I have a 2003 subaru outback with a throttle response or acceleration problem that is making me lose my hair.


Asked by Mar 01, 2016 at 05:22 PM about the 2003 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When I pull up to a stop sign the revs drop to a normal idle. Then as I
attempt to pull away it just lugs and limps forward for about 6 seconds till
the rpms get to about 1100, then it jets off and accelerates like nothing is
wrong. if i flutter the pedal right at the point of contact it seems like it wants
to go/accelerate a little quicker. but if I floor it its like I dont even have my
foot on the pedal. Heres what I have done so far: I have a similar car that
runs great(2004 but the intake components seem identical) so I started
swapping parts off of the one that runs well thinking that I could locate the
broken component. I switched the Throttle Position Sensor first, then the
Boost Sensor next to it, then the Air Intake Control Valve thing opposite
those two parts. I looked all over the intake system for something that looks
like a Mass Air Flow Sensor but I CANT FIND ONE! the only thing with a
wire going to it is a temp sensor next to the air filter. I thought maybe
someone removed it during a hillbilly repair but neither motor in either car
has anything like a Mass Air Flow Sensor. WHAT THE EFF DO I swap
next? The code thrower said something like evap control solenoid (1443)
but everyone I have talked to says that cant possibly be affecting the
acceleration. If NAPA had had one I wouldve swapped it out anyweay.
HELP! I really am at a standstill. I would take it to the local shop but they
just did a 2500$ repair on an 800$ car without checking with anyone so I
really dont trust them. What should I do?

3 Answers


I am having the same problem with my 2004 outback. I'm getting a new coil pack, but could it be a bad fuel filter? Also, my check engine code reads that there is a bad O2 sensor. Could that be causing the problem?


Find another repair shop. It's very difficult to find a good mechanic, but, once you've found one, stick with that person. And, what did you pay $2,500 for? Cars today are way too complicated to just start guessing or switching them in a trial by error fashion. You need an excellent diagnosis..too bad that didn't happen. Good luck.


ok, so today I changed the coil pack and the plugs, and the wires... Still just as bad, I would love an excellent diagnosis. but so far I dont seem to have any diagnosis at all. Everybody has said TPS sensor and mass air flow, I swapped one and the other doesn't exist. I am thinking maybe its some kind of voodoo curse.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Overheating subaru 15 answers

    I have a 1996 Subaru outback that kept overheating. They checked the radiator and it's perfectly fine. I had the thermostat changed today and it is still over heating. What else could be wrong wit...

    Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • I have a 2011 Subaru Outback that is stalling when I brake suddenly at low speeds. Anyone else have this issue???? Anyone have any ideas what the problem is?? 29 answers

    2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Please help...No oil/blown motor; rebuilt or repair? 16 answers

    Hi- I have an outback that had a oil plug improperly installed; the engine was driven (unknowingly without oil for a few miles) until the oil light came on. Within a minute the car stopped running a...

    2012 Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair


    There's been numerous articles written on the myth of changing your oil at 3,000 miles. The owner's manual says change your oil at 7,500 miles or 7.5 months? What if you don't put that many miles on...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Pre-owned Outback 103 answers

    I am looking for a pre-owned Outback for my wife and have $10,000.00 dollars cash to spend. I am a little limited in choices since she insists on the large "double" moonroof. I believe these are a...

    2008 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L. Bean Edition


    Shopping & Pricing


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 29,666 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,295.


Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 4,310
#2 FordNut
Reputation 1,480
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,110
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester"
352 Great Deals out of 19,317 listings starting at $1,099
Used Subaru Legacy"
240 Great Deals out of 17,840 listings starting at $1,295
Used Subaru Impreza"
217 Great Deals out of 8,028 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V"
1,498 Great Deals out of 80,920 listings starting at $1,695
Used Toyota RAV4"
1,188 Great Deals out of 49,092 listings starting at $2,499
Used Toyota 4Runner"
364 Great Deals out of 18,988 listings starting at $2,200
Used Toyota Highlander"
662 Great Deals out of 30,839 listings starting at $1,990
Used Toyota Tacoma"
628 Great Deals out of 30,530 listings starting at $2,850
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,208 Great Deals out of 73,899 listings starting at $1,593
Used Honda Accord"
1,262 Great Deals out of 78,683 listings starting at $1,400
Used Subaru Impreza WRX"
40 Great Deals out of 1,323 listings starting at $2,500
Used Toyota Camry"
1,601 Great Deals out of 98,436 listings starting at $895
Used Honda Pilot"
533 Great Deals out of 19,709 listings starting at $1,800

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
19,492 listings starting at $23,920
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
24 Great Deals out of 893 listings starting at $22,500
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
80 Great Deals out of 1,471 listings starting at $16,595
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
79 Great Deals out of 1,886 listings starting at $10,900
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
62 Great Deals out of 1,236 listings starting at $9,753