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Frustrating Issues with 1999 Subaru Legacy Wagon
By the way, I have had the head gaskets replaced, and have also recently replaced the transmission fluid (including a cocktail of synthetic ATF plus one container of Trans-X AT Slip&Stop Leak Fix. The engine is 2.2L, and I have about 60,000 miles on the car. Thanks for your help!
1. When car is started cold, and switched into “Drive” (D) gear, car is slow to switch gears when going up a hill or attempting hard acceleration (e.g., to get into moving traffic from stopped position). I have to press the gas pedal to the floor to get the car to switch gears in these cases. If trying to go up a steep hill when car is cold, car will slow down to a near stop until I switch gears manually or press the gas pedal to the floor. When pressing the gas pedal to the floor to switch gears in D gear, it sometimes takes a few seconds before gear will shift.
2. When car is started cold, and attempting hard acceleration (i.e., accelerator fully depressed) shortly thereafter, car accelerates very slowly at first. After a few seconds of this slow acceleration, acceleration begins to increase somewhat.
3. When car is still cold, and stopped while in D gear, car vibrates excessively. If car is switched into “Park” (P) or “neutral” (N) gear, vibrating stops.
4. Car decelerates more quickly than expected on level stretch of smooth pavement if gas pedal is released (no brakes applied), as though something internal is resisting movement. This is particularly noticeable if car is cold. I also feel as though the car is not running smoothly, feeling some slight grinding and that there is some kind of load on the engine (other than normal load expected when car is in D gear).
5. When accelerator is depressed hard, the engine becomes very loud (low-frequency “roar”) before switching gears (i.e., noise is not due to high rpm). Noise goes away when transmission switches to lower gear/higher rpms.
6. Rpms increase a fair amount between light acceleration and heavy acceleration before switching gears, as though transmission is slipping- but it only slips “so much” (about 500 rpm). Essentially, it is acting almost like another gear (no overdrive on car).
7. Actual fuel economy is very low. Actual fuel economy is around 17 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Fuel economy should be around 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. While I understand this may be due to many factors, it may also indicate an issue with vibration, fuel waste and resistance (see 3, 4 and 5 above).
8. Idle appears to be set too low, or there is something wrong with the alternator (battery is brand new). Headlights dim and cabin fan speed decreases noticeably when car is not moving (e.g., stopped in P or D gears), and also when brakes are applied while moving.
9. When moving car just across the street to comply with parking regulations, car leaves strong smell of uncombusted gasoline (not oil) in its wake. This smell is probably also noticeable when starting car and initially moving it anytime, but I only have a chance to notice it when moving car this short distance.