Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just bought a 2001 Outback Limited for my daughter. It has 203,000 miles on it, ran fine for 3 days, then my daughter let the gas go below empty in cold weather conditions, she put 5 gallons of 87 oct gas in it and it started sputtering and making like a popping sound and the engine light came on. She made it home, so I filled it up with high octane and added some Heet gas dryer and injector cleaner and took it for a 10 mile ride on the highway it seemed to start to get better but then the check engine light started to flash. Kept driving and it started to get better but it was late so I pulled it in the garage for the night. Could there have been water in the bottom of the tank and it got into the fuel system and caused the engine light to go on ? I will drive it tomorrow and see what happens. Im hoping this is the problem, but was just wondering if what happened could cause the engine light to come on and what I should do next. Before we bought it it was not run for a while....just a few test drives the dealer said and the gas that was in it was probably old.
 

·
Registered
06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
The pickup is on the bottom, so usually water in the tank gets sucked up whether the tank is low or not.

It is possible that there was a little pocket of water in the tank that only got sloshed to the pickup after letting it run low.

You will only really get water in the tank via condensation if you draw the tank down while the weather is warm&moist, and then the temp drops while that warm air is in the tank.

If it was cold and dry when the tank was run down, it's probably not condensation from running it low.
 

·
Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
Joined
·
18,349 Posts
did it happen immediately when she re-started the car or a block down the road? If immediately, probably the 'new' gas hadn't cycled through to the injectors yet, so, some other coincident problem.

if it started after she had pulled away from the station - more likely to be bad new fuel from the fill-up. You might call the station to ask if anyone else reported bad fuel that day.

O'Reilly and simlar shops will read codes at no charge. Although we expect only misfire codes, if convenient, it's a good idea to read them and post them here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The problem ended up not even being related to being low on gas and water in the fuel lines. Here after getting it home I decided to change the fuel filter and plugs thinking one or the other could be the problem. Changed the fuel filter which was a breeze(thank you Subaru for putting it in the engine compartment). Then I went to replace the first plug, pulled the boot off and it was saturated in oil, pulled the subsequent 3 and all had oil on them. Read up on this forum and apparently the gaskets around the plugs on the inside are bad causing misfires of the plugs. So apparently I have to replace the valve cover and spark plug gaskets. Was going to do it myself, bought the gasket set, but then I added up what I would have to spend on tools to do the job and decided to call my hometown mechanic. He quoted me $75 in labor if I supply the gaskets and plugs. Gaskets were $30, plugs $20, labor $75, total $125. This seems reasonable to me and he is a good mechanic. We only had the car a week when this happened and even though we bought it from a dealer 'as is', I just thought I would call the salesman to see if he would cover the cost of the parts. He said he definetly will pay me the cost of the parts, and will talk to the owner to see if they will pay part of the labor also. It is a 2001 Outback Limited with 200K miles, but the body and interior is in immaculate condition. I paid $3800 out the door for it so $125 seems like not such a big deal as the KBB value on it is much more than that.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top