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Old 07-11-2003, 09:58 AM   #1
LisaPhish
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'02 Legacy GT Wagon
Silver - 5spd!

Default My idle speed is inconsistent at Idle, is this normal?

Hi again,

Okay, it doesn't matter if my AC is on or off, but at idle, say, at a light or something, my idle speed will drop from 1000rpm to 800, back up to 1000, and so on. Is this right?

Many thanks ~

Lisa
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:18 AM   #2
shipjumper
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I have a highly tuned legacy turbo, and Mine does that too.... as far as I know yeah its ok, just sensors firing, fans kicking on, etc
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:24 AM   #3
Jarvis
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And mine is a bone-stock 5mt turbo Legacy, and it does it to. It seems to coincide with the rough idle of the boxer. I think you're fine. You came from a very "sedate" car, IIRC. Subarus just have more "personality".

Jim
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:57 AM   #4
legacy2003
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got a 95 auto and mine does that too, but sometimes even more than yours. i'll go from a grand to 800 to a grand to 500 sometimes and then up to 1200.
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:05 PM   #5
Charlie-III
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Silver Sleeper Wagon

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I notice it the most when I am due for a tuneup.
Otherwise, my idle is fairly steady.
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:00 PM   #6
ciper
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I dont agree its normal. A dirty IAC is the most likely cause.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:06 PM   #7
legacy2003
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IAC?
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:51 PM   #8
LisaPhish
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What's an IAC? I don't want to really upset the dealership on Monday when I go in for my complaints... (remember, I've only had the car a few weeks...) I'm having them fix:
the wheel balance (big time shimmy between 60 - 75)
The Clutch problem... and....
my emergency brake needs major adjusting... it rolled on me the other day!

I think I'll just deal with the idle... especially if so many of you claim it's normal!

It's okay, regardless of a little personality, I still love my car!
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:09 PM   #9
highspeed11
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The glossary says IAC=Idle Air Control
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:32 PM   #10
ciper
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LisaPhish: What? Thats pretty dumb if you ask me. Why do you care how the dealer feals? The car has a warranty and you have a problem. If they dont like it you can just visit another dealer and tell SOA of your situation.

All of you who say its normal must not care about your car much if you let it do this. Im probably too picky about every little sound and vibration but its usually not that hard to fix.


I like these new icons, the banana is the coolest. Check this out http://flashshows.web1000.com/banana.html With a baseball bat!!
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:34 PM   #11
richeich
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Yep, mine's stable. Never has fluctuated. (Unless AC is on).
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:04 PM   #12
Jarvis
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Quote:
Originally posted by ciper
I dont agree its normal. A dirty IAC is the most likely cause.
My car is running perfectly, I assure you. If I were missing one plastic grommet anywhere in the car I'd spend all day finding one so that the car wouldn't spend the night in the garage (immaculate, by the way - the car and the garage) in such a state. Just to give you an idea. And this is a ten year old car. You should see what I do with my "younger" truck.

My car idles with that 200 rpm "wave" just like all my other Subarus, and most other brands of cars I've owned. That's little more, if any, than the width of the tach needle. Don't get her worked up over something that isn't happening.

Jim

edit: I will say my AC is on virtually all the time, look where I live. But it did it in Colorado where I used the AC far less.
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:26 PM   #13
ciper
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Jarvis: Well then there is still something wrong with it.

Owning THREE first generation legacy myself and driving a few more I know the idle can be TOTALLY STABLE. Watching from an external tackometer as well as the dash.
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Old 07-12-2003, 09:40 AM   #14
LisaPhish
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Alright everyone, let's be nice...

Yes, actually, I'm one to notice and complain about everything as well, and I guess Ciper's right, I will add it to my list... after all, I have only owned the car for a few weeks, it should be perfect!

Peace.
Lisa
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:20 PM   #15
Legacy777
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I'm going to make a comment here.

I don't think there is something "WRONG"

But it "COULD" run better. Most likely there some age issues, carbon build-up with injectors/valves.

I'm going to be tearing some things down in a little bit to diagnose things.

The IAC valve is not the cause of all problems. I've swapped IAC valves around, and get same results. There's some other problem somewhere causing the weirdness.
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:25 AM   #16
Subietonic
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Lisa,

All five of ours are rock stable on idle. The only change is a momentary blip when you turn on the AC, and it auto-rev adjusts back to it's normal idle point in .5 seconds or less.

The IAC has been mentioned, but I'd suggest a dirty throttle plate/throttle body (the flat plate that rotates inside the throttle body (aluminum colored, round metal pipe) located just forward of your air filter box (that large dark gray plastic box that sets at the top back of your engine just in front of the engine wall). Or, alternatively, it could be a clogged Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. These tend to get dirty over time, the PCV venting into the throttle body can contribute to a dirty throttle plate/body. If you're a do-it-yourselfer at all, or know someone who is, look over this maintenance link.

The other thing to have the dealer check is your 02 (oxygen) sensor. I don't know what kind of gas mileage you're getting but these can and do fail on occasion so the ECU compensates by increasing/decreasing idle. It also tends to burn up more gas at speed too because the default ECU setting for a failing/failed 02 sensor is "rich" IIRC. You should see a Check Engine LIght (CEL) with that too, though depending on your driving distance/time you may not see a CEL because engine factors (engine temp, rpms, ambient air temp, etc.), just don't warrant it.

Yeah, I'd add it to your list of things to get checked out.

Keep us posted.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:03 AM   #17
shipjumper
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hmmm sometimes my car takes too long to get back to idle.... getting off a highway, it sits at 2000 and then slowly drops down to 1000 then to 700-ish...
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Old 07-15-2003, 02:01 AM   #18
biggreen96
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92 Legacy Rally EG33'd

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96 with rock steady 800rpm idle
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