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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Brat keeps stalling after adding motor oil

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11 replies to this topic

#1 spideyz


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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

Hi Guys,

My 87 Brat had been running fine. Just passed CA smog check about two months ago. I checked my oil two weeks ago and it wasn't even registering on the stick. It took almost two quarts of oil to bring it back up to half way between low and full. Next day, I drove the car and it stalled out about 6 or 8 times over 15 minutes of stop and go. This type of thing lasted another 2-3 days. I thought maybe I put in too much oil, despite the fact that it wasn't even reading full (and yes, the dipstick was in all the way). So I drained out a quart of oil. No change. I increased the idle to 1500RPM to help things out, but it was still stalling occasionally. When it does stall, it is always when putting in the clutch to brake (and often when cornering). It had always started back up... until this morning.

Today, it stalled out 4 or 5 times and restarted. Next stall it wouldn't restart. Luckily I rolled off the road in a safe place. As I cranked and cranked, the check engine light would flash. Occasionally, it would stop flashing briefly and the engine would start to fire up, only to crap out and not really turn over. I called the wife and a friend who came to help. Just as my friend was driving up. I cranked it one more time and it started right up. I increased the idle to 2000RPM and it drove the rest of the day with no stalls.

So now, I ask you knowledgable fellows: did I screw something up by adding oil? How do I trouble shoot this problem. I am wasting precious fuel at 2000RPM idle, plus I don't want to get stranded again. Thanks for any input.


#2 Turbone


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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:31 PM

I've seen some EA81's run on as little as 1/2qrt of oil with no ill effects.
You might have knocked a vac line loose if its stalling at idle.

#3 bratman18



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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:44 PM

I very much doubt that the oil had anything to do with your problem I have run my subarus with little oil before with out any problems! Its weird a subaru with an oil leak!:lol: But yeah I would go with the vac line or something, not the oil!

#4 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 29 September 2008 - 07:18 PM

If it only took two quarts you should be fine.

Your problems are almost certainly unrelated to the oil except possibly as noted you may have inadvertantly pulled a vacuum line loose.

Spray around with carb cleaner to check for vacuum leaks. If the engine pitch changes investigate the area you were spraying for broken/cracked/disconnected lines.


#5 Dennis ex24

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 08:08 PM

For starters...is the oil cap secure?

Also in favor of the carb cleaner leak diagnosis.

#6 crockettbrat


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Posted 29 September 2008 - 08:17 PM

Does your brat have the hitachi carb with the anti dieseling switch? I was offroading and the wire to this thing broke on mine and it would not start unless I was flooring the gas pedal. It would not idle either, so I just kept my foot on the gas slightly and put it in neutral when I needed to. When I got back to camp I pulled the switch and removed the needle and spring and this solved the problem until I went to the pnp and got another switch and soldiered it up. My wire broke right at the switch. Hope this helps.

The ej swap also solved this problem! :grin:


#7 spideyz


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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:36 AM

I was thinking that adding too much oil caused the problem, not running low for a while. Any chance there?

I will do the carb cleaner test. I did not see any obvious vac hoses popped off, but I'll double check and report back my findings if I can't get it fixed. Thanks for all the input so far!


#8 sparrowhawk


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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:53 PM

Actually it is possible that changing the motor oil could be the cause of the poor idle. It is very rare this happens but it does, although I've never seen it on a Subaru so far. In some cases where the carb is in very poor shape or the float level is wrong gas can end up in the oil pan. Setting the carb idle adjustment while the gas is in the oil makes a difference because the gas fumes from the crankcase are being sucked into the carb and can cause a faster idle which is then compensated for by turning the idle down on the carb. As soon as new oil is put in the motor the extra fumes are gone and the idle drops. Like I said, rare but it does happen. Barry

#9 The Beast I Drive

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 11:09 PM

Maybe you should check the PCV system while youre at it, couldnt hurt anything to check.

#10 joostvdw


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Posted 01 October 2008 - 04:34 AM

Does it smoke when it stalls? If so, I'm thinking PCV system, see if it has the recalled/updated PCV system. If it doesn't, the new high level of oil could be high enough to be sucked into the PCV and stall the engine.

#11 brewtownbrat


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Posted 01 October 2008 - 12:46 PM

i'd be looking in the air cleaner for oil blowing out of the PCV lines, or oil in the air filter...

#12 mudman


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Posted 01 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

Sounds like a fuel problem to me. Could be lots of things though. PCV valve, vac leak, fuel mixture, etc. I'd start with vac leak first, then check all vac hoses for oil as previously stated, alond with PCV valve. Then move checking the fuel filter, pump, carb. It also may be contaminated fuel.

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