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2k OB Ltd Cylinder Misfire Issue

2276 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DavidPeab
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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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.
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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