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Old 04-06-2003, 05:17 AM   #1
Yotsuya
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
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Jack Soo Fan Club

Default Need help diagnosing an engine problem

Monday morning my car goes to Evanston Subaru to fix the problems the body shop could not after my car was hit two months ago. Top issues include:
1. Drivers seat with seatback bent, seat rail track bent, and wobbly, after body shop said it was fixed two times.

2. Exhaust system out of place so it rattles the heat shield

3. Alignment totally off, steering wheel turned to thr left to go streight (body shop says they don't cover it for rear end hits).

4. Engine hesitating. It sounds like cylinders are not firing all the time, very jerky when starting off in first gear. Above 2000 RPMs it smooths out unless I get on the gas hard, then it stutters again. I have sub 5000 mile plugs, magnecore wires, and the car wasn't doing this before the collision.

I can clearly show the deslership what is wrong in the first three items, but I would like some ideas as to what is causing the engine problem. Working with the body shop has convinced me no one is working in the best interests of my car except for me, at least anyone who can diagnose and fix the problem. The insurance company has been very tolorant of my complaints about the shop's shortcomings, and they are going to cover the check of the things I mention here. Whether or not they fix them will be dependent on if the dealer determines it was the result of the colision. I figure they can't avoid the seat and exhaust. And probably the alignment, too. But the more I can direct them to the sourse of the engine problem the better.

Any ideas? If it's not the plugs and wires, what else could be at fault?

Note: the colision was to the right rear of the car at maybe 20-30 mph. I was in gear and turning the left when I was hit. Cosmetically, it required new right rear quarter panel, bumper, and trun floor. Don't know if it knocked the right wheel out of line.

Help is always appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2003, 09:06 AM   #2
Revision
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Sounds similar to what happened to me when the cats disintegrated and clogged the exhaust.
- Diagnose: Take the cat section out and shake it. If you hear loud clunking (not sand shaking) then you may have an issue. If you want, you can borrow my spare cat section to help diagnose the issue.

As for alignment. If the frame is not straightened properly, the alignment will suffer. Leading to handling issues and usually another accident. Put it on the alignment rack and check it.
That body shop is putting out a lot of BS. Rear end collisions can cause steering issues. They are avoiding the problem.

Seatback and rails should be easily replaceable. Just replace the seat and rails.

Heat shields were probably knocked loose from the jarring of the impact. The heat shields tend to come loose anyway and can be welded back in place easily.
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Old 04-06-2003, 02:12 PM   #3
Yotsuya
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Quote:
Originally posted by Revision
That body shop is putting out a lot of BS. Rear end collisions can cause steering issues. They are avoiding the problem.
I suppose I've been lucky to have avoided an accident until this late in life. On the other hand, I have unreasonable expectations of service as a result. It's almost as bad as dealing with a car salesman, but at least then it's not like I already have the car.

Thanks for the tip; I'm going to check the cat this afternoon.
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Old 04-06-2003, 02:27 PM   #4
Midwayman
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Dealing with insurance, especially someone else's insurance is more often than not a painful experience. They will try to let anything slide that they possibly can. Your best protection is to insist is goes to a body shop with a sterling reputation. Its your right to do so.


Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2003, 05:53 PM   #5
Yotsuya
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I pulled the cat off this afternoon, shook it (no sound), and tried running the engine wiht nothing attached to the headers. Same problem.

Now I can tell the shop one of the things it's not (along with plugs and wires).

So far I've had no trouble with the other driver's insurance; it's the body shop that's been truculent. I hope it stays that way.
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Old 04-06-2003, 09:23 PM   #6
Tim Sanderson
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It could possibly be your throttle position sensor. it can be checked with an alalog voltmeter. Or you could take it in.
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:02 PM   #7
Revision
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yotsuya
I pulled the cat off this afternoon, shook it (no sound), and tried running the engine wiht nothing attached to the headers. Same problem.
Loud loud loud.
Is this happening with no load on the engine as well as when it is in gear?
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:49 PM   #8
Yotsuya
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Quote:
Originally posted by Revision
Is this happening with no load on the engine as well as when it is in gear?
From time to time; it comes and goes. Frankly, the same happens when the throttle is hit. There are times it accelerates smoothly.
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:54 PM   #9
8Complex

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Was there anything in the repair regarding removing/replacing/repairing your fuel tank? It almost sounds as if your fuel pump may be to blame... loose connection, losing pressure somehow, etc.
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:48 AM   #10
HndaTch627
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gotta be a wire or coil...definitely not a cat or faulty muffler because it would idle fine, andrew has his symptoms backwards. check for a missing vacuum hose off a cylinder

make sure there's not water or anything in the plug tubes and also see if they at any time removed the fuel pump for any reason.

alignment-tell those morons that's it's a Unibody Independent rear Suspension vehicle and that any hit on the chassis in ANY place affects the alignment.

as for the seat, it's going to need at least a new track which isn't that bad.

jeremy
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Old 04-07-2003, 02:17 PM   #11
Yotsuya
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Evanston Subaru says this:
(eidted after picking the car up and getting clarification)

Engine has non-standard plug wires (magnecore) so that's why the motor is misfiring.

Can I try someone's stock wires some time? won't take but a minute

Alignment is due to non-standard struts which keep the car from fitting on their alignment rack (funny, the dealer in Peoria did it for me once).

Guy who called me and mechanic came virtually to blows over this; the mechanic said the suspension was too low for their rack, but the manager wrote that the alignment was off due to the struts). I got them to clarify that on the bill

Exhaust is aftermarket and does not fit the car, which is why it rattles (didn't before I was hit)

The mechanic bent the shielding around and found one of the bolts was't stock. Since it's a cheap bit, he just put on a new bolt

Seat recliner is broken but not a result of the accident, in their opinion.

Not in their opinion, the adjuster they talked to. When I described the type of hit, the reaction of the mechanic and manager was "how the hell did they miss that?"

So basically they and the insurance company are going to do nothing. I'm seeing the adjuster tomorrow morning about the seat; the rest can be fixed on my dime, and screw all these people.

Stay rational; they just documented what was wrong with the car. I'm going to see if Godmal can look at it Wednesday (I've left him a PM, if anyone knows his mumber, please PM it to me).

When I see the adjuster, I'll make sure she and the body shop manager sit in the seat and see that the back is loose and too far reclined.


still]
to hell

Last edited by Yotsuya; 04-07-2003 at 04:45 PM.
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