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Subaru 1995 Legacy runns oddly

I have a 1995 Subaru legacy. Yesterday it ran normally BUT it stalled at a traffic light.

1. It started back up but not easily.

2. Once it was running it ran rough and I smelled gas.

3. Then it cleared up. I stopped 5 minutes later.

4. 10 minutes later I started it and it went to 2,000 rpm and stayed there as I drove off.

5. I kept kicking the accelerator to get it to unstick…if it was stuck.

6. After a few minutes it dropped back down to its normal 600 RPM but the Check Engine Light came on and stayed on.

I think that one of the sensors went bad, but, if so, which one is it and where is it?

The presence of the Check Engine Light (CEL) indicates that a trouble code was stored.
So, the first step is to have the stored trouble codes read–free of charge–at places like Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, and possibly Napa. At this point, nobody could give you an accurate diagnosis until the trouble codes are known

Then come back to this same thread (bookmark it so you can locate it again!), to post the code(s).
Also, when you return to this thread, be prepared to tell us the following:

Odometer mileage
Maintenance history–in detail. Please do not tell us that the car is “well maintained”, as that statement is essentially meaningless and usually proves to be inaccurate.
Recent repair history of the car

It sounds like the engine is getting too much fuel for some reason. The error code may give a hint to the cause. Possibly a leaky injector or bad coolant temp sensor.

Sorry, but getting trouble codes read on a 1995 car is almost impossible in Miami. 1996, yes, 2000, yes, 1995, no. It was a different machine than those used today. I know, I tried.

The car is maintained as most cars are… it gets repaired when necessary. I don’t do preventive maintenance. The last problem I had was with one of the electronic sensors. It caused an error light for years and many sensors were changed by Subaru. They had the error code reader and it didn’t help them…or me. Finally last year the car quit and was towed to a service station.

He looked at it and said it was a bad sensor in front of the engine. He changed it and the car ran perfectly until yesterday. He knew Subarus well.

The last run around with code readers got us nowhere, which is why I am asking you. The other mechanic is now 1,400 miles north of me. Though I am heading there late next week I would like to find the errant sensor before driving it that far. Getting it fixed somewhere on I95 doesn’t excite me that much. In fact it scares me.

Can you tell by the symptoms what sensor is on the way out?

“I don’t do preventive maintenance.”

Until you bring the car up to date with ALL of the skipped maintenance, diagnosing a problem–especially with the old OBD1 system–will consist of “throwing parts” randomly at the problem until you finally find the right one.

I’m sorry, but there is no substitute for maintenance, and there is no work-around for skipped maintenance. Even if bringing it up to date with all maintenance doesn’t resolve the current problem, at least it will accomplish two things:

It will make the problem easier to diagnose
It should keep the car running longer

However, if the skipped maintenance includes the timing belt, nothing is going to prevent the car from going to that great junk yard in the sky. You did not tell us the odometer mileage of this 15 year old car, but it appears that the timing belt should have been replaced twice already, with a third replacement coming up in a couple of years. Has the belt been replaced twice already?

If that belt is overdue for replacement (on the basis of either odometer mileage or elapsed time), when it snaps, the resulting engine damage will probably exceed the book value of the car.