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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I drove my fiancee's 03 I-OBS to work today after she told me she had some issues starting it last night. She said it wouldn't turn over for 4-5 times, then did, then it died... So this morning (cold start) the car turns over just fine, the revs climb up to about 1500-2000, then suddenly drop to around 300, and around the same time, I see the "AT OIL TEMP" light come on. The car didn't die like it did last night, but I'm wondering what could be throwing the light-- a faulty sensor? What could be the issue with starting the car and the revs falling? I'll check the battery tonight, but do you think the injectors could be clogged up? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Car is 4EAT, 90k, 2003 Impreza Outback Sport, and kind of sounds like a tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
do you think the car failed to crank when she says this? or, it cranked but failed to start?
I've driven her car before, and it cranks but it fails to start. Sometimes it will start and then suddenly die without the AT light coming on too. She has mentioned her CEL turning on, but then quickly disappearing. I've plugged in my ScanGauge and it can't find any codes- we're kind of at a loss.

I just ordered a ATF temp sensor from the local dealer, and this weekend I'm going to change spark plugs, ATF, and run some SeaFoam through the vacuum lines to clear out anything that may be clogging the injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ahh thanks- I never thought of that one, but now that you mention it I had to do the same thing with my motorcycle last spring
 

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do you have a CEL? or trouble code? there are some engine issues that will cause a AT Temp light to flash at start up. MAF, TPS are a couple but there are others. the AT light may be separate but i kind of doubt it.

it sounds like you have a vac leak.
look for a disconnected vac hose, maybe a large one going to the plastic air intake. look for bad wire connectors too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Occasionally within a few seconds of starting up the car, the CEL will flash, but if I plug in the ScanGauge, there's nothing.

I'll also take a look this weekend for loose hoses or bad connections.
 

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Definitely check the battery. I get a lot of Subarus, and other manufacturers, with a bad battery or loose/corroded ground causing issues with starting, idling or just engine or transmission performance.

If the battery amperage output is low, there wouldn't be enough to operate the programming and control circuits in the engine and transmission systems which would cause all kinds of problems. Low amperage in means low amperage out which effects the sensor output to the ECM. So think of it like a laptop with a low battery. It runs real slow and lacking proper current flow something will shut down.

As for the Sea Foam in the vacuum line: This won't clean the injectors. It will break up the oil particulates in the intake, on the valves and within the combustion chamber. If you want the injectors cleaned, pour a full 12 oz bottle in with a full tank of gas. By the time 1/2 the tank runs through, the injectors will spray better.
 
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