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I have a 1993 Subaru Legacy. The car runs great other than when it chooses to sputter, and then die. About 10 or 15 minutes wait time, the car starts back up again and will go for awhile longer.

If you give us the mileage and an indication of what maintenance has been perfromed so far, we may be able to zero in on what might be the problem.

When this type of thing happens, usually there is a problem with the engine not getting enough fuel. That could be a clogged fuel filter, a dying fuel pump, bad gasoline, water in your gas, ignition system starting to fail and plugs grounding out, etc. Your air filter could also ned replacing.

You will need to take this car into a good mechanic, no need to go to the dealer, and don’t go to Midas or some other chain, to identify the problem, and get it fixed. They have standard packages which they will “apply” until the problem is solved, or not. Sort of like a quack doctor who can’t really find out what’s wrong with you, and keeps writing prescriptions.

In general, if an engine runs well, and then not, it’s either the fuel system or the iginition system.

The car has 225K miles. I have had a new fuel filter put in, new plugs and wires, and a new cam position sensor replaced.

At that mileage, it could be the fuel PUMP getting weak.

could you give me some specifics as to why the fuel pump?
When I took it to the mechanic, they tested the fuel lines and everything was o.k.
Why would the car sputter and die periodically? and how is this related to the fuel pump, specifically?
Thank you!

Sad to say we live in a world or cars that nobody knows how to fix…So we change expensive parts until we get lucky and the problem disappears. I would change the ignition module simply because it’s much cheaper than the fuel pump… That’s why you car stops. Lack of fuel or lack of spark…After 17 years and 225K miles, EVERYTHING is getting pretty tired…

Caddyman has a point; if, by some luck it is the ignition module, the fix is cheaper and easier. The fuel PUMP is the heart of the system; the fuel LINES are the arteries. The arteries may be OK, but the heart can be bad and fail!!! Depending on the temperature and maybe dirt in the system, the pump could act up periodically. If the pump is located in the fuel tank, the repair is VERY EXPENSIVE, that’s why mechanics don’t like to change out fuel pumps. The electrical connection to the pump could also be faulty; that would be a real stroke of luck and elimnate the need to take the tank apart.

If the ignition module and its contacts are loose or dirty, the car may stall intermittently. That’s entirely possible.

However, pleae realize that we are nowhere near your car and don’t expect us to come up with an exact analysis. You mechanic, who is working on the car is SUPPOSED to do that. That’s what you are paying him for!! Our role is to list possibilities and tell you to get another mechanic if the prsent one is incompetent or dishonest or both.

I think you need a new mechanic, one who actually knows how to do good diagnostic work, like a good doctor.

The next time it stalls have a spray can of starting fluid ready, pop the hood and spray a 2 second blast into the air intake for the engine. Quickly try to start the car. If it fires right up and then stalls, you have a fuel problem. If it doesn’t fire up then it is spark. The other 2 things you need to start a car, timing and compression don’t come and go.Coils typically failed in this fashion, does this car have one?