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1996 2.2l & 1997 2.5l Outbacks
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been chasing a random non-start ghost in my 1996 2.2L for about half a year now and have replaced most of the fuel line components, Sparks, wires, coil...about ready to find a nice cliff to see how airworthy this car is.

Took off the IAC valve after having the car completely dead for about a week (would previously start with starter fluid, now nothing) and saw a large quantity of clear fluid drain from the lower hoses when removed. Has anyone ever seen this and can offer a clue what it is. Engine was rebuilt about 10K ago. :confused:

It was dark out when I took it off and only had a headlamp that was almost out of batteries, so I can't offer much more on the liquid. It didn't feel oily, but had a little petroleum smell to it.

Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
15,779 Posts
The idle control valve on this engine doesn't go bad. Its upstream of the PCV system, so it also cannot get carbon build up. Lower side of the system is in the coolant passageway, the other is magnetically controlled by the ECM.

The coolant temperature will open or close the valve from one side based on the temperature by effecting the bimetallic substance, and the ECM controls the top side with electromagnetic force. The ECM can overcome the reaction on the bimetallic with the magnetic poles like an override.

In instances where the temperature sensor is bad and reports very high temperature, the ECM closes the valve by overtaking the strength of the bimetallic substance. Hard to start. (there are 2 sensors: one for the gauge, one for the ECM; the ECM sensor is the 2 pin)

As for the liquid, it can only be coolant unless it is the excess starter fluid you sprayed in the intake to try to start it. Which would make sense if the temp sensor is bad and the ECM is keeping the control valve closed because it thinks the car is overheating.

Clean the valve, change your 2 pin temperature sensor which is in the crossover pipe, passenger side of center and start the car.
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