We have a low-mileage (less than 50K) 2006 Subaru Forester with the turbo (and yes we always use premium gas). Four hours into a six hour drive, we stopped to fuel up with a quarter tank left. Minutes after getting back underway, the car started bucking, not responding, lights on the dash were flashing, and the check engine light was going on and off. We pulled over and after a few minutes it would turn over but wouldn’t stay running. We sat and waited for a tow for an hour, during which time nothing improved. It was 90+ degrees outside, raining, we had two dogs and two cats with us – and black and green sky coming at us because (as our nifty weather band radio said) there was a tornado warning with funnel clouds sighted. After a tow (where human and beast alike rode in the car, up on the back of the flatbed truck) through lightning and thunder and hail to the local garage (“John’s Pit Stop”), we had to leave the car overnight. (Thank god for my sister-in-law, who drove through the tornados to pick us up!)
The next day, the garage tells us they started the car, it ran hard and chuggy for a while, then evened out and was running just fine. They checked it out, hooked it up to their computer – the computer said nothing wrong, no codes, etc. Then the next day they drove it and it was still running fine. They checked the gas to see if there was water in it (nope). They couldn’t find a thing wrong with the car. My dad drove my husband out to pick it up and followed him back…and it was fine. I’ve been driving it around for a couple weeks still on the same tank of gas…and it’s been fine. I just refueled it this morning with a quarter tank left…and it drove fine afterwards. The gas cap was screwed on tight. The temperature gauge never broke a sweat. The hoses and belts were all intact. Nothing smelled funny, or like it was burning. There was plenty of every fluid, and the oil wasn’t due for a change. Before stopping for gas EVERYTHING, including the acceleration, was just fine.
What the heck??? It’s a Subaru for crying out loud – it’s never given us a minute of trouble. We’ve talked about replacing the fuel filter just in case…thanks for any suggestions you can give!