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 ...as if there were water in the gas . Is this a definite  sign of a bad fuel filter ...Or could it be an electrical issue??

11 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 of 2 people found this helpful.

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

3,405

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 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
102,305

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.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

g'mornin TS....you 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 of 1 people found this 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.

10

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?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

I just bought a 2002 outback base 2.5. It stutters under hard acceleration and uses ALOT of fuel. It threw 6 engines codes.. Missfire cylinder 1 Missfire cylinder 2 Coil pack O2sensor low input O2sensor high output (or vice versa) Fuel mixture something or other Replaced coil. Check engine light is still on, problem remains.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
83,065

I would start by changing the spark plugs if they at lot of miles on them.

40

Never in my 41 years have i seen spark plugs operate at idle, light acceleration and moderate acceleration then missfire under hard acceleration, only to smooth out at 3500 rpm. So no, i do not believe the plugs are the issue. Reading these forums many have mentioned o2 sensor. I did get 2 fault codes from the same o2 sensor however, the sensor in question only reads 1 bank. I have a missfire in both banks (cylinders 1 and 2). Tomorrow i will jack the car up and take a look underneath and see whats going on. The car i traded for this was a nissan 300zx, that car didnt run when i bought it, ecu showed crank sensor fault. I replaced the crank sensor and it still showed cas fault. This subaru is doing similar stuff. It says bad coil, i replaced the coil and i still get the faulty coil fault. Makes me think maybe the ecu is going out. I will know more after i get under the car and start checking things out. If any of you have had this problem, please let me know what you did that remedied the issue. Thx.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 35,742 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,200.

ZIP:

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
    Markw1952
    Reputation
    8,510
  • #2
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    2,810
  • #3
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    2,760
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
380 Great Deals out of 39,583 listings starting at $998
Used Subaru Impreza
226 Great Deals out of 22,182 listings starting at $995
Used Subaru Legacy
207 Great Deals out of 15,730 listings starting at $1,999
Used Honda CR-V
722 Great Deals out of 58,894 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota RAV4
752 Great Deals out of 50,464 listings starting at $1,195
Used Toyota 4Runner
341 Great Deals out of 25,359 listings starting at $1,750
Used Toyota Highlander
536 Great Deals out of 33,965 listings starting at $2,450
Used Toyota Tacoma
668 Great Deals out of 45,898 listings starting at $2,700
Used Honda Accord
1,103 Great Deals out of 66,070 listings starting at $561
Used Honda Pilot
529 Great Deals out of 40,010 listings starting at $300
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
44 Great Deals out of 1,209 listings starting at $3,999
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
949 Great Deals out of 72,164 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Camry
944 Great Deals out of 90,171 listings starting at $300

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Outback For Sale
22,877 listings starting at $23,310
2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
37 Great Deals out of 3,858 listings starting at $20,995
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
69 Great Deals out of 1,373 listings starting at $14,963
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
86 Great Deals out of 1,892 listings starting at $9,483
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
45 Great Deals out of 1,176 listings starting at $7,451

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.