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Old 09-23-2007, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Intermittent engine miss-PLEASE HELP!!

Hey all,
I just bought this 99 forester a few weeks ago, knowing that it had a few problems. One major problem is an intermittent engine miss. It also smokes a bit. Anyway, the engine miss is fairly severe sometimes-feels like it only has 1/2 of the normal power and can barely accelerate. This usually occurs under heavier loads such as trying to accelerate from 30 mph in 4th gear(it's a manual trans). Other times the damn thing runs great and I can't hardly keep my foot out of the throttle...great power.
I have replaced the Bosch platinum plugs with NGK v-powers and also replaced the plug wires. I have also "sea-foamed" the engine in hopes of lessening the oil burning problem. The check engine light has been on since I bought the car. Checked the codes with a scan tool, came back with knock sensor out of range and either catalyst efficiency out of range or o2 sensor on pass. side bank(can't remember for sure). I can understand the o2 sensor or catalyst problem with the oil burning situation however, I don't think it would cause an intermittent miss. I swapped out the knock sensor with one from a junked 98 legacy with a 2.2L, but it was no help as it still misses. After clearing the codes, the light came back on within 2 or 3 miles of hiway driving.

I'm about out of ideas, the only thing else I can think of is maybe the injectors have some serious sticking problems. But, then again, this problem only occurs 50% of actual driving time. Sorry to be so long-winded but I'll be taking the car on a 200 mile trip this weekend and I'm tired of driving it like this. I appreciate any help you can give me.

Rick

Last edited by ejm2001; 09-23-2007 at 06:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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G'day & welcome

Have a look around and I'm sure you can find info on similar issues here.

How do you know the 2nd hand knock sensor was good?

Could be a faulty coil pack ? Have you tested it?
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would check the catalytic converters. ( try tapping on them with a hammer and listen for rattling ) It sounds like you have an intermediate blockage going on. Do you notice it doing it especially when angled uphill or under load? If you do have a converter plugging up, it will just keep getting worse until your car runs like crud. If this is the problem, you can pick up a 2 converter after market unit on line for about $250. Subaru wants like 4 times that. Good luck. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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+1 for possible coil/ignitor problems. Can be related to O2 as well, and/or ECU be screwing with fuel or timing. Since you changed the knock sensor, try resetting ECU and see it that makes any difference. Also, see what new codes come up (if any).

Also, I'd like to say that, unfortunately, there is not much you can do to reliably diagnose a problem with so much going on. Try it one at a time. Can be faulty sensor(s), or something as simple as bad wiring.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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does it happen when engine is cold or warm, or both?

_taF
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My car was missing really really badly, and would only run on 2 cylinders. I kept throwing knock codes.

I replaced the knock sensor with one from a JDM 2.5 we had lying around the shop and that is no longer an issue.

But it started again. And it got so severe that the car would continuously stall on the highway and NOT restart.

Turned out to be the Crank-angle-sensor. $28 and 10 minutes later and the car runs better than new.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^
there's a good one to know. have had this problem once on a JDM engine in my Civic.

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Old 09-25-2007, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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quick update-was driving home from work yesterday(about a 15 mile trip) and the car seemed to be running fine...not missing at all. About half way home the CEL goes out, as in not lit-up any more Ok, well I thought "great, it just had to get used to the different knock sensor...all is well!"
Not So Fast!!! on the way in to work today the damn CEL came back on and was running like crap again.
So, I broke down and bought a new knock sensor and will be putting it on in a few minutes. We'll see how she runs tomorrow on the way to work.
Thanks for all the suggestions, not sure what to try next if the knock sensor doesn't fix it.
Rick
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You should be getting p0301, 0302, 0303, 0304 w/ a steady miss. Do you see a single cylinder causing the problem or different cylinder? The crankshaft position sensor detects missing, so if you're not getting any of above codes this may be the reason as suggested. A bad coil will be indicated by a single cylinder causing the missing.

good luck
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The crank position sensor doesn't detect missing, it just lets the ECU know where the crank is (and thus, how to time the engine).

If the ECU DOESN'T know where the crank is, it'll kick the timing ALL the way retarded, and the car will run like crap.

My crank position sensor didn't throw a CEL until the morning it stalled, and only after it stalled. It probably died 10 times while in traffic on the way to the shop, and it was HARD to restart. Cranking for 30+ seconds at one point.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejm2001 View Post
Not So Fast!!! on the way in to work today the damn CEL came back on and was running like crap again.

Rick
were you able to read the code?

anyway, when it runs like crap, while engine running, have you tried checking for spark to each clyinder? if you're missing, it could either be your coil module or crank position sensor. the CPS allows the ECM to fire spark & trigger fuel injectors at same timing.

if the above is true in your case, then it can also indicate a "knock" which allows your ECM to retard your timing.

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Old 09-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Update #2
Well, it seemed to run fine today to and from work. Will drive it again tomorrow and see what happens. Not ready to call it "fixed" until I put a few more miles on it. CEL is still on steady also. May try clearing it tomorrow after work... Also have to change the pass. side axle shaft-do these still use a roll pin to keep the axle attached to the trans like the older Sube's?
Rick

BTW, I don't have a code reader, been borrowing one from a friends shop. I think he's wishing I'd buy my own...who makes a decent one that won't cost me an arm&leg?
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Your 01 IS an older suby, so yes it still uses roll pins to hold the axle in place.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAC5.2 View Post
The crank position sensor doesn't detect missing, it just lets the ECU know where the crank is (and thus, how to time the engine).

If the ECU DOESN'T know where the crank is, it'll kick the timing ALL the way retarded, and the car will run like crap.

My crank position sensor didn't throw a CEL until the morning it stalled, and only after it stalled. It probably died 10 times while in traffic on the way to the shop, and it was HARD to restart. Cranking for 30+ seconds at one point.
I don't see any other sensor besides crankshaft position sensor that could be used to determine misfire. Misfire in other engines is determined by observing (from crankshaft position) the lag that results when a cylinder fails to fire. How does the Subaru do this w/o the crankshaft position sensor?

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