Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Thursday October 30, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Normally Aspirated Powertrain

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default 2.5 Running Rough / stalling Intermittenly, NO CODES?? Need help

Please be patient with me while reading this long story. I have already read and searched everywhere and could not find a solution to my problem. Ok here we go…


History:
I have a 97 impreza L. The timing belt stretched and killed the 2.2 so I put in a legacy 2.5 DOHC engine last November and it has been running FINE since then. Body has 170k, motor miles unknown (JDM engine). I put a new timing belt on the new motor along with new plugs and spark wires. That is all.


Problem:
The engine will start to run extremely rough very intermittently. It will run fine on start up and for 20 miles, then suddenly will run very rough and will stall out if I do not keep the RPMs up. Then I will turn off the car for like 5 min and it will start up and run fine for another 10 or so miles before doing the same thing again. I get NO CODES, no CEL. It only throws a code if it stalls out. Every time I touch ANYTHING under the hood the problem will go away for 20 miles then come right back. I have not been able to narrow it down to anything specifically. Sometimes I will start it with a cold engine and the problem will be there right at the start. When the rough running starts is intermittent, but once it starts it doesn’t go away until it sits for a few minutes.


Troubleshooting:
- I have changed the TPS twice, once with the old TPS from the 2.2, the second was a $20 ebay special.
- I have cleaned the IACV with sea foam
- I have cleaned the MAF and front o2 sensor with MAF cleaner
- I have checked connections to spark wires
- I have checked for manifold vacuum leaks with brake cleaner
- I have checked for vacuum leaks on hoses & loose connections
- I have checked PCV and replaced it with the 2.2 PCV which was the same condition.
- Replaced fuel filter with the new engine
- Used fuel injector cleaner in gas, no change.


The only thing I can think of that initiated this was I put 93 gas into the tank once, and I believe this problem started while on that tank of 93. Also, it should probably be noted that it has been driven AGGRESSIVELY 80+ miles daily. Also, not sure if related, the coolant level in the reservoir keeps rising to fill the whole reservoir and does not re-enter the radiator.Yesterday I pulled the front o2 sensor and cleaned it with MAF cleaner. It ran fine for a few miles from cold engine to warm engine. Then I parked it and started it later that night to drive it and the problem was there at the start. The RPMS would just go up and down while holding the gas pedal at a constant place. If I let off the gas the rpms would slowly fall to stall.



Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. I have a new OEM o2 sensor, but am hesitant to put it in and waste $100 since I am not getting a CEL or code. Thanks for your patience reading this.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #2
Antiharper
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350489
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario canada
Vehicle:
09 Impreza 2.5i

Default

Sounds like fuel to me. If you have a fuel pressure tester.. Or can borrow one hook it up, duct tape it to windshield and go for a drive. When it starts to act up see what the gauge is doing.
I have seen dropped valve guides cause this but you usually get random misfire codes.

Go for the basics, check fuel spark compression unless you've been having electrical problems etc.
Antiharper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antiharper View Post
Sounds like fuel to me. If you have a fuel pressure tester.. Or can borrow one hook it up, duct tape it to windshield and go for a drive. When it starts to act up see what the gauge is doing.
I have seen dropped valve guides cause this but you usually get random misfire codes.

Go for the basics, check fuel spark compression unless you've been having electrical problems etc.
That makes sense. I will try to see if i can get my hands on a tester. I have not had any other electrical problems.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Alright, rented a fuel system pressure tester and fuel stays a constant 30 psi while running normal and rough.

Again i drove it several miles, it was fine. Parked it for an hour and on start up ran horrible and stalled out. Left it for 5 min and it started up fine. Then drove it home and on the way home it would occasionally pop loop and run rough then would smooth out.

I can check compression tomorrow but i doubt it will tell me much. Still no codes.

Any other ideas?
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
monkeyposeur
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 333468
Join Date: Sep 2012
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: SLC, UT
Vehicle:
93 SS
Black Pearl

Default

Can you borrow a MAF from anyone and swap it in? You mentioned you cleaned it but it may be bad. I say this because I had a similar issue and it took forever to figure it out.
monkeyposeur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
Special J
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 148045
Join Date: May 2007
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Denver, CO
Vehicle:
2006 OBS
CGM

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablopakman View Post

... thing again. I get NO CODES, no CEL...

...It only throws a code if it stalls out...

...waste $100 since I am not getting a CEL or code...
Dude, help us help you. Are you or are you not getting a code? If you are, what is the code? If not, wtf?

Don't take this the wrong way, I want to see your ride get fixed too. But this stuff is hard enough to do over the Internet without it being so cryptic.

J
Special J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Thank you for the replies.

To answer both questions:

No i dont have someone i can borrow a maf from. I might try a local junk yard or ebay for a used one.

I do not get any codes ever. The check engine light does work and is not burned out. It comes on when i stall out but goes off when i restart. I have a scanner and no codes show up.

I recently tried some sea foam in the gas to see if dirty injectors are the issue but there has been no change. Today i drove it 40 miles in to work with no problem. Just took it out to lunch and it barely made it 2 miles stuttered and popped and stalled at every stop sign. I ate lunch, then started it up and it drove fine back to work.

Do you guys think i should pull the injectors to inspect the o rings and clean them? Or should i replace the MAF? The previous owner hacked off the front of the MAF to put on a cai. This setup has worked though for both the 2.2 and 2.5 for the past 3 years.

Any suggestions or advice at is is greatly appreciated. Thank you for the replies i have gotten. I am hesitant to take it to my local subaru mechanic for fear of him charging me a lot of time to look at what i already checked and still not resolving the issue especially since i havent found a way to replicate the problem on demand.

Thanks again for the help. Any other advice?
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #8
KAdams
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350544
Join Date: Mar 2013
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Northern VA
Vehicle:
2002 Bugeye Wagon

Default

The code shows up when you stall because when the key is in the on position (but before you start the car) all the lights light up to show you they are functional

Sounds like what happened to me with my car (though I never figured out what was wrong)

And the engine blew...
KAdams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams View Post
The code shows up when you stall because when the key is in the on position (but before you start the car) all the lights light up to show you they are functional

Sounds like what happened to me with my car (though I never figured out what was wrong)

And the engine blew...
Sounds promising I can't wait to see what happens. If my engine does blow, (which is beginning to sound inevitable), I'm not sure it will be worth replacing another engine. I have struts, brake pads and rotors waiting to go on this, but I don't want to install them until I know this thing will keep running.

I recently found another thread on another site (can't remember where it was now) that showed how to crack the case on the MAF and repair some cracked solder connections. It seemed to be all that was needed as opposed to buying a new $200 MAF, but that guy was getting a MAF code and a CEL. Do you think it would be worth opening up the MAF and taking a look? Or would that just open a whole new can of worms if that is not the problem?
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #10
Lipster
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 67263
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Lancaster PA
Vehicle:
2006 WRX Wagon
WRB

Default

Check ur grounding cables and battery connectors, just to rule out potential goofy things...
Lipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2013, 03:20 PM   #11
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Today I checked all the grounds and cleaned them up. I then pulled the fuel pump and checked the wiring and cleaned the connections. Put it all back together and it is still doing the same thing.

Any other recommendations?

Does anyone know if there is any code reading software that will work with the 97 impreza that will show me and possibly record live data? It would be very beneficial if I could know what was going on while it was running rough and stuttering.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2013, 03:54 PM   #12
KAdams
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350544
Join Date: Mar 2013
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Northern VA
Vehicle:
2002 Bugeye Wagon

Default

Wait does the CEL come on before or after the engine stalls?
KAdams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2013, 04:10 PM   #13
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams View Post
Wait does the CEL come on before or after the engine stalls?
After it stalls but only sometimes after it stalls. It still will run terribly without stalling. Sometimes it sounds like it is only firing on one cylinder.

Does any one think it could be the MAF? I am very tempted to open it up and check for cracked solder joints.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #14
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams View Post
Wait does the CEL come on before or after the engine stalls?
After it stalls but only sometimes. It always goes off after its restarted. The point is im not getting a check engine light to point me in a direction.

Does anyone know of any code reading software that will give me live data on a 97 impreza? The reader i have says it cannot read live data with my car. It would be nice to know what is happening while it is running poorly.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 05:10 PM   #15
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

The only mechanical oddity i have noticed is that the coolant reservoir keeps filling with coolant from the radiator and never returns to the radiator. This happens to the point where the reservoir will fill up and spill out coolant and the radiator will be half full.

This hasnt caused a problem...yet. Does anyone know why this might happen?
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 08:35 PM   #16
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Ok, I just pulled the plugs and checked the compression. Passenger side plugs looked fine, drivers side plugs looked a little oily (I put in new plugs and wires with the new 2.5 last oct.)

For compression I got a little over 210 psi on three (3) cylinders. The cylinder closest to the driver seat had a little over 190 psi.

Question: Does this sound like a head gasket? Could this be the cause of my problem?

Thanks again for all your help. Sorry for the multiple redundant posts. I was posting from my phone and it kept telling me there was an error when posting, when clearly there was not.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 08:30 AM   #17
Antiharper
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350489
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario canada
Vehicle:
09 Impreza 2.5i

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablopakman View Post
The only mechanical oddity i have noticed is that the coolant reservoir keeps filling with coolant from the radiator and never returns to the radiator. This happens to the point where the reservoir will fill up and spill out coolant and the radiator will be half full.

This hasnt caused a problem...yet. Does anyone know why this might happen?
Sounds like compression is being pumped into ur cooling system. HEADGASKET failure. Now it may be leaking when warm that's why it gets worse when u drive it. You can 1. Check for HC in the rad or overflow jug- u need a scope/gas analyizer
2. Install coolant psi tester, start engine then shut it off see if psi spiked

The CEL on when u stall is normal, don't worry about that if there are no codes.

NO. I wouldn't start taking the MAF apart to repair soldier. It's such a fine tuning device it's best not to "rig" it up. And yes it could cause your problem. If your fuel psi is good even when it stalls you can rule pump out.

How is your compression?
Unfortunately with out proper diagnosis with live data and me actually seeing the car I can't do much more. You can try to clean the MAF with contact cleaner, even brake clean and a q tip will work. If it gets better or goes away for a while I would replace MAF. I doubt clogged injectors as that wouldn't be an intermittent fault. And should set a misfire code. I had a newer impreza that had valve adjustment problems right
From factory../ ran fine when warm but cold start would stall out first stop sign.. All valves where way out of adjustmesnt.

Try these few suggestions but honestly it may be time to spend the money and get a proper diagnosis.
Antiharper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #18
Antiharper
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350489
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario canada
Vehicle:
09 Impreza 2.5i

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablopakman View Post
Ok, I just pulled the plugs and checked the compression. Passenger side plugs looked fine, drivers side plugs looked a little oily (I put in new plugs and wires with the new 2.5 last oct.)

For compression I got a little over 210 psi on three (3) cylinders. The cylinder closest to the driver seat had a little over 190 psi.

Question: Does this sound like a head gasket? Could this be the cause of my problem?

Thanks again for all your help. Sorry for the multiple redundant posts. I was posting from my phone and it kept telling me there was an error when posting, when clearly there was not.
I have seen civics leaky valve covers fill spark plug holes with oil, arcing up the wire and frying the distributor... Which you don't have I don't think. But if you have an oily plug it's time for valve cover gaskets and grommets.
Again this problem shouldn't be intermittent so not Likley your root
Cause.
Antiharper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #19
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Thank you for the replies. I think i can rule out MAF now that i found a potential head gasket issue. At this point i think i will take it to my local subaru guy to have him look at it and give me (hopefully) a definite root cause to the problems. Hopefully it is just the head gasket and leaky valve covers causing the issue.

Thanks again for the help and i will post what i find out.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #20
Antiharper
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350489
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario canada
Vehicle:
09 Impreza 2.5i

Default

Good luck! Let me/us know what you find.
Antiharper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #21
Charlie-III
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: 07456, North NJ
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

Default

Yeah, the coolant issue sounds like a HG, I've been through a few (mostly 2.5's, also my wifes 2.2...).

Additionally, what plugs & wires?? Hopefully NOT Bosch wires or plugs.
I usually do OEM wires & NGK copper V-power plugs. To get the plugs, you have to tell them it's for a 99 Impreza RS, they don't show for a Legacy. Go figure.

I have never had success with the Bosch ignition stuff in a Subaru, always leads to issues.
Charlie-III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #22
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
Yeah, the coolant issue sounds like a HG, I've been through a few (mostly 2.5's, also my wifes 2.2...).

Additionally, what plugs & wires?? Hopefully NOT Bosch wires or plugs.
I usually do OEM wires & NGK copper V-power plugs. To get the plugs, you have to tell them it's for a 99 Impreza RS, they don't show for a Legacy. Go figure.

I have never had success with the Bosch ignition stuff in a Subaru, always leads to issues.
They are ngk plugs (dont know which type exactly) and auto zone wires. I dont know what brand they were off hand.
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #23
Antiharper
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 350489
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario canada
Vehicle:
09 Impreza 2.5i

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablopakman View Post

They are ngk plugs (dont know which type exactly) and auto zone wires. I dont know what brand they were off hand.
Those will work fine. Most jap cars are NGK only although no one will admit it. Sneaky partsmen. My only other doubt is you may have 2 separate problems. Usually a failed head gasket will be consistently bad when hot, you mentioned that the running problem happens randomly so just be sure to be clear with the tech that u may have 2 seperate issues.
Antiharper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #24
Pablopakman
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 336372
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: cochranville, pa
Vehicle:
97 impreza wagon
red

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antiharper View Post
Those will work fine. Most jap cars are NGK only although no one will admit it. Sneaky partsmen. My only other doubt is you may have 2 separate problems. Usually a failed head gasket will be consistently bad when hot, you mentioned that the running problem happens randomly so just be sure to be clear with the tech that u may have 2 seperate issues.
And the plot thickens....
I believe you are correct, I have 2 problems. I spoke with my local "subaguru" on the phone today and he is booked until Friday. He also doubted he would be able to find anything based on what I told him i have checked so far. He was more baffled by how I got the 2.5 in there in the first place and had it running since October with no codes or any problems.

What he did say is that the coolant reservoir filling sounded like a head gasket, but at 190 psi while every other cylinder is at 210psi would not cause the intermittent rough running. So I probably have 2 separate problems.

So I'm back to square one. I have a bad head gasket (which can be dealt with later) but still no solution. Could it be the coil pack? it is the original coil pack from the 2.2. Is it possible to test one without an oscilloscope?
Pablopakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #25
stevefazek
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 128922
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

I would try swapping of a MAF
Check your coil if its bad yet i doubt it when the coil acts up it should geve a CEL
Check for more vacuum leaks i hate to say this.

Hows your temp? a toasted head gasket can be it if its an external it would leave oil in the coolant.

If its a internal leak you could smell exhaust fumes or gas in the your coolant and as the engine idles if you take your radiator cap off give it some throttle if any bubbles come out you got a hot side leak.

If its a hot side leak that is not to big you can give a fix than can last for months to years. Sodium silicate is its name aka water glass, they sell it under a million differnt names for head gasket sealer with price ranging from 10 bucks up to 70 bucks. the over priced stuff is nothing more than marketing and any good sodium silicate sealer will work, around 15 bucks.

Step 1 find the cylinder thats leaking you will remove your spark plugs and look for traces of coolant, one plug will smell like antifreeze and have a little bit of it on the plug too.
Once found remember it

You flush the coolant and replace it with distilled water, i mean flush it good and use chemical flush. now remove the thermostat. Add the sodium silicate and idle the engine untill its warm, now hold the engine at around 1500-2000 rpms for about 15 min, turn off the engine and let cool.

Now remove the spark plug from the cylinder with the leak in it. The engine will run like crap but will still run with gas, hold at 1500-2000 RPMS for another 15-20, It will sound like a WW1 fighter plane but you need the plug out otherwise the cylinder pressure will never allow the sodium silicate to harden at the crack.

Now put the plug back on and drain the water and let the car sit overnight. Put the thermostat back in and ad fresh coolant. If the leak is repairable this will fix it. Otherwise new headgasket time people may talk junk about this but for 30 bucks with coolant and a few hours of you time is that worth 1200 bucks to you if it works?

the trick is removing the plug and flushing the system if you dont do this it cannot and never will work. Also i advise leaking the heater core turned off while doing this but make sure its open when you flush the engine
stevefazek is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.