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Old 12-14-2005, 10:26 PM   #1
jsavage
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Default Who is good with Diagnosing Weird Engine Behaviors? I got a stumper.

1996 2.2L Impreza (my second subaru...love er ta bits)
172,000 on the odo.
Here's the problem:
Engine randomly cuts out at idle/Won't start to begin with randomly (but usually only when the engine is warm)
Once the car has stalled it refuses to start, but one of the two ALWAYS works:
- Let the car sit for 10 minutes
- Let the car turn over for a bit, while pumping the throttle.

I've had it to my mechanic for this, but everything he replaces is only a temp. fix. He replaced the fuel filter, distributor, man I can't even remember what else. Car still has a CEL (I believe for the knock sensor), which has been on for years. At some point with subaru's I just end of forgetting about getting each CEL looked at.
I think it's a timing issue...just because of the randomness of its behavior. When the car doesn't start it is pretty obviously a fuel issue...like something is preventing fuel delivery...or fuel delivery is happening at the wrong time.

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Old 12-14-2005, 10:29 PM   #2
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Coolant temp sensor.

Get the CEL scanned.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:34 PM   #3
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I would guess fuel pressure possibly.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:35 PM   #4
ivwarrior
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I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out how your mechanic changed the distributer on a 96 Subaru.....

I'd start with getting the codes pulled, fix what's causing the CEL....
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:16 PM   #5
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Code is a bad knock sensor.
Distributor CAP was replaced...
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:17 PM   #6
Mike Wevrick
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There is no distributor cap on that engine

and get a better mechanic; might be worth paying a Subie dealer to check it out
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:27 PM   #7
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fuel pump overheating. i don't think there are any sensors involved, so it won't throw a dtc.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaslayer
Coolant temp sensor.
This is a really easy fix... and well, 95% sure that it's the source of your problem.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:36 AM   #9
jsavage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
There is no distributor cap on that engine

and get a better mechanic; might be worth paying a Subie dealer to check it out
then what the hell is that black thing that all the spark plug wires go into?
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
This is a really easy fix... and well, 95% sure that it's the source of your problem.
Really? DIY fix or easy for a mechanic to fix?
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:41 AM   #11
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The black thing on top is a distributorless coil. It has no cap, it's one piece. They do occasionally fail.

Very DIY. The temp switch is right on top of the engine towards the front where the radiator hose meets the block. I think it costs like $10. As long as you swap it out quickly, you shouldn't lose more than 2oz of coolant.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage
then what the hell is that black thing that all the spark plug wires go into?
That's your ignition coil assembly I believe.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage
then what the hell is that black thing that all the spark plug wires go into?
That's the ignition coil pack. Cars with Electronic Fuel Injection don't use distributors, the ignition coils are charged/discharged by electronics controlled by the ECU.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:53 AM   #14
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Heh, this reminds me of this one lady who had her 2004 Forester not able to start where she was at home. So we thought it was towed in. Well it wasn't.

Needless to say, we could start it up fine.

So we asked the lady about how she got it here.

She said: "Well, my husband played around with the carburator."

Me and another tech: , <runs away, and very far>

-paK +1
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeech
That's the ignition coil pack. Cars with Electronic Fuel Injection don't use distributors, the ignition coils are charged/discharged by electronics controlled by the ECU.

You mean to tell me that a little motor doesn't spin around controlling spark? A computer can do all that!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
The black thing on top is a distributorless coil. It has no cap, it's one piece. They do occasionally fail.

Very DIY. The temp switch is right on top of the engine towards the front where the radiator hose meets the block. I think it costs like $10. As long as you swap it out quickly, you shouldn't lose more than 2oz of coolant.

BTW...what makes you think it is this part? What about this coolant temp. sensor would make the car behave this way?
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:45 AM   #17
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My guess is that it is the cam and crank sensor...
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:00 AM   #18
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The problem's at idle, so how about the idle control system for the throttle?
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:02 AM   #19
punk'd
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fuel pump my daughters mustang did the same thing I put a new fuel pump in problem fixed
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:33 AM   #20
Synacr0n
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I would think "fuel pump" myself


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakin
Heh, this reminds me of this one lady who had her 2004 Forester not able to start where she was at home. So we thought it was towed in. Well it wasn't.

Needless to say, we could start it up fine.

So we asked the lady about how she got it here.

She said: "Well, my husband played around with the carburator."

Me and another tech: , <runs away, and very far>

-paK +1
You should have replied, "Whats a carburator?"
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:34 AM   #21
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With that mileage, fuel pump.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:34 PM   #22
Hondaslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnavarro
With that mileage, fuel pump.

It's a Subaru, fuel pumps very rarely fail.

Coolant temp sensor, or as Kelly pointed out, cam and crank sensor is possible as well.

But not wanting to restart when it is warmed up screams of coolant temp sensor.
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Old 12-16-2005, 09:34 AM   #23
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Fuel Pump
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Old 12-16-2005, 09:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexygirl
My guess is that it is the cam and crank sensor...
That was my first thought too. I had one go bad on me and the car exhibited the same problems.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage
BTW...what makes you think it is this part? What about this coolant temp. sensor would make the car behave this way?
The coolant temp sensor is how the computer decides how rich the start-up mixture needs to be. Just like a choke on a carburator, the ECU will increase the amount of fuel used at startup when the engine is cold to get it started. When sensor stops responding, the computer defaults to cold-start mode. Unfortunately, a rich mixture will just flood the engine when it's already warm, making it very hard to start. The rich mixture also makes the warm idle rough and usually causes minor hesitation while driving.
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