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2003 Subaru Forester Acceleration Trouble and Check Engine Light flashing

A few months ago my check engine light came on, it would go on and off. I got it checked and it read as emissions and they said it was fine to drive. Check Engine light would go off sometimes, then come back on. A few weeks ago I was driving to school and my check engine light started flashing and something smelled funny to me, so I pulled over and had someone come check it. The light went off so he could not read the code, but I drove it down the street to an auto shop and they checked my car. They said there’s an oil leak and parts of the car are rotting because it’s so old but it’s safe to drive an hour to school and back every day. I’m getting the leak fixed soon. My check engine light went off and didn’t come back on for about 1,000 miles. This morning on my way to school, my car struggled to accelerate when getting on to a main road, and the light started flashing. I pulled over and it went off, so I started driving again and it flashed. I was looking for a safe place to pull over the light stopped blinking and just stayed on, after this it felt fine and I had to get to school so I kept driving. I’ve been reading a lot of things and it seems like it’s most likely a misfire. I have 3 more weeks of this semester so I need it to last through then. Does this sound like it’s most likely a misfire, or is something else possibly going on? I’m a bit nervous to drive it after this morning but I do not have much of a choice. The car is a 2003 Subaru Forester, with about 197,600 miles on it.

Yes, a misfire could be caused by a multitude of things like frayed spark plug wires,or a failing fuel pump.You need to take care of the misfire first by getting the codes read.Make sure you get that oil leak fixed.

When the Check Engine light flashes, it means a major misfire is occurring.

This can result in major damage to the engine/catalytic converter.

It’s not recommended a vehicle be driven with a flashing Check Engine light.



I read something about the idle sensor as well causing some kind of issue? A month or so ago I noticed when I parked my car that my RPM meter was above 0, usually between 1-2 while not moving. When accelerating while under about 40 mph, it goes a bit crazy jumping up and down. Could this also cause a check engine light to flash? I believe there is definitely more wrong than this, but is it possible?

The tachometer (RPM meter) is in 1,000s. Once the engine is warmed up, it should probably be around 850 RPM, but will be higher when the engine is cold. When accelerating, the RPMs will rise and fall as the transmission shifts. That is normal. That should not cause a flashing check engine light. The flashing CEL indicates a major engine problem that can cause damage if the engine is kept running, so a diagnosis is needed and then repair.

a flashing CEL means misfire which is not good to keep driving
a steady light means the computer has detected an issue
as a side note, do you check your oil level regularly? ]
200k miles and 1 hr daily drive?