About 2 weeks ago, I got about half a mile from home in my Legacy when the “check engine” light started flashing, and the car started hesitating, jerking, etc. I heard weird noises coming from (what sounded like to me) underneath the car. I immediately returned home. We have two Subarus, both of which are prone, like many of them, to leaking and burning oil. So my first thought was that I’d been driving on severely low oil. But it was down only about a quart. Took it to my mechanic the next day, and he couldn’t find anything wrong, and there was no stored code in it. Drove it for a few days without any problem, then the engine light came on again after I’d been driving it on the highway. But it was steady on, not flashing, and the car was running fine. I got off the highway, turned it off, and waited a bit. Started it up and it was fine. However, a couple of days later, the car started running rough again and the engine light started flashing. This time, after not running it overnight, the car ran fine but the light was back on, steady (not flashing), and the traction light came on, and cruise control light started flashing. Took it back into the garage and this time, there’s a code for #4 cylinder. My mechanic (who has been servicing both our Subarus since we got them) thinks it’s probably a bad ignition coil. He says that’s his best guess as to what would cause a disappearing/appearing problem. He’s driven the car all over and the problem won’t duplicate. He said there’s a possibility that driving low on oil might have damaged the engine, but his bet is the coil. I admit that with my other Subaru, I at one time forgot to keep an eye on the oil and drove it almost dry–which caused the car to buck and stall and the dash lights to flash like a Christmas tree. But once we filled the oil, it’s run fine since.
I have the car home with me now, and ran it last night. It ran rough, but no dash lights are on, and the problem wasn’t anywhere near as severe.
I’m just not sure what to do at this point. Hate to spend the $$ on the ignition coil and not solve the problem. Then again, it’s not that expensive (a bit over $200), and if it works, yay. But if it doesn’t, I have no idea what to do from there. Any help is appreciated; TIA.