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Car will start- but won't run for more than a minute


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14 replies to this topic

#1 BlueSoob

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

I know how vague my description will be and how vast the answers will be...
My 97 Outback died at my family's home in Wyoming last month.- couldn't get it to shift (5mt) into gear.
Finally, my diesel mechanic brother wanted to fix my car for me for Christmas and tore into it. He had stuff for a clutch job and a rear main seal ready to go. When he got it up on the lift and dropped some stuff, he discovered that the shift fork had cracked and wasn't allowing me to shift into gears (while the clutch was fine) and that the car wasn't leaking oil from the rear main, just from some cam connector -
sooooo here's where I need help
I told him to not fix it if it wasn't broke - he puts everything back together - car starts up, runs, shifts fine but then dies. He has checked everything to make sure all the hoses and such went back together. I just had the fuel pump and lines replaced 5 months ago. The check engine light is not coming on.
I feel bad because he wanted to do something nice for me- i trust him 100x over with my car. He just doesnt usually tear into Subarus (but maybe if I had a diesel.)
Does anyone have ANY ideas about what to check for or has had any experience with this happening to them?? Please. I'm traveling to home for Christmas and he would just like to have this out of his way. (or if there are any Subaru elves out there that I could bribe to help him next weekend - maybe out of Rock Springs/ Evanston WY or Salt Lake/Ogden UT - that could use a little last minute Christmas cash... It would mean a lot.
But regardless of bribery, Hints or ideas would help :)
-amanda

#2 CNY_Dave

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

It should be easy to figure out if the fuel is getting cut, or the spark.

Fuel pressure gauge available? Fuel pump audible?

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

If it has it, check the large hose, about 1" diameter, that runs from the idle control motor to the intake tube.
Also make sure the breather hoses that run from the valve covers up to the big airbox are connected. There may be another that comes from a Y by the PCV valve to the airbox. The airbox itself is two parts and can be difficult to get back together if taken apart. And check the clamps at each end of the intake tube, and the clamps between the throttle body and airbox.
Those are the usual causes for engine stalling.

Did he replace the cam seal?

#4 mikaleda

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

If it has it, check the large hose, about 1" diameter, that runs from the idle control motor to the intake tube.
Also make sure the breather hoses that run from the valve covers up to the big airbox are connected. There may be another that comes from a Y by the PCV valve to the airbox. The airbox itself is two parts and can be difficult to get back together if taken apart. And check the clamps at each end of the intake tube, and the clamps between the throttle body and airbox.
Those are the usual causes for engine stalling.

Did he replace the cam seal?


+1 I did this on accident when I was changing my oil pan I forgot to hook up the idle motor hose. It did exactly that easy enough to look over accidentally

#5 Caboobaroo

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:32 PM

+1 I did this on accident when I was changing my oil pan I forgot to hook up the idle motor hose. It did exactly that easy enough to look over accidentally


I've forgotten a couple times at work to reconnect that after having the air intake out for whatever reason. :Flame:

#6 BlueSoob

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

yah its running for just a few seconds and then dying. sounds like its getting fuel but not not keeping it sparked..
thanks for your hints...
keep em coming

#7 BlueSoob

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

he didn't replace the cam seal - couldn't get the O ring so he put a little bit of RTV on back of the engine block (drivers side)
??? dunno if this would make a difference....
You can rev it and it will run - its getting fuel ok.
Its just when you try to get it to do much else..
He wondered if it could have been a vacuum hose that he over looked... he swears up and down that he checked all the air lines - but he'll check again..
BTW -He says thanks guys for the ideas.

Edited by BlueSoob, 18 December 2012 - 12:13 PM.


#8 89Ru

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

You can rev it and it will run - its getting fuel ok. Its just when you try to get it to do much else..


so it will start, idle, increase rpm at idle, shift into gear, then stall under load (no power). correct?

how does it sound during above events? idle rpm? rough idle? do you have to hold the throttle to keep it running?

common things occur commonly, its likely to be a hose as already said. there are hoses underneath the main air intake that like to pop off if flexed. any electrical connectors removed? the resonator on the air intake likes to pop off (the odd-angled go-nowhere tube).

other things it could be but most likely isn't
fuel filter
timing
exhaust restriction
fuel pump

#9 ivans imports

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

two in a month check the engine wire harness were the 3 plugs go toghther on the ps of bell housing they like to not plugin all the way or bend pins when pluged in also the main grounds to trans. It do's have a netral position switch but only efects it stoped at idle.

#10 BlueSoob

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

So now I made it to Wyoming and I can describe things better... He checked everything that people have mentioned... everything is connected.. everything is intact (no cracks)
The car starts up, seems like its going to run fine..
He's not keeping a foot on the gas - nothing..
10 seconds later.. it dies.
Starts up, runs just fine... can count to about 10 and it dies again.
Still, no CEL, no leaks.
Like I mentioned earlier - fuel pump/lines replaced 8 months ago
Wasn't having these issues before he tore into it to have the clutch worked on..
He got a coil for it... but we're both guessing that's not it.
Next thing he thought of would be a new MAF (he hasn't tried cleaning the MAF -(with what could he clean it with?))- 240$ non returnable if that's not it... help!
I'm willing to give a prize to the person with the right answer

#11 kanurys

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:26 PM

Make sure the chassis is grounded to the battery and the computer grounds and main and fuel relay grounds are attached. I've seen this problem before and these things fixed it.

#12 ivans imports

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

had anuther one yesterday had a intermitant crank sensor start one minute not the next cranked and cranked nothing. The way we found it was by watching the tach we had 0 tach movement change the sensor and tach and engine instantly started working.

#13 ivans imports

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:16 PM

also has a neutral position switch on trans to tell ecu that trans is in neutral mabee thiss got damaged

#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

The way you describe it now it kinda sounds eletrical. I know you said there is no CEL but has he scanned it for codes just for giggles?

#15 WoodsWagon

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

As many others have said, check the 1" dia black rubber hose that goes from under the main intake tube to the side of the throttle body. What you've described are the exact symptoms you get if it's unhooked. Also check all the PCV hoses that hook to the main intake tube. You most probably have a leak between the throttle body and the MAF sensor on the air filter box, you just have to find it.

Try unplugging the MAF sensor and see if it stays running.




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