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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
The car: 2001 Subaru Outback Wagon Limited (4-speed auto) with 213,300 miles. I bought it 1 year ago with 202,000 miles and I don't know it's history but it is in very good condition and appears to have been well cared for.

Maintenance: Timing belt/water pump/coolant/engine seals, etc./spark plugs/fuel filter replaced at 210,000 miles. Spark plugs are NGK platinums.

Problem: About 4 weeks ago the check engine light pops on in the morning when in 0°F. Yay. The engine did sound like it was knocking for about a minute.

After searching this site, I concluded the knock sensor needed replacing - so I replaced it about 2 weeks ago. The dash light stays on to this day.

I took it to Autozone today and plugged-in/read engine codes: 0327 low input knock sensor (bank 1), and 0303 cylinder 3 misfire.

Note: When I replaced the knock sensor, the wire broke at the plug-in connector, so I cut/spliced the new knock sensor to the wire sticking out of the harness.

Spark plug wires might be original. I'm hoping the knock sensor will work okay they way it's wired. Do I have anything to be worried about? Is the misfire caused by the knock sensor/cold weather situation or do I need new wire?

Thanks in advance for any info...
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,475 Posts
You could have a bad coil, wire or the plug in number 3 is bad. Could be a fuel injector stuck open and flooding the cylinder.

You do need to repair the knock sensor plug. If it is not secured tight, the vibration form the engine and driving will cause issue. I haven't had to look for one, but maybe call Subaru and see if just a knock sensor "pig tail" is available. Otherwise, go find a Subaru in a salvage yard and cut one off its harness. You'll have to find one with the engine in it since the KS sensor wire is part of the engine harness that stays with the engine.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The knock sensor is well secured for the time being. I will solder it and plastidip it soon.

My plug wires have " 7mm silicone hi-performance cable" printed on them. Is that OEM? I'm wondering because when I checked cylinder 3, I didn't get a click or anything to let me now it was secure. Maybe it's not OEM/not fitting well and that's the cause of the infrequent misfire.

After reattaching the wire, it starts and runs fine.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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860 Posts
The original wires are black and should have Packard written on them, otherwise they were probably changed at some point.

Sometimes if the plug wires are untouched for a long period of time they can stick to the plugs and when you remove them to change spark plugs they can be internally damaged from pulling.

I would probably change them if you are not getting a pop or click sound when you push the wire on the plug. Go with some NGK replacements and add some dielectric grease on the ends of the wires where they attach to the plugs.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No "Packard" print - I'll get those new wire you suggest. Thanks for the info!:29:
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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Discussion Starter #7
Well I put new OEM Subaru wires on and it turns out the old wires were OEM after all. Car starts easier/runs smoother...and more responsively. Hopefully the dash light will go away...
 

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03,outback 2.5l 5sp
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Well I put new OEM Subaru wires on and it turns out the old wires were OEM after all. Car starts easier/runs smoother...and more responsively. Hopefully the dash light will go away...

I would stay away from "Packard" ign. wires...
 

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3 2001 Outbacks, 2 AT, 1 MT. 1 2006 Outback AT, 2000 Outback AT, 2008 Outback Sport MT
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93 Posts
I can somewhat speak to the 327 problem. Make sure the wire has good contact AND is oriented at 60 degrees from the front. That is, assuming the front of the car is 0 degrees, the wire should protrude at 60 degrees.

JP
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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Discussion Starter #10
Oooooookay, so I still have the check-engine light; cylinder 3 misfire.

I installed a new coil - what's left? the fuel injector? If so, are they hard to replace?
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Oh, my oil level rises over time. More in the winter than Spring/Summer.
Been averaging 23.3 mpg and getting 25.7 mpg on a highway run at 70-75 mph
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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^^^???

I was gonna suggest a SeaFoam treatment or , at least a coupla tanks with seafoam and techron or similar. In case some carbon build-up was causing detonation.

but now, I think you may have a serious problem. possible gasoline is getting in the oil - or coolant?. maybe an oil analysis would be a good idea, as well as a compression test.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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Discussion Starter #14
Oil level raises maybe a 1/4 of a quart between changes.

Acceleration is sluggish at lower rpms and gets better above 3000 rpm. It's a little disconcerting to pull out in traffic, hit the gas and the subie is sluggish / can't get out of it's own way. It cruises at 70-75 just fine though.


2001 Outback wagon
new: ngk platinum plugs, oem wires, coil, timing belt, water pump, seals, & new fuel filter.

Light came on about 6 weeks after the new timing belt was installed.
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,475 Posts
Pull the oil fill cap and see if you smell gas.

With the oil level, though, how are you checking it after refilling? How much do you put in the engine when you change the oil?
 

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2001 Outback Wagon-Limited
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Discussion Starter #16
No gas smell that I can detect. The car does some short runs, sometimes only 1/2 mile mostly 5-miles at a crack. My daughter uses it for school & work.

I did have to top off the coolant. No external leaks though - and no trace of any.

I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and take this car to the dealer...
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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Was there any oil residue on the old wires when you removed them?

If so, your spark plug tube seals are leaking and may be causing the misfire.

Injectors don't usually go bad on Subaru's though. You could send all 4 to to DeatschWerks, for a servicing. I believe it's $20 ea.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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Before you take it to the dealer, you can try swapping the injectors, to see if it it is the cause of the misfire on #3.

Sluggishness can also be related to a tired Air/Fuel ratio sensor (front O2 sensor), this is a maintenance item the Subaru maintenance schedule does not list. There doesn't have to be a CE light for it to be bad either. A Denso sensor (same as the one sold by Subaru) is a good replacement for it, can be found on RockAuto.com.
 
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