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2000 Outback wagon with mysterious behavior.

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2000 Suabru Outback Wagon with the 2.5 L SOHC engine with the timing chain and a limited slip rear differential.
This evening in messy snowy and rain mix conditions I drove about 9 to 10 kms and parked the car. After about fifteen minutes, I started and was barely 2 kms further and was pulling into a plaza and some strange things happened. The AT light started flashing, the ABS yellow light came on, the dash lights dimmed and it appeared as if the main headlights also dimmed. Due to the wintry conditions earlier I had pretty much all the electricals on including the mirror heaters, windshield wiper deicer, interior fan, rear defroster. The seat heaters were NOT On. The front and rear wipers were on intermittent. After parking and popping the hood I could not make out anything, plus it was dark. After about 20 mins while I picked up some food, the car started right up and no sign of the previous troubles at all, as if nothing happened. I got home and checked the auto tranny fluid level and it was perfect a little more than the hot mark. I saw in the garage light the fluid looked pink and smelled fine. I happened to touch the alternator and it was very hot to the touch. Please help.
Also more than a couple of years ago when I got the tranny fluid replaced the AT light started coming on for two seconds at start up but would go out. That did not use to happen before that flush. Another thing it seems the headlights dim a bit when the brake pedal is pressed. 

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classic electrical issues:

1. cables not tight or corroded/dirty

2. battery

3. alternator

4. separating crank pulley



how many miles and are the battery/alternator original?

condition of battery posts/terminal connectors?


that engine has a timing belt, not chain.  just to clarify since starting in 2001 there are OBW's that do have a timing chain, though most have a belt.

Edited by grossgary

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Only the 6 cylinder has a timing chain. No 4 cylinder till the new FB things has a chain.


The AT temp light should come on when you turn on the key before you start the engine. All the lights on the dash do, that you know the bulb works. That's normal. It'll go out after a second or two.

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