2003 Legacy Lurching



I just bought a Subaru Legacy L special edition wagon from a local used car dealer. It’s a manual, 2.5L with 92,000 miles. I’ve put gas in it twice in the week I’ve had it and both times, about half a mile out of the gas station, it bucks and lurches for a couple hundred feet, then runs fine again. I got 87 octane from Sunoco and 87 again from Hess.

I’m wondering if the pressure build-up in the tank is just very slow and fuel is somehow not getting to the engine or if the fuel pump might be going. Any ideas?


Does the Check Engine Light come on when this happens? Also, is 87 the correct octane for the engine? Check the manual.

If the fuel pump were going, I’d think you’d have problems when the tank was low, not after a fill-up. It’s easier to pump from a full tank than from a nearly-empty tank.

Do you top off the tank when you fill it, or do you quit when the fill nozzle shuts off?

I wonder if the fuel filter has ever been replaced?

First things first. What about the CEL?


No, the check engine light does not come on when this happens.

I didn’t top off the tank at the station, just stopped when the pump did. I’m putting the cap on tight too, with a couple clicks. I’ll check the fuel filter. I assumed it has been replaced because the Carfax records showed all the scheduled maintenance at the dealership. (the previous owner was quite the stickler).

I’ll check if 87 is the correct octane too. It’s got a full tank of it now, so I would think it wouldn’t be running great if that’s the case.

Thanks for your help!