My 2000 Outback stuggles to accelerate when the engine is cold and it loses speed climbing hills.


Asked by Feb 04, 2015 at 09:20 PM about the 2000 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon

Question type: General

I have 2000 Impreza Outback Sport Wagon with a 2.2 liter engine, and 135,000 miles on it. The car lugs down and does not want to accelerate when the engine is cold. My experience with fuel injected engines in other cars is that they accelerate just fine even when the engine is cold. You would think this engine is carbureted and not fuel injected with the way you have to wait for it warm up. The car also loses speed climbing hills, and it's getting poor gas mileage. Any ideas as to what the problem or problems might be ?

7 Answers


I would have the vehicle scanned with a "live data" scanner, it might show that some sensors are out of specs, they have not failed so the ECM is not turning on the light but is causing the system to adjust the A/F ratio and timing according to the readings it is receiving even though those readings are incorrect. Make sense?

3 people found this helpful.

Yes ! Thanks ! That does make sense. I did forget to mention that the "check engine" light is on, so I assumed the there was a problem with a sensor or sensors. Thanks again !

1 people found this helpful.

two good replies :) Might not be 100% accurate but I would guess idle air control and/or upstream oxygen sensor is dirty or failing for bad hesitation and bad fuel economy. But it could be other inputs as well. Watching the live data is pretty neat -- like learning how the O2 sensor fluctuates from lean to rich to in-between to keep it efficient. How much effort does it take to get it started and actually stay running? Any issues there?


It seems to start fine and it does continue to run. In the area that I live in, there is a Subaru specialty repair shop. My only other question would be, would you recommend that I take the car to the local dealership's repair shop or to the specialty shop ?


The speciality shop will proabality give you more for your money and they would be wanting you to become a returning customer.

1 people found this helpful.

err.. you had to ask that.. I would check out reviews on both. I think it varies so much that I don't want to sway you either way. The biggest thing in my book is integrity, whether someone lets you watch or you've only heard good things and have a good feel of trust. Checking to see if your engine changes to closed loop (o2 sensor) fairly quickly and monitoring the fluctuation really takes no time IMO. I don't think it is something that needs to be dropped off for unless other things are shown in the codes and you decide to have it done. Anyway, ask around some smaller shops, ask if anyone knows of subaru trained techs that may work in the area aside from the two you know of, etc.


Thanks again !

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 27,549 nationwide Outback listings starting at $600.


Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Find great deals from top-rated dealersTM


Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
580 Great Deals out of 23,888 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota RAV4
1,442 Great Deals out of 61,959 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V
1,211 Great Deals out of 93,046 listings starting at $1,622
Used Subaru Legacy
274 Great Deals out of 10,343 listings starting at $2,000
Used Subaru Impreza
259 Great Deals out of 14,047 listings starting at $750
Used Toyota 4Runner
707 Great Deals out of 32,303 listings starting at $1,555
Used Toyota Highlander
1,163 Great Deals out of 47,993 listings starting at $2,400
Used Toyota Tacoma
965 Great Deals out of 54,282 listings starting at $800
Used Ford Escape
2,039 Great Deals out of 82,732 listings starting at $989
Used Honda Accord
1,178 Great Deals out of 69,306 listings starting at $1,022
Used Toyota Camry
1,460 Great Deals out of 74,117 listings starting at $1,062

Used Cars for Sale

2020 Subaru Outback For Sale
13,807 listings starting at $23,491
2019 Subaru Outback For Sale
54 Great Deals out of 2,090 listings starting at $21,505
2018 Subaru Outback For Sale
92 Great Deals out of 1,845 listings starting at $15,990
2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
189 Great Deals out of 3,734 listings starting at $9,595
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
57 Great Deals out of 1,125 listings starting at $8,900

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. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.