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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Good afternoon everyone. My name is Mike. I purchased a 1997 IMPREZA outback SPORT about a year ago that I am experiencing some issues with. My background is in aircraft maintenance. I feel pretty comfortable performing mechanical work on my vehicles but I am definitely lacking in some know how.
 

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added impreza outback sport, as that denotes it has the great little 2.2 :smile2:

vs. the typical 97 legacy outback that is on this board with the turd of all turds EJ25D in it.:crying:

so what's up with your car?
 

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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm lost/1997 outback issues

Sorry if this gets lengthy, just want to be detailed.

I have searched quite a bit in forums but I am not sure what part to change next without pulling quite a bit out of my wallet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a 1997 Outback 2.2 automatic. I purchased the car in Jan of 2017. The car started having issues fairly early. Here's pretty much what happened to it and the parts I have changed.

I was going down the free way at about 65 mph. Suddenly my rpm would drop dramatically but only for a sec and immediately resume back to normal and then repeat about 5-6 times. This happened about three or four times. The following day the car would at times completely not want to start at all and others it would start but before I could even pull out of the drive way the car would die after putting it in drive or reverse and taking my foot off the break. I never had a check engine light or anything indicated to me what the problem may be. The car eventually got to the point that every time the car was started the car would idle at 2500+ rpms.


Heres a list of what I ended up changing:
Fuel pump
spark plugs, wires, and coils
throttle position sensor
ohm'd out the knock sensor along with the MAF and idle air control valve with information that I found online.
I checked the vacuum lines and have not seen any holes or disconnected lines.
MAF (used from wrecking yard) I ended up changing the MAF anyways after reading some forums and thought what the **** at this point.

The problem with a loss of engine power was always intermittent so I wasn't confident that I could rule out some of the parts I had check wires on. I did eventually get a p1507 code that was also intermittent. Upon reading some forums it was mentioned to check the Idle Air Control Valve again. After this I waited for the next time for this car to have an event. When it happened I banged on the Idle Air Control Valve with a ratchet and the engine immediately started idling normal. I ordered one from B&R Auto Wrecking.

The car ran fine from about Feb till Aug at this point. I had a 4+ hour commute i did twice a week with no issues at all. In Aug the problem began persisting again. Again, no check engine light or anything with the exception of one incident that resulted in a p0103 code (MAF). Since I was sure that the original problem was the IAC I ended up putting the original MAF back on the car which cleared the check engine light but has not resolved the problem.

I am hoping to get some advice before shelling out some more money for some parts but I would like to be headed in a good direction since the check engine light only came on for a sec. I understand the the MAF and IAC I installed were from a junkyard and could still be the problem. I have not changed the fuel filter thinking that if the filter was clogged/damaged that it would be a constant problem and not intermittent. Maybe a valve? I am wondering if it is an electrical issue with possibly a harness but would love to hear from knowledgeable individuals first.

Thanks for any and all help.

Mike
 

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Sorry if this gets lengthy, just want to be detailed.

I have searched quite a bit in forums but I am not sure what part to change next without pulling quite a bit out of my wallet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a 1997 Outback 2.2 automatic. I purchased the car in Jan of 2017. The car started having issues fairly early. Here's pretty much what happened to it and the parts I have changed.


...

Thanks for any and all help.

Mike
merged threads and updated title.

IACV is a dangerous thing, can leave the car lurching in the road. and a dump truck will come up behind you and not be able to stop.

if you pull that apart make sure you have a gasket in your hand. (if this car has one). ... rockauto does sell one
problem with pulling it apart,...old gasket maybe so brittle or hard a this point it maybe next to impossible to seal up again without a new one in hand. (OEM or aftermarket is OK, its just rubbery stuff).

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...uel+&+air,idle+air+control+valve+gasket,11201
 

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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for helping out with that! Do you think that I should try putting a new gasket on there first prior to spending the money on a new IACV? When I replaced the original with it was a simple gasket. Would it be a bad idea to add some sealant around the gasket just for good measure or would that be over doing it?

Thanks again.
 

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miles on this? unsure about sealant but others may have some more advice.

got lots of threads here, the ones with the gaskets on here are typically H6 or turbo cars (square gasket).

some people try to open them and clean them out with a gasket in hand. such to see if all that is needed is a cleaning.

worth a try, but if the thing is wore out it may not be evident that it will not work anymore reliably until it acts up again. (hopefully not at a inopportune time).

search it up here


( Naisoc and RS25.com are impreza based forums and may have more. suggestions or pic threads. (hopefully of ej221 like you got, subaru was making minor and major parts changes over those 95-98 years, EJ222 appears around 98-99 ))
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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I can't help much. I've had/have 4 90's subarus with the 2.2 engine, all with high miles. I've experienced two events which are similar to the OP's. Once the TPS had an intermittent short and the car would stall or buck. In that case I got a code, so it was a easy fix. The other event was an intermittent short in the MAF. It went on for weeks because it didn't set a code at first. I changed a lot of things, but of course it didn't fix the problem. Finally, after about the seventh incident, it did set a code for the MAF and I fixed the problem by replacing the MAF from the junkyard just like the OP did.

If I was in the OP's position, I would work on the MAF. I would go to the junkyard and get another MAF but I would also cut off the connecting plug and wiring, just to make sure that the problem isn't in the plug to the MAF. It's a long shot but possible.
 

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just looking if you needed a IACV used:

https://www.quirkparts.com/oem-parts/subaru-idle-speed-control-22650aa140/

1.8 or EJ221 impreza of 1993-98. (guess 99 impreza had the EJ222 and different).

and no forester or legacy, legacy outback parts.


www.car-part.com and similar for real money junk yards and used parts warehouses.

unsure if washington has any good cheap pick and pulls for subaru, or do they all get chopped right away for the local big money.
(PNW seems like the most expensive US market for all things used subaru).
 

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Did you check the battery and the alternator? I've had several intermittent electrical problems before and it ended up being the battery once and the alternator another time. I always start simple.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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This sudden power loss, it is like someone hits the key or does it start to destabilize then give up?

Does the instrumentation act normally during this power loss?

My suspicion is voltage spiking or AC voltage present in the system. A good multimeter will tell you what's going on.
 

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I would think things particular to a IACV would make the car nearly stall on the road, (possibly at the time of a change by the driver adjusting pressure on the pedal) ....nearly stall, but not actually shut the car off,...and then some spastic limping to the side of the road.

___

if it were electrical to make a IAVC type code I would think it would be a engine ground in the neighborhood of that item.

______

but a alternator or battery issue would make more codes (nonsense ones that come from all systems, )
 

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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did forget to mention that. The original part I changed was the battery. I have not looked into the alternator yet. I am trying to get some time this weekend to dig back into the car. I was pretty confident the issue was resolved when I changed the IACV as when every time I banged on it the problem went away. Thus far the issues are the same but have only taken place while I was actively driving.

I appreciate everyones chiming in. I'll continue to check the forum to see if any others have given their thoughts. I'll post again with I've done whether it works or not as soon as I get a chance to work on the car. Hopefully this weekend.
 

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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RoughDiamond:

This sudden power loss, it is like someone hits the key or does it start to destabilize then give up?

Does the instrumentation act normally during this power loss?

My suspicion is voltage spiking or AC voltage present in the system. A good multimeter will tell you what's going on.

Both! While driving on the freeway, if it occured I would have a sudden loss of thrust, as if the engine died. It would immediatley jump back to where it should be.

At lower speeds If I was not going fast enough the car will simply die and then I need to hope I am not in traffic wondering when it will start again. However, at lower speeds there is a noticeable destabilizing of the engine as in it begins lurching a little.


I had read some forums that talked about putting the multimeter to it. I ran a multimeter to the IACV and the MAF at one time but both checked good but of course the car was operating fine at the time and I was not able to put the multimeter on there while the issue is occuring.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Hmmm, that is very tricky when there are no codes present. This is very rare.

1. look for wiring work or rodent damage? although I wouldn't expect that to be so random and intermittent. In general Subaru's rarely have wiring issues unless they've been tampered with.

2. Valve is mechanical and i'd doubt it would be so intermittent as well. That year has adjustable valves so you can check clearance by pulling the valve covers but i doubt that's the issue. Exhaust valves, particularly on cylinders 1 and 3 would be too tight is the most likely culprit if it is though.

It's not the fuel filter either.

By far the most common sensor failures on that engine are the knock sensor. The $7 cheap ebay knock sensors have performed well for a long time. YOu can pull yours and look at the base, usually the rubber is starting to crack or showing corrossion where it meets the metal inner part of the sensor, though I have seen one or two be bad with no notable external symptoms. Hate to suggest a guess and throwing parts, but for $7 and their high failure rate i'd just install one. You almost always get a code so I'm not saying this will fix it, but it's good preventative maintenance for a daily driver so why not anyway, I used to always install a new one before I'd sell or give away one of those cars. And they can cause nearly undrivable symptoms.

Engine coolant temp sensor would be the second most common sensor failure and equally inexpensive.

Another option is to just swap an entire intake manifold and have all new wiring
 

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those are great engines by the way and breeze through a quarter million miles rather easily if you keep oil in them and don't overheat them.

ideally it gets a timing belt kit some day - belt, pulleys, and tensioner. that's the first year of interference for that engine so if any of those fail you'll have bent valves. super easy to replace - can be done in an hour....call it 2 hours for your first time.
 

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1997 impreza outback sport, 2.2
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was having difficulty uploading a file so i put it on YouTube and have included the link.


Since I last posted I have not had much time to dig into to it but I had a few hours last night and sprayed some MAF cleaner onto the MAF sensor, pulled off the IACV and cleaned it as best I could, without removing the throttle body I cleaned the intake as best I could.

Prior to this the car was idling extremely rough. Now it will idle extremely rough followed by a surge in RPM and then dies. The video I posted is the longest that the car has gone without dying the last few weeks and the first time I have received a check engine light.

The code that came with it was P0106. I do not see any visible vacuum lines disconnected, torn, or blocked. The fact that it is suddenly surging after attempting to clean makes me have to wonder if it is one of the three parts I cleaned.


I have looked into the knock sensor and radiator temp sensor. I was hoping the car would be running long enough for me to shoot wires and spray some carb cleaner or something around the motor to see if there was a vacuum leak but the car isn't running long enough to do so.



 

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ah good - we got a code.

Can you post a picture of the area between the intake manifold and the passengers side strut tower.

there are vacuum lines going to the passengers side strut tower. trace them and make absolutely certain:
A. none are clogged
B. none are leaking or cracked (unlikely to be cracked but check each fitting end for cracking)

C. replace the inline vacuum filter. it's a small round gray/black disk in-line with the vacuum hose coming off the intake manifold. they're like $7 from subaru.

There is also a solenoid in this circuit as well. I don't have the routing of the lines memorized but verify that solenoid it's it fitted parts are operating properly, not clogged, and not leaking. Or just swap in another solenoid.

You should be able to trace all the lines associated with that filter/vacuum lines i mentioned above and find the culprit vacuum line/filer/or solenoid.

when you run into a solenoid - test it and it's constituent vacuum lines (clog/leaks) or replace the solenoid.

work carefully, solenoids clearly can fail but they rarely do so i wouldn't throw parts at it unless they're cheap and easily sourced.

since they rarely fail, any solenoids/sensors involved can be replaced with used. i'm sure i have some lying around, i just don't have which style yours is memorized. probably a dime a dozen anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright so here's the update with the car. I delayed writing this out as I was awaiting a new MAF sensor to come in. As of right now the car is running just like before. Idling fine and I've taken it on a few 10-15 min drives. So all in all I'd say the car is fixed.

I did want to say thanks to everyone on the forums who's chimed in on both this post and others. It's been a huge help.


I ended up checking all the vacuum lines again and taking a few pictures as recommended that are attached. The picture with the red circle is just to let you know that I am aware that the vacuum line is disconnected in the photo but it was connected every time I had the car running.

None of the lines seemed to be clogged but the PVC was slightly sticky so I went ahead and swapped it out while waiting on the MAF since it was only a few dollars. It did not change anything however. Looking some more online with the code I had, I figured I'd bite the bullet and grab a new MAF sensor and see what happened since all the vacuum lines seemed to be good and I did get the change in RPM's when I attempted to clean the previous MAF. Thanks again.

Mike
 

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