Cause of sputtering upon acceleration on 2002 Outback


Asked by Apr 15, 2013 at 07:31 AM about the 2002 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Idles and drives fine but upon acceleration {while trying to pass a vehicle or more acceleration going uphill } sputters like there is a fuel problem if there were water in the gas . Is this a definite  sign of a bad fuel filter ...Or could it be an electrical issue??

8 Answers

I'd start with the dreaded EGR valve. Check it's operation and/or clean it so it has free operation, check the vacuum lines leading from the intake plenum. Butyl rubber degrades and can cause performance issues. Recommend replacing the leakies with silicone hoses from summit racing. BMW uses silicone for a good reason.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

The Judge has a good point..very good, and an OBD will tell you a lot

Jeff Smith

A few possible causes can be the fuel filter (easy to replace on your Outback, a $20-30 part), plugs and wires, or even the coil pack. Do you get a check engine light when it sputters? If so, please read the code and post it up.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

X2 on getting the OBD codes read. If the misfire is random, it's a fuel delivery problem. If it shows a specific cylinder, it's the plug, wire or coil.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

g'mornin saved me a couple bucks I need a serpentine belt...thanks every dime counts around my house

gosh darnit stickman649>>>communication is the essence of a good relationship..doncha know?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Might consider catalytic converter as well. You can use an infrared temp gun and measure pre and post catalytic. If there is a large difference in temperature, that may indicate a plugged catalytic converter. I also agree with all of the above... including the fuel filter and the ignition parts.


I'm also suffering the same problem in my Outback as well...all of your knowledge is extremely helpful, and appreciated! That said, why does mine shake like a washer on the spin cycle when accelerating?

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