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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1998 outback 2.5 lacking power

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4 replies to this topic

#1 olivia123


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Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:56 PM

I have a 1998 outback wagon 2.5 with about 150,000 miles. Over the last couple of months it has felt like it was running with less than full power. Current symptoms are when cold; it starts fine but surges for the first ½ mile or so. Then the surging stops but it has very little power until it warms up. Once up to operating temp it runs much better but still not as it should. Recently on several occasions when first starting out the car would not shift out of first gear. If I come to a complete stop and start out again it will shift normally but still run poorly until up to operating temp.

I know this isn’t much to go on. I changed the plugs and wires in the fall and all the plugs looked the same, worn out but equal, no oil or carbon fouling.

The check engine light is not on. Is it possible to pull codes even if the check engine light isn’t on? I feel like it is some sensor not working properly and not an internal engine problem. If anyone can suggest a place to start I would appreciate it.

#2 hi8u3ri


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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:35 PM

Hi. Not sure if we're having the same problem or not, but at any rate I'll be keeping an eye on your thread.
Here's mine:

#3 olivia123


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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:01 AM

I read over your thread and it does sound like we have similar problems. Someone mentioned the knock sensor. In my case last spring I had a very similar situation and found my knock sensor to be cracked. I replaced it and that corrected the problem. I had a check engine light at that time and got the knock sensor code.

Since I don’t have a check engine light and the knock sensor is basically new I had not considered this to be my problem this time around but the symptoms are about the same other than the weird no shifting. My car drives like the timing is way retarded. Maybe I should look at the knock sensor again.

#4 Fairtax4me



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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:49 PM

Since this has to do with engine temperature, it could be that your Engine Coolant Temp sensor is bad.

Knock sensor installation is easy to mess up. Subaru knock sensors are a fickle beast. They have to be installed with a certain orientation and the bolt can not be tightened to more than the factory torque spec or damage can occur to the sensor housing. If moisture gets inside the housing it will cause the piezo-electric component inside to corrode, causing failure of the sensor.

I searched and searched last night for a knock sensor replacement thread and came up empty handed. I have a P0325 code on in the wagon I just bought so I'm going to replace the sensor with a used one I got and I will make a picture write-up detailing some of the specifics of knock sensor replacement on the EJ series engines. I should have it posted sometime this evening.

#5 davebugs


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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:53 PM

We were discussing knock sensor replacement tools within the last week.

SOmeone said snap-on has a 12mm magnetic socket. Sounds like the perfect tool. ALways a little frustrating to get that bold in there.

Remove airbox, pay attention to the orientation of the wire. Install bolt before plugging into harness.

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