How can I fix the sputtering that occurs when accelerating at low rpms?


Asked by Nov 01, 2011 at 07:58 AM about the 1999 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr L AWD Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1999 Subaru Legacy 2.5 l with 200 000 km sputters when accelerating at low
rpms since a few weeks. This does not occur always, but about 99% of the time.
On one occasion the sputtering was completely gone for about 10 minutes while
driving in city traffic, even at very low rpms. The "check engine" light turnes on
sporadically already since about two years during various driving conditions
without sputtering or any other noticeable signs. Since then my Subaru dealer has
checked the error code several times and consistently identified code 26, which is
evidently the TMAP sensor. At the time there were no noticeable problems, so no
repairs were done. However with the recent sputtering I tried replacing the TMAP
sensor, but that did not help at all.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

6 Answers

Michael Mierzejewski

this could be several things. weak spark, fuel filter, oxygen sensor, tps, plugs, wires, cap, rotor. at 200k, if those things havent been replaced recently they need to be done anyway.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions Michael. I'll check them out, Curt


Check your spark plug tubes. Mine was doing the same thing, and they had to be replaced. The seals were letting a little oil get to the plug. The funny part was, out on the highway running 65 or so, it ran perfect.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

I didn't take the oil leak in the spark plug well serious, until flames came out of it while driving. I was very lucky to notice the fire just in time to put it out, so that only the battery and a few cables were damaged. I then replaced the leaky valve cover gasket and the spark plug cables on the driver side in order to avoid any chance of a fire hazard, which at the same time eliminated the sputtering. So to my surprise the problem had indeed just been a weak spark caused by oil leaking into the spark plug well. Thanks for all the support

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
David Michaud

I would also check the knock sensor. The knock sensor will retard the timing of it detects a knock in the engine. I had a 97 outback and upon doing research, I came to find that the knock sensors will start acting up as the engine mounts start to wear. The cheap and easy fix is to unbolt the knock sensor from its location and relocate it to another threaded bolt hole on the block that is just above and to the rear (rear being towards back of car) from the original placement. It's sort of under the throttle levers and beside the clutch salve cylinder. Hope this helps.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Hey guys I have 1997 Subaru Impreza that choke up really bad on the highway sometime it does it but sometime I don't but lately it's getting worse I change the gas filter spark plugs wires knock sensor and put better gas but I'm starting to notice the little bit of white smoke when is choking it smells like gas but when I'm parked it idles with no problem but then it shuts off can someone help me please.... Thanks

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