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Subaru 2.2 choking during acceleration and bucking during braking

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I bought a 2.2 L manual 1996 subaru legacy outback last year. It consumed a lot of oil and puffed a little blue smoke coming down steep roads or hills. I flushed the rdiator when I got it, oil and filter change, brake change, valve cover and seal change, air filter.


drove it for about 2 months when it started to hard idle. Noticed if i was coming to a stop in any gear other than first it would die, and I could keep it from dying by pushing in the clutch almost from deceleration, even if going 30mph.  The hard idle became a bucking when slowing down and at times when speeding up.

changed the 02 sensors. nothing

opened up the cat to find it had melted into a block and was clogging the muffler.

a relative broke most of it out  in the cat but didnt clean out the muffler further back.

hooked up to to read the codes and got:

p0500 vehicle speed sensor (speedometer doesn't work)

p0201 injector circuit cylinder 1

p595 iac system

p0301 cylinder misfire


un hooked the iac and it instantly breathed better

it is still not connected


still uses a lot of oil

now puffs out blue smoke at high rpms other than 5th gear and occasionally at start up.


car is choking on itself really bad I have looked up so much stuff online and am at a lost.

Any help would be very much appreciated 

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I've had at least 2 cats do that over the years in Fords. Seemed to be connected to octane boosters and possibly adding too much for the gas present in tank i.e. the ratio was wrong and it got too hot or screwed the mixture up.


I'm surprised being cat-less isn't throwing it's own codes.


You need to cut the pipe before the muffler, and remove muffler. Set it on end, and knock the loose honeycomb out. As long as it's in the muffler, it can clog it and block flow. Hopefully it didn't get shot back and wedged into an opening. Go to AZ and buy a coupler that'll slip over both ends where you made the cut and 2 " U " bolts and tighten away.


Sound like you might have oil pooling in the brake booster canister. If oil gets pulled up and into the hose, it'll settle in the bottom and can get introduced into the intake. Could also be bad valve seals, broken piston ring, etc.


My 95' Legacy unfortunately has a metal 90 degree nipple on the booster canister, unlike say Ford that has a rubber grommet and a 90 degree check valve instead. The nipple makes looking into the canister a pain. If you have some speaker wire or similar, remove the big vacuum hose going to the booster. Clean the speaker wire (no dirt or grime on it) and carefully feed it through the 90 degree elbow, bending the wire as needed so it'll travel down to the bottom of the vacuum canister (bottom being front and closest to ground at 6 o'clock). Then quickly pull wire out and inspect for oil on the surface (like a dip stick would have). It's easy enough to check and rule out.


Dunno if yours has a PCV valve or not. If those clog or get bad, they can pull oil into the intake eventually too.


Should perform a compression test to see if rings are bad or not.


Have you checked the sparked plugs lately? Are they new or very old? Are all black and wet? Or just 1 or a couple wet? 


Good news is even if the engine is shot, they are very cheap to source used and easy enough to replace. If the block is OK but heads aren't, they are super easy to swap out and very cheap to source as well. 


The misfire could be a bad O2, bad spark plug, bad plug wires, failing ignition coil, CPS, etc. You might have a clogged injector too.


If the battery hasn't been disconnected in years, those codes might be old. I suggest disconnecting the neg - battery terminal, wait 30 seconds, reconnect, run car, and get new codes pulled. Those will at least be accurate. 


Also, sounds like a bunch of things are out of order. I suggest fixing everything related to engine and exhaust/emissions if you are serious about keeping the car running.

Edited by Bushwick
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