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sstalder5

Turbo Monkey
Aug 20, 2008
1,945
20
Beech Mtn Definitely NOT Boulder
Coming back from the beach a few days ago my car, a 2002 Subaru Outback, started sputtering like I was running out of gas. I wasn't. I stopped and checked everything out under the hood, but nothing seemed wrong. The check engine light wasn't on and when I started driving again and the problem went away. It drove fine for two days then the problem came back only worse. Now it stalls 2-3 seconds before accelerating. Its going to the shop tomorrow but I want to have something to tell them besides "my car no workie, take my money please."

The only possible lead I have is that my check engine light has been off and on for about the last month and is signalling the catalytic converter, but it hasn't come on in about a week. Oh and I have leaky head gaskets, but I keep the oil every few days and keep it at the proper level, and that is being fixed in two weeks.

Help? :)
 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,368
1,919
Colorado
Go to O'Riley or autozone and buy an obd2 reader. There is a plug under the dash. It will give you codes (p####) that you can then search for on NASIOC.com.
At least go in educated.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
Go to O'Riley or autozone and buy an obd2 reader. There is a plug under the dash. It will give you codes (p####) that you can then search for on NASIOC.com.
At least go in educated.
Autozone will let you use an OBD2 scanner for free (other than CA).
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
1
Oz
Its telling you to stop pretending to be a lesbian. It doesn't tolerate your wiener having kind.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
10,838
6,996
Canaderp
Similar situation here with a 2005 Mazda 3. Last year it would sputter while sitting at lights. It wouldn't do it everytime, but it was frequent. The engine light came on after about a month of having the issue. It made trying to accelerate with the manual transmission interesting to say the least... First thing I did was take it to my moms mechanic, who cleared all the codes and whatnot in the computer. It ran fine for a little bit after that, but soon it started to do the same thing again.

In the end it turned out to be a faulty bypass valve of some sort. I watched the mechanic put the plastic tube on and then wanted to donkey punch myself for paying for the labour for it! It took the guy longer to drive over to Mazda to pick up the part than it did to put it on. But in the end, that one little plastic part made the car run well again.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Sounds like you need to address the head gasket before you need the whole motor replaced. My money says the condition now is related.


To expand on that thought a bit for you... With a blown head gasket, your pushing coolant out the exhaust, maybe a little, maybe alot... That can contaminate your o2 sensors, plug up your cat and throw everything off. On top of that as your coolant level drops below were the actual sensor is mounted<always hi on the engine> it stops giving the correct temp to the PCM, combine innaccurate temp signal with contaminated o2's and you have a vehicle that thinks its alot colder than it is trying to either back off the fuel elvel or max it out.... all this menas it runs like ****.

To continue just a bit more..... Your probably getting water into the oil as well reducing the ability to keep the engine lubricated properly, actually making a sticky build up which can actually keep the oil from getting to the cylinder walls altogether... that equals damaged rings and cylinders........
 
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sstalder5

Turbo Monkey
Aug 20, 2008
1,945
20
Beech Mtn Definitely NOT Boulder
I figured it was related to the head gasket problem. Everything is getting fixed tomorrow. I got my parents to help pay for it so I could get everything fixed at once. The only symptom of the leaky head gaskets I've seen until now is a slow oil drip..
 

MMike

A fowl peckerwood.
Sep 5, 2001
18,222
86
just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
Speaking of jeeps..... Isnt yours due to break down right about now?
SHHHHHH!!!

Actually I have an appointment...

It's dripping something and I'm PRETTY sure the awful noise it's making is a wheel bearing.

As the noise goes away when I veer slightly to the right, I THINK it's a front right wheel bearing.

(I never drive it. So I did the other day. I get on the highway, and it's just roaring at me. I ask my wife about it...."Oh yeah it's been doing that for a while."......facepalm)
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,171
4,964
Sleazattle
SHHHHHH!!!

Actually I have an appointment...

It's dripping something and I'm PRETTY sure the awful noise it's making is a wheel bearing.

As the noise goes away when I veer slightly to the right, I THINK it's a front right wheel bearing.

(I never drive it. So I did the other day. I get on the highway, and it's just roaring at me. I ask my wife about it...."Oh yeah it's been doing that for a while."......facepalm)
That noise is just god telling you to veer into a bridge abutment.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
SHHHHHH!!!

Actually I have an appointment...

It's dripping something and I'm PRETTY sure the awful noise it's making is a wheel bearing.

As the noise goes away when I veer slightly to the right, I THINK it's a front right wheel bearing.

(I never drive it. So I did the other day. I get on the highway, and it's just roaring at me. I ask my wife about it...."Oh yeah it's been doing that for a while."......facepalm)
4x4 or 4x2?



vaccum leak.....
Yes... its a subaru

I'd check spark plug condition first.

With a blown head gasket.... you know they are fouled with coolant
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,368
1,919
Colorado
You know that you can buy oem parts online for way less than a dealer, right? Of your wheel bearing OS blown, find out what needs to be replaced end leave with your car. Come back with the right parts later.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
You know that you can buy oem parts online for way less than a dealer, right? Of your wheel bearing OS blown, find out what needs to be replaced end leave with your car. Come back with the right parts later.
Thats an absolutly true statement... same thing for your bikes too.....

Question is... do you have the tools and knowhow to install said parts
 

nyhc00

Monkey
Jul 19, 2010
496
0
CT
Awww, come on guys, it's so simple maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads, and I'm gonna need 'bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
believe it or not....a few people can actually fix their own cars.
FTFY

Most cannot.... I see first hand what people do to their vehicles when they dont know how to do it right....... probably 60% of what I work on I am fixing what the customer did before I can find what the original problem was.

Most dangerous thing I see the general public do.... go to Autozone, get a code scan, buy the related part and go home and install it.......Codes dont normally give you the exact problem, just which sensor is reading the problem.... still have to find the root problem.
 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,368
1,919
Colorado
Thats an absolutly true statement... same thing for your bikes too.....

Question is... do you have the tools and knowhow to install said parts
Concur. Are you telling me that you'll turn down labor fees if someone brings their own parts in though?

Still, I'll take my car in to have labor done when I don't have time to do it myself. Those times I bring all of my own parts in with me, but I might be the exception... Then again, I alprefer to do preventative maintenance so I have few (if any) unexpected problems.

I have come into far more issues with mechanics discovering problems that aren't actually there though... I had one diagnose a blown turbo on my Forester three weeks after I had just replaced it. I have come to terms that when I do need to have deep engine or transmission work done, I will be going to a race shop.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
I have come to terms that when I do need to have deep engine or transmission work done, I will be going to a race shop.
Please take a camera with you so you can capture the look on the guys' faces when you bring a Forester to a race shop. Then kindly share it with us.
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,468
249
Lima, Peru, Peru
am almost certain the problems are related.
have the head gasket fixed/inspected first, then decide if the repair is worth the hassle.

the leaky gasket could have fuxxored the catalytic converter. if you, you are in for an even more expensive repair because you did not take care of the head gasket in time.
 

DirtyMike

Turbo Fluffer
Aug 8, 2005
14,366
944
My own world inside my head
Concur. Are you telling me that you'll turn down labor fees if someone brings their own parts in though?


.
Well.... yeah I turn it down because I have way too much paying work to do to install parts the custmer brought themselves...... On top of that I still have to warranty my work. Translation is that I install your part, it goes bad, I still have to warranty the labor, that means your car will be sitting on my rack costing me money while you take the part back to get another....

Installing customers parts is beyond a pain in the ass in the long run, not only just being a pain in the ass it cuts into profits substantially. You gotta understand most of the profit from autoshops is made from the parts, every business out thre marks up the product they sell.... its just how it goes.

You sound like the classic I got effed by a mechanic, so they must all be thieves kinda guy, sadly thats our biggest obstacle to overcome with automotive. People that have this mindset that we are just a bunch of thieves. Sadly there are those out there that really do deserve this reputation, it ruins it for the majority of us.


One more thing to keep in mind over all this, for the most part I will get the job done substantially faster than you will, I have lifts ready, drain barrels, parts on hand, more experience..... and about 164K worth of tools sitting in my box's<no joke, we just did an inventory on everyones box's for insurance>.


On the note of the race shop..... thats just a naive statement..... Most race shops are were you will find the most hacks doing work. The phrase you are looking for is specialty shop.

Dont get me wrong, if you can do it, by all means wrench away. No reason why if your capable you shouldnt be saving for yourself when you can, but make no mistake, the number of people wo can do it properly vs those who cause more problems than they fix is very slim.
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,468
249
Lima, Peru, Peru
Please take a camera with you so you can capture the look on the guys' faces when you bring a Forester to a race shop. Then kindly share it with us.


dont mock the foresters.
there was a Forester sti, which back in the day, could be made into a WRC killer for a fraction of the cost.

a few years ago, local rally regulations allowed for an "SUV category", which allowed sti foresters to run with intake-unrestricted engines.

they were pushing 450hp, topping at 300km/h in the straights and absolutely destroying all Group N cars.
they were clocking times near, and in some stages (specially on tarmac), beating the times of ex-WRC cars.
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,669
114
Bay Area, California
The downside to bring in your own part is if the part is defective. You'll end up paying labor twice, as they won't warranty the part you brought in. I used to do most of my own work, but now I no longer have the time, plus with all the computer, fuel injection stuff it's to much work to try and diagnose what's going on. I found a great independent mechanic that does great work and is reasonably priced.