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Old 08-03-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 19681
Join Date: Jun 2002
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Denver, CO
1998 Legacy Wagon GT

Default Impreza is going crazy

1997 Impreza Outback 2.2L 4EAT

Tonight is the second time this has happened to this car. The first time was about 2-3 weeks ago. Both times it was rainy weather.

While driving, the car suddenly starts bucking, RPMs going up and down. At highway speeds, I end up slowing down because of this(the engine can't keep it at highway speeds). Both times, I pulled over and the engine stalled. As soon as I restarted, the AT Oil Temp light flashed at me(both times), and the engine stalled again. Eventually, the engine restarted and stayed running. After the first time this happened, the car sat for a few days and then seemed perfectly fine, but it did throw a CEL, which I pulled and it was a MAF code. This time, the CEL isn't on.

From searching, I've run across some threads that indicate the MAF sends some signals to the TCM to control the shifting, which might be why I'm getting the ATOL flashing? Would all this indicate a MAF going bad?
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
Back Road Runner
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Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
2004 Forester STI


Old car, first check for corrosion. Clean up the battery connections, all the main grounds, and look for corrosion elsewhere. For example, when I got corrosion on my + terminal on the battery, I saw just as much corrosion build up on the knock sensor...which eventually malfunctioned.

The MAF is an obvious problem and will cause major running issues like you see. Just because it isn't throwing a code doesn't mean it is working properly. Clean the MAF.

A secondary main sensor used to control car operation is the air/fuel sensor in the exhaust before the cats. This is another one of those sensors that as it goes bad it starts causing some pretty crapping running.

Both of these sensors won't immediately throw codes. Typically the car will be running pretty darn bad as you've found out before you really even get a code to show up. I just tossed in the air/fuel as sort of a watch item. Your car's been using it for quite a while and it's one of those that will eventually start fouling out, especially if you're starting to burn some oil. It's not a sensor I feel is actually your problem right now. I'm just tossing it out there as one to look at in the future when the car starts to act goofy in a different way.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 211754
Join Date: May 2009
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: nazareth,pa
1995 impreza 2.2L
sunburst yellow


check and make sure there is no water getting into the air filter my car did what ur saying it would buck and feel like its dieing and then if you stoped it would die but it would only happen when it rained
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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Member#: 964
Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bonney Lake, Wash. USA
'95 work in


I second the MAF. Clean first, replace second!
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 19681
Join Date: Jun 2002
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Denver, CO
1998 Legacy Wagon GT


Thanx for the advice!
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:10 PM   #6
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Member#: 165749
Join Date: Dec 2007
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Central Floriderp
1982 Sex Machine


First, chk the connectors for the MAF and O2 sensors for damage, corrosion and moisture. If it only happens when it rains, it may be some water causing problems in the connectors. This would be the easiet thing to do, may be free to fix and would save you lots $ if you dont have to replace any parts. Wouldnt hurt to spray some moister repellent on the connectors, too. like WD-40 or Corrosion X or silicone dielectric grease. If you use something else, make sure its safe for electrical connections.
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