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Old 08-22-2005, 01:50 PM   #1
Plays_With_toys
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Location: Parker, Colorado
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1996 Legacy L wagon

Default holy gas mileage drop batman!

Hey guys, I got 27mpg after seafoaming my car a few months ago. Well that was some highway mostly city. Otherwise I do all city and was getting 24-25mpg. Well, the last 3 tanks of the same driving I have been getting maybe 20mpg if that. I just got done doing 200 miles of highway driving and I averaged 21mpg. This all start happening after I reported that whirring noise after start up. But otherwise I have had no CELs. My engine power seems to have dropped and my intake noise (snorkusectomy roar) is quieter. Plugs and plug wires, fuel filter, and air filter are new, oil is almost 3000 miles old, but looks almost brand new. Air temperatures have even been cooler around here and I still have this power loss. Any ideas???

BTW, its a 1996 Legacy L (that means its the 2.2) with a 5 speed and 127k miles. The whirring noise sounds like it is coming from the front/top of the motor. But it was making that noise for the last 60 miles of my 27mpg run, and I had two more 24mpg runs after that with the noise... Only now with the last 3 tanks has my engine been dogging.
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Old 08-22-2005, 01:53 PM   #2
Warp3
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A bad front O2 sensor will drop your fuel mileage pretty notably.

Shane
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:02 PM   #3
TRH_legacy2k
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'68 Spitfire

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Last time I heard a whirring noise, my water pump took a dump a week later (of course, that was in a 1992 Camry)... probably wouldn't explain the drop in MPG (A/C on more?)
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #4
Dan Cech
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FWIW My A/C compressor makes a whirring noise, that is definitely front/top but doesn't seem to affect gas mileage.

My money would be on a dead sensor, which could make it run rich or pull all your timing, or both.

My knock sensor blew out last month, the car felt like a dog and my mileage dropped, usually something like that would trigger a CEL though...
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:57 PM   #5
Plays_With_toys
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The knock sensor is new and the timing belt/tensioner are new. I would think the O2 sensor or any sensor would trigger a CEL.

The whir sounds kind of like when you max your steering out in either direction, that straining noise, and it sounds like it is coming from the alternator area. Whether this is truly connected to the problem is another thing altogether though, since I did get good gas mileage even with the noise.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:08 PM   #6
TRH_legacy2k
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Is the A/C compressor still running even when your AC is off maybe (busted compressor clutch or something of the sort) I'm just throwing things out there now...
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:40 PM   #7
Plays_With_toys
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I thought that might be the case, but when I engage the AC I feel the car drop in power significantly, (like 5-8hp). Can I run the car without the AC belt so long as I keep the AC turned off without damage to anything else? Maybe it could isolate the noise/problem... most likely not, but worth a shot if it won't effect the car otherwise.

I'm clueless too, and I don't want to bring it to a shop who won't find anything wrong with it and be $120 poorer.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:10 PM   #8
JjSwee
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Check your tire pressure?
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:14 PM   #9
Plays_With_toys
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I pulled my airfilter which is only 2.5-3 months old (3000 miles) and it was charcoal black in the middle. Its a K&N and the surrounding area was purple (clean). It was black right infront of the inlet to the rest of the intake piping. Is it normal to get your filter dirty that quickly with the snorkus removed? I didn't drive in any real dusty situations that I can recall so this is very strange for me.

I cleaned it out and I have some more power/sound, a tiny tiny bit, only noticeable that my head cocks back in second gear a little, where before I felt no difference between 1/8 throttle and full throttle.

The gas mileage test will come with the next tank of gas.
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:57 PM   #10
Russell Rogers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plays_With_toys
I pulled my airfilter which is only 2.5-3 months old (3000 miles) and it was charcoal black in the middle. Its a K&N and the surrounding area was purple (clean). It was black right infront of the inlet to the rest of the intake piping. Is it normal to get your filter dirty that quickly with the snorkus removed? I didn't drive in any real dusty situations that I can recall so this is very strange for me.

I cleaned it out and I have some more power/sound, a tiny tiny bit, only noticeable that my head cocks back in second gear a little, where before I felt no difference between 1/8 throttle and full throttle.

The gas mileage test will come with the next tank of gas.

That is normal for the snorkusectomy...... also change your gas type. The o2 sensor will throw a code only if it is totally dead. It may be lame meaning it is only giving a signal when at certain rpm's or whenever it wants to. this will affect fuel trim issues. Have you also checked into wheter or not you may have isues with the alternator. if the alternator is going bad it may cause more parasitic drain in the engine which may in fact change gas mileage. That whiring sound you hear is probably the brushes wearing down... Have you noticed any battery lighting issues or the sort. I would take it in and have it checked. This may be a job for a dealership to deal with.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:32 PM   #11
Plays_With_toys
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Change gas type? I'm using mid grade (89) so I should move to 91? The whirring sounds like it could be coming from the alternator, but I haven't had any power issues with stereo or lights. Maybe the autozone can test the alternator output.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:42 PM   #12
fastenova
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Any decent electrical/battery shop should test it for free. Les Schwab's (if you have them in CO, I think they might just be a NW company) will test alt. output for you and load test your battery too if you want it done.

-A
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Old 08-24-2005, 02:26 PM   #13
outback_97
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If it is your alternator it might be covered by a recall if it's original. I would check into that.

Had mine replaced by the dealer for free (97 Legacy OB) a few years back... didn't notice any lower mileage, alternator just went out and the battery icon came up on the dash. Not sure exactly what years were covered by the recall though.

Steve

EDIT: 96 is covered per these links:
http://www.automotive.com/1996/49/su...lls/28453.html
http://auto-recalls.justia.com/conte...GACY-1996.html

Last edited by outback_97; 08-24-2005 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:33 PM   #14
Plays_With_toys
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Well awesome. See I knew hopping on the computer was a good thing. I just debadged the rear of my car and couldn't figure out the othe errand I needed to run. Now I remember it was getting the alternator checked. Thanks for letting me know about the recall, I had looked previously for recall information on the car and couldn't find the proper websites. Off to advance auto..
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:06 AM   #15
Plays_With_toys
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Well, my alternator is fine, but I am still going to get it replaced by subaru, because I do have some whirring coming fromt the engine bay, and I can finally figure out if it is the alternator... Free of charge

So far with the cleaned filter I noticed way more power tonight while driving in the cooler temperatures and I've put 30 miles on the clock without the fuel gauge moving. So its looking good so far.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:36 AM   #16
Wiscon_Mark
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2003 Forester X 5MT

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Any new developments with this, PWT??
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:20 PM   #17
lag
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Check all of your hoses for your intake. My money is on a vacumme leak somewhere.
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:15 PM   #18
Plays_With_toys
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Yes I've been meaning to update this, but I just started school and a new job. I got something like 31mpg the other day. I'm going to pull all my gas receipts and let you know what all went down. Give me a night.
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Old 09-05-2005, 10:30 PM   #19
Wiscon_Mark
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sweet
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