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Knock Sensor Code on 99 OBW LTD


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6 replies to this topic

#1 unverviking

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:13 PM

My "adopted" mother in law (wife's best friend's mom) called yesterday, her check engine light came on, and she's due for the wonderful NYS inspection, where it can't have the Check Engine Light on... She came by today, I took it to the local NAPA and they scanned a knock sensor code. In looking at the plugs and wires, they were fair at best... So I replaced them, hoping that maybe the knock sensor code was caused by a misfire by 1 of the plugs/wires. When I drove it there, it seemed a bit hesitant, so I figured that in any event, a new set of plugs and wires wouldn't hurt.

I drove it after replacing the plugs/wires and the positive terminal (fairly badly corroded) and it seemed to run much better, and no hesitation noted.

I pulled the battery to do the plugs on the driver's side, and it reset the light. I drove it about 5 miles, no light. She drove home (~30 miles) it came on within a mile from her house...

I am assuming that the knock sensor threw the code again, and wondering where it is located, so that I can replace it quickly, without having to tear the whole thing apart looking for it...

Last question... Is there any difference in buying one from Auto Zone, NAPA, or the dealer part... They should all be the same... RIGHT ?????
I'm leery about AZ parts (Duralast), I trust NAPA parts (Echlin), and don't want to pay dealer prices... The AZ price is about $76, NAPA $93, dealer... Who knows.

The specifics on the car... 99 Legacy OBW Limited, Auto, A/C, ~85k.

Thanks to all who reply...

#2 Rooster2

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:50 PM

I replaced the knock sensor on my 98 OBW last summer. I had Autozone pull the code to determine the problem. I bought the AZ knock sensor, and have had no issues with it.

The knock sensor is screwed into the top of the engine back near the fire wall. It is kind of awkward to replace, as it is not a straight shot with a 3/8 drive with extensions. It really requires a wobbler at the end of the extension, with the socket attached to it, to remove the knock sensor attachment bolt. Just be careful in tightening down the knock sensor bolt, as slightly over tightening it will crack and destroy the new unit.

Suggest doing a knock sensor search on this forum to learn what others have written, and view a photo of where to find the knock sensor.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:47 AM

you'll find all you need to know already on the forum. up above you'll see a "search" function. it is awesome for simple stuff like this. i know there are threads and even pictures of where it is located.

the knock sensor is a fairly simplistic part - they dont' really fail, the rubber housing just begins to crack with age. it's a poor design really, but it's not a failure due to "poor quality" per se - meaning getting it from AZ, NAPA, or Subaru shouldn't matter. and it's easy to replace...tight but worth it considering it doesn't take long.

now the spark plugs and wires you replaced - those should be Subaru OEM wires and NGK plugs (OEM). EJ engines are goofy jokers when it comes to that stuff, they are not very forgiving. you are not going to want to do that job again, so at least keep that in mind and if you get a check engine light and cylinder misfire code any time soon that will be why. i've seen brand new wires cause this multiple times (and it's quite common to see on the boards here as well)

#4 86subaru

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:46 PM

remember to replace it like it came out,

#5 Spiffy

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:58 PM

as Rooster2 said, it's on top of the engine, towards the back, on the driver's side...

it's really not that tough to replace... I didn't have to use a wobbler, but it did take some time to get that little sensor down in there...

I always go to the dealer and have them print me out the page with the sensor on it so I know where it is...


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#6 ferret

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:01 PM

Here's a thread where Peaty, a guy who documents everything with pictures, has a few there. You may have to register to see the pictures, but registration is free.

http://www.scoobymod...ht=knock sensor

Also I would think Van Bortel in Victor would give you a good price on a knock sensor. I come out that way a few times a year and have often browsed their showroom.

#7 unverviking

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 07:23 PM

Here's a thread where Peaty, a guy who documents everything with pictures, has a few there. You may have to register to see the pictures, but registration is free.

http://www.scoobymod...ht=knock sensor

Also I would think Van Bortel in Victor would give you a good price on a knock sensor. I come out that way a few times a year and have often browsed their showroom.


Awesome link, THANKS... VB is famous for great vehicle pricing, but their parts they sell to everyone at FULL Retail... I've been that route with them several times... Always ended up buying online when I needed dealer only parts... Although... I've talked to the parts guy at the "new" Spurr Subaru (alot closer than VB) and they sell for a few percent over whtat they pay, just to get more parts business. I'm leaning to sticking with AZ for now... Their price makes the difference, especially for someone who is on a tight budget...




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