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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
hoping someone out there may be familiar with this problem...


Recently, the Outback (MY17 2.5i Premium CVT Auto with 4000 miles) travelling at high speed lost all power and eventually rolled to a complete stop. Wouldnt start again for 10 minutes. Very unnerving with the family aboard and a line of semi's to get back through. The dash said 'Eyesight Malfunction' or something similar.


Got it towed to nearest Subaru Service, they plugged it in, but they could find no record of what occurred let alone the cause of it, and have just given it back to me.


Have no desire to travel in the car again.


Any idea what caused this?


Many thanks anyone that can help.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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"Lost all power" means what exactly?

- no throttle response but engine was still running (doubt that's what you meant)
- engine only dead, electrical power stayed live
- engine plus all electrical devices dead

I presume your premium model doesn't have a pushbutton start / keyless access; if engine plus all electrical devices went dead, it may just be a faulty ignition switch contact.

Since they gave you the car back and you're not happy with the situation, register the issue with Subaru of America, just to get it on the record.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi johnre,

what happened was throttle went dead (at 55 mph), engine remained on for a short time but would not rev, then faded completely. Electrical power remained, eg dash readout , hazard lights. It was like running out of fuel, without the spluttering (but, of course, there was fuel).

The car does have pushbutton start/ keyless access. When restart tried, dash lights etc on, but not engine response. Ten minutes later, started normally and drove normally.

Thanks
 

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Did you over heat it? How umm high speed we talking here? Fuel pressure/ pump issues under high fuel consumption conditions can cause exactly this type of power loss engine will drop to idle and stall. It could be power to the fuel pump, could be a pressure leak causing fuel pressure loss under high load. Etc.

I understand the concern but I find it interesting that people get freaked out about cars stalling. It wasn’t long ago that stalling engines was really common and it was never really a big problem given drivers knew what to do. Today I see people get a flat on a narrow highway bridge they literally will stop in the middle of the highway!!! The concept of getting clear of moving vehicles seems to escape most drivers today.

I think (high speed) needs to be defined here as it could shed some light on the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi subiesailor,


as mentioned, was travelling at around 55 mph, doing a lot of truck overtaking on a dual carriage motorway in Australia. Engine temp was at just over half as per normal.



The difficulty with losing power at 55 when you have just overtaken a line of trucks, is getting back thru them to the (very narrow) verge with no power.



What you mentioned about fuel starvation was interesting because that was the first thing that came to mind. If it was the case though, I would expect that it would be a relatively common and not isolated incident for late model Outbacks. Which is why I wrote in to the forum.


Thanks
 

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it depends where you at, but if you took it to the dealer and they cant fix it or wrote no problem found, keep the record want for 2 more times for the same exact thing, and you lemon law will applied, at least if you were in california.
so for your case i would drive it even more not to be afraid of, again at least if you are californian with california license plate.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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it depends where you at, but if you took it to the dealer and they cant fix it or wrote no problem found, keep the record want for 2 more times for the same exact thing, and you lemon law will applied, at least if you were in california.
so for your case i would drive it even more not to be afraid of, again at least if you are californian with california license plate.
He's in Australia. No idea if they have any sort or lemon law there.
 

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2016 2.5i Outback, 2002 Audi S4 Avant, 1980 CB750F Supersport, 1985 Carrera 3.2
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Firstly, check for any stored fault codes. If I remember correctly, someone had a similar issue with their 2.5 and were getting evap emissions codes (fuel ventilation), possibly related to the purge valve. The dealer was quite moronic, replacing MAF sensors and air filters before giving them a new vehicle. But the symptoms sounded similar.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited, all dressed
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It kind of depends on how the car ran after it started again 10 minutes later. With a clogged fuel filter, it will keep dying from fuel exhaustion.
I picked up some dirty gas somewhere years ago in my 1995 Villager van. The vehicle stalled out and similarly to the OP, wouldn’t start for 10 minutes or so after which it did. It ran quite happily for several thousand miles until I refilled the tank and the darned thing wouldn’t start at all. It turned out the prefilter in the tank was clogged and seized up the pump unit..

My assumption was the first time, the dirt fell off the filter back into the bottom the the fuel tank. My final refill stirred the mess again up and into and completely clogging the filter - and burning out the motor as the pump depends upon fuel for lubrication and cooling.

The final fine filter before the injectors had only the normal accumulation and remained serviceable.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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From the symptoms described, it sounds like fuel starvation. Perhaps it's caused by the fuel return line or evaporative emissions system (and I'm not familiar with the Australian models so I'm guessing here) - if partially blocked or plugged, the fuel pump might be attempting to draw fuel from the tank against a partial vacuum, and can't do so at higher delivery rates. Waiting the 10 minutes resulted in the negative pressure normalizing and the fuel pump was able to draw again.

If it reoccurs, it could be tested by first verifying the no start condition, then opening the fuel tank and listening for any air movement, then seeing if it will start right away.
 

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Hi johnre,

what happened was throttle went dead (at 55 mph), engine remained on for a short time but would not rev, then faded completely. Electrical power remained, eg dash readout , hazard lights. It was like running out of fuel, without the spluttering (but, of course, there was fuel).

The car does have pushbutton start/ keyless access. When restart tried, dash lights etc on, but not engine response. Ten minutes later, started normally and drove normally.

Thanks
I have a MY17 and this same exact thing happen to me but I was going around 10mph in adaptive cruise control mode. Car in front of me slowed down to take a turn and so did mine as usual but as the road cleared the outback would not move forward and all the lights came on/gas pedal didn't work. I had to stop and restart the engine and was fine afterwards. I didn't think too much of it because my fuel level was pretty low but the engine did restart and I had another 1-2 gallons in there.
 

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I have a MY17 and this same exact thing happen to me but I was going around 10mph in adaptive cruise control mode. Car in front of me slowed down to take a turn and so did mine as usual but as the road cleared the outback would not move forward and all the lights came on/gas pedal didn't work. I had to stop and restart the engine and was fine afterwards. I didn't think too much of it because my fuel level was pretty low but the engine did restart and I had another 1-2 gallons in there.
In your case you ran out of gas. Similar threads in the Ascent forum also. Subarus are awd the fuel tanks have a hump where the rear drive line passes. Subarus actually have a transfer system that pulls fuel from the opposite side of the hump. 1-2 gallons of fuel you were basically empty slosh it around and the system will suck air. Drive up a steep road you stall etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks johnre,

I think your suggestion is most plausible. The engine was working hard for a couple of hours; high speed, overtaking, lots of hills, so fuel starvation would seem possible and actually probably better than it being some electronic problem. Was also travelling thru 'the Outback' in the Outback, so dirty fuel also a definite possibility.

Thanks for your time and input; I feel more comfortable suspecting a fuel issue than something else tech-related and unknown.

Cheers
 
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