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Discussion Starter #1
Well, possible cylinder misfire issue. 200 Outback Limited, 2nd owner, currently has 170k. 1st owner kept up with maintenance very well, we have put about 25k since we bought it. I began noticing a misfire a few months ago. Seemed like it happened mostly at highway speeds when trying to accelerate, say for a pass or after deceleration due to random idiot conditions. CEL was on, was getting a random misfire code so I replaced the plugs, wires and valve cover & plug hole gaskets as they were leaking oil into the plug holes. I used aftermarket wires from the local parts shop. Problem almost went away, definitely improved, but over a few weeks it came back. I just replaced the plug wires again with Subaru parts and again the situation improved but didn't completely go away. However now it seems like it happens at lower speeds/RPMs rather than highway speeds. How robust is the coil in this car? It is the next part on the "Misfire diagnostic" list. Just looking for some feedback on potential/known alternate problems I might be facing.
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Injector cleaner? I had a misfire below 1k RPM in a Ford Ranger. A bottle of fuel injector cleaner every 6 months kept the light off for years until I sold it. I was surprised it worked, but it did. I suspect it was carbon build up in the cylinder causing pre-ignition.

Tom
 

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When you say a random misfire code, do you mean the you got misfires on different cylinders at different times ?

Did you feel the car acting strange when you were getting the codes ? or was it just coding ?

Could be inj acting up, knock sensor, heat related coil issue, valves out of adjustment, low fuel pressure, cam or crank sensor giving bad info.

If you're suspecting the coil, check for cracks in the housing and carbon trails on the intake [arc burn]. Try misting the coil with water at night with the engine running, look for blue arcs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It has been a while since I had the codes checked, so after replacing the wires I took it back to the local auto parts shop. I am still getting the p0420 cat efficiency code which makes sense since I have't done anything about it, but now I am getting a knock sensor code. No misfire codes anymore. Gonna run some injector cleaner through it and see if that clears it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As an update, I put in the injector cleaner on an empty tank, filled er up and have put about 80 miles on it since. It has been all mid speed surface street driving and I have noticed that it doesn't have the stumbles like it used to. I am about to run back to Texas from Florida tomorrow in this car so I should have a better analysis if any improvement was made. Who knows, maybe I won't need a new coil and can spend the money replacing the bad drivers door speaker instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, we managed to run a full tank of gas through the car with the fuel additive/injector cleaner and I will say that it made a huge difference. And then we hit a deer. Out in the middle of nowhere, we limped to a gas station about five miles from the impact where the car died in a plume of white smoke. Its probably a total loss, I am still waiting to hear from the repair shop.


 

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Sorry to hear that! Hopefully they won't write it off, the damage isn't too terrible (I hope...) and that's a great looking wagon!
 

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Sorry to hear that! Hopefully they won't write it off, the damage isn't too terrible (I hope...) and that's a great looking wagon!
Body damage is minimal, hood and bumper. The problem is the radiator was ruptured and pushed into the alternator and belt pulley on the front of the engine. Since it was the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't going to stop on the side of the road (unlit country highway) just to save the engine and risk getting struck by a passing vehicle. Tough decision but safety comes first. This was my first subby and I really loved it. We got a great deal when we bought it and I even enjoyed working on it (especially compared to working on my daughter's VW) so to lose it sucks big time.
 

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Body damage is minimal, hood and bumper. The problem is the radiator was ruptured and pushed into the alternator and belt pulley on the front of the engine. Since it was the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, I wasn't going to stop on the side of the road (unlit country highway) just to save the engine and risk getting struck by a passing vehicle. Tough decision but safety comes first. This was my first subby and I really loved it. We got a great deal when we bought it and I even enjoyed working on it (especially compared to working on my daughter's VW) so to lose it sucks big time.
I'm assuming you over-heated the engine as a result? From what I understand, the heads on these vehicles are less prone to warpage than some other engine types. I don't know how intensive the work you did on this car was, but I feel that popping the heads off and having them checked with a machinist's straight-edge wouldn't be too much work! Even then, heads from a junkyard and a new head-gasket set wouldn't be breaking the bank for most, so depending on what insurance says you might be able to keep this car.

Whatever happens and whatever you decide to do, good luck with it!

P.S.: I hate working on VW's, too. A friend has a '97 Jetta that's a real pig.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I am still waiting for the estimate. I can put $2k, maybe $2.5k into it but beyond that I don't know that I could stomach it. It has 180,000 miles on it so it has lived a full life regardless. Liability insurance won't cover it, unfortunately.
 

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My heart breaks for you man. I have the identical model and color as yours, including the modified front right quarter panel my sister-in-law left me as a gift. Too bad the deer didn't hit the other side, I'd a bought the passenger side panel from you. lol Seriously though, you should consider selling it as a parts car or parting it out.

Glad to hear everyone is physically OK. I imagine hitting a deer messes with your head though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, got the estimate back from the shop. $3800 to fix it all, looks like she's going to the great parts bin in the sky...
 

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I don't want to be morbid while you are still mourning your loss, but did the power steering pump survive? I just discovered that mine is on its way out. I'd be willing to provide you with the satisfaction that your loss is helping another OB to survive. Oh, and some cash as well. lol
 

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I don't want to be morbid while you are still mourning your loss, but did the power steering pump survive? I just discovered that mine is on its way out. I'd be willing to provide you with the satisfaction that your loss is helping another OB to survive. Oh, and some cash as well. lol
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no, the power steering pump was one of the organs which did not come out usable. However the shop is investigating the condition of the remainder of the engine to see if it has any salvage value.
 
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