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P0125, P0325, P0115, starting issue and more in a 95 Subaru Legacy


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18 replies to this topic

#1 HadrianV

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:47 PM

Alright, I'm going to try to be as clear as possible in explaining my issues, so I'll start from the top.

STARTING ISSUE:

It all began when I began having problems getting my subie to start. It would crank an crank bit never turn over, behaving as if the engine were flooded. The reason I conclude this is because the immediate fix is to keep the accelerator floored and crank until it catches but it either almost putters out (complete with smoke from the exhaust) until it fully fires up with a very, very high idle that eventually mellows out, or just fires up as if I just rev'd it pretty hard for a second. Thought it was spark so I changed the plugs, no difference, which leads me to conclude it's either...

P0125, P0325, P0115
(Knock and temp sensor following a failing thermostat) :

This is what The scan read after I got a diagnostics run on it today. After being told that my coolant system is pretty much afflicted with a myriad of problems I decided it was time to post my findings on this forum. What I want to ask is my car salvageable? Are these fixes DIY or would a professional be needed? Would these problems be tied to my starting issue?

OTHER:

It would be worth noting that my water pump is probably in need of replacement. The most recent repairs I had done were the cam seals and going belt, other than that just your usual oil change. I will also note that my coolant is pretty much brown/black at this point and fear that all this could be much worse than just a few sensor replacements.

I apologize if anything sounds vague or too all over the place, feel free to ask me to clarify anything, I'm just a bit overwhelmed.

#2 HadrianV

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:48 PM

Excuse me, Timing belt. iPhone correct that as 'going' belt -_-...

#3 Olnick

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:32 PM

Don't panic--I'm sure your car is totally "salvageable!"  How long have you had it?  How many miles on it?  Do you know any of its repair history? 

 

From the codes I'd suggest trying a new ECTS--engine coolant temperature sender.  New knock sensor too.  They're not very expensive and not very difficult to install.  Also drain and flush the dirty coolant--maybe pull the old thermostat and replace (make sure you only use a genuine Subaru 'stat!)

 

Don't know your level of "expertise," but these are all fairly simple "driveway repairs."  Try a search here on USMB, they've all been well documented over the years.

 

The '95s are great engines, I've driven mine for years and it still "runs like new!"  (But the body ain't gonna' last much longer!!!) 

 

Good luck--and by all means keep asking questions if there's something you don't understand.  Oh, and welcome to USMB!



#4 HadrianV

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for the quick reply and warm welcome, Olnick! I've found a few guides here on how to replace a few of these sensors, I'll continue to do my homework. Not really afraid to work on these as my brother has a full garage I can use.

Alright, I've owned it for about three years now and it's hitting close to 230k right about now (228,314 I believe). As far as repairs go I've only had the timing belt and cam seals replaced about a month ago, and the spark plugs were done yesterday. Anything before the car came into my possession I'm not sure of, other than the regular oil change.

#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:03 PM

first thing I would do is check the battery and charging circuit - including refreshing all the grounds and carefully inspecting the battery cables. Clear the codes and monitor how quickly and which ones come back.

Also, see if you can borrow a gauge and check the fuel pressure. Additionally, next time it has sat and you think it probably won't start pull the plugs and see if one cylinder is noticeably wet with fuel. maybe an injector is leaking down. Another test would be, cycle the key to ON, not start, and wait 10 seconds, then cycle back to OFF, then to ON, wait 10 seconds, OFF, repeat one or 2 more times, then start. (the fuel pump will run for a few seconds each time - you should hear it) If it starts OK, maybe loosing fuel pressure in the rails.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 29 August 2013 - 10:04 PM.


#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:03 PM

Should have done the water pump and the idler pulleys with the timing belt. There's really no reason not to if you've already got it torn down to replace oil seals and the belt.
Most of the time failure of the water pump or one of the other idlers is what causes the belt to break. They seldom break on their own.


Codes and symptoms point to a bad engine coolant temp sensor. Basically the ECU thinks its 40 below all the time (lowest possible temp the ECU can register) so it's flooding the engine dumping fuel into it.
Cold air is much more dense, so the ECU has to add fuel when cold, otherwise the mixture would be too lean to start the engine.
Problem is the air isn't actually that cold, so you have a mega cold air amount of fuel, but a warm air density. It means the mixture is way too rich to start the engine.
Once its running it isn't a big deal, except that you'll use a ton of fuel.
Replace the ECT sensor and you should be good to go.

#7 HadrianV

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

Thanks guys for replying, you're all being super helpful! I'll try the ECT sensor first, my gas mileage has been terrible since (burn through a full tank in a day) and it makes sense so I'll try this. Will post back results ASAP.

#8 HadrianV

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

Also I think it's worth mentioning that my fans run almost constantly, I suppose the sensor is to blame for this as well? I also only overheated once while stuck on traffic, moving at stop-go to standstills.

#9 HadrianV

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

I would like to report that the ECT sensor was the culprit, having perfect start-up's every time I turn the key, so it looks like the problem's fixed (the CEL even shut off without clearing). Thanks guys for all the advice!

#10 Olnick

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:54 AM

That's great news HadrianV--and thanks for letting us know.  Years ago I had to replace the ECTS on my '95 and it was magical how the car immediately ran "like new!"  You might want to check for OBD2 codes again, there might still be some stored.

 

Probably needs a new KS.  And I'd be tempted to pull the thermostat to make sure it's the correct (Subaru) one.  You don't have to open up the front end to get to the T-stat--can do it from under the car.

 

Good luck & happy driving.



#11 Fairtax4me

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:18 PM

Knock sensor code could have been a stored code that was never cleared. If it comes back get a sensor from eBay. They're usually less than $20 shipped.

You'll certainly want to get the cooling system flushed and I'd recommend replacing the radiator hoses since there's a good chance they are old and ready to blow up.

#12 HadrianV

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

Will do. Any pointers on how to properly flush the coolant system? I've been wanting to do this for a while now.

#13 TYLER R

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

You can buy some stuff made by prestone that you just drain, fill with water and the juice, run, drain, fill with water, repeat as many times as you want (at least 3).

That was what got all the stop leak out of my car....



#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:22 PM

Buy flush (Prestone, Zerex, some others in the chemicals section at the auto parts store) follow directions on bottle.

#15 HadrianV

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:19 PM

Alright, I cleared the codes but shortly the CEL lit back up as expected. I ran the codes again and this time it just reads the KS. I'm going to replace it as soon as I can but I have an apartment viewing out of state tomorrow. Would it be safe to drive?

#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:47 PM

Should be fine but it may go into "limp mode". If it does just turn the car off and back on and it should be OK to drive a little more. If you really really need the sensor you can order online from advance auto parts and use a discount code from retailmenot.com then pick it up in store and save a bunch of $$.

#17 HadrianV

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

Fairtax, I'm a bit concerned. The car's revving rpm's pretty hard just to accelerate, kinda feels like it's holding itself back. Is this limp mode?

#18 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 11:56 PM

Sounds like it.
Limp mode pulls back the ignition timing to a certain preset and just keeps it there. Feels like the engine has about half as much power as it should.

#19 HadrianV

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:16 AM

I just replaced the KS and everything feels like it's back to normal :). I cleared the codes and so far I'm not getting any prompts from the CEL, it looks like we took care of it so far! The last thing I'm thinking about doing is changing the o2 sensor since I don't think was ever replaced yet, I believe that's where my terrible gas mileage is coming from...anyone familiar with this process and know where to start? I'm very grateful for all the advice you guys shared with me, you've all been a huge help!




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