2000 Subaru Outback bad shakes while idling

Tiny
PENLORD
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 SUBARU OUTBACK
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 116,000 MILES
Maybe it was just coincidental, but I had the timing belt replaced several months ago, and since then, when the car is idling in drive or reverse, it runs rough in varying degrees. At it's worst, it feels like it is running on 3 cyl. If you just give it a little gas, it seems to smooth out. If you increase the load on the engine by turning the steering wheel or turning on the AC, it gets worse. Its fine in neutral and park.
Have had it to three Sub. Mechanics and so far have paid for: Recheck on belt and timing; new idlers and tensioner on timing belt; adjustment on 14 of 16 valves; new head gasket and resurfacing on head; new
spark plug wires and plugs; new water pump; new catalytic converter. Total bill now a little over $3000. The last mechanic compared all the signals he could on the scope with another Subaru, and couldn't find any anomaly. Engine mounts appear OK.
I believe the car is starting to vibrate now while driving. Especially while the engine is under load, such as when accelerating.
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 9:17 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
My first thought is a gross vacuum leak some where in the intake manifold area.
Does it make any difference if the engine is warm or cold? Have you had the EGR valve checked? Also, it may be an injector misfiring. Please advise.
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Monday, March 16th, 2009 AT 10:55 PM
Tiny
PENLORD
  • MEMBER
Hi James. This happens whether the car is hot, cold, sea level, 7000 ft. Altitude, all the time.
Dealer says this model has no EGR valve, and he showed me a list under the hood that doesn't list it.
Mechanic put the car on the exhaust analyzer and everything appears normal. I have read on other forums that it could be the torque converter. Any opinion on that James? Thanks for your help gary
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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 AT 8:21 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Well, I re-read your first post and as I did, I had torque converter in mind.
If it is the converter, and the shaking goes away when in park and neutral, that would make sense. In gear, the turbine in the converter is under load. If the spline in the turbine, which connects to the input shaft of the trans, is bad it won't "wobble" with no load but will under a load. Hence in gear. Chrysler 904 trans used to do this all the time but, I've never heard of it in a Subaru. It makes sense. If this be the case, there should be aluminum shavings in the trans pan and filter. Let me know.
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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 AT 10:19 PM
Tiny
PENLORD
  • MEMBER
Thanks James.I will gary
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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 AT 11:48 AM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Gary, let me know what you find and we can go from there.
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Friday, March 20th, 2009 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
PENLORD
  • MEMBER
Hi James Regarding the vibrations we could feel while the engine was under load, such as accelerating, it has gotten worse in the last 2 weeks. Took it back to the mechanic to have it checked because we didn't want something flying apart on the freeway. They test drove it and decided it must be in the right axle. (Not left because they just replaced it as it had a torn boot ) even tho we replaced the right one 9 mo. Ago. He says if that doesn't fix it, I won't charge you. I told them to go ahead.

GUESS WHAT! With the new axle, no vibration while driving and NO shaking in idle. We checked our records and when the timing belt was replaced 9 mos. Ago (thats when the shaking started) the right axle was also replaced. Who would have thought about the axle? What do you make of that? Thanks gary
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Friday, March 20th, 2009 AT 10:12 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Gary, If I've learned only one in my years as a mechanic it's; nothing supprises me. They're still just a pile of nuts and bolts, no matter who's name is on it. Glad you found it.
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Friday, March 20th, 2009 AT 10:46 PM

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