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

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?


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....

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 4,260
#2 FordNut
Reputation 1,470
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,100
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester"
337 Great Deals out of 19,420 listings starting at $1,099
Used Subaru Legacy"
237 Great Deals out of 17,784 listings starting at $1,300
Used Subaru Impreza"
225 Great Deals out of 8,160 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V"
1,530 Great Deals out of 80,661 listings starting at $1,599
Used Toyota RAV4"
1,174 Great Deals out of 48,772 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota 4Runner"
344 Great Deals out of 18,732 listings starting at $2,400
Used Toyota Highlander"
641 Great Deals out of 30,621 listings starting at $1,990
Used Toyota Tacoma"
627 Great Deals out of 30,273 listings starting at $2,850
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,157 Great Deals out of 73,677 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord"
1,265 Great Deals out of 77,933 listings starting at $1,395
Used Toyota Camry"
1,592 Great Deals out of 98,270 listings starting at $895

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
19,618 listings starting at $23,920
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
20 Great Deals out of 905 listings starting at $23,626
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
89 Great Deals out of 1,468 listings starting at $16,595
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
72 Great Deals out of 1,898 listings starting at $10,900
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
65 Great Deals out of 1,238 listings starting at $9,753