandbigley
      thank you
  • rolandbigley
    rolandbigley - 2002 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/21/2013
    Ck engine light came on code ....bank1 sensor2 P0136 whats that
    • Ray
      2/21/2013 Ray
      Oxygen sensor after the catalytic converter, and connected to cylinder one exhaust.
      2/21/2013 rolandbigley
      thanks i have a question all ready posted about it idling rough no power house c wanted to know about the code but no response yet any ideas ?
      2/21/2013 rolandbigley
      is that the upstream or downstream one?
      2/21/2013 Ray
      Downstream. The downstream O2 measures converter efficiency, and it shouldn't cause a rough idle. Do you have any other codes?
      2/21/2013 rolandbigley
  • orbit123202
    orbit123202 - 1985 Subaru GL - Engine - 2/20/2013
    Timing or air/fuel issues
    I have a stock carb on my GL and after driving the idle bogs down and car wants to die. Iv adjusted the one screw on front top that you can get to without removing anything to get idle correct but car still doing same thing iv been told i need to adjust the screw ...
    0 answer
  • orbit123202
    orbit123202 - 1985 Subaru GL - Engine - 2/20/2013
    Carb issues timing i believe
    I have an issue with my idle i adjusted i believe idle screw one on top with flat head screw it gets idle correct but after driving idle bogs down and car wants to die ppl saying there is another screw to adjust but i need to remove the roll pin or something i have ...
    0 answer