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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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643 Questions
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  • 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
  • gene
    gene - 2001 Subaru Outback - Engine - 2/18/2011
    Battery light and brake light on the dash turns on and off while car is running.
    battery post are clean and the car starts and runs fine.
    • HouseCallAuto
      2/18/2011 HouseCallAuto
      Did this just begin today? I suspect a bad alternator. when alternators fail on some imports, the battery light comes on and in more than half the instances, a brake light or other light is illuminated as well. Check the alternator output when the light is on and it should read about 14 volts. If it reads 12 tghe alternator is no good.
      2/18/2011 gene
      It started two weeks ago.
      2/18/2011 gene
      Thanks for the answer. It started two weeks ago.
  • ZOIE
    ZOIE - 2003 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/14/2011
    The new belts squeal and effect car opperation. Problem is NOT weather related.
    My Subaru Legacy Wagon has 130, 000 miles. We had the belts changed at an oil change place. Went back to tighten them. They are still giving us a problem. Husband wants to go to garage in town and buy new belts and have them put them on. Is this a common issue with ...
  • antonio
    antonio - 1994 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/12/2011
    Como tomarle el tiempo a un motor subaru legacy
  • Susan Watson
    Susan Watson - 2003 Subaru Outback - Engine - 2/11/2011
    Check Engine light goes off and on
    • Ray
      2/11/2011 Ray
      The first thing to do is attach a scanner to the data link connector under the dash, and obtain the trouble codes. Your local auto parts store will do it for free.
  • Dick
    Dick - 1998 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 2/8/2011
    How to correctly install the timing belt so it is timed properly
    I have opened the timing belt cover and found the cog idler bearing is bad. The engine is out of time because the belt is off a tooth or two. I want to replace all the parts so that there should not be a need to do it again for awhile. What is the correct procedure ...
    • yboy82
      2/8/2011 yboy82
      Here’s how to remove your timing belt and the sprockets

      You have to remove the drive belts and the A/C compressor drive belt tensioner. Remove the crankshaft pulley. And then remove the mounting bolts and left timing belt cover. Remove the mounting bolts and right timing belt cover.

      Remove the mounting bolts and front timing belt cover.
      If your vehicle has a manual transmission you should remove the timing belt guide. Ensure that the timing belt rotation arrows are still visible. If the marks are worn off, place new rotation marks on the belt.

      You should turn the crankshaft using a breaker bar and special adapter socket on the crankshaft. Align the timing mark on the crankshaft sprocket, left intake sprocket, left exhaust sprocket, right intake sprocket and right exhaust sprocket with the notches in cylinder block and timing belt cover. Paint alignment marks on the timing belt at the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets timing marks.

      Do not turn the camshaft sprockets with the timing belt removed. To avoid the valves heads to contact each other causing the valve stems to bend.

      Remove the lower right idler pulley. And then remove the timing belt. Remove the upper right idler pulley. Remove the lower left (toothed) idler pulley. Remove the belt tensioner.

      You should hold the sprocket and remove the left intake and exhaust camshafts. And then hold the sprocket and remove the right intake and exhaust camshafts. Remove the crankshaft sprocket.

    • yboy82
      2/8/2011 yboy82
      Try to visit this link to see an images of your timing marks
  • ctwoodring
    ctwoodring - 2001 Subaru Outback - Engine - 2/7/2011
    Why is my car overheating even after replacing coolant?
    This car has 175,000 miles. We notice a gasoline smell when we turn on the heater. The mechanic replaced the gaskets which did not help. The car overheated and stalled at an intersection and we could not restart without it stalling again. After the coolant was ...

      Overheating can be caused by anything that decreases the cooling system's ability to absorb, transport and dissipate heat: A low coolant level, a coolant leak (through internal or external leaks), poor heat conductivity inside the engine because of accumulated deposits in the water jackets, a defective thermostat that doesn't open, poor airflow through the radiator, a slipping fan clutch, an inoperative electric cooling fan, a collapsed lower radiator hose, an eroded or loose water pump impeller, or even a defective radiator cap.

      One of nature's basic laws says that heat always flows from an area of higher temperature to an area of lesser temperature, never the other way around. The only way to cool hot metal, therefore, is to keep it in constant contact with a cooler liquid. And the only way to do that is to keep the coolant in constant circulation. As soon as the circulation stops, either because of a problem with the water pump, thermostat or loss of coolant, temperatures begin to rise and the engine starts to overheat.

      The coolant also has to get rid of the heat it soaks up while passing through the block and head(s). So the radiator must be capable of doing its job, which requires the help of an efficient cooling fan at slow speeds.

      The thermostat must be doing its job to keep the engine's average temperature within the normal range so the engine does not overheat. If the thermostat fails to open, it will effectively block the flow of coolant and the engine will overheat.

      Your engine may not be overheating at all. Your temperature gauge or warning lamp may be coming on because of a faulty coolant sensor. Sometimes this can be caused by a low coolant level or air trapped under the senso
      Cooling system leaks -- Loss of coolant because of a coolant leak is probably the most common cause of engine overheating. Possible leak points include hoses, the radiator, heater core, water pump, thermostat housing, head gasket, freeze plugs, automatic transmission oil cooler, cylinder head(s) and block.

      Make a careful visual inspection of the entire cooling system, and then PRESSURE TEST the cooling system and radiator cap. A pressure test will reveal internal leaks such as seepage past the head gasket as well as cracks in the head or block. A good system should hold 12 to 15 psi for 15 minutes or more with no loss in pressure. If it leaks pressure, there is an internal coolant leak (most likely a bad head gasket but possibly also a cracked cylinder or engine block).

      It is important to pressure test the radiator cap, too, because a weak cap (or one with too low a pressure rating for the application) will lower the coolant's boiling point and can allow coolant to escape from the radiator
      Leaky Head Gasket -- Bad news because repairs are expensive. A leaky head gasket can allow coolant to seep into the engine's cylinders or crankcase. Symptoms include a loss of coolant with no visible external leaks, and white steam in the exhaust, especially after restarting the engine when it has sit for awhile. A leaky head gasket can be diagnosed by pressure testing the cooling system, or by using a "block checker" that pulls air from the cooling system into a cylinder that contains a special blue colored leak detection liquid. If there are any combustion gases in the coolant, the color of the liquid inside the detector will change from blue to green. A leaky head gasket can often be temporarily sealed by adding a sealer product to the cooling system. But for bad leaks or ones that cannot be stopped with sealer, the head gasket has to be replaced.
      Fan Not Working -- With mechanical fans, most engine overheating problems are caused by a faulty fan clutch, though a missing fan shroud can reduce the fan's cooling effectiveness by as much as 50% (depending on the fan's distance from the radiator) which may be enough to cause the engine to overheat in hot weather or when working hard.

      Defective fan clutches are a common and often overlooked cause of engine overheating. The shear characteristics of the clutch fluid gradually deteriorates over time, with an average loss in drive efficiency of about 200 rpm per year. Eventually slippage reaches the point where effective cooling is no longer possible and overheating results. (On average, the life of a fan clutch is about the same as a water pump. If one needs to be replaced, the other usually does too.)

      If the fan clutch shows signs of fluid leakage (oily streaks radiating outward from the hub of the clutch), spins freely with little or no resistance when the engine is off, or wobbles when the fan is pushed in or out, it needs to be replaced.

      With an electric cooling fan, check to see that the fan cycles on when the engine gets hot and when the air conditioner is on. If the fan fails to come on, check the fan motor wiring connections, fan relay and temperature sensor. Try jumping the fan directly to the battery. If it runs, the problem is in the wiring, relay or sensor. If it fails to run, the fan motor is bad and needs to be replaced.
      Lower Radiator Hose Collapsing -- A pinched hose (upper or lower) or a lower radiator hose that is collapsing and blocking the flow of coolant when the engine is running can cause engine overheating. The lower hose usually has a metal reinforcing wire inside that looks like a large spring. It s purpose is to prevent the hose from collapsing when the water pump is pulling water through the hose. If this wire is missing or has failed due to corrosion, the hose may collapse.
      Excessive exhaust back pressure -- A clogged catalytic converter will restrict the flow of exhaust and cause heat to back up in the engine. Other causes include a crushed exhaust pipe or a collapsed double wall pipe. Check intake vacuum at idle. If intake vacuum reads low and continues to drop, inspect the exhaust system.
  • donnyb60
    donnyb60 - 2006 Subaru Forester - Engine - 2/5/2011
    At what point do i change my serpentine belt
    • Bill
      2/5/2011 Bill
      When you see noticeable wear and tear,cuts,glazing,etc. Under normal conditions a serpentine belt will last up to 100K miles, although most people replace when condition is suspect.
  • dogman
    dogman - 1999 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 2/3/2011
    Engine misfire No 1 Cyl won't fire. can the coil for one cyl be bad.. other three run good
    cylander no ! will not fire. can the coil be bad for one cylender.. changed plug and wire.
    • James Vaughn
      2/3/2011 James Vaughn
      i'm showing 1 coil pack for all 4 wires which makes it unlikely. have you taken out your plug on number 1 cylinder and checked for firing? did you diagnose this from a service engine light or how?
  • dany
    dany - 2003 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/30/2011
    How many wear for o2 sensor heated
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      Are you asking the life expectancy of O2 sensor? Actually O2 sensor life may last up to 100,000 miles, but poor engine maintenance and bad engine timing lead to its failure at short period of time.