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Old 08-14-2001, 11:12 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 3057
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Arlington, MA
Default 1990 Legacy Idle problem

When I start my 1990 Legacy, the rpm oscillates for a couple of seconds by about 1000 rpm. It goes as high as 1000-1100rpm and as low as 100 or 0rpm, where it sometimes shuts off or feels like it is very close to shutting off. It happens every time I start the car, regardless of temperature or whether or not it's been sitting for a long time.

If it doesn't stall, the rpm finally settles to it's correct (i think) value and idles normally. Anyone know what that means?

Thanks in advance.

I would also like to add that the car lacks power in general. It takes a lot of throttle to get up hills. I bought this car used, so I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be.
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Last edited by mhj; 08-14-2001 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-14-2001, 01:37 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2709
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Media, PA
2006 WRX Wagon


I ran into the same problem with my fiancee's 91 legacy. I dont have an exact solution, but here's what I did.

Rechecked the gap in the spark plugs. (current plugs, NGK's, were fairly new so I didnt replace them)
Replaced plug wires (I ripped the connector off one trying to get it off the plug... )
Reset the ECU
(unplug red terminal on the battery. Let car sit 30 mins. Start car, without touching the gas, let the car warm up to temperature at idle. ~ 10 mins... so you have time to reset clock/radio etc. After the car has warmed up, turn it off. Restart car and take for a spirited drive).

The idle will still fluctuate on rare occasions, but not to the extent it was. (you'll see what I mean).

as for power... those 2.2L's are pretty peppy and the MY90+ cars arent all that heavy to need the 2.5L. (I think the GVW is like 2-400lbs less than my 2000 GT.)

keep us posted.
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Old 08-14-2001, 03:40 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 3057
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Arlington, MA

I recently replaced the alternator and battery, so the car had been without a battery for over 24hrs. After starting the car, I had let it run for about 20 min, then I took it for a drive. The problem had existed before then, however.

I'll check the wires when I get home, but the car doesn't seem like it's misfiring or anything (no abrubt engine vibrations). The spark plugs were changed only a few thousand miles ago.

Thanks for the help.
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