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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a 2013 outback wag with 67000 miles. Issue with Check engine light, park brake light, and cruise control lights flashing with engine “bucking” and sputtering. Got to mechanic with computer stating 4th cylinder coil was toast and all sparks needed replacement. Within a month, same issues showing up. Taken back to mechanic with Computer reading ignition coil issue; advised to get to Subaru dealer (which is an hour away). The engine light goes off as I pull in. They state they can not replicate the problem and no error readings showing up on computer. Help! I’m a front line healthcare worker and must have my vehicle for home health therapy delivery in rural Texas. Gotta have it running right... any ideas??
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I'd say stay away from that mechanic that talked you into a coil and spark plugs. The computer doesn't necessarily point to a coil unless the code was specific to a circuit malfunction in the coil and even with this you don't automatically discount the coil. Do you know what the code was? If it was P0304 that only indicates a misfire and the tech, not mechanic, would have to find the cause of the misfire. It could be a bad ground, weak battery, vacuum leak, EGR problem, etc. Even the brand/type gasoline you put in can cause a misfire.

I find it weird that Subaru did not want to take your money to diagnose the issue. Something like this doesn't have to be replicated. It doesn't have to be present when you check the engine performance. The tech does have to understand the concepts for combustion and everything that is involved in how the ECM manages the drivetrain. Maybe the service manager or tech is lazy. Maybe other factors are involved.

If the light went out that means the ECM is not seeing a problem. If it is running good, the only thing I can suggest from here is to drive it like it is and wait. I would change where you get gasoline and recommend you use the Super Unleaded (highest octane rating) gasoline in the car. It is a direct injection engine and high octane will help it run better.

Also, if you can find someone that can scan all the modules on the car and report back what was listed in each module, that may help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Much gratitude to you cardoc. I do know the computer had specific codes for 4 th cylinder malfunction, unfortunately the paper work is at service station or I’d relay specifics. Do you have suggestions for me to relay to tech prior to my getting Subaru tomorrow? I will be driving 1400 miLes in a few weeks and the anxiety of a problem is mounting. I will change gasoline grade as you advised. Thanks for your input!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Ask if they checked the following:

Coil connections
Spark plug type, gap and torque (spark plug brand and type make a difference)
Vacuum leaks
Fuel system pressure and flow
Battery and cabling, mainly the grounds
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’ll do it cardoc. You obviously know your stuff and are willing to help the non-mechanical folk like us , a rare gem these days. Do you have a car service in Austin?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Yes and we're about to move in to a bigger building to better manage the work load.

I'll PM you a number to call for an appointment if you ever need it.
 
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