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Old 07-29-2006, 09:53 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 72021
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: BARBADOS

Default Hesitation Problems

I own a 1999 1500cc Subaru Impreza w/ the EJ15 engine, and since Tuesday I have been having a bit of a problem. Anytime I start the car, whether it be hot or cold and I move the gear selector to either “R” or “D” from “P” and attempt to move off, the revs will drop from 850 rpm to about 350 – 500 rpm, the car will shudder and it will be reluctant to move off, however, this will only occur for approximately 5 – 7 seconds and then everything will be fine for the remainder of the journey.

The plugs were changed in January and the normal life expectancy of my plugs is usually 1 year so I don’t think the plugs are at fault, additionally, I also inspected the spark plugs this morning and the tips looked quite fine as there was no evidence of fouling. The only thing that I found was that there was a small trace of oil on the spark plug boots for cylinder #1, #2 and #3 but not enough for there to be an immediate cause for concern.

I also checked the resistance of the spark plug wires and they are all within specification.

I also sprayed the inside of the spark plug boot as well as the other end of the spark plug wire lead (the side that goes into the ignition coil) with some WD-40, just in case it was moisture that was the cause of the problem, additionally the area on the ignition coil where the spark plug wire lead attaches to looks quite fine and there is absolutely no evidence of corrosion

The only other thing worth mentioning was that I topped at a different gas station on Monday night and the problems started on Tuesday morning.

My question is, can anyone provide me with any ideas as to what the problem might be and other suggestions for rectifying this problem. Additionally, the name of the part required to prevent oil from getting onto the spark plug boot would also be appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:22 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 121471
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Astoria, NY
2008 WRX Premium


I have a similar problem. When I start up in the morning and let the car idle until the rps's come down, they start to fluctuate and the car starts to choke up. then they shoot up and the whole process repeats. It stops doing that once I hit the gas a few times. I've had some bad hesitation problems at low rpm's in second when I've stepped on it. I just had a full tune-up done. I suspected the plugs but it seems unlikely. I moved to long island recently and they use a different gas down here, so maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:48 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 80465
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Bailey, CO
2001 2.5RS
Black Diamond Pearl


I'd lean towards the bad gas. I've had it before where I stop at some out of the way gas station, mileage and power were horrible for that tank. Try running a tank or 2 of a known good fuel and see if it helps. When you're putting a load on the engine(by shifting into go) the engine doesn't want to move out of it's nice idle, right? Do you notice any power loss in regular driving? Does this happen right as you shift into drive or, when you ease off the brake and onto the gas?
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