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Problem with my new 98 Outback, misfire. HELP!!


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10 replies to this topic

#1 bobbyleigh

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:37 PM

Anyone...I'm calling on the Subaru community to help me with this.

Bought 98 Outback with just under 100k last month. Check engine light came on and flashing (on the way home!) and flashes only when car is driven over 3200 RPM. Took to dealer svc, says car has new engine and clutch (didn't know this before), adjusted valves on driver's side of engine (they recommended) b/c the code said the #4 cylinder was misfiring.

Later, light came on and flashed again when driven over 3200 RPM (again on the way home from shop!), now the code says #4 is misfiring again and #3 as well. Dealer svc said car is running lean which is causing misfire in cylinders. They do not know what to replace to fix the problem, could be O2 sensor or computer or fuel injectors....etc.

Took to another dealer svc and they recommended fixing valves on other side of engine and then repairing valves that were already adjusted on driver's side of engine b/c they were thrown out of whack again by the ones being out of whack on the side that was not aligned the first time. Also, they said there were no signs of the engine being new at all! Huh?!

I don't know what to do! If the engine is not new and still under 100k, is it covered (98 year model) in the recall on leaking head gaskets if it had that repair? Wasn't the "repair" just an additive to the coolant? I remember asking the first dealer if there had been any recalls on this car and if they had been fixed, and also remember he said there were 2 and they had both been repaired.

Car is running lean (for sure?) b/c the tailpipe has a little carbon build up. Also, the car is only getting about 16.5 miles/gallon on the highway. Which seems strange given it's running lean, or so they say. I wonder if the timing belt has been changed, any way to tell? Would an old and worn out belt affect gas mileage?

The car is NOT having trouble starting, not hesitating, not running/idling rough, not losing power at any speed, not backfiring, not blowing smoke, and not giving any general signs of a blown head gasket.

Has anyone heard of such a problem before? PLEASE tell me if you can help. I'm in way over my head here, only bought a Subaru b/c of their good reputation, now it seems that's not the case. Wish I had found this forum sooner.

In terms of damage being done further to the engine, is it safe to drive it as long as it's driven at less than 3200 RPM when the light flashes?

#2 Manarius

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:39 PM

O2 Sensor tied with possibly plugs/wires/coil. If it's "misfiring" the engine should run poorly, not just throw a code.

#3 bobbyleigh

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:45 PM

O2 Sensor tied with possibly plugs/wires/coil. If it's "misfiring" the engine should run poorly, not just throw a code.



I know, right? And there's no poor running as far as I can tell, but it only flashes at me (which apparently means a really bad misfire) when driven at RPM over 3200 for longer than 10 seconds. If it was an O2 sensor tied with plugs, wires, coil, why would it just flash over 3200 RPM? Could they possibly be making it run lean then? The first dealer svc place said they believed all that stuff was new!

#4 grossgary

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:45 PM

misfire codes are almost always plug, wire or coil pack related, i don't know why they're looking at the valves and such before the obvious stuff? if they didn't look at those, are these really Subaru mechanics or 8th graders with a Soobaroo sign painted outside their tree house?

this is one of the most common EJ issues around, and it's normally cured with new spark plugs and wires. spark plugs have to be NGK (available at auto parts stores for $8 or from Subaru for $50), and the ignition wires have to be Subaru only, available only at Subaru. do not attempt to use non-subaru wires on this engine.

if that doesnt' fix it then have your coil pack tested, or have it tested at the same time or test it first. or just swap in another one.

just that you have a new engine doesn't mean the plugs and wires are perfect, they need to at least be inspected. did they reuse old ones, install new aftermarket (non-subaru) wires, is the coil pack the original? were the boots ripped or damaged on install? lots of options here.

it "could" be something worse, but usually it isn't....of course used cars are suspicious too. why would someone sell a car with a new engine?

there's no additive for your year vehicle. that only applies to later model EJ25's, not yours. if it's really a "new" motor it should have the updated headgaskets on it, but who knows really since you have no idea of the history and what he means by "new".

#5 grossgary

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:49 PM

If it's "misfiring" the engine should run poorly, not just throw a code.

that's not always the case. i've seen plenty of mis-fire codes do both...run poorly or run fine. electrical goofiness.....

#6 nipper

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:43 PM

Misfire is either ignition wires or the coil packs. If your engine is new you really dont need a valve adjustment. i never get mine adjusted (never seems to make a differnce).
It is possible that there are hairline cracks in the coil towers. This is a common problem it seems and is usally fixed with replaced coil packs.


nipper

#7 Manarius

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 04:44 PM

The plug wires don't have to be Subaru wires. I'm running non-Subaru wires on my car right now with no issues.

#8 jcsvx

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:53 PM

OK we have fixed this problem on three different 2.5s in the last year
all three have had loose front balancers the bolts were tight but bottomed out in crank the key-way and key were worn and had to replace key on all three and new washer and shorten bolt one thread (grinder) the loose balancer causes noise and the knock sensor
retards the timing until it missfires and turns on cel. Hope this fix works for you too Joe

#9 davebugs

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for sharing in a few threads but this isn't the common fix for this that I've seen.

I've seen a lot of sloppy timing belt installs and not torqueing (or in my case I over torque) the crank bolt. And it'll cause keyway on the crankshaft, harmonic balancer, and even oil pump and TB cover issues. See my pics here for one we fixed.

But none of the ones I've fixed the crank bolt on had this symptom.


I'm glad it's worked for you.

#10 jcsvx

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:28 PM

I grind the bolt to make sure it dosent bottom out we found this fix for 3 4 or 1 2 missfire codes by accident have total of 10000 miles on the three with no recurence of problem or cel whe the were turning on cel almod weekly or one daily

#11 jcsvx

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

on our 5 speed the retard could be seen on obd!! scanner when pushing in the clutch until it would die




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