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ok, seriously questioning this whole Outback thing. I'm not 10 days in to owning this thing and I'm on my 3rd problem??? arggghh.

so, yesterday, after it sat for a couple days and it got cooler around here (50s F, with some moisture in the air) it took 3 tries to get it going, then after sitting for another 2 hours, again 3 tries before going...

this morning, won't catch.

it turns over, battery is fine, full tank of gas... it's just not catching.

I pulled the spark plug covers (what's with those things?) and there's oil on the rubber bits... is that normal? the spark plugs were changed a year ago.

any ideas on what the problem is?

what's the process for changing out the plugs?

Tys
2002 OB Impreza sport 103,000miles
 

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Two things:

Oil in the plug tubes means the valve cover gasket is leaking and you need to change them. Not difficult. 10mm wrench or a 1/4" drive short socket and ratchet is all you need. Be sure to get the gaskets with the tube grommets.

The starting issue could be related to the oil causing a plug foul or it could be the idle control valve not opening.

When its hard to start, press lightly on the accelerator pedal. If it starts look into the valve and control of the valve operation. Sometimes you can take it off and clean it. Carbon build up can make it hang up.

Unless you have a scanner, don't worry about step 3 in the attached diagram. 1, 2 and 4 is sufficient.
 

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coil or plug wires could be failing with humidity. Though I'd think after sitting for 2 hours after a drive, the engine compartment would be too warm for much moisture.

just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the diagram and description on the Idle Control Valve... that's good info.

What I've done is pop out all the spark plug rubber sleeves and clean the oil off and it's been starting since then. I guess that lends itself to those gaskets leaking, which then is grounding the plugs?

So, after I get the transmission looked at and fixed :gasp: , I'll probably have someone re do those... I see how the valve covers come off, but I haven't had the best luck redoing gaskets lately.

Man I just want this thing to run and not be a money pit.
Tys
 

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it's 10 years old.

it just needs a little TLC. Even if you paid someone to do the VC gaskets, it would probably be less than many people's single monthly payment on a new car.
 

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ok, seriously questioning this whole Outback thing. I'm not 10 days in to owning this thing and I'm on my 3rd problem??? arggghh.

so, yesterday, after it sat for a couple days and it got cooler around here (50s F, with some moisture in the air) it took 3 tries to get it going, then after sitting for another 2 hours, again 3 tries before going...



Tys
2002 OB Impreza sport 103,000miles
What area are you working on this? It was 100f yesterday and will probably be 100 today here. Even brand new cars have problems. If you tackle the problems on your car and do routine maintenance it will have less problems when treated and driven well. Drive hard and lack of maintenance and you will have expensive problems.
Good luck and good job on fixing it:29:
 

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And besides what Sub Fish said, the more you work on it yourself, the better you get at it and the more you know your car.

I work on all years, makes and models. I've had my hands in places the owner doesn't know about. Especially the classic rods. Every time one of them comes in, I know what I've done previous and what the "attitude" of the car is. Yes, ATTITUDE.
 
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