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brianpitera

99 Forester Hesitation and Hard Start after fueling.

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My 99 forester with just shy of 100K miles has a severe hesitation after a cold start, slight to moderate hesitation when warm, little power, poor gas mileage and recently gave a p0743 code. First thing in the morning after starting the car it has trouble moving (forward or reverse), and if you press the gas the engine bogs down, and after a minute runs fine. From a dead stop the car has a very noticeable hesitation and occasionally a hard shift and delayed shift at higher gears. When driving up hill or accelerating the car has to downshift to gain any power and has gotten 17 mpg since i bought it with 88k miles in october. Recently the car gave me a cel for a torque converter cluctch circuit (p0743) with a flashing AT TEMP light, the transmission light went out after restarting the car and the code was erased the next day, unfortunatley i havent been able to recreate the code. Another, posibly unrelated problem is a hard start after refueling, the more fuel put in the tank the harder the start. I realize there is likely more then one issue and any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! :)

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Common problems associated with hard starting are a bad coolant temp sensor, gunked up Idle control valve, fouled spark plugs can also cause issues with cold starting.

 

The Torque Converter Solenoid circuit code could just be an effect of the poor running condition.

 

When was the last time it had a basic tune-up? Spark plugs, wires, fuel & air filters PCV valve. Any of those not done recently can contribute to problems.

 

Hard starting after a fillup could be due to a leaking Evap Purge control Solenoid. This is easy to test. Find two bright Green plugs under the dash and connect them together. Turn the key to ON and this will put the ECU into Test Mode. It will cycle the fans, several relays, and the various solenoids for the Evap system. The Evap purge solenoid is under the intake runners on the passenger side of the engine. Unhook one of the hoses that leads to it and try to blow through it as it clicks. Airflow should stop completely, then resume, corresponding with the cycling of the solenoid. If airflow does NOT stop the Solenoid is bad.

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Could be something as simple as buying a tank of bad gas. Any chance you bought gas after a heavy rain? If so, water run off the drive way, and past a faulty gas station fill pipe will put water in the tank, then water in your tank. If so, adding a can of "dry gas" may help.

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next cold start opportunity, cycle the key to ON (not start) wait 3 seconds, cycle OFF/ON a couple more times, THEN start. If it starts and seems to run better, you're losing fuel pressure. If same symptoms - well, fuel pump and circuit is OK!

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I did a complete tuneup recently, plgs, wires, fuel filter, air filter, and it made no difference. Also it has had the same problem everytime i bought gas since october :(. Tomorrow i will be putting it up on a lift and i will hopefully be able to try everything, especially your suggestions. thank you for the suggestions, i will try to get back to you asap.

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Just out of curiosity: which brand of spark plug cables did you use?

Also, make sure you do a vacuum gauge test of the engine when you have some time.

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Im not sure of the brand of the plugs, definitely the economy brand. Tommorow ill be bringing it into a garage and putting it on a lift so that will be something i add to the to do list

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The main question is regarding the cables. It looks like these engines are very picky about them.

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After taking the transmission pan down and changing the filter we found a loose piece of metal under the internal filter. I have decided to sell the car to somebody with the potential to fix it as i dont have the money at the moment :(. I appreciate all your help and look forward to my next subaru.w

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