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1996 Legacy does nothing when hitting the gas. Think I killed it?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 InquiringMind4u

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

The Car:

1996 Subaru Legacy. Standard engine with automatic transmission.

The Problem (s):

Last week, upon start-up early in the morning (it was very cold here is southern oregon), the car did something really weird for my girlfriend. Here's the text I got from her:

"I started her up, she was fine. Put her in reverse, still fine. Hit the gas, nothing. Wouldn't accelerate or even sound like she wanted to. The engine didn't rev at all. All the lights on the dash came on like she was throwing a fit. Turned her off and restarted her, and everything worked fine."

Something else that's likely related:

The check engine light came on a few days earlier (see details below) and when I hook up my ScanGauge II to the computer, it reports "No Error Codes Found." Also strange is that when the ScanGauge is hooked up while driving, it seems to get intermittent feedback from the computer. At times the values just freeze. At other times the gauge seems to shut down because it's not getting any signal.

I hooked the gauge up to my Toyota RAV4 (2008) and it registers and displays real-time values perfectly, without the intermittent display issues seen on the Subaru.

The check engine light was on for about 5 days. During that time the car's idle was rough/low, the transmission seemed to shift at higher than normal RPMs (automatic), and all-around performance seemed a little rough. But one morning the light didn't come on, and the car has been running much better. Possibly an intermittent ground somewhere?

Background:

The water pump seized a few weeks ago when she was driving it home from a ski trip. The car overheated, all the coolant drained out, and she drove it for maybe a minute or two after the temperature gauge dropped (from no coolant) before pulling over and turning it off.

Since I had to disassemble the timing belt & idlers to change the water pump, I replaced them at the same time.

When I did the repair, I removed the radiator, which meant disconnecting the transmission cooling lines. When I put it back together I had to top off the transmission level.

A day or two after I topped off the transmission fluid, a check engine light came on. I hooked up my ScanGauge II but it gave no failure code.

Any idea why it threw that fit the other morning? Please don't say the computer is dying!

Just thought I'd ask in case it's a well-known failure / trouble indicator.

Thanks,

Tim

#2 grossgary

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

i'd check to see if the throttle is moving properly with the gas pedal. it probably is but with the "hitting the gas - no response" - issue i'd like to verify.

if it is the computer, which is very rare in a Subaru...really rare...they are super cheap and easy to replace. just get a used one, they don't fail enough to warrant new prices.

#3 InquiringMind4u

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

i'd check to see if the throttle is moving properly with the gas pedal. it probably is but with the "hitting the gas - no response" - issue i'd like to verify.

if it is the computer, which is very rare in a Subaru...really rare...they are super cheap and easy to replace. just get a used one, they don't fail enough to warrant new prices.


grossgary - thanks for the quick reply.

Forgot to mention that I checked the throttle linkage, and all was well.

Nice to know the computers are reliable - and cheap. That's a relief.

Tim

#4 cal_look_zero

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

I can't PM yet, but if you'd like for me to take a look at the car, I'm local to you and could help out.

You can email me: cal_look_zero@yahoo.com

#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

Sounds like the throttle wouldnt respond probably because the engine stalled.
Check the battery cables and grounds on the engine and chassis.
Possible the terminals in the diagnostic connector are dirty or loose causing connection issues. Could be a poor connection at the ECU as well.

#6 nipper

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:54 PM

Lets confirm the engine was still running when she got no thorttle response.

Scangauges are great tools, but sometimes a CEL will be thrown and the gauge will freeze up. I have had this happen to me, and I don't remember the resoning for it, but it has something to do with the problem being intermitent at the time so the computer can't lock into a code, or something like that.

#7 john in KY

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

Sounds more like the AFM or whatever it is called on the newer models has failed. My 95 had the exact same symptoms years ago. Just replaced the meter with a $5 wrecking yard replacement and problem solved.




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