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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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  • 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
  • rolandbigley
    rolandbigley - 2002 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/19/2013
    Idles rough, when driving at any speed stumbles and hesitates when i push on gas then like it comes on,
    70000 miles replaced plugs. fuel filter, down stream 02 senser, dont do it all the time runs fine for a couple days then acts up comes out of it runs fine ect....check engine came on had it read said it was 02 replaced didnt help whats up ?
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/19/2013 HouseCallAuto
      I want to know the code number please, not what the code reader referred to it as. Was that the only code?
      2/20/2013 rolandbigley
      it read bank 1 sensor 2 P0136
      2/20/2013 rolandbigley
      and it had a new exhaust put on from cat on back thank you
  • rintintin067
    rintintin067 - 1996 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/17/2013
    Engine keeps overheating after driving a mile
    it will drive about a mile before the heater quits working and it gets hot. it pushes all the antifreeze into and out of .the overflow tank. as it cools it sucks it all back in. I have replaced the temperature sensor, water pump, timing belt, radiator, and radiator ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/17/2013 HouseCallAuto
      There is an air vent plug on the radiator to bleed the air out. Did you loosen this and bleed out air after filling the cooling system? If you did and that is all good then you have to do what is called a cooling system combustion gas check. You can buy this inexpensive tool or rent it for free from a large chain auto parts store by just leaving a deposit. You may have to pay for the liquid chemical that it uses. I suspect you have a blown head gasket.
      2/17/2013 rintintin067
      yes i bled the air out. no change. Could it possibly be a clogged catalytic converter?
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/17/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Yes it could but if that were the case then your car would have no power, it would be noticeably difficult to get the car up to speed. If your power is there then it is not the cat. Anything that causes you to overheat and lose your heater is related to the engine. This reeks of bad head gasket. If you start the engine cold, put your hand on the radiator hoses and if they become noticeably under pressure in just a few minutes then it more says bad head gasket.
      2/17/2013 HouseCallAuto
      But a clogged cat would not cause your heater to stop functioning and would take a much longer time to raise the engine temperature. I personally have never seen a clogged cat "overheat" and engine but have seen a clogged cat make an engine run hot.
  • jessip1980
    jessip1980 - 1997 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 2/10/2013
    I am pulling motor out and it won't separate from transmission does any body have diagram
    I want to make sure I have all the bolts out need a diagram and a hint to get it separated
    • Jimm
      2/10/2013 Jimm
      Check these websites for the repair manual;, You can also try the local library and any local auto parts stores for the manuals / diagram.
      2/11/2013 jessip1980
      Thank u I'll check it out