1997 Subaru Legacy engine light



Does anybody know whether there are known problems with the 1996-1997 Subaru engine? I had a 1996 (L series) that kept stuttering until the engine light went on, and when the repair guys looked at it, they still couldn’t diagnose or fix the problem, even after $900 worth of trying. I inherited a 1997 (same model) from my Mom, and now it’s doing the same thing. I’m almost afraid to take it anywhere. We gave the 1996 to a neighbor, who says if he warms it up for 10 minutes every time he gets into it, it only stutters on the big hill going into town. Any ideas?


The computer in these cars is pretty sophisticated. If the ‘check engine’ light (CEL) comes on, it means the computer has detected a problem, and set a trouble code. However, there are other trouble codes that may not trigger the CEL. And, there are problems that will not set a trouble codes.

The first thing to do when the CEL goes on is to get the codes read. This should point to a possible source of any problems. Post the problem and the code here, and we may be able to help further.

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code not just their translation into English and post it back here. It likely will have a format like P1234.