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Guest Message by DevFuse

- - - - -

What have I done to our '06 Outback? 2.5 normally aspirated, auto.

stalls stumbles low idle dead battery

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9 replies to this topic

#1 mtsmiths


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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:59 PM

I inadvertently left the ignition on while cleaning the car, and after 18 hours it was seriously dead. Got it started with a jump (yes red to red, black to black) which did take some cranking and fussing.


Since then it is hard to start, idling way low (loping between almost zero and 250 rpm), stumbles, feels like it's hovering on the edge of a stall in traffic, and hesitates when driving. We live in Kailua-Kona village, a no highway beach town, so all subsequent trips have been short, slow, and in traffic. I've driven it on sport mode and kept the rpms up in the high threes and low fours a couple of trips, and I've opend the gas ca and resecured it.


Has it forgotten how to Subaru? I'm thiking the computer needs to be retrained? Best way? Highway trip, reprogram, has something been damaged? :-(




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    Elite Master of the Subaru

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

Welcome back again. Hope the islands are treating you well.

How many miles have you driven since the incident? I would wager that it needs to relearn what it's doing, there was a similar posting a few days ago about a similar year legacy and I think that was the general consensus.

#3 Fairtax4me



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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:40 PM

You're sure you didn't knock loose any hoses under the hood?

Unhook the battery negative.
Wait about 30 minutes.
Hook it back up, start the engine and just let it idle. Don't try to keep RPMs up if they're low. Don't touch anything. If it stalls, cycle the key and just restart the engine. Don't touch the gas or anything.
Let it idle until the radiator fans turn on, then shut it off.
Restart then go for a drive. It's best if you can get it up to about 55 for 10 minutes or so, but if around town is the best you can do that'll work. Just ride around for about 30-45 minutes.

#4 mtsmiths


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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:19 PM

86 Bratman, Aloha, maybe only twenty miles of around town errands, total. In Hawaii nei we be doin' maikai'i brah! But the Subaruing has degenerated to a family car doing around-town stuffs. I did get conned by my old boss to return to work on an airport project at Keahole-Kona (KOA) airport. Sorta 'on-call' when they need me. but getting paid a generous retainer for my 'downtime'.


Fairtax4me, Mahalo ... no nothing bumped, just how one forgets. I've done this in the past, just been so long it was no longer in the mental file folders (see above, not much activity in the Subaru folder for the last five years).


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From our lanai

#5 lmdew



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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:15 AM

if you only jumped the car and then only had short trips you battery may still be very low.  I'd get it charged.  Short trips don't do much for charging the battery to a full state.

#6 mtsmiths


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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:46 PM

K, thanks all, did the recycle and alss is well. Funny how you forget the simple stuff. On my 2011 bicycle trip across the US one of us bumped the virgin switch without realizing it. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why we kept losing our battery charge ... until we parked after dark DUH-OH!


Another query in the same vein. This Subaru, and our 2000 Legaback both get seriouslu corroded positive battery terminals. No other symptom, just massive build up. I need to buy my third battery hold-down and a new battery clamp today, and I go through a lot of white vinigar and baking soda!

#7 brus brother

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:02 PM

Coat terminal with dielectric grease after cleaning and perhaps a sacrificial penny (or two if you are feeling flush) resting on top of the battery?

#8 mtsmiths


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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:38 PM

I do the grease, the penny is a new one, but makes sense. But I wonder why the severe corrosion? I've never had any other car do this so bad, including all our older Subarus. But the '00 and the '06 both awful!

#9 Caboobaroo


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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:52 PM

In 2005 Subaru started using a drive by wire throttle. When the battery goes dead, is disconnected or the ECU memory is cleared, the ECU needs to relearn where the stepper motor on the throttle needs to be for it to idle.

I deal with it everyday and have multiple people ask me about it. I'm hoping to get some time to write up a thread on it and either have it stickied or put into the USRM. I have a specific procedure I go through to help with the relearn procedure but ultimately it does take a couple days for it to relearn fully.

Edited by Caboobaroo, 16 July 2014 - 09:24 PM.

#10 Fairtax4me



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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:07 PM

Do you use the felt washer things under the terminals? Those help.
A big problem with lead acid batteries is the acid tends to seep out of the caps that sit up on top of the battery. The acid eventually runs over to the posts and creates a path for electricity to flow from post to post or post to ground. Very small amounts of electricity, but any is enough to cause problems.
The felt things help keep the acid from getting to the posts.
Another thing that can help is to smear some grease only around the bottom of the post. Wiping grease on top keeps corrosion off the top, but doesn't do anything for the bottom of the post and terminal.

Be careful no to smear grease directly On the post. The post needs to stay clean where the terminal clamps on. Applying grease all over the post decreases surface contact with the terminal and leads to burning of the post and terminal under high current draw (when starting). Burning = heat, and heat leads to more corrosion.

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