Subaru P0103 code

Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SUBARU IMPREZA
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • MANUAL
  • 137,000 MILES
Hi,
So the past couple months my 98 subaru impreza coupe l has caused me all sorts or problems. So in november I got a cel and after replacing the Maf sensor it appeared to fix it. I got the spark plugs replaced, and then had to put a new starter motor in last week and it ran great. I spent all my money trying to keep this running, but once again the cel light went on and I got the p0103 code and high voltage for the mass air flow sensor. I swapped out yet another mass air flow sensor and it still has the light. I am running out of money and ideas.
This is what the car does,
-Rough idle and will stall out
-at certain rpms it will shake violently
-smells like it is running rich at idle

I really need to get back to school and was wonder how this could be fixed or could I drive 60 or so miles with this problem. Really appreciate any help.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 1:50 AM

26 Replies

Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hello,

Ok, the first time you changed the MAF did you clear the code or did it turn off on its own?

Most of the time you either need to clear the code, drive it anywhere from 300 - 800 miles or 50 - 100 key starts.

Do this disconnect the MAF and start car. How did it run?

.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 3:36 AM
Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
I cleared the Maf sensor the first time, I didn't clear it this time, but I did disconnect it and when I plugged it back in it got worse with the same symptoms
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 3:53 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
How did it run with it disconnected?
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 4:23 AM
Tiny
MATTOD912
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It still did not run well, although the first time I realized it was the Maf in November when
It was running unplugged it still wasn't that stable as far a rpms
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:39 AM
Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
Although I really need to leave for school tomorrow and I was wondering if driving this car would be ill advised. I can work on it out there a lot easier I would be looking for a temporary quick fix tomorrow anyways
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:46 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, all the simptoms indicate a problem with something in the MAF - whether it be the MAF itself, the Wiring or in the ECM.

First thing to check is the wiring - follow it as far as you can look for bare wire grounding itself out.

I would not trust it being driven no farther than a garage.

.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 3:00 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
Wiring seemed all set, it has housing. All the ones I got access to seemed new. I check all the grounds I could and cleaned them up. The problem is still there. The rest of the sensors are working fine so I didn't think it could be ECM. Any other ideas the problem seemed worse when idling so originally I thought it could be the iacv but it definitely misfires while running at higher rpms.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 4:39 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
So a clearer description of what happened when the Maf is disconnected is it would rev up to 1500-2000 rpms stay there for 2 seconds then die, or it will stay on but the rpms wave between 100-500 rpms and it shakes and is good. When driving it to get the code at around 2000 rpms it was shakey and would lunge forward or lose power. I have installed the 3rd new MAF in the last month so I'm pretty confident its not that. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The car is only worth 1000 now and I really don't want to spend more money than it is worth. I really do appreciate your responses and thank you for your time. If there are any other possible ideas I will keep you updated
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 4:47 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, do you know if the Coil Pack is Original or not? Since you say it has a miss at high rpms, I am thinking possibly the coil is starting to fail when gets warm. And it could be just one tower and not all off them.

With engine running one at a time pull plug wires off and then put back on noting and changes in engine performance. example: you pull a wire off and engine dies, or you pull wire off and no difference than with wire on.

Also are the wires original? I know you said you change plugs change in Nov.

One more thing pull each plug and take note of condition, check out link below for plug conditions....scroll down toward bottom of page...

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-change-spark-plugs

Post results...
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:18 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
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There was no change really when I took them out. I did notice one was a little loose and it is idling better now. But it will still misfire at even 1500 rpms. All the spark plugs are good and the check engine light is till on. Do you think it could still be the coil?
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 5:54 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
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Are the Wires Original? If not sure take a good look at them, are there any cracks or is the plastic feel hard. If cracked or casing is hard would suggest replacing wires.

Could still be the coil.

Here's what to do next.

With a Philips screw driver remove one of the spark plug wires, place the screw drive in the boot, then place the screw driver near a good ground, make sure there is a gap of about and 1/8" to a 1/4" you may need someone to start engine, you will need to look at the color of the spark - color should be a Bright Bluish/White if Orange Spark is weak and will need to replace Coil. Check all plug wire the same way.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
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Replaced the coil and it didn't help. Although it seems like the car is doing better at idle now it just is struggling with the acceleration
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, as long as it improved. Now you say it struggle with acceleration, so when was the last time the fuel filter was changed? A clogged filter can cause the weak acceleration. You can sort of check the filter by removing it and dumping it out from the tank end if a lot of debri comes out then replace it and see what happens.

Also have you cleared the engine code?

I take it you test drove the car and thats how you found the acceleration problem. And I also take it that the engine miss is gone.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
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I haven't cleared the engine code and back in November when I was struggling with this I changed thee fuel filter. Any chance I could be that unlucky and have gotten yet another bad Maf sensor?
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
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Go ahead and clear the code and drive it see if code come back.

How did it drive other than the acceleration problem?

It is possible but getting 3 bad one's? Not sure could happen I guess. One thing I didn't ask about just for some reason just thought of. Is are there any cracks or vacuum leaks in the air tube?
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 9:16 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
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If drives good other than acceleration problem it should be no problem to drive it to school tomorrow. And we can continue diagnosing the problem.

.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 9:19 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
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I just reved it in neutral to find out the acceleration was off
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 9:20 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
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Take it for a short drive.
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
MATTOD912
  • MEMBER
I switch yet another Maf and it is running better, the rpms are a little wavey but it is holding. I cleared the comp and no problems so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011 AT 11:58 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, guess they possibly got a bad bunch of MAF Sensors.

Keep me posted.
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Monday, January 17th, 2011 AT 12:01 AM

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