Why is my Outback losing power/low idle?

Asked by Sep 15, 2016 at 05:30 PM about the 2000 Subaru Outback Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey there, I have a '97 (I already filled this out before I noticed only 2000
and newer on this forum-sorry, please help anyway!) Subaru Legacy
Outback that is stalling out at stop signs, slow turns, and while idling at
lights. This does not happen at every stop. I throw the car in park, restarts
just fine. Sometimes it tries to lose power while driving, I pump the gas a bit
and it will sputter back into the original speed. Occasionally I hear a
knocking sound in what seems to be under the car when cranking the
wheel or turning sharply, but again, this is not always indicative of the car
losing power.
NO check engine light. Light did come on for a day or 2 a few weeks ago,
ran a P0102 code. I carefully cleaned the MAF sensor with the proper
spray, along with inside the intake valve while car was running. Replaced
fuel filter as well. These things have seemed to get rid of the code, but not
the problem.
Other little repairs I've done in this mystery game have been to replace
battery terminal connectors, and adjusting throttle cables.
I had new spark plugs put in a few years ago, as well as a new O2 if I'm not
mistaken.

I'm nickle and diming it at this point and my mechanic wants me to drive the
hell out of it until I get a code, but it's a very unsafe and frustrating game I'd
rather not be playing!

Thanks in advance for any help.


2 Answers

Also! Before I owned the car, a very badly wired keyless entry and Anti-theft device was installed, and removed before I purchased. The wiring gave me a bit of trouble starting the car a few years ago but never persisted. Around same time O2 was replaced. I'm now realizing this may be a big part of what's going on here.... How do I troubleshoot the wiring harness?

5,540

Doubt it's wiring related. More likely a gummed up throttle body or bad IACV (idle-air control valve). Start by thoroughly spray-cleaning the TB butterfly valve area; check plugs and wires to be thorough. Chase crap in fuel by filling once with premium and a bottle of fuel injection cleaner. Twenty years is a LONG time for these chariots....

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