carmudgeons.com  

Go Back   carmudgeons.com > Automotive Forums > Technical Superiority

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-02-2018, 03:47 PM   #1
clyde
Chief title editor
 
clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22,872
Outback out

2013 Outback

Running fine until it wasn't yesterday. Wife texts me midday that it's hard to start, idles rough when it does and nearly stalls when leaving from a stop. Runs fine at speed. Hard start = cranking fine, just not catching for a while. Quick internet search finds a common Subaru issue with forgetting how to idle with a 45 minute process to get it to relearn. She doesn't have time for that.

Later, check engine and other dash lights go on and car starts to run slightly better. Quick internet search says gas cap. She put gas in the previous night. She checks cap and says its fine. I tell her to disconnect battery for a few moments when she can. She does that later after getting back to the house. Next start was harder than before and she couldn't get out of the driveway without stalling.

I got home and tried to start it. Cranked fine but wouldn't catch. Almost, but not quite. Tried again and after a few seconds it sounded like it was almost catching, I gave it gas and it started. Idled rough. Shut it off and ran through the 45 minute procedure (disconnect battery for 30m, idle for 10, turn off, idle for 5 more). To get it to start, I had to give it gas. You're not supposed to touch the accelerator during the procedure, so that may have kept from being able to do its thing. When idling, it felt like in a cammed 60s muscle car with a lopey idle with a lot of low amplitude vibrations, but unlike them, it's not supposed to do that.

Towed car to the shop that fixed the car both times it was wrecked (they do both body and service) this morning. They haven't figured it out yet (they've had it about 5 hours). They asked if we'd had any significant work done recently, which it hasn't. It's not throwing any codes. Battery's fine and it's charging okay.

This is what I'm thinking: sensor (cam, crankshaft position, etc), ECU, something in the fuel delivery system, or simply bad gas (she was 35-40 miles into the new tank of gas). Maybe some kind of blockage in air intake?

Any other thoughts?
__________________
OH NOES!!!!!1 MY CAR HAS T3H UND3R5T33R5555!!!!!!1oneone!!!!11

Team WTF?!
What are you gonna do?
clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
rumatt
Mugwump
 
rumatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: E46 330i, E91 325xi, Chevy Colorado, Cayman R
Location: NY
Posts: 16,553
Ugh. What a pain.

I thought Subarus were supposed to just work.
rumatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 03:55 PM   #3
ff
.
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,861
Sort of does sound like bad gas, especially given the timing. If it was a sensor, wouldn't it be throwing a code?
ff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 04:55 PM   #4
wdc330i
dogged
 
wdc330i's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: '17 M240i; '17 718 Boxster S; '16 X5 50i MSport
Posts: 6,819
No chance she put diesel in the car?
wdc330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 05:08 PM   #5
clyde
Chief title editor
 
clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdc330i View Post
No chance she put diesel in the car?
Shouldnt fit
__________________
OH NOES!!!!!1 MY CAR HAS T3H UND3R5T33R5555!!!!!!1oneone!!!!11

Team WTF?!
What are you gonna do?
clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 05:16 PM   #6
John V
No more BMWs
 
John V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: 987S, Ram, MS3, CX-5, RX-8
Location: Glenwood, MD
Posts: 12,357
It will eventually register a misfire code if it's idling that badly. It should have stored codes in it (CEL came on) even though you disconnected the battery. I'm not understanding why it doesn't.

It sounds like a bad crank sensor to me. Bad cam sensors will usually cause hard starting but once the engine figures out where TDC is it should ignore the cam sensor for the most part.

Drive it around until it throws a code. It might take ten miles or so.

Odd similar story. When I was working on Matt's 330i, the first drive after I had done all the work on it went fairly badly. It had a bad misfire, and it wouldn't throw a code. I pulled all the plugs and they looked fine. I pulled all the coil packs and they looked fine and ohmed out okay. Eventually it threw a CEL for cylinder 4 misfiring but I had to drive it for 5-6 miles. It turned out that hole had a bad spark plug (brand new!), the ceramic insulator had a tiny hairline crack in it.
John V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 05:58 PM   #7
clyde
Chief title editor
 
clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V View Post
It will eventually register a misfire code if it's idling that badly. It should have stored codes in it (CEL came on) even though you disconnected the battery. I'm not understanding why it doesn't.

It sounds like a bad crank sensor to me. Bad cam sensors will usually cause hard starting but once the engine figures out where TDC is it should ignore the cam sensor for the most part.

Drive it around until it throws a code. It might take ten miles or so.

Odd similar story. When I was working on Matt's 330i, the first drive after I had done all the work on it went fairly badly. It had a bad misfire, and it wouldn't throw a code. I pulled all the plugs and they looked fine. I pulled all the coil packs and they looked fine and ohmed out okay. Eventually it threw a CEL for cylinder 4 misfiring but I had to drive it for 5-6 miles. It turned out that hole had a bad spark plug (brand new!), the ceramic insulator had a tiny hairline crack in it.
The point of taking it to shop was to get it fixed quick. If I knew they wouldn't have it diagnosed by COB, I would have kept it and bought a crank position sensor and (based on above reminding me it's time for plugs anyway,) new plugs this evening and seen if that worked. If not, tried whatever else simple I could do over weekend and tow it Monday if it still wasn't working.

Now she's getting worried about what she's going to do Monday with a bunch of places she needs to drive to. Hmm, I have the fuel pump I think the Miata needs. It's only been sitting for five years. It couldn't possibly need anything else, could it?
__________________
OH NOES!!!!!1 MY CAR HAS T3H UND3R5T33R5555!!!!!!1oneone!!!!11

Team WTF?!
What are you gonna do?
clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 06:10 PM   #8
equ
Alphanumeric
 
equ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: 981S, 535i, macanurbo
Posts: 7,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
Ugh. What a pain.

I thought Subarus were supposed to just work.
In two decades, subaru is the only brand we lost an engine on. At 7xxxx miles.
equ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2018, 10:07 PM   #9
John V
No more BMWs
 
John V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: 987S, Ram, MS3, CX-5, RX-8
Location: Glenwood, MD
Posts: 12,357
My aunt lost an engine in her forester. So did a co worker.
John V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2018, 07:30 AM   #10
Josh (PA)
Hello.
 
Josh (PA)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Carmudgeonly Ride: '03 325xiT, '11 135i C, '13 X5 n55
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 3,090
Edit for wrong thread

My Dad had his oil drain out of his old subie hatchback in the late 80s. The pressure sensor failed so he never got a warning light. The engine lasted about 15miles
__________________
Josh (PA) -
'11 135i convertible
'13 X5 n55
'03 325 wagon

Last edited by Josh (PA); 03-03-2018 at 09:20 AM.
Josh (PA) is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Outback impressions clyde Car Talk 15 09-02-2013 12:12 PM
Legacy or Outback? Jason C Car Talk 16 05-09-2005 09:02 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Forums 2003-2008, 'Mudgeon Enterprises - Site hosting by AYN & Associates, LLC