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Overheating and power loss


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28 replies to this topic

#1 lancelincoln

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:10 PM

Ok. I just did the timing belt/water pump, plugs/wires and valve cover gaskets. New scenario is that the car has no power and stutters under load, especially uphill. Got a code for O2 sensor, replaced and CEL went away. Car still chugs uphill and overheats. Could this be a bad cat? No water in oil and no oil in water. I'm stumped and about to push my Subi off a cliff. Any ideas?

2001 Legacy Wagon with 236 on the clock and completely stock other than maintenance mentioned above.

Thank you in advance, you were all a big help on my timing belt.

#2 lancelincoln

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

Side note, replaced fuel filter thinking that could be related to the uphill chugging and pinging. Car takes 3 or 4 tries to start and was like the before I did the timing belt. PO had the belt kit in the backseat when we bought it thinking that was the cause of the starting issues. Once it starts, it runs like a champ until it's under load.

#3 virginiaham

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:33 PM

Was the O2 code description for a "stuck lean" condition? if so, you may have a weak fuel pump. this is especially likely because you say it takes a few tries to start, like you are priming the fuel system. a lean condition will cause hotter combustion temps, and could cause overheating. If the fuel starvation is bad enough, it will cause a lack of power under load, but may run fine at idle. if you have a fuel pressure gauge, that's the best way to check pressure, but a simple and crude way to check is to squeeze the fuel supply hose between your thumb and forefinger and have someone turn the ignition on. if the hose gets rock hard instantly, you might be ok, if it stays soft or takes a couple of seconds to get hard, you may have a suspect fuel pump. 

 

also, the overheating may be a completely separate issue, like a faulty thermostat installed when you replace the water pump. it has been my experience, that if you dont use an OEM or other very high quality thermostat, you're taking a big gamble.  



#4 lancelincoln

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:44 PM

I was initially thinking fuel pump, just didn't relate that to overheating. Makes sense though. I'll run to O'Reilly right now and use a pressure Guage.

#5 lancelincoln

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:19 PM

Have to wait till tomorrow. Really frustrating.

#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:00 AM

Overheating is probably low coolant level or faulty thermostat. These are tricky to fill sometimes and can get big air pockets in the block. Need to make sure the coolant is full. Should have taken about 1.5 gallons when refilling. If it took any less than that you have an air pocket.
Also Subarus are picky about thermostats. The cheapo parts store stats cause trouble due to inferior design. The stat has to be of OE design or it will cause problems. Stant and Gates both offer OE equivalent thermostats available at most parts stores.
Stant Exact-stat 48457 or Gates 34012.

Fuel pump problem is very likely on that year. There is a cap on the pump assembly that cracks and bleeds fuel pressure back into the tank. Replacement caps can be bought but are pricey. Also need a new o-ring not included with the cap.

#7 lancelincoln

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:31 AM

I'm going to check the fuel pump cap and fuel pressure. I'd be surprised at this point if I have an air pocket. I put nearly 2 gallons of coolant in, started the car, watched the level drop as the thermostat opened. Then filled the radiator and burped the upper hose until nothing came out.

#8 MilesFox

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:50 AM

You may have to do this periodically. The HG may be allowing combustion gas into the cooling system, pushing it out. Be sure to only fill the overflow to the mark near the bottom of the jug. If the fluid level rises, you have coolant pushing out. Sometimes combustion gasses can get past the gasket although the gasket is not failed. This is especially true with turbo engines. Just be adamant about checking the coolant and burping it off as necessary. Even my swapped 86 3door with an ej22 from an o1 impreza loses coolant somehow, although there is nothing wrong with it and 80,000 mi on the engine itself.



#9 lancelincoln

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:33 AM

Should I be worried about the HG? We pull over the second the needle goes up and kill the motor. Oil and coolant are both clean, so I'd assume the HG is ok. Also, sometimes it'll be an hour into driving before the temp goes up.

#10 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

definitely inspect the fuel pump assembly - cheap/easy insurance.

 

but it does seem like you have typical HG problems. There is a chemical test from the parts stores but people have had variable results with it. best to use if you see bubbling in the coolant.

 

You might email Blackstone labs and see how much/if they can sell a test for bad HGs. probably need to sen din a few ounces of coolant.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 14 July 2014 - 11:41 AM.


#11 grossgary

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

 New scenario is that the car has no power and stutters under load, especially uphill.

 

Check timing marks.  If there's a "new" issue after installing the timing belt then there's a good chance it's one tooth off.

I'd expect a cam sensor code on the check engine light, but still worth a check.

 

Scan the check engine light codes again and see if you have any "Pending" codes, they'll be stored but the Check Engine light won't be on for it.

 

Spark plugs - check and see if the'yre covered in oil or old.  Should have a cylinder misfire check engine light but i've seen stranger things.

 

 

Highly unlikely it's related to fuel pressure or the catalytic converter.

 

If you get a check engine light and read the code - tell us exactly what the code number is.

If it was aP0420 it'll likely come back, they are very intermittent at times - but it's benign so you can ignore it until you solve the starting/driving issues.

It's nearly impossible for a P0420 code or oxygen sensor to cause this issue in your vehicle.


Edited by grossgary, 14 July 2014 - 12:19 PM.


#12 lancelincoln

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

I'll pull the plugs after work tonight. It's highly likely they're covered in oil as there was a couple ounces of oil in each tube when I did the valve covers. I used towels to soak up what I could. If they're oily, should I crank the motor with the plugs out to try and force out any residual oil in cylinders and tubes?

#13 grossgary

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:05 PM

I would probably spray carb cleaner down the holes to clean them out then rotate via/starter (without starting) to get oil moving through it, then start it up to burn off the carb cleaner.  I've rotated engines by hand before and seen the oil moving, not sure it'll get to the cylinder by hand though.

 

Or if you're concerned about getting it in the engine, spray cleaner down with spark plugs in there and then draw it out somehow.

 

Cranking the engine would get limited oil out, spread it out over the surfaces,and still leave residual oil over everything.

 

Did you replace the spark plug tube seals and the valve covers?

 

Those spark plug access holes and wires/boots, plugs themselves all need cleaned and oil free.



#14 lancelincoln

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:39 PM

I did the tube seals with the valve cover gaskets. I should add that the previous owner parked it 6 months ago and bought the timing belt thinking it should be done ASAP and didn't drive it so it didn't snap. He told me the car was hard to start for some time and I experienced that when we bought the car. 3 or 4 tries to start it to drive it home (only a block away) and 3 or 4 tries to start it to pull into my shop. I can remove and reinstall the timing belt in a couple hours no problem, just might not be the issue if it was preexisting.

#15 grossgary

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:44 PM

Check the fuel pressure and maybe that fuel pump cap is bleeding off fuel pressure. I've never seen one consistently/for a long time make the car hard to start, it seems once they start to fail, they're done and the car won't start at all.

 

You can check the timing in a few minutes: pull the drivers side timing belt cover only to check the cam mark and then you should be able to check the crank position mark...hmmmm...i've never actually done it on one this new.  older Subaru's had a crank position mark on the flexplate/flywheel and you could verify it throught he bellhousing cover (rubber plug just under the throttle body to the passengers side).  or pull the crank sensor to peer in there with a flashlight - though that's likely not enough room.

 

Even if you just pulled the accessory belts and timing cover, that doesn't take terribly long, i just did one this morning.  you don't have to pull the belt, just the covers to check marks.

 

The caps are fairly easy to check - pull the rear seat bottom and fuel tank access cover.



#16 Mr.Atlantis

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:07 PM

I just recently dealt with a similar issue.  I was getting very little power and it would shutter on acceleration.  I would actually have to floor it in 1st gear to make it up hills.  I replaced the downstream O2, MAF Sensor, Spark Plugs and Wires, and treated my fuel.  Nothing.

 

I had someone rev the engine while I cupped my hands over the exhaust pipes and realized very little was escaping.  It never triggered the appropriate codes because it was clogged in an un-monitored resonator/cat thing built into my intermediate pipe.  However it did randomly trigger lean A/F ratio type codes (which is what made me spring for the downstream sensor and MAF).

 

The fix (for me): Removed intermediate pipe, attached wire coat hanger with several twists at end to my battery powered drill and aborted the filling into a shop vac.

 

Immediately fixed my issue.  It actually has more power now than when I purchased.

 

WARNING:  My car's intermediate pipe was un-monitored.  This could present a serious issue if done to a vehicles monitored converter.



#17 lancelincoln

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:52 AM

So, I hooked up a fuel pressure Guage. Image attached if I link it properly this time haha. Anyway, got barely 5 psi when I turned the key on (could hear pump running) and started the car and the Guage barely climbed to 20 psi. Hopefully I hooked up the Guage correctly. Also, the check engine light flashed when I pulled into the shop before testing the fuel pressure. I know that means misfire, so a faulty pump could cause misfire and lead to overheating? 20140715_001541_zps379f4ab2.jpg

Hooked up right? Maybe a weak pump? I'm afraid to drive to oreilly again to use their scanner and my amazon Bluetooth scanner says no stored faults. I call bs as the light flashed and became constant. So, no codes to post tonight for you guys, but this is my progress.

Thank you so much for the help so far.

#18 Fairtax4me

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:00 AM

Looks right to me.

Pull the fuel pump.
http://www.ultimates...-cap-is-broken/

#19 lancelincoln

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

Thank you for the link. I'll be pulling the pump tonight after work and I'll still be pulling the plugs to check for oil. I'll post results as they come up. Fingers crossed this is my overheating problem and not my HG. I really don't want to pull the motor.

#20 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

best 'base' price for a cap seems to be;
http://www.autoparts...XjuoaAnYc8P8HAQ

but Amazon and parstgeek have them too so....might be a good idea to shop around a little.

#21 lancelincoln

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:45 PM

Really appreciate all the help. Might not get to the pump tonight. But, I'll post progress when I do so others can see if they're having the same problems.

#22 MilesFox

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:52 PM

you had the water pump out. Fill block by upper hose. BE sure to burp the air pockets, this is critical if the cooling system was open. You may have to hodl a high idle and babysit the thermostat until it opens. Run the heat full hot.

 

Do the burp procedure before troubleshooting.



#23 lancelincoln

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:28 PM

I did that exact burp procedure when I finished the water pump and burped it 2 more times with no air escaping. Even drove up ramps to get the radiator above the block and got to a point where zero air was escaping.

#24 lancelincoln

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:14 PM

This looks bad! Lol
20140716_200821_zps21ba0118.jpg

#25 lancelincoln

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:16 PM

There was a metal hose clamp holding this soldered together cap on (maybe it's always there) and you can see the o ring peeking out. Would a misfire caused by this also lead to overheating?




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