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Old 01-13-2011, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Dead subaru???

ive been having a random low idle and ocasionally stalling problem on my 98 subaru legacy outback with the 2.5 manual tranny when coming to stop signs. the codes i pulled from the computer are
P1507- Idle Air System Malfunction (fail-safe)
p1540 - Vehicle speed sensor malfunction
p0500 - Vehicle speed sensor 2 malfunction
p0400 - EGR Malfunction code

i have been driving it for a couple weeks now and the problem got worse with the stalling.. but the car always fired right back up and ran good with no hesitations. however, recently i tried starting my car and when i turned the key nothing happened... the battery is good and so is the alternator. after i tried turning the key a couple of times i gave up and i heard a relay clicking really fast under the dash while i wasnt even trying to start the car. i tried starting it one more time and the fuel gauge pegged on zero and the temperature gauge pegged to the max and it still didnt start. i took the keys out of the ignition and the check engine light, airbag light, and oil light stayed on. so i disconnected the battery and tried it 15 minute later and still nothing. all the dash warning lights stay on too...
it all started after my old alternator went bad and i replaced it with a new one. it sounds to me like i have a major short somewhere that is confusing the car to death.
does anyone know whats going on?? please let me know. any comments would be greatly appreciated.
thanks,
john
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a 98, and one night the alternator went as I was driving. I decided to continue to my destination on battery power. As the voltage dropped, various gauges on my panel went bonkers. As I arrived at the hotel, the voltage had dropped further and I started getting bogus warning lamps as well as weird gauge activity.

Are you sure the new alt is good? has that battery recovered enough of a charge from the previous incident? Bad ground fitting somewhere?

Mine also threw the p0400 at different times. It never seemed to affect performance. It legitimately was a cracked fitting for the vacuum control lines on the EGR actuator, and once I got around to swapping it the problem stayed fixed.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Always look for a common denominator for things like this, start with the grounds.

i will be away for the weekend so i cannot follow this up till tuesday
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thank you for the comments, i replaced the battery and the alternator at the same time and i also tested the new alternator and it tested good. seems like everything is pointing to a bad ground so ill start looking at it over the weekend. thanks for all your help ill try to keep you updated over the weekend. this is the first time the car has ever left me stranded and it has 190k on it..
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cleaned all ground connections, it started up and ran for a couple days but it won't start again. When I turn the key to the run position the normal pre-starting lights do not come on but when the key is out of the ignition after trying to start it the brake light and engine oil light are on very dim until I disconnect the battery. I put the car into reverse without even trying to start the car and it instantly spiked my temp gauge and the engine made a weird electrical noise. I heard a whirring coming from under the hood And I smelled gas so I disconnected the battery and left it
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When our speed sensor failed in the vw we had the same exact issues. It would start fine when cold and run fine till it warmed up then it would stall and the first stall would take some cranking but it would eventually start. The next stall would come sooner and it would not start after that.

The stealership was able to sort it out in about 35 min of diagnosis work.

Sounds exactly like your issue
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think i found the problem.. The ground bolt to the engine block had been cross threaded when they pulled the engine out for a head gasket fix.. The bolt was causing arcing and all sorts of other weird stuff to happen. Thank you everyone for your help. I will let you know if this fixed the problem for good
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Problem fixed.. When the mechanic put the motor back in from doing head gasket work on it he cross threaded the ground bolt on the engine. bolt is replaced and it is running great now
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