First I would like to say hello and thanks. I have been using this forum for years but this is my first post.
I bought this car 2 years ago with close to 200,000 miles. I was told it had a bad MAF but when I got there to test drive it (with an untested junkyard replacement MAF) it had a huge hole in the plastic next to the MAF. I duct taped the hole and tested both MAF and got the same results (crappy but better than before duct tape). The car was throwing solenoid codes that were not MAF related...so I thought maybe she took it to a mechanic that did not understand Subaru's and mis diagnosed the MAF. The guy who said it was the MAF also missed the giant hole in the plastic. How is beyond me, but his credibility went to zero!
So far I replaced:
- The plastic/rubber housing that the MAF (and most vac hoses) mounts into. (whats that called)
- PCV (new)
- O2 Sensor (new)
- 2 solenoids (EGR and purge control)
- Plugs, wires, d cap (new)
- MAF (junkyard) and cleaned the original
- Fuel Filter (new)
I also tried:
- Alcohol and water into vacuum lines
- Alcohol in the fuel
PS... The alternator was brand new.
First I did all of the above to clear a bunch of codes. The codes returned. I re-replaced both solenoids and IAC again (new, not junk yard this time). Codes are now gone again but the car has no change in performance. NONE.
The car continued to idle poorly, surges really bad when trying to maintain a slow speed (parking lots), has a hesitation when accelerating (rpms drop when clutch is released...then after a 1-3 second delay it kicks in...it feels almost like a power band kicking in ...but it goes from crap to normal not normal to overdrive). I tried to drive the front wheels up on a curb but could not get the low end power to climb up onto it. When I start it, it usually idles between 1000-1500 sometimes between 2000-3000 and sometimes it fights to stay between 200-1000 or just dies (200-1000 is more common when warm). I have been playing with the throttle cable constantly to keep it from stalling so all of these RPM values may be irrelevant. I have found cracked vacuum hoses but no matter how many I fix nothing changes.
I also removed several vacuum hoses (on purpose...as a test) but it does not get worse (removed charcoal canister, removed vac hose to pcv...one at a time...no response). It runs fine at highway speeds, gets pretty good gas mileage and starts instantly on even the coldest nights.
I am at a loss!
- I suspect a vacuum leak but my heater vents and 4x4 button work properly. Then again, my brakes have been acting up but introducing a major leak does not make it worse?!?!!?!
- Maybe a fuel pump or sock issue.
- Maybe a computer issue caused by playing with the screw on the carb (I read not to do that...it was too late)
- Maybe I need a new battery (lots of corrosion on one tower)
- Maybe my fuel filter got clogged instantly after replacement.
- Knock sensor? IDK anything about this but it came up in other forums.
- EGR...I can't get it off
Random stuff that might matter:
- I noticed a hose that does not go anywhere. It is a 1/2 inch hose that sticks through my passenger side firewall. It is about 9" long but does not connect to anything. It is dangling onto my exhaust pipe. Its a foot below the windshield wiper apparatus.
- Charcoal canister also has a 1/2" hose on the bottom that goes nowhere (I think thats for water... is it not)
- Charcoal canister has 4 nipples on the top. Only 3 have a hose connected, one is capped. If we call the 4 nipples a,b,c,d and c and d come from the riser then its a (If I'm not mistaken thats the one from the gas tank...this seems like it could be bad....No gas vapor odors though).
- The lady I bought it from said she took the belt of the AC compressor
- I keep hearing a clank that I suspect is a broken motor mount
- Has the tick of death
PS I am not a mechanic but can follow directions well enough that I do most of my own work. This is my 7th sub $1000 Subaru and I keep learning. Things like hoses, alternator, oil change, cv joints, and everything I mentioned above are easy for me. I don't have many tools or gadgets (vac or compression test stuff) but I have a muti meter. Things like clutch, tranny, head gasket mean its time to sell.