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2017 Outback Limited 4 cyl.
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had the 30,000 mile service done on my '17 outback. I also had them steam clean the engine as there were signs little critters had been visiting my engine compartment. Since then the engine is running slightly rough and has a more throaty sound. Could this be the result of something done with the 30000 service? Or because of the steam cleaning.
 

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03 Legacy L SE 5MT & 96 Legacy Brighton 5MT wagons
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15 Posts
Probably the steam cleaning. I had some misfires after I washed the engine in my '96 Legacy. Turned out it was water in the spark plug wells. Pull the coils and see if it's wet in there.
 

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332 Posts
I recently had the 30,000 mile service done on my '17 outback. I also had them steam clean the engine as there were signs little critters had been visiting my engine compartment. Since then the engine is running slightly rough and has a more throaty sound. Could this be the result of something done with the 30000 service? Or because of the steam cleaning.
Dunno about the throaty sound (air cleaner is loose or dislodged?), but cleaning an engine with steam (or a lot of water) always has the possibility of getting moisture or dirt into something where it doesn't belong (wiring, electrical connectors, sensors, etc.). That can cause your engine to have a slight 'miss' (run rough).

I've cleaned far more than my share of engines, mostly in my youth as I reconditioned cars for resale. Back then were the days of carburetors and distributors with points, and I occasionally had to go through a thorough 'checklist' to get a car running smoothly (or to even start) after cleaning an engine.

If your car's engine continues to run rough, you can always take you car back in & tell them what's going on.
 

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2021 Touring XT Abyss Blue Pearl
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471 Posts
Probably moisture in electronics. I would never steam clean or power wash a modern engine. A Subaru dealership did this?
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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7,592 Posts
It might have simply been power cycled and the ECU is just in the process of re-learning the appropriate settings.

But otherwise I agree with the others - both steam and high pressure washing is pretty harsh. Low pressure washing is another matter, I do this regularly but only use hot water and 80 PSI from a regular air compressor, and only on a cold engine. And even with this gentle approach, I stay off of soft components.
 
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