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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All, hoping for some advice from you all or hoping that someone has experienced what I have and has some solutions. Sorry for the long post.
So a few weeks ago the outback (2008) CEL came on. Car was running fine with no major issues. I noticed some decreased fuel economy but that is about it.
I take it over to my local parts store and get the codes it threw (P0137, P0140, P2096). All having to do with 02 sensors (although I have not had any luck in finding exactly what those codes are again online). Anyway after reading some advice online I cleared the codes to see what would pop back up first to narrow down exactly what needed to be done. This is where my problem started.
I cleared the codes, and immediately started having problems, but the CEL is not coming on again. It seems to idle ok at about 1100 rpm when I first start it but in gear or reverse the rpm drops to barely not stalling (like 200rpm) and when rolling in gear it is struggling to not stall out. When I turn the wheel in reverse or add any resistance it immediately stalls out. Also will stall out when coming to a stop or if I let the car roll forward with the wheel turned. Once I am up and moving it has good power and feels fine, but my MPGs have plummeted. I drove it for about 10 miles around the city, and per my dash readout I was getting about 12mpg.
Curious if anyone else has experienced this as I'm seeing a lot of different things online. I would like to avoid throwing parts at it (upstream O2, Downstream 02, idel air motor are all potential suspects) or take to a shop where I am sure they'll tell me I need a new cat, exaust, upstream O2, downstream O2, idle air motor, and that they'll happily do the work for a mere $2,000.
Any help is appreciated. Including recommendations for a mechanic/shop in Seattle
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Engine is H4 naturally aspirated. There is about 128k on the car. I bought the car with about 97k on it and don't know if/when the O2 sensors were done. I blew a motor (due to road damage on my oil pan) at 99k and had a rebuilt motor put in. I am guessing that the upstream O2 was likely done then. The rear could be original for all I know. My instinct is to do the rear O2 sensor and see what happens, but I am not sure the rear O2 sensor would change the air/fuel mixture that much to create a big drive-ability issue like I am getting, and I am trying to avoid just throwing parts at the problem. My other concern is that if the problem really was my rear O2 sensor, why am I not throwing the code again?
 

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I'd say you've probably got air leaks somewhere. Broken vacuum line or similar.

Clearing the codes can cause the car to run rough while it relearns the fuel trims, but if there's other issues, it might not learn them correctly. It takes 3 drive cycles for the computer to relearn I believe. The O2 sensors can and do go bad, but often there's underlying issues. And they're too expensive to just throw at a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also I did not know about the code reader on the car. I took it to a car parts store and used their plug in computer. The car currently has no CEL on and is not throwing codes. I can try the above steps to see if they will show up again but the only light on my dash is my airbag light which has been on for sometime. I am aware that this probably means that my airbag will not deploy in a head on crash and I am aware I am probably being a dumbass by not getting it to the dealership to look at that. One problem at a time.
 

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Also I did not know about the code reader on the car. I took it to a car parts store and used their plug in computer. The car currently has no CEL on and is not throwing codes. I can try the above steps to see if they will show up again but the only light on my dash is my airbag light which has been on for sometime. I am aware that this probably means that my airbag will not deploy in a head on crash and I am aware I am probably being a dumbass by not getting it to the dealership to look at that. One problem at a time.
its not necessarily a front airbag,

the inboard code reader can read that and give you a code to look up which one too, (like might be a loose wire to another airbag,...but the regular frontal ones should still work).

although I am pretty sure your 2008 will be on the takata airbag recall list anyway.

_______

but back to your codes,...you got a odd mix there. but I would not be out to change a cat at this point.

I wonder if you have some wire damage down there from the old wreck with the oil pan and they are just starting to corrode or lose signal.

@plain OM has a car like yours and may have a constructive opinion .
 

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The P0137 and P0140 codes are for the rear O2 sensor -- low voltage/inactivity. When these codes are set, the fuel trim feedback from the rear O2 sensor is disabled. The P2096, improper sub-feedback level, is probably an outcome of the disabled feedback.

Rear O2 sensor might be contaminated, or just "old" and not responding. (http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...5i-engima-misfire-rough-idle.html#post3512601 is about a 2005 with misfires, apparently caused by a bad rear O2 sensor that wasn't responding.)

As noted, when the codes are cleared, so are the ECM's "learned" adjustments to the engine management system. It take some time to relearn. There's a thread here detailing one procedure that involves clearing the codes, then starting the car and letting it idle on its own, nothing else running (e.g. A/C) and no touching of the accelerator pedal. After some time (I don't recall just now) the system should adjust and idle will be restored.

Also, the airbag light could be bad solder joints in the overhead airbag/seatbelt warning light panel. Very common in the 2005-9. See http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/42574-2006-obw-airbag-light-my-fix.html . Might want to check this out first.
 
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