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2003, Outback 2.5
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57 Posts
Same Problem - factory axles

Hey, I have the exact same thing going on, but I replaced axles with factory. No change. New plugs, wires, pcv. Going to do throttle body and Idle valve next, but after hearing what you said, not sure it will change.
 

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2008 Outback Limited, 2005 WRX Wagon
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32 Posts
Sorry to bump an old thread but I had the same problem. I don't think it's my axle causing the problem because I got it to go away by cleaning up and using di-electric grease on all of the engine ground locations. I added a few extra wires al-la the common grounding 'mod' but didn't go all out. I went from having a back-massager level vibration idling in gear to the car feeling brand new.

I have no idea what the actual cause of the axle idle problem is but it seems like it's solenoid related rather than a mechanical transfer of vibrations. The OEM axles fit much more snugly than remanufactured/aftermarket units which have looser splines from my experience. The added play could cause the transmission to not reduce the pressure in the torque converter all the way which puts too much load on the engine.

Before the grounding mod I did, I got rid of the vibrations by upping the idle speed by 150 rpm using Free SSM. The vibrations disappeared and the engine was transferring noticeably less torque at idle.

However, once I did the grounding mod everything cleared up, it's possible the combination of a loose axle (I have one original w/ 162k miles on it and one new aftermarket on the car) and the added electrical load on the alternator was enough to cause the vibration surge. Remove the additional load via reinforcing the grounds and the problem disappeared.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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864 Posts
What type of wire did you use for the new grounds & where did you buy?
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,635 Posts
You can pick up 4 gauge cable with eyelets on both ends in various lengths at any parts store. You just add a cable from the battery to the block close to or on the alternator bracket, and another to the firewall at center where the group of ground lugs are bolted.
 

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9 Posts
I have a '03 outback 2.5 base model. I was having rough/low idle when coming to a stop, along with the oil pressure light started flickering. I pulled the IAC valve and noticed after cleaning it, it was physically broken. Put a new OE valve in place and inspected a couple other sensors, they were all clean. put everything back together and started my, the "at oil temp" light started flashing.

Now my car will not get out of first gear, it revs really high and then drops down super low without shifting? I cannot get it off of my block to get it scanned to pull any codes? Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,635 Posts
Shift solenoid or a bad ground connection at the harness where the transmission is plugged in on the right side of the engine block.

To be sure, you need to scan it with a scanner that will see the trans codes. It may be listed in the ECM as a P code. See if you can borrow one from the parts store with a deposit and then take it back.
 
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