'96 Subaru Legacy Wagon 5spd: very poor mileage, dealer no help at all...

Discussion in 'Subaru Legacy' started by Bruce, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    A few months ago, my friend's car began getting extremely poor mileage
    (in the teens on the highway, worse in the city). It also has a strong
    smell of gas from the tailpipe. It smells after it is started in the
    morning, and even after warming up to operating temperature and driving
    a long distance.

    The owner changed the plugs and wires and when that didn't help, he
    took it to the dealer. The dealer "adjusted the coolant temperature
    sensor" if that's even possible (it cost a few hundred dollars and the
    car still stinks of gas and the mileage is just as bad as before). They
    say it's not likely to be the O2 sensor, but they don't know what to do
    next. I think they're trying to get him to go away because they said
    they'll just start throwing parts at the problem until it is fixed (I
    would have asked to speak to the service manager at that point).

    So, my question is: has anyone here had this problem before? This
    sounds to me like a leaking fuel injector (or injectors...). Is there
    an easy way to test the injectors without having the dealer just
    replace them? If not, I would most likely tell my friend to take the
    car to an independant shop I have used before to see if they can
    diagnose the problem; this dealer obviously doesn't know what's up.

    Thanks for the help... I drive a Honda and the Honda usenet group has
    saved me cash from unecessary repairs MANY times. My buddy is not
    computer savvy and had no idea the newsgroups existed.
    Bruce, Apr 4, 2006
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  2. The ENGINE (not coolant) temp sensor is a not uncommon problem causing
    excess fuel use (basically, the sensor is telling the system that the
    'choke' needs to stay on to warm up the car all the time) without
    setting an ECU (check engine code) for people. There is no adjustment -
    just replace. Is the CEL on? Were any codes stored?

    Don't delay - the catlytic converter can be damaged.

    I would consider a different mechanic also.

    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Apr 4, 2006
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  3. Bruce

    mike Guest

    Sounds like O2 sensor to me! The plug in can sometime come undone. Check the
    plug(s) by tracing the wire also check the one behind the catlytic converter

    best of luck
    mike, Apr 5, 2006
  4. Bruce

    D&SW Guest

    FWIW department.

    You might try disconnecting battery for a couple hours and then reconnect
    and see if problem gets better.
    Although I did not have the symptoms you describe, I did fix a sluggish
    engine by disconnecting battery. The engine control unit's memory is dumped
    and the ECU is forced to start managing the engine from a default since the
    history is gone. Although the ECU rebuilds the management data, in my case
    the "re-boot" seemed to clear the problem. You will have to reprogram your
    door locks after disconnecting the battery.
    D&SW, Apr 13, 2006
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