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Subaru Impreza Engine Problems



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Regarding the temperatures and fuel mileage....

    First, the less you idle it, the better your mileage. For example, we had a 4-day spurt of -30 to -40 temperatures earlier this week. When we warm the car up prior to driving it, such as when we take the children or out of sheer laziness, we get about 16 mpg. This time, though, I was just using it to commute, so I fired it up, let it idle for about 30 seconds, and then off I went. My fuel economy, while not stellar, was 19 mpg. In the summer months, on the same commute, it is more like 26-27 mpg.

    Other things that help:

    *Amsoil Series 2000 0w-30 engine oil. Fabulous stuff for winter driving. Regular 5w-30 will turn to sludge long before the Amsoil even shows signs of increased viscosity.
    *Amsoil 75w-90 synthetic gear oil. If you have a manual transmission, which it looks like you do, this stuff really reduces drag in the driveline. Other synthetics probably give similar benefits; I only mention Amsoil because I have personally used it.
    *Block heater and pad heaters. At temperatures below +20 degrees F, plugging in the car two hours prior to start-up will reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Of course, then your electricity bill goes up slightly. A block heater is 400 watts, and oil pan heaters are typically 75 watts. Not huge power users, but depending on how long they are on, they make a difference.

    We pay 13.5 cents per kilowatt-hour here in Fairbanks right now, so electricity is horribly expensive. I keep my cord on a timer to minimize the electricity consumption. At 40-below, pre-warming the engine makes the difference between a flawless startup and possibly not starting at all.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have to second the Amsoil.

  • hey there:
    I could use a little advice on this problem. My 96 Impreza has a light on the dash called ' AT TEMP'. Lately when starting from cold, the light will occasionally flash several times before staying off. As far as I can tell, only when cold starting. Anyone have a clue?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It indicates there is an AT Issue with the car. The blinks mean something but I don't know what exactly they mean.

  • hey man i did some research while i was at work before i clocked out(military) not knowing what the AT sensor was...and what i can find out about it is that it a Air Temp sensor...who knows why that would go off...i lve in i know the cold part on the cars, and its not so great for them....but check your air senor make sure that it is connected right...and i look again and am a little confused on it still but a nother site said that it was a coolant like water might be in the coolant...i unno i feel like im talkin out of my [non-permissible content removed] but i have alot of probs with my ccar as well man but find somethin out keep me inform.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    AT Temp light refers to the Automatic Transmission Temperature.

  • Yes but why does it flash several time before going out when the car is started, even from a cold start when there is no heat? Faulty sensor? Maintenance reminder? Problem alert? Worried about the writers strike? The tranny works perfectly, I prefer to do my own work, but know nothing about automatics.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    A flashing AT Temp light at startup indicates a problem with the transmission. The blinks will give you a morse-code like setup and then the factory manuals can translate what the issue is.

  • rally5rally5 Posts: 4
    I am not sure if I need a new cliutch kit or if I need to just adjust the clutch. My 06 sti will go when I push on the gas but if I push to hard it will just rev to high rpms. Then it starts to smell after shifting and driving for a while. If it is just in need of adjusting, were do I find to adjust it at. Someone please help, its been 3 weeks since I have driven my car.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There are no adjustments on hydrolic clutches in these cars.

    I'd say the clutch is shot or there is something preventing it from fully releasing and slipping.

    How many miles on the car?
    Any mods?
    Drag race at all?

  • sgosssgoss Posts: 3
    Ok so here's the issue. I just purchased a brand new Imprezza a month ago. It's manual shift. I've noticed that it doens't idle at a consistant level (level goes up and down while stopped in neutral) and the RPM's sometimes drop so low when I am in neutral that the car rumbles as though it's about to stall. This prompted me to take it into the dealership; but then I was told nothing was wrong. One week later or so I was getting off of the highway and shifted into neutral and while the car was still moving it stalled! I took it back to the dealership (told them what happened) and after they checked it out told me that nothing was wrong with it again. It has since stalled again in the same curcumstance!

    Has anyone else had this problem? I'm a tad worried because when it stalls I loose my steering which is obviously a huge safety issue if the car is still moving.

    Any advice would be appreciated! I new to Subaru (used to drive a Honda Civic) and have never experienced anything like this in the past....
  • rally5rally5 Posts: 4
    I have exactly 40k miles on the car. The only mods that I have are full turbo back exhaust and a K&N filter. No I don't drage race at all. I think it just needs a new clutch.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It could need a clutch, that's possible. I'd still opt for checking the fluid level, and the master/slave cylinders before a clutch at those miles and that style driving.

  • Hi all, I own a 2006 Impreza 2.5i AT. It is my "work" car as I am a traveling salesman. I currently have 109,000 miles on the vehicle after purchasing this new about 2 years ago. I keep up with the oil changes, tire monitoring, general maint. ect.. Recently had dealer service: Timing belt, oil, coolant flush, tranny flush, front/rear diff serv ect. Runs great for the most part. When idling there is a "rattle" from what sounds like the driver side engine compartment (only in gear, not in neutral, and more noticeable during cold starts). Read a post about a heat shield? Any advise on what to look for? Also, any tips on high mileage maintenance (synthetic oil?)? I need to get 250K out of this car before its paid for. Also, slipped my mind, I have never replaced the spark plugs, any tips on the type of plugs (they look rather accessible).

  • Had an old VW that did that, turned out to be a leak in the air intake, engines gotta breathe
  • I have 2006 impreza. I have a similar issue with idling/stalling(or almost stalling) whenever I remove the battery. After putting battery back in (i take it out to get to driver headlight easier) I see this issue for a couple days (a couple hundred miles) then back to normal. Think it's a computer issue, like a factory reset or something so the car can "learn" your driving habits. Yours automatic?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Go with stock NGK replacement plugs.
    I'd run full synthetic (redline or amsoil) for such a high milage car.
    On the AT I'd put a cooler in and make sure that is drained/filled every 20k miles.

    Other than that you should be good to go.

  • sgosssgoss Posts: 3
    No it's standard.... The problem is though it's only a month old and the dealership is telling me there is nothing wrong with it but it stalls when i am still moving! I'm just not sure what else I can do...
  • Thanks for the tips Mike. If/When I switch over to full synthetic oil, at what frequency do you recommend changes? I currently change monthly (every ~3000-5000 miles).
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd say do it every 10k or so. That should keep you in good shape with the milage that you drive. I'd also look into getting an Amsoil or other high-milage filter for the car. It's the filter that keeps the oil clean and generally the oil won't break down but the filter will get clogged before you hit 10k miles.

  • I just got a 2008 Impreza 2.5 wagon less than 2 months ago and it has stalled 8 times since I've had it. The dealer said the same thing to me when I took it in. I'm going in again tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.
  • sgosssgoss Posts: 3
    well let me know what they tell you. I too am going back to the dealer tomorrow to see if they can find the problem... will post what they say
  • I too had this very same problem. I have owned the car for a couple months now. Last week here in Canada I was on my way to work and coming up to a traffic light I began to brake. The car is a manual.
    I pushed the clutch in and applied the brake in the usual gentle manner. Once I had come to a stop I noticed a couple new lights on the dash. I then realized the car had stalled. I started the car again, accelerated forward a little then hit the breaks, same thing, it stalled again!
    I then thought it might be due to excessive power draw (please note lights were not on, nor was defroster... just radio, AC to dehumidify, and wife's seat warmer). At this point I turned seat warmer off, likely largest draw. I then accelerated and hit the brakes, the rpm slowly came down as normal then dropped below the 300 rpm line and lugged but recovered (barely).

    Anyway, after that day I have now always nervously watched the Tachometer when clutch goes in or I stop. I have noticed the RPM going very low and lugging many a time but no stall.
    Now it has only been a few days since the stalling and I believe I know what the problem is!
    When you start the car the blue/cold engine light is on. If you drive away without allowing the car sufficient time to warm up (and the blue light go off) then the idle seems to run lower and recover from an RPM drop poorly. I believe this may be the computer learning the precise idle mixture requirements for idle (given atmospheric conditions). If you drive away too early it is not given adequate time to make the adjustments.
    Please let me know as I have ensure blue light goes out always since then and all lugging has even gone away completely.
  • I do plan to bring this up to the dealer on Monday still and have them do an investigation.
  • That may very well be the case. I changed the driver headlight yesterday, unfortunately had to remove the battery again to access it. The car did idle ok at initial start up after the battery was back in. However (Auto Trans) I reved the gas a little in park and the RPM drop stalled the car (2500rpm and then off the gas all together). I re started the car and reved it up again, now slowly letting the rpm's drop to appropriate idle level. The car did not stall, but almost did. Then I drove 300 miles home from my weekend sales meeting with no problems, but every time I stop I can just feel it struggling a bit to idle, and I'm quick to pop it in neutral.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm, did you happen to jar anything that might be part of the air intake system? You may have introduced a vaccum leak, that is causing your stalling.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Should be as solid as the day it left the factory and only 1000 miles. No modifications in any way (bone stock non-turbo), I use Shell gasoline 87 Octane as required so not likely to be bad gas.
    Anyway, I have made an appointment for next Wednesday, I'll keep you all informed.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My guess is that you probably knocked a vaccum line loose somewhere and that's causing your problem.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Thanks Mike, I'll make a point of mentioning this when it's in next Wednesday.
  • My son has a '95 Impreza and I had to tow him home a couple of nights ago. The car acts like it is running out of gas and then dies. I let it sit a couple of days and took the fuel filter off to check it. Sure enough, I can hardly blow through it. A new one has no resistance blowing through it, so I must be on the right path. I'm concerned that I need to bleed the air in the filter, so I turn the key to the on position to start the fuel pump. No fuel. The tank is 1/2 full or my son thinks so (the fuel gauge does not work). Can you hear the fuel pump work with the key turned on? Do you have to bleed the fuel system when changing fuel filters? Is the fuel pump located in the fuel tank?
    Does it sound like a fuel pump? Does this car have an oil pressure relay that could control the fuel pump?
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