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Hi all, I've been poking around the forums and I've noticed plenty of great suggestions. Hopefully you all can help me out.


My wife's beloved 96 Outback has been stalling for a month or so now, and we can not figure it out what is going on! We've had it in and out of two different shops with no luck. It stalls hot, cold, at speed, at stop signs, turning, not turning, AC on/off... It isn't reproducible, and has seemingly no trend. In general, it seems to stall as it is going to idle. The power stays on, and no engine check light appears.


Poking around the threads, I've noticed MAF seems to be a common failure point. I cleaned it out, and although it seemed to run better, it still stalled. Reading elsewhere that if you unplug it, it may solve the problem, but the car ran terribly, idling wildly. Perhaps this points to something?


The car will usually start right back up, however I did have one time at a light I could not get it to stay on. The starter kicked the rpms up, and then as the rpms came back down, it would stall, with no response from pumping the gas. This seems to point me in the direction of a fuel issue, although the fuel pump is new as of last year. I'm thinking of just replacing it again myself, or at least tracing down some of the fuel lines to make sure there are no pinches?


The car doesn't have much worth as it is, so I'd hate to go down an expensive wild goose chase with mechanics. The shop doesn't want to deal with it because, of course, it never stalls when they drive it...


I've been downgraded to my bike since my wife has to commute, and the upcoming Oregon rainy season is putting the pressure on. Any help is appreciated!


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99% positive it's the MAF sensor. A solder joint in the sensor cracks and causes an intermittent signal loss. When the ECU loses MAF signal the engine stalls. Most of the time it starts right back up like nothing happened, and it won't set a code.


The rough idle is normal when the engine is started with the MAF unplugged. The ECU defaults to a "limp mode" which will allow the engine to at least run, though it may not run well.


Change the MAF with a used one. A pick-u-pull yard won't charge more than $25-30 for one.

Check car-part.com for other junkyards near you that pull the parts for you. Might cost a bit more, but still better than several hundred $$$ for a new one.

Post in the classifieds here if you can't find one nearby. People always have a dead car from that era they're parting out.

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