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Hey there everyone, I have a 98 outback sport 2.2 with 228,000 miles on it, 5 speed manual. I was on a long drive headed to up north Michigan to watch the Sno*Drift rally this past weekend and it was snowing pretty good on my way up.

 

Now, the car, if it is not snowing, or having ANY snow kicked up in front of it, drives perfectly smooth, no problems whatsoever. As soon as it starts to snow, or the car in front of me kicked up powder or something, it would do what i cant describe any better than to be a hiccup. It feels like the engine just shuts off for about a half a second, and then comes back like nothing ever happened. It happens ONLY when theres snow flying around. The more snow flying around, the more it does it, but it happens on average about one time every minute. If theres a lot of snow flying around, then it'll happen 2-3 times a minute.

 

I also have an 07 wrx which does the same exact thing, it kind of just went away on the WRX, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere on this car.

 

Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by Ditch64

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Any check engine lights ever?

If so - get us the codes.

 

Ignition - how old are the wires and plugs?

 

I would suspect the wires need replaced. Snow is blowing into the engine compartment, melting, and causing problems for fatigued insulation of the wires/plugs.

 

That motor does best with Subaru OEM wires and OEM NGK plugs...but at least use high quality ones. I've seen new ones cause issues right out of the box.

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Check the air intake tubing and filter box for proper fit and connection. Also make sure the water separator in the fender is still there.

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Was it behaving this way 3 weeks ago before the plugs and wires?

 

Check your vac hoses for leaks.

 

I'd double check fitment for plug wires. beyond that, o2 or knock sensor or possibly ignition coil. Sure sounds spark related.

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there aren't many things that will cause an across the board cutout.....Ive seen 02 sensors cause some non CEL hicups. The bigger culprit is the mass air flow sensor.... it can fool the ECU when it cuts out. I think teh ECU thinks the car turned off and back on. A bad knock sensor will throw a code in a second... thats easy to monitor with a scan tool with live data. It will go from 30deg advanced to -12 deg instantly.

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A bad knock sensor will throw a code in a second...

 

That's not always the case I have had knock sensors go bad before without throwing a code and it causes similar symptoms

Just my experience I am no expert

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That's not always the case I have had knock sensors go bad before without throwing a code and it causes similar symptoms

Just my experience I am no expert

 

I have to agree here. The knock sensor in my 98 2.2 was flaking out badly under acceleration load causing massive bucking and surging and all that crap without throwing a code.

 

I ebay'd a sensor for about $15 and replaced it myself for an amazing result.

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A bad knock sensor will throw a code in a second... thats easy to monitor with a scan tool with live data. It will go from 30deg advanced to -12 deg instantly.

 

If the sensor is open or shorted, yes. Problem is when the sensor starts sending erratic readings to the ECU. It tells the ECU the engine is knocking when it isn't, and it doesn't set a code.

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Have we ruled out AWD? You know that feeling you get when you're driving in snow/ice and a wheel or two loses traction and the suddenly WHUMP! thrust forward as it grabs again?

 

I feel it on snow all the time in both the Impreza and Legacy/outback. And when I took the outback up a river. it always feels a little scary when you're not expecting it.

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