ok thank you. now i read a thread about the idle air control valve. and it sounded like the problems i was having with my outback. rough idle, rpm bouncing, stalled at red lights, no power going up hills or no power at all. my check engine light came on and the code was the catalytic converter, got that changed, problems continued and got worse. then somebody told me to clean the iac valve, did that and the check engine light came back on. this time it was one of the spark plugs. i got then changed and it still isnt better. now i bought a new iac valve and put that in. doesnt work still. now ppl are telling me that my timings off. an old subaru mechanic is telling me it could be my oxygen sensor(s) or my gas. im dreading taking it to a dealership or a mechanic at all. so whatever i can do on my own i will. i just have no idea whats wrong
I would start with the front oxygen sensor, especially if it is still the original one. The front oxygen sensor controls the air/fuel ratio which would impact engine performance, I had a similar experience as you describe with my 2006 Subaru Forester and it was that sensor I changed out. If you decide to go this route buy one on RockAuto.ca made by Denso (they are the company that manufactures the oxygen sesnors for Subaru)
How many miles or kilometers do you have on the Outback?