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Pulling codes on a 1998 Legacy


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19 replies to this topic

#1 jonbfish

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:18 PM

Do these newer subarus have to be hooked up to a scanner to get the codes? I recall looking under the dash and it having the same looking plugs as my 1991 Legacy did, where you could read the flashes from the MIL for codes.



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

Have to have a scanner. No way to "blink" the codes on post 95 vehicles.
You can go to most auto parts stores and get codes read for free.

An inexpensive and effective option if you have an Android smartphone, you can get an app called Torque, and order a Bluetooth adapter to plug into the car. The app allows you to read codes, log live-data, and email or post it to the various social websites (and more). I think the adapters are only $15-20.
There is also an app for Iphone called Blue-Driver that works very well, but the price for the app and adapter is like $100 now. Used to be cheaper, dunno why they jacked up the price so much.

#3 MilesFox

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:59 PM

the 91 has obd1. 95 and newer legacy has obd2 which is standardized with modern code readers. you can buy one from under 50 bucks to well over 200, with the better ones allowing you to manually manipulate engine functions. A lot of auto supply chain retailers offer a code read for free or the scanner as a loaner tool.

 

the latter method is easier and more reliable, provided you have access to a scanner



#4 jonbfish

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:42 AM

Thanks guys, that's what I thought. I need to go to the parts store and get a scan tomorrow, went from an intermittent sputter to a regular one in the last couple of days. That droid app sounds great, does it work with a lot of subarus? Are they up to OBD7 or something by now? Are the $50 scanners worth anything?

 

As far as the car running rough, I'm thinking check the plugs and knock sensor. Would the charcoal canister or purge valve solenoid make it run rougher over time? Since I bought the car I haven't been able to get it to fill with an automatic gas pump - it wants to click it off real quick.



#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

The fuel fill issue is probably not related to the stumbles. There are several large diameter hoses and a small air filter canister back near the fuel tank/filler under the right rear corner of the car. If any of those clog you will have problems with the pump cutting off while filling up. There is also a valve in that area they call either the drain valve or vent valve which is supposed to allow fuel vapor through to the charcoal canister while filling, if the valve is clogged or corroded internally it will cause problems. The aforementioned air filter has a hose that vents out to open air, it makes a good place for a spider or moth or other nesting bug to call home for the winter.

Unless the Check engine light is on you probably won't have any codes stored. There may be old codes but its usually best to erase them and see if any come back to determine what current problems there are.
Misfiring/stumbling is usually spark plug/wire related.

Obd2 is still the federal standard. Although they have expanded the diagnostic capabilities with the most recent CAN-Obd2 (Controller area network) versions that include more than just engine emission systems, the basic underpinnings are still the same.
Torque app works with all current Obd2 protocols and will work with your car just fine.
The cheap $50 scan tools are useful but a lot of them don't have code definitions programmed into the scanner, so you just get a code and have to look up the definition yourself.
Innova makes some really nice scanners that you can get on amazon for about half of their retail price. But they're in the $65-150 range last I checked.

#6 jonbfish

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for all your info. The check engine light has been on basically since I bought the car, I figured it was because of the fuel filling issue, as I've had that on another Legacy. When it is running especially rough, the check engine light flashes until it quits sputtering, then goes back to just being on. I figure I probably have several codes in there so I will probably just buy a scanner if the standard still applies.



#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Ok, flashing CEL indicates a current repetitive misfire.
Whatever codes you get post them up here (exact codes not just the definition) and we can help you weed through them and figure out what to address first.

#8 jonbfish

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

Innova makes some really nice scanners that you can get on amazon for about half of their retail price. But they're in the $65-150 range last I checked.

 

Thanks for the rec, I have been hesitant to buy a cheap one in the past so got one for $137 retail. Probably could have got it cheaper but I wanted it today.

 

Codes are:

P0301

P0302

P0325

 

P01443

 

Looks like the knock sensor and EVAP, kind of what I thought from researching symptoms here. I'll get the knock sensor fixed first I hope (Saw your great writeup FT4M), then can try to figure out the EVAP when it warms up a little bit.


Edited by jonbfish, 16 February 2013 - 02:12 PM.


#9 jonbfish

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

Changed the knock sensor, runs better but still not right. Only getting the P0301 code now. Check pugs, wires, coil next?



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:34 AM

Yes, I probably would have done plugs and wires first (especially if you don't know how old they are), but when the knock sensor sets a code that pretty much means it needs to be replaced anyway. It could have just been poor connection or faulty wiring, but it seems like about 99% of the time it's the sensor at fault. Very common problem, and a bad KS makes a huge difference on these cars.

#11 jonbfish

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:29 PM

Got 3 plugs changed before it got dark, runs great now. Do the plugs on the washer resovoir have a catch or do you just pull them off? I saw on here that folks usually take it out to get that last plug in.



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:44 PM

I've never removed the washer reservoir, but I think the plugs do have a lock release of some sort.
I just use a 3" extension on the socket and reach in under all the wires from the front of the engine.

#13 jonbfish

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:22 PM

Ok, have an update. The car ran good until I got stuck in my driveway one night. It was icy and I wasn't really stuck because its a subaru, but the CEL came back on. I changed the last spark plug and still got the 301 and 325 codes. I switched the plug wires and the misfire moved so I ordered new plug wires. I put two of them on and am going to change the other 2 when it quits raining, but I am still geting the 325 code. Does this mean I need to loosen or adjust the knock sensor I installed? It had a lifetime warranty so I can take it back if it might already be bad. It runs better but still seems to have a very slight hesitation.



#14 mikaleda

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:27 PM

It could have some corrosion where it connects to the block, try cleaning the block surface where the knock sensor sits and polish the bottom of the knock sensor.

#15 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:41 PM

don't over torque the sensor plus, on some/most blcoks, there is a lump such that, pointing the cable's pigtail in a different direction can make the new sensor crack.

 

try a search for knock sensor installation.



#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:46 AM

Unplug the large connectors on the passenger side bellhousing and check for dirty/corroded pins.
Spray them out with contact cleaner if there is any crud. Let dry and reconnect. Also check the block surface under the knock sensor for corrosion.
The sensors are delicate and if over tightened can be damaged, but that would not cause the code to return unless it was severely over torqued.

#17 jonbfish

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

Unplug the large connectors on the passenger side bellhousing and check for dirty/corroded pins.
Spray them out with contact cleaner if there is any crud. Let dry and reconnect. Also check the block surface under the knock sensor for corrosion.
The sensors are delicate and if over tightened can be damaged, but that would not cause the code to return unless it was severely over torqued.

 So this is a different connector than the one for the sensor itself? I followed your install instructions and the block looked smooth under it but I can check it again. I don't think it is severly over torqued but wondered how exact it has to be - if it's just so it doesn't crack I think it is ok.



#18 Cougar

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

The P0325 code is for the sensor circuit, not the sensor. You need to check the wire running between the ECU and the sensor for a problem. First verify the resistance of the wire end to end is ok and also make sure that it isn't somehow making connection to power or ground. The most likely problem is the connection to the sensor itself may be dirty.



#19 Gloyale

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:39 AM

Have to have a scanner. No way to "blink" the codes on post 95 vehicles.


 

 

not true.

 

newer models still have the green  "test" connectors, and black "read" connectors.

 

The pattern of blinking is different to reflect the OBD II #s.

 

 

Although it's really alot easier to have them scanned at AZ or somewhere like that.  Though it's nice to be able to clear and re-scan repeatedly during repairs.

 

Flashing CEL while driving means STOP! Drivning in that state can damaged the Catalytic.



#20 jonbfish

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:10 AM

Thanks guys! I went back to see about loosening the knock sensor and it was loose so I tightened it up and sprayed the connectors mentioned with contact cleaner. I have been a few days without the CEL so I think its fixed.






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