Engine missing

Asked by Feb 25, 2016 at 09:09 PM about the 2005 Subaru Forester X

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2005 Outback just started missing. "Check engine" light is on and the cruse control light is blinking. The mechanic wants to replace the ignition harness and all 4 plugs. Is it necessary to replace all the plugs?

Just drove up & down the road and all is back to normal. Where should I look for the loose connection?

4 Answers


So if the car is missing, the spark plugs could be a good place to start. Are the codes from the Check Engine light misfire on any of the cylinders, what are the codes saying? I just bought a 2005 Outback 2.5 XT for project car and the same thing happened when I changed the oil. I didn't fasten the oil cap on the top of the engine tightly enough. I retightened and reset the codes. BAM, no sputter, no check engine, and no cruise blinking. Check the Gas Cap too. No mechanic should be doing repairs without showing you the codes from the OBDII reader. Ill keep an eye on this thread if you answer my initial questions.


1. Scan the CEL. If it's a simple miss it'll be a PO30x code, the x=cylinder missing. Inspect and drape AWAY from exposed metal the ig wires, twisting them a few degrees on the coil towers away from metal. Recheck status. Erase code if necessary. 2. Still missing? Check that particular plug boot, and if necessary the plug for fouling from oil leak past its shrunken insulator. If necessary wipe oil off, replace plug and ensure wire boot is pushed HARD onto plug end (it might "click" a bit). 3. Still missing? Swap out coilpak with a good used one as once in awhile they crack and short to ground intermittently. NOTE: intermittent missing is very common with these in rainy or high condensation areas. Usually the system will self-dry when normally heated, but not always. Usually you can see a small white mark on a leaky wire's discharge spot where it shorted to a metal ground; draping it away 1/4" is usually sufficient...or adding a sleeve/tape insulator. If not replace the wire, as a nice set of NGKs is cheap. 4. Still problematic? Check relevant cylinder's fuel injector connector. Clean injectors with that Chevron cleaner or similar if necessary. 5. Still missing? You may have to take a head off to lap a valve, but that's extremely rare. Good luck. Ern

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Ern, does the CEL-on & flashing cruise light have anything to do with mixture conditions that will ruin the emissions system / cat.converter?


Not usually. But running with an intermittent cylinder or other abnormal condition (like a bad O2 sensor...of which the '04 PZEV and '05 OB 2.5i have FIVE!) will overload the system. It's one of the several reasons I tended to avoid '05 (first year new body) OBs and Legs. Knowledge is key here: most CELs are for the ubiquitous P0420 code, for which Subaru generally has dodged a bullet, blaming the "cat insufficiency" on non-California richer fuels used in the salt belt. So it gets tricky. Best to buy a decent cheap scanner (like the pocketable $40 Actron) and keep in glovebox forever. I wear one around my neck at the auctions....Ern

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

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