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My sister has been having occasional starting and loss of power issues.  Codes at Auto Zone were #420 and 335; crankshaft position and Cat converter issue.  Vehicle was going into flashing CEL after starting up and going up a hill within a couple minutes, you'd have to pull over and let it sit for a few minutes then it would run fine.  I ran it for an hour and a half with no problems today.  My sister drives like the proverbial old grandma.

Edited by ThosL

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You should always post your car year, engine, and mileage.

 

I'm sure that you get a ton of answers.  But for me, the first thing I would do is make sure that the plug on the crank sensor is solid and no apparent problem on the wiring, and, second, go get a replacement crank position sensor.  Even a used one would be fine if you are close to a junk yard. 

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so many things can cause a Po420, it often isn't the cat (though cats can of course be bad, just don't replace it without sure knowledge that is the bad part)

 

in addition to confirming a secure connection as mentioned above, general ground connections should checked and refreshed.

 

the CPS is located at the center of the front of the engine above the crank pulley. One bolt holds it in. They can fail when warm on older cars, I read once of a flaky one working after cleaning debris off of it. Replacements are not terribly expensive.

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Wires are a year or so old, plugs may be several years old.  Sister has been a sucker for shops pushing work on her. A number of shops tried to diagnose the power loss/CEL problem, without luck a while back and she gave up.

Edited by ThosL

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I have spare sensors I can send you for the costs of shipping.  

 

Make sure the plugs are NGK copper core and the plug wires are Subaru or NGK.

 

Have her find a good Subaru Only shop and have her take her car there for all maintenance.  Yes oil changes will costs a little more but they will know the car and not sell her things she does not need.

 

Just my thoughts.

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Thanks for the kind offer, pm sent.  

 

On Subaru only, the local dealer charges $150 minimum just for a diagnosis.  

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Yes, the dealership has to charge for the building, heat and ights, administration personal, snow removal, etc, etc.  That's why it pays to read out the codes and do the easy stuff yourself.  Replacing the crank sensor is the easy stuff.

 

Unfortunately, if there is no definitive code, and you take it to the dealer, they can't figure out the problem and they just replace something that may be involved in the problem, but usually not.

 

Also, that's why these forums are here.

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I think the suggestion was related to finding a soob-centric independent mechanic.

 

based on other postings, pretty sure ThosL has exhausted that search, but, if someone knows of a shop near him please post it up!

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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It's an expensive area, there are decent places for diagnostics but the sister hasn't found the problem in a number of searches.  There are some excellent and reasonable mechanics out of lower Fairfield County.  Generally you have to have an idea of what the problem is so you can get good estimates, most shops try not to give free estimates.  

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The starter was replaced, I don't really know what the core issue was, just got the codes.  My sister is disabled so I don't know what the cause is really. My feeling with crazy people like her, excuse my patience wearing thin, is they make problem out of good cars.  I ran that car 150 plus miles in a couple days and it gives the best ride of any Subaru.  I'll try to change out the crankshaft sensor see if that makes any difference.  

Edited by ThosL

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No start

Crank sensor code

They’re a dime a dozen for used ones

They require one bolt to replace

 

This is about as easy as they come.

 

1. Buy a used crank sensor or eBay special for pocket change.

 

2. hand it to someone who can remove one bolt.

 

Done.

 

Sometimes these do seize in the bore, just bust the old one to pieces and rip it out. Either way it’s one bolt and not hard.

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Ideally pull timing covers and verify timing isn’t off but if she can’t find reasonable assistance that’s going to be hard.

 

At a minimum you can remove the two side timing covers - that’s only 6 10mm bolts and takes 5-10 minutes, that’s it.

 

Turn engine with 22mm wrench and line up flexplate or flywheel marks and verify cam marks are also properly aligned.

 

Takes 15 minutes.

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I got them today, and installed one, only problem is I wasn't able to get the electrical connector out without the two wires pulling out. I did my best to put them back in with the unit firmly bolted in.  Not sure how long that gerry rig will hold.

 

CEL was still coming up after pulling off the pos. cable on the battery.  Car is driving well, it was cutting off periodically before I put this in. I will let my sister use my Subaru as I try to see if there are still problems on her 96.  

Edited by ThosL
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Putting it in ended the nightmare of the car losing power suddenly, cel flashing, car not starting.  Simple problem, probably the starter replacement was unnecessary.  A number of mechanics tried to diagnose the same problem without luck for years.  I will try to have Longos go over it later, they had a family emergency, so have been closed for a couple weeks. 

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I did accidentally pull out the metal contacts out of the harness and put them back in, not really secure. I will have to address that later.

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