1996 Subaru Outback Idle problem

Tiny
PSBLOOD
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 SUBARU OUTBACK
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 17,000 MILES
Abruptly after coming in from a 300 mile trip the next morning my car won't start. My husband replaced the fuel filters and pump as well as put 'heat' in the fuel tank w/premium fuel. Still the car dies and won't keep an idle to go with out having to put one foot on the brake and the other on the gas while in nuetral so that I can quickly put in gear to go. What could make it do this and so quickly? I can be driving along just fine but then go to slow down and it loses power and dies for no reason. It will not stay running on its own. I do hear a pop like back fire a little when I rev it up to keep running before putting it in to drive but only a couple of times, not everytime.
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Sunday, June 1st, 2008 AT 8:04 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
Check your idle air control valve that is what keeps the car running while your foot is not on the throttle
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Sunday, June 1st, 2008 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
PSBLOOD
  • MEMBER
What would make the 'idle air control valve' go out when the car acted up & would not start? Put a new fuel pump & filter and the car started and idled good for a minute and then died and has since died when started.
Would it be because an after market fuel pump was put on it? Which was gotten at O'reillys.
Please respond and let me know. I am over a thousand miles from home (working away from home right now) and this is my only transportation & I can't find anyone that knows anything about Subarus. The nearest dealership is 200 miles away.
The gentleman that always worked on my cars and I have 2 Subaru's past away last December of bone cancer, I sure do miss him.
Please help me out if you can. Coming home tonight I just get scared when it dies afraid that it won't start.
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 12:11 AM
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
I was just going by the fact that you said when you come to a stop it conks off. It could be several reasons why it wont start back up. How is the fuel pressure regulator. That will have to be checked. Mapp sensor and crank position sesor. I have some checks you can do to atleast cross out, fuel pressure and spark/ignition do those and quickly get back to us. The fuel pump we will put to the side for now considering you just replaced it.
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 6:15 AM
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
Ok
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 6:16 AM
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
http://www.2carpros.com/car_repair_video/test_fuel_injection_pressure.htm

watch this for fuel system pressure check
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 6:16 AM
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
http://www.2carpros.com/car_repair_video/test_engine_ignition_system.htm

watch this for spark/ignition
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 6:19 AM
Tiny
PSBLOOD
  • MEMBER
Ok. I just got your reply this morning & after reading my last message I think I meant to say one thing & it came across as another. So, here I go.
My car had been running fine, came home from a trip & the next morning I got into my car to go somewhere & it wouldn't turn over; it tried, but it wouldn't. Took the breather off, put some gasoline on a rag placing it over the exhaust manifold & cranked it up. It started but wouldn't keep an idle. Then, replaced the fuel filter & fuel pump. Now it will start but it won't keep an idle on its own. I have to keep 1 foot on the brake while in neutral & 1 foot on the gas excelerating so that it stays running while I quickly move it into either R or D so that I can go. When I am driving along, as long as I am excelerating it drives just fine & does not die. As soon as I come to a stop it looses all pressure (the rpm's go fastly down) & then dies. I then have to re-start in the manner mentioned above & go on. I will go to the parts store & borrow the gages that I need to run the tests that you sent me a video to & I will get back w/you on the results. Keep in mind, I am a woman by myself & although I do think that I am a little mechanically inclined I do appreciate the visual so that I am able to do this & it may take me a little bit to perform the test because I will have to find someone to crank it so it can be tested (I will ask @ the parts store).
In regards to the video & the 'fuel injection pressure test'; it will not start & stay @ an idle so I am not sure if keeping the excelerator going is going to test it right or not.
Again, thank you for all of your help. It is very much appreciated and God Bless you for that. Your Mom should be very proud of you!
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 8:21 AM
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
You just go ahead and do the tests that I sent you, if that all comes out ok then I will bet its your idle air control valve or your mapp sensor, in that order.
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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 3:36 PM

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