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Old 12-30-2013, 11:02 PM   #1
ivwshane
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Default Car stalls after starting, giving it gas=no change(solved! I'm a dumbass)

I recently purchased a used 2000 forester and I've only been able to drive it 4 days out of the 14 I've had it:|
On the way home after buying it, it threw a P0420 code and no other codes, pending or otherwise. Typically this means a new CAT is in order but before I spend the money on that I want to make sure that that's what the issue is.

I'm not aware of a failing or a failed CAT causing an engine to stall or no longer idle but if that's the case let me know.

I've tested the MAP sensor (I created a thread about it and I'm waiting for an answer) and I was going to test the A/F O2 sensor but I have read that you can't test them like a regular O2 senor. I did remove the A/F sensor and visually inspect it and I cleaned all the oil and dirt that was on the outside of it, the sensor itself looked clean with no soot or deposits on it.

I have an 16 channel OBD2 reader (that I really don't know how to use, its the innovate LM2). The only code that showed up was the P0420 code and nothing else. I cleared the code hoping that it might put the cars computer into a default mode.
After clearing the code the car will always start up and the RPMs would rise but once reaching about 1000rpms it would die. I tried pressing the throttle to see if that made a difference but it didn't except for one time when the car back fired. The muffler smelled like a normal exhaust to me but I did notice that the walls of the interior of the exhaust seemed to be wet.

My next plan of attack is to clean the throttle body and if it isn't too much trouble I'll clean the IACV as well.

I checked the oil level and looked for any metal specks but the oil was clean.

Another possible issue may be a vacuum leak but I don't know what lines are vacuum lines or what areas are prone to leaking.

What else should I be looking for? I just want to eliminate everything before I spend $300+ on a new CAT because I will be pissed if the CAT doesn't fix the problem.
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Last edited by ivwshane; 01-30-2014 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:15 PM   #2
NowDatsG
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Only thing I can tell ya is a cat that is clogged enough will prevent startup/good idle. It's like breathing in but not exhaling. I've seen it happen on GM vehicles.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
NowDatsG
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Also check to see if any of guts of the cat got into the rest of the exhaust, it could also clog mufflers too.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:22 PM   #4
JonnyV2889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post
I recently purchased a used 2000 forester and I've only been able to drive it 4 days out of the 14 I've had it:|
On the way home after buying it, it threw a P0420 code and no other codes, pending or otherwise. Typically this means a new CAT is in order but before I spend the money on that I want to make sure that that's what the issue is.

I'm not aware of a failing or a failed CAT causing an engine to stall or no longer idle but if that's the case let me know.

I've tested the MAP sensor (I created a thread about it and I'm waiting for an answer) and I was going to test the A/F O2 sensor but I have read that you can't test them like a regular O2 senor. I did remove the A/F sensor and visually inspect it and I cleaned all the oil and dirt that was on the outside of it, the sensor itself looked clean with no soot or deposits on it.

I have an 16 channel OBD2 reader (that I really don't know how to use, its the innovate LM2). The only code that showed up was the P0420 code and nothing else. I cleared the code hoping that it might put the cars computer into a default mode.
After clearing the code the car will always start up and the RPMs would rise but once reaching about 1000rpms it would die. I tried pressing the throttle to see if that made a difference but it didn't except for one time when the car back fired. The muffler smelled like a normal exhaust to me but I did notice that the walls of the interior of the exhaust seemed to be wet.

My next plan of attack is to clean the throttle body and if it isn't too much trouble I'll clean the IACV as well.

I checked the oil level and looked for any metal specks but the oil was clean.

Another possible issue may be a vacuum leak but I don't know what lines are vacuum lines or what areas are prone to leaking.

What else should I be looking for? I just want to eliminate everything before I spend $300+ on a new CAT because I will be pissed if the CAT doesn't fix the problem.
Plugged Cats inhibit exhaust gases from exiting the engine, which is most noticeable under load because the engine can't breath. You could attempt to see how much pressure is at the tail pipe if you stick your hand over it. Aside from pulling and checking it. Sounds like it's being smothered though.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:39 AM   #5
kylef
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I had the exact same problem with one of my vehicles years ago. It would idle for a fair amount of time, but die if I pressed the gas. I opened up the exhaust before the cat enough to relieve some of the pressure and the condition improved. It was a little of a pooch driving it to get the new cat put on because of the lack of back pressure.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:44 AM   #6
ivwshane
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Hmm...I guess I'll pull the CAT, is it easy on the forester? I tried removing the shields on the exhaust to get at the O2 sensor and they wouldn't budge.
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
NowDatsG
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Get some pb blaster or some type of rust penetrant and spray the bolts and let them sit for hours. Exhaust bolts and nuts are usually the rustiest and are a pain to remove.
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:57 AM   #8
ivwshane
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Yeah, I use acetone and power steering fluid.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:02 PM   #9
ivwshane
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Ok, so lots of cleaning and testing today.

I cleaned the throttle body today by removing it completely. It wasn't too bad (deposits on the plate) but there was a lot of carbon build up where IAC valve goes, so I cleaned that up as well as the IAC which had a ton of build up on it. I also tested the IAC by removing it from the throttle body and leaving it connected to the car while I put the key in and watched it move in and out.

I removed the TPS but I didn't pay attention to exactly how it was connected so I just placed it back in its spot and made sure it made contact with bar on the TB.

I removed the PCV and checked it by shaking it and making sure only one side would allow air to pass through, I cleaned it as well.

I put it all back together and tried firing it up, no change. It starts and then immediately dies.

I then tried starting it with the front and rear O2 sensor disconnected, no change.

I removed the exhaust and tried starting the car with the O2 connectors connected and disconnected, it would turn over but not fire up.

I reconnected everything and then removed the spark plugs, the boots were dry as a bone but the plug tips were oily (I'll post pics later).

What do you guys think?

I think I'll replace the plugs (the gap seemed huge anyway but that could be a subi thing). But other than that what else can I do? The CAT is probably done for if my plugs have been fouled for a while by oil but it also means I might have a bigger issue. Wharf that is I don't know.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post

I removed the TPS but I didn't pay attention to exactly how it was connected so I just placed it back in its spot and made sure it made contact with bar on the TB.

.
TPS has to be between 0.45-0.55V with key on engine off in normal fully closed position. You can set this with scan tool or by back pinning the connector with multimeter. If you are unsure may be try google.

Is this maf based car? Bad maf or maf put in backwards will cause car to start for few seconds and then stall. Usually with clogged cat car will run at least for a bit and then stall or have very bad performance. I have replaced a lot of bad cats on subys, only 1 of them was potentionally clogged. Its not very common, but anything is possible.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:16 AM   #11
ivwshane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bswilmington View Post
TPS has to be between 0.45-0.55V with key on engine off in normal fully closed position. You can set this with scan tool or by back pinning the connector with multimeter. If you are unsure may be try google.

Is this maf based car? Bad maf or maf put in backwards will cause car to start for few seconds and then stall. Usually with clogged cat car will run at least for a bit and then stall or have very bad performance. I have replaced a lot of bad cats on subys, only 1 of them was potentionally clogged. Its not very common, but anything is possible.
Unless this car has both a MAF and a MAP sensor, I'm pretty sure it only has a MAP sensor.

Info on MAF sensors are aplenty, not so much with MAP sensors. I hooked up a multimeter to the MAP and with the ignition on I got around 2.7 volts, when I sucked on it to create a vacuum it dropped to 2.6 volts.

The biggest issue I've had with testing these sensors is that they all have multiple wires (between 3-5) and I don't know which wires to use.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
mikeydrives1
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MAF or MAP sensors perhaps?
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #13
mikeydrives1
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98-00 Foresters were MAF and MAP

01-02 were MAP only.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:05 PM   #14
ivwshane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeydrives1 View Post
98-00 Foresters were MAF and MAP

01-02 were MAP only.
Meaning they had both or they had one or the other?

If I have a MAF sensor I don't know where it is.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:31 PM   #15
bswilmington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivwshane View Post
Meaning they had both or they had one or the other? If I have a MAF sensor I don't know where it is.
MAF is located on inlet tube on passenger side
If your car has MAF sensor it will still have MAP sensor.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:48 PM   #16
ivwshane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bswilmington View Post
MAF is located on inlet tube on passenger side
If your car has MAF sensor it will still have MAP sensor.
No sensor there.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:49 PM   #17
ivwshane
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All right more testing and replacing today.

I changed the oil and filter, added a little over 4qts of royal purple, 5w30 and a napa gold oil filter as well as a new drain plug and gasket. I also installed new NGK V-power plugs.

I forgot to adjust the TPS which I know is causing some issues because I disconnected it and the car started up and then died (where as before it wouldn't ever fire up). Disconnecting it threw a P0122 code, clearing the code and reconnecting the TPS did not generate another code.

I disconnected the MAP sensor to clean it and tried starting the car with it disconnected but it wouldn't fire up and no codes were thrown. I also appears I have two MAP sensors, disconnecting the other one also didn't change anything and it also didn't generate a code when disconnected.

So I think my next plan of attack will to be properly adjust the TPS because my car wont fire up as is but it did fire up when it was disconnected (but not removed).

Still no other codes showing up.

Attached are pics of my oily spark plugs and a pic of the engine bay and the location of the two MAP sensors (part#'s: 22012AA150, 0261230013).


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Old 01-07-2014, 04:43 AM   #18
ivwshane
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So I adjusted the TPS, with the key in and turned before starting I adjusted the TPS to .48v (I couldn't adjust it any further).

No change and no new codes. The car now will not fire up, it turns over but that's about it.

I'm going to charge the battery and recheck a spark plug to see if any oil has gotten on it. I'll also look into testing the ignition coil.

If all checks out I'll be at a total loss here


Update:
I just realized that I didn't check the voltage while moving the throttle. I doubt I'll find an issue but it's better to double check and rule a bad TPS out.

Last edited by ivwshane; 01-07-2014 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:54 AM   #19
ivwshane
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I think I'll check the crank position sensor as well first, since if that's bad it won't tell the ignition coil to produce any spark.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #20
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A quick word of caution. According to your earlier post you said you had no idea what wires to test... you can do irreverseable damage if you just go poking random wires and back probing random sensors. Get a factory service manual and follow it. Or take it to a reputable shop who knows what they are doing. Just my $.02
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:25 AM   #21
ivwshane
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Trust me I research everything I do before I actually do it. I just don't know what I don't know, so I usually try something that leads me to something else and so on.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:04 PM   #22
rss3781
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420 huh your car's been having too much fun
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:07 AM   #23
ivwshane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rss3781 View Post
420 huh your car's been having too much fun
Yeah but I'm not:|
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:16 AM   #24
ivwshane
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Crank position sensor was replaced, no change.

On to the coil pack next
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:52 PM   #25
ivwshane
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I tested the coil and it was within spec on the secondary terminals but I couldn't test the primary. I hooked up a timing light to it and cranked the engine and the light did come on.

I charged the battery over night and was able to get the car to start but I'm back to square one, it starts but then dies within a few seconds. When it starts and I try to give it gas nothing seems to happen, I can't get it to rev higher.

What else can I test?

I'll be removing just the CAT and seeing what happens but I doubt that will get the car running again.

I'm changing the title of the thread because I think the P0420 code is a separate issue than what I'm dealing with.
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