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'96 Subaru OB mystery
Posted 19 August 2003 - 10:16 AM
Sometimes, when putting the brakes on, she heard the ignition buzzer noise (as when starting the car), lights appear across the dashboard (like when starting the car), and the car stalls (sometimes) upon final stop. If it does stall completely, she simply cranks it back up (mostly) with no problem, and off she goes, sometimes the acceleration is fine, other times it 'bucks' as she reaches cruising speed. She did describe one time that it hesitated starting, but it finally caught after a few extra seconds.
History: purchased used 7 months ago at 94.5K miles.
Repairs done since purchase: at 95.6K performed timing belt, water pump, gaskets, and belts replacement; at 97.3K changed out 02 sensor closest to engine to try to improve what I considered poor gas mileage (17-20 city/23-24 Hwy).
I've noticed this car has had engine hesitation upon initialy startup and backing out of driveway; on the road, poor acceleration...Flintstones going faster comes to mind :-)
Could it have anything to do with the O2 sensor that I changed 2 months ago? Emissions system in general? According to previous owners records, complete 60K service was done on time, so I've still got ~20K to go 'til it needs it again. Fuel filter was changed at 89K.
I drove it for the first time since these problems showed up, and, of course, nothing has shown up for me in the3.5 mile commute to work. My next step was to go to AutoZone to see if OBDII code has been set (even thougth dash is quiet), and to contact a knowledgable board such as this one. Thoughts/ideas/comments?
Posted 19 August 2003 - 08:18 PM
Getting a new battery "cured" it for a short while until the new battery discharged due to faulty alternator. I also believe there was a recall on the alternators for certain model year Legacies, but I don't recall the specifics.
Hope this helps.
An aside for those who may have known me as "CincyBuckeye" on the former USMB: I've moved to Durham NC but the old board software wouldn't let me change my name. I moved so that I could be closer to the proposed East Coast Subaru gathering that was planned for the Outer Banks (and also because this is where my residency program is).
Posted 20 August 2003 - 05:00 AM
Mine did what yours is doing.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 07:21 AM
To 'DurhamBuckeye': "Thank you"
To 'Tiny Clark': "Vielen Dank"
Posted 20 August 2003 - 10:59 AM
From the sounds of your post I would also check the air filter system and exhaust system for a blockage. This may explain your poor mileage. I would also check to make sure the valve timing is ok since you say it bucks on acceleration. It may be a tooth off. This would hurt the mileage also.
Besides checking the alternator for your electrical problem, if things are ok there then I would check the ignition switch and its' related wiring for a loose connection. Using a screwdriver handle to tap on things may help bring the problem out.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 11:19 AM
Also, good suggestions. I did replace a moderately dirty air filter yesterday, and would like to follow thru on checking on further exhaust system blockages...any suggestions on a practical way(s) to do so?
I would hope that the valve timing is ok since this was worked on by a knowledgeable mechanic just a scant 6K miles ago. The bucking is not a commonplace thing, just after a couple of the stops that my wife described that the car stalled on. I have driven the OB about 25 miles since the original post, with no side effects seen.
I'd like to check electrical connections in relation to the ignition switch, too.
Lastly, anyone know if an auto parts store can determine if an alternator's bad, given the hit or miss scenario I've described? If its an intermittent problem, I would think that it'd have to be acting up at the very moment that diagnostic equip was put on it...
Thanks for your input,
Posted 20 August 2003 - 12:36 PM
The store you bought the alternator from should be able to test it I would think.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 12:51 PM
I can check with my mechanic on the CAT and exhaust blockage.
As far as the alternator goes, I haven't made any replacements yet, hence the diagnostic question. I would imagine that it's an original part that I got along with the rest of the car when I purchased it back in Feb '03.
I did follow up on DurhamBuckeye's recall suggestion, which yielded nothing for my particular VIN. Others, it happened, were affected...for those interested, see link below for NHTSA homepage and search on Service Program Bulletin(s) on your particular Soob. The Subaru number assigned for this issue is WXF-63.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:00 PM
Thanks for the link notice.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:39 PM
Thanks for the advice and perspective, all.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:49 PM
Posted 21 August 2003 - 10:52 PM
Now I gotta check to see if it' on the recall list. No electrical problems that I know of so far. (Except the standard goofy gas gauge and blown out dash lights)
Posted 21 August 2003 - 11:53 PM
I drive like a little old lady on a tank of gas and get 23 I drive like I normally do and get almost 22 on a couple of long trips I have gotten 24.5 how do you get that kind of mileage.
what is with the bulbs in our dashes half of mine went out in the last month I expect the other half is coming soon.
Posted 22 August 2003 - 09:05 AM
Posted 25 August 2003 - 07:51 AM
the positive battery cable was loose! I had formerly checked the terminals of the alternator for looseness, but had not focused on the battery. After experiencing the same symptoms that my wife originally saw, I popped the hood and started pushing and pulling different wiring harnesses and cables - didn't take long to find the positive battery cable was able to rotate without a lot of effort.
To continue to the dialog, though, on the MPG: I heard another Soob owner mention the possiblity of a valve adjustment to help matters. Any input here?
Also, I'm a little confused about the major tune up schedule: I saw where the former owner performed the tune up with platinum plugs (at the dealer) at 60K, so thought this was to be done at every 60K. But I read about tuneups at the SOA/MySubaru website, and it mentioned my 2.5L was due for a tuneup at 90K (12K ago). Comments?
And, as far as dashboard lights: I inherited mine with blown lights. It was just a matter to go to the dealership and pay for overpriced bulbs (~$3-4/ea) and pop them in after doing minor disassembly to get to them.
Thanks again to all for your input on this post! :-p
Posted 25 August 2003 - 09:42 AM
Plugs and/or plug wire problems first show up when pulling out at lower revs.
Carbon buildup can be a *factor* here. I start the motor, pull a vacuum line and spray carb cleaner into the intake plenum while maintaining ~2000 rpm with my hand on the throttle. Then shut it off, spray a bunch in, and let it sit for a while.
Then grind and grind until she starts and do it again. Unlike in-the-tank cleaners, this actually gets the valves and valve area...
Posted 25 August 2003 - 10:30 AM
1 Lucky Texan
Posted 26 August 2003 - 02:40 AM
Posted 29 August 2003 - 07:34 AM
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