Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
Car: 98 Outback Limited, 2.5 H4, automatic AWD
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
98 Outback 2.5 - erratic fuel pressure
I have a 98 Outback with a 2.5L, automatic trans. I am getting good fuel pressure on my pressure gauge when the key is turned on, but once the car is started (hard to get started and won't run above 1200 RPM), the pressure reading drops to zero, but once the engine stops, the pressure goes back up and holds for quite a while with the fuel pump off.
I have looked at the fuel pressure regulator and don't see any signs of fuel at the vacuum line and the vacuum seems to work OK and holds pressure. I have checked the fuel filter and it is clear.
I am looking for ideas on what to check next. In an effort not to leave anything out; I have to give a little background on what happened recently, my kid was driving the car, slid on wet pavement and hit a curb with the passenger side rear wheel and the car flipped on the passenger side (very little cosmetic damage). He called his friends, they came in about ten minutes and flipped the car back on its wheels, they then changed the rear tire (broken wheel) and started it up and drove it to his friends house a couple of blocks away. The car ran fine. I had the car flat bedded to my house a bit later, the tow truck driver started the car, repositioned it and then delivered it to my house. When we took it off the truck (driveway has a pretty steep slope), the engine was pointing downhill. When I tried to start the engine to put the car in the garage, this is when the problem started and I couldn't get it above 1200 RPM without it dying, by the way, it won't idle either.
Sounds like a pressure regulator, but I don't have a lot of money to throw around right now (out of work) and don't want to replace unnecessary parts. Any feedback you can give on what else to look for will be greatly appreciated.