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Hi everyone, new owner here, I'm not very good with cars, so hopefully someone can help.

I just bought a 1997 2.5 outback, and I am generally very happy with it. Before I bought it I had a mechanic read fault codes for me, both O2 sensors flagged up, so those will need to be done. I was planning on installing cheap ones but after reading that Outbacks are very picky with O2 sensors I will probably get the more expensive ones installed instead.

However the problem that is driving me crazy is a vibration at around 2000-2200rpm, it happens in all gears but only when accelerating, so it is most notable and bothersome when going up hills when the engine is working and the revs stay constant within that problematic rpm range, It's bothersome enough that I am shifting manually down with my automatic box to avoid that range of rpm. The vibration is not speed sensitive, but rpm sensitive.

The car also vibrates at Idle when stationary, after looking at the engine it looks like the engine is shaking side to side a bit more than it should, it doesn't matter if the car is in Park, Neutral, Drive or any other gear the vibration stays constant while the car is idling while stationery.
Also there is no vibration at all while driving the car at any rpm while just cruising (not accelerating)

My initial thoughts are engine mounts, but I read that they hardly ever fail. So I am open to ideas on what it could be. I have to say that the shaking/vibration does seem to come from the engine and not any of the running gear/ transmission or suspension, but I am a novice when it comes to car mechanics.

The car has no service history provided with it and has done around 110,000 miles which I believe to be genuine as the general condition of the car I would say is bordering on expeptional, with no signs that it is not a genuine low mileage car.



Other than this issue the car is running incredibly smooth and quiet, no misfires at all at any rpm as far as I can tell.

Hopefully the information I have given could be enough for someone to help diagnose the issue, it feels like such a perfect car except for this one thing.

EDIT....

Problem resolved, I took it for an oil change as the oil looked old, obviously while I was there I asked the mechanic about the problem, he had a quick look under the hood and saw that a spark plug cable had come off, so it wasn't even running on all cylinders! I think it must have come off after the car was checked by a mechanic when I bought it because no fault codes were flagged up for this, also the mechanic would have picked up on the lack of performance.

A 130 mile drive home and I didn't even realise it was running on 3 cylinders... I just thought the car was slower than expected haha.

Well, I suppose you live and you learn. But what a great result. It's running better than I could ever have imagined now!
 

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'98 Outback
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I am surprised you did not see a misfire code running like that. Unless it was "hidden" by the CEL being lit by the O2 sensor codes.

Good luck getting the emissions issues fixed.
 
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