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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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637 Questions
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  • james wheeler
    james wheeler - 1991 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 3/7/2011
    • yboy82
      3/7/2011 yboy82
      If your speedometer is cable operated you should check the speedometer cable if it is seated properly into your speedometer assembly and the speedometer drive gear.

      If your speedometer is operated electronically you should check the condition of your speed sensor pick up and the wiring between you speed sensor and the speedometer (it is possible that the terminals are loose or corroded).
  • Randy
    Randy - 1995 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 3/7/2011
    Troubleshoot charging system
    • RC
      3/7/2011 RC
      If you have a volt meter, check the voltage while the engine is running. It should be somewhere between 13 to 14.5 volts if the alternator is charging.
  • Jorge
  • mal
    mal - 1992 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 3/6/2011
    Car ran out of motor oil so is the engine lock
    • jlofwash
      3/6/2011 jlofwash
      to verify that the engine is seizued, remove spark plugs(remember which wire goes to which plug!!!! mark them), with helper to turn key to start position, hold your finger over the spark plug hole, as the helper turns the key the pressure from the piston going up and down should blow your finger off of the hole (be sure to stay away from the spark plug wire that is now floating in the breeze!!!!!). do this to each plug hole....if you feel no pressure, the piston is not moving , and chances are your engine is seizued.......................................jl
  • irish
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/3/2011 HouseCallAuto
      What is the code number? I do not work with the description of the code because there can be several similar descriptions and I do not want to have to read each one to see which one you are asking about. What is the P # please?
      3/3/2011 irish
      The code is p 0106
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/4/2011 HouseCallAuto
      This code is for the Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure (MAP/BARO) sensor. It is a 3 wire pressure sensor on the right strut tower. Look for 5V on the Brown, ground on the Blue/Black, signal on the Green/Orange. The signal should be about 4V key on engine off and 2V with manifold vacuum applied.

      Potential Causes:
      MAP Sensor
  • barryb18
    barryb18 - 2000 Subaru Outback - Engine - 3/1/2011
    I just recently started getting a very strong gas smell inside and outside the car, I ahve looked for leaks can't find 1
    So strong I can't even park it in the garage!
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/9/2011 HouseCallAuto
      Check the filler neck on the gas tank. They rot out on Subaru. Also, you can check for a stored fault code in the EVAP system. If there is one it virtually assures that the cause is the filler neck.
    • TOM
      3/1/2011 TOM
      look at the fuel rail hose connections . The hose clamps become loose
      in the winter time, Just retighten the clamps
  • eastie
    eastie - 2003 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/28/2011
    4 cylinder spark plug continues to come loose. I am told that there is a coolant leak that cauue electrolysis
    Do I need to re-do the cylinder or change out the engine for this? If I do change out the engine, is it ok to install a used, low mileage, compression checked one?
    • Ron
      2/25/2011 Ron
      Hard to say from your description, if coolant is leaking inside the engine, than you probably have a cracked head or a blown head gasket, for a cracked head, replacing the engine is often the best option. If an external coolant leak (such as from a blown radiator hose, heater hose, or damaged radiator) into the area where the spark plug screws in, any electrical problems caused might damage the spark plug, and/or the wire, maybe the ignition coil (I think that's the correct term, I'm bad with names sometimes) any and all of which can be replaced. I'm not sure what any of that has to do with the plug coming loose, and do you mean it's coming loose from the engine, as in unscrewing, or the wire is coming loose from the plug? If the plug has been properly secured into the engine with the recommended amount of torque, and it's still coming loose, the only causes that I can think of for that would be damaged threads or extremely high compression in that cylinder.

      Without more information I can't offer any sort of suggestion as to whether or not the engine needs to be replaced, I can tell you that, if you do need to replace the engine, most of the time a used engine is perfectly fine, especially if it's low mileage and has been compression tested, preferably one that comes with some sort of warranty. New or remanufactured engines tend to have longer warranties, but the cost will probably be significantly higher.
      2/28/2011 Ron
      To add to my own response, the others are quite correct. Assuming of course that the coolant leak issue (which I'm still not clear on, would love more info on that) has been, or can be resolved. The plug coming loose might easily, and cheaply be fixed with a bit of Lock Tight (or probably any thread locking compound). Certainly worth trying.
    • jlofwash
      2/25/2011 jlofwash
      if the engine is running good and the only tro u have is the plug backing out, id try some lock tight on the threads its cheaper than an engine swap. even if it dont work you only out a few bucks.
    • gpot
      2/28/2011 gpot
      It's really common for horizontally opposed engines to have their spark plugs work their way out over time (for instance, look at the history of many older Volkswagon engines). I was having the same problem on my 2000 outback and started using lock tight a few years ago. the problem of them coming loose has disappeared since. May want to try it early, before it strips the threads and leaves you having to helicoil the engine head (still relatively cheap, but a much larger hassle to do) .
  • Ron
    Ron - 1998 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/25/2011
    Heat gage maxes out, engine doesn't seem very hot (can place hand on top radiator hose comfortably, and rad-cap is cool)
    We haven't had this vehicle for a week, so don't have much history, it seems to happen most when traveling slow or idling, (ie parking lots, heavy traffic) I first thought maybe a fan issue or something blocking the air flow to the radiator but those things seem ok, ...
      it you don't know when thermostat was last changed i would changed that first advance auto parts....Stant 170 Degree Thermostat...........Part No. 14147..............$5.49......if problem is still there after that temp sensor..Beck/Arnley Temperature Sender Switch with Gauge............Part No. 201-1220 ...........$10.39.........good luck and keep us posted
      2/24/2011 Ron
      Didn't like the way it was acting at all, ended up brining it down to our mechanic, turns out the head gasket is blown (assuming nothing worse, like a cracked head or whatever, but probably the gasket), currently in the process of finding out if the place that sold it to us will help fix it, or take it back at this point.
    • Ron
      2/25/2011 Ron
      Dealer refused to take the Forester back, (which seemed odd considering that when we were buying it he claimed he could get more at auction, but we were saving him the trouble of taking it in, and auction fees and whatnot) best I could get him to do was chip in $500 toward the head gasket job... the fact that he'd rather pay that than take the car back bugs me a lot, but the guys that are doing the work are good, as long as there are no more hidden surprises in this, and as long as the lower half of the engine holds out under the increased pressure of a non-leaking engine we'll squeek by on budget (and since we don't have two nickles to rub together beyond the budget, going over budget isn't really an option) Will update if more information becomes available or once repairs are complete.
  • pat
    pat - 1996 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/24/2011
    Is adjustment of new throttle position sensor required?
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      I am not sure but it is possible depending to the manufacturer's specifications since the vehicle is more than a decade old, adjustment may need to maintain throttle response and good driveability. Ask the dealer about this or your trusted car repair shop.
    • adam
      2/24/2011 adam
      if the sensor is just a plug in it should do it itself. you might have to disconnect the battery to get it to reset.
    • Bill
      2/24/2011 Bill
      No, it shouldn't. It sends a signal to throttle valves by ECU when depressing gas pedal. You might try what Adam suggests. Or unfortunately you may have a different problem.
  • ngodshands97
  • Pete
    Pete - 1997 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/23/2011
    Where is the location of the crankshaft position sensor?
  • Ned Morris
    Ned Morris - 2002 Subaru Outback - Engine - 2/21/2011
    My car is making a deep "whale like moan" when I turn the car off
    Yesterday I drove the car for 15 minutes of so on the highway. When I got home and turned off the ignition the car started making the moaning sound and continiued for several minutes after the car was turned off.
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      Idle speed is too high, ignition timing may be incorrect, and an excessive engine operating temperature. Probable causes of this are a low coolant level, malfunctioning thermostat, clogged radiator or faulty water pump.
  • laurie
    laurie - 1997 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/20/2011
    Car acts like it has no power when i turn over key but emerg. lights work and still beeps when key in ignition and door
    put new brakes on took car for test drive shut off car after done now wont start acts like battery not hooked up but emerg. and parking lights come on and still beeps when door open and key in ignitionbut otherwise nothing and car locks into gear
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/20/2011 HouseCallAuto
      When you turn the key to start it do you hear a click or nothing? Turn the headlights on and while you are watching the headlights try to start the engine. Do the headlights dim out or do they stay bright when the engine does not start?
      2/20/2011 laurie
      nothing happens when i turn key over headlights dont come on nothing except emergency lights and parking lights
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/20/2011 HouseCallAuto
      So your headlights do not work in addition to the engine not starting? But, the flashers work and the parking lights come on?
      2/20/2011 laurie
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/20/2011 HouseCallAuto
      Unlock the doors using the key in the passenger side key cylinder. Recheck to see if the vehicle will crank over.
  • olhippiewoman
    olhippiewoman - 1999 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/20/2011
    All gauges died, then the car did. started 3 hours later,but NO power
    alternater seems fine,has spark,new timing belt 3 months ago,and top of engine rebuilt 3 months ago. Feels like its not getting gas, but that wouldn't effect the gauges... I know little about auto repair please help
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/20/2011 HouseCallAuto
      Explain better what you have right now. Explain your description of "no power". Be detailed please. You start the car, you put it in drive and you step on the gas to try to achieve road speed of say 30 to 40 mph and what happens? The engine stalls when you feed gas, the engine starts to hesitate and bog down? And while ? is happening, none / all of the instrument panel gauges are working? The needles are all reading -0-?
  • AnneE
    AnneE - 1998 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/20/2011
    - I had valve cover gaskets replaced 20,000 miles back. I'm being told they need replaced again-isnt this too soon?
    I have 147,000 miles. Oil is leaking badly. I had a full engine overhaul 20,000 miles back, and the head gasket replaced again 10,000 back - but not sure they did the valve gaskets too.
    • Ray
      2/11/2011 Ray
      It doesn't sound right. If you had a full engine overhaul, these problems shouldn't be happening. What was your warranty?
      2/11/2011 AnneE
      Just a one year warranty as usual
      that's way too soon only 10.000 miles since last one was done? someone should be doing it for free i would bring it back to were you had it done and make them do it right
      2/11/2011 AnneE
      What if the valve cover gaskets were not replaced for the repair 10,000 miles back, meaning they are from the repair 20,000 miles back?

      (so appreciate your feedback!)
    • jlofwash
      2/20/2011 jlofwash
      maybe the bolts are just loose, try torqing them see if it stops leaking..............................jl