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Impreza Poor acceleration, misfiring

munousmunous Posts: 4
edited July 31 in Subaru
I have a manual transmission 1995 Subaru Impreza with 180,000 miles, but runs perfectly. Almost.

It idles well, but has just started bogging down under acceleration and loses power. It starts backfiring, shaking and won't go over 40 mph. If i give it gas while idling, it revs fine and sounds normal.

Timing belt is fairly new, as are spark plugs.

Any ideas?


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Sounds like a timing issue under load. The '95 is, I believe, controlled by crank, cam and knock sensors. It may be that your knock sensor is not up to snuff. Also possible is that your plug wires are aged and have too high of resistance, but I would expect the car to stumble a little during idle and while revving if that was the case. You can check the wire resistance easily enough with a multimeter.
  • munousmunous Posts: 4
    I've been looking for a replacement knock sensor but can only find one for the 2.2L. I have a 1.8L- does this engine have a knock sensor?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Ah; I didn't realize Subaru used the 1.8L in 1995! I assumed it was a 2.2. :blush:

    I am not sure what retards the timing on the 1.8L. Did this problem happen just after a timing belt replacement or has this simply cropped up at some point since then? If it was just afterward, the timing could simply be off a tooth or two (easy to do), but if not, it is likely a sensor or control module that is acting up.
  • munousmunous Posts: 4
    The timing belt was replaced 20,000 miles ago. This problem started after i replaced my starter. My wife thinks it was occurring before that and now its just worse. It is now undrivable.

    I just started it again and it does seem to be idling rough now.

    I am not finding any knock sensor replacement for the 1.8L, what other sensor could cause this?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Since it seems to have become worse after changing the starter, check to make sure you have a solid ground (the main grounding strap tends to connect at/near the starter). Also, check the resistance in your spark plug wires to see if they are within spec. Do you have a Haynes or other repair manual for it? If you do, that will have the resistance specs....
  • munousmunous Posts: 4
    I have had the car for 2 years and never changed the wires or fuel filter so I just bought both at napa. I tried the filter first and that wasn't it. Then replaced the wires, and it's running like a watch again. Thanks!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Fantastic! I went through a similar scenario on my '98 Escort last Spring. The only difference was that I was so convinced it couldn't possibly be the wires that I ended up taking it to a shop for diagnosis. My $45 wires turned into a $300 expense. :sick:

    Lesson learned.
This discussion has been closed.