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Old 06-24-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 154661
Join Date: Jul 2007
Default Engine /Shifting problems 02 OB MT

Hi: We have a new to us 02 Outback with 108k on it and the 5 speed manual tranny and are wondering a couple things about the car. This post will deal with the most annoying and hopefully easiest to fix. It idles below the first mark under the 1k hash mark and although that's not alarming in and of itself, both my wife and I find it difficult to make smooth and jerkless shifts, especially from a stop or from 1st to second gear. It's real easy to even kill the motor if we're not super-tuned into the shifting process. I don't think it's our shifting technique as we own a 96 legacy wagon 5 speed too, and although it has a cable actuated clutch and the OB has hydrualic, I'm not ready to blame that either.

The motor seems like I need to give it extra goosing of the throttle(like it's kind of asleep and the extra throttle gets it into driveability mode) to get it to move from a stop w/o killing the engine. I guess my question is: is there a switch/sensor/ vacuum line or whatever on the throttle body or nearby that has an adjustment or trouble code associated with it. Is it simply a need to adjust the idle closer to 1000 rpms? We have no CEL light on, so it must not be anything major, but visual inspection doesn't reveal anything obviously mechanical on the throttle body like our Vanagon which can suffer these symptoms if the idle switch isn't proerly adjusted.

Any help would be a big plus.

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:33 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 80465
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Bailey, CO
2001 2.5RS
Black Diamond Pearl


idle is controlled by the ecu, you can't really mess w/it. since it's a used car, have you changed out all the fluids? You might not need to do coolant, but I'd be willing to bet that the tranny fluid could use it. This may not help your problem, but it's a start.

Next, you can try bleeding the clutch system and putting in new clutch (which is just brake) fluid. You might want to run some seafoam/bg44k thru it, there are many threads on how to do that.

Do you have the service records? You can look through those and compare them with recommended service. If there are no records, you should start thinking about some of the easier/common items like air/fuel filters, spark plugs, etc...

One thing to look at is the brakes, maybe a caliper is hanging, causing some drag when starting off. Is the handbrake correctly adjusted?
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
Scooby Guru
Member#: 82745
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: So Cal
2005 Subaru STI
2003 EJ207 S204 Wagon


Have you tried cleaning the IACV?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 154661
Join Date: Jul 2007

We have flushed the hydraulic clutch master cylinder and according to the PO, the clutch is not that old. The brakes are also recently done front and back. The rear diff fluid looked brand new, but put the Redline in there anyway. The manual tranny oil will be replaced in the next couple of weeks, but the tranny shifts fine, and the clutch releases fine, it's just the motor acts like it doesn't want to carry on when the clutch is in the process of getting released.

I'll follow up on the IACV as there are posts on how to do that. I assume I'll need to get that funky o ring gasket from the dealer when I take it off to clean.

Thanks for the replies

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