1999 Subaru Legace O2 Sensor/Check Engine Light on & off

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  #1  
Old 06-28-06, 08:05 PM
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Question 1999 Subaru Legace O2 Sensor/Check Engine Light on & off

Howdy all,
My 1999 Subaru Legacy has about 62k miles and about 2 months ago the "check engine light" came on. I took it to my friendly neighborhood auto shop and he used his little machine to interpret what was wrong as... "An oxygen or other sensor" as being the culprit. The Napa Auto Parts delivery guy was there and he said, "I've never heard of replacing one of those on a Subaru!" so my friendly mechanic reset the sensor and sent me on my way saying that I probably got "bad gas".

Well, the light has been coming on and going off every couple of days. When the light comes on, I notice acceleration issues, and then it runs fine when the light is off. I'm running mid-grade gasoline in it, which in South Dakota means 10% locally produced ethanol. I've run some "Seafoam" additive in a tank or two at one person's suggestion and didn't have the light on during that time. So, what do you recommend?

I think it is unrelated, but about 4 months ago I replaced the battery because it looked like it exploded, and then because I'd been smelling a very "burning rubber" smell and my local mechanic said it was from the alternator, I replaced that. I still smell burning rubber from the engine cavity on a regular basis... but this might be a whole different thread.

Any advice you can provide will be great! I'm almost going to drive 50 miles to a Subaru dealer to see what they say, but if you can save me the trip, I'd appreciate it!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-28-06, 09:03 PM
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First off Howdy,

Your O2 is not unheard on subaru's he just might not see many of those out back's other than in the commercials with the cowboy dude. I would check the code again down at the barn. If it says O2 find out what bank and sensor number and replace it.

After you replace it you may get a slow response code after that to depending on the condition of the other.

I can tell your an older person because us youngins consider seafoam a waste of money on newer cars. You may want to try outlaw or redline fuel system cleaners, they seem do do the best for pour in gas tank treatments.

The lucas tune up in a bottle is questionable it works better on american cars than jap from my experiences.3

Lucas also had no affect when in my camaro, I ran 3 bottles of lucas before I used outlaw and then noticed a difference.
 

Last edited by hotrodder89; 06-29-06 at 06:22 AM.
  #3  
Old 06-29-06, 12:42 PM
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Ooh, I'm Seafoaming Now!

"I can tell your an older person because us youngins consider seafoam a waste of money on newer cars."

Okay... so I got the advice to use Seafoam from an OLDER neighbor... I'm still under 40... but won't fess up to the real number...

But thanks for the advice. It sounds like you're saying that I can actually buy an O2 sensor and install it myself??? I'm not totally inept under the hood, but my Subaru is a long way from the 1974 Fiat I drove and fixed myself back in highschool... and YES, THAT WAS a LOOOONG time ago!

I guess I'll pull out my owner's manual and see if there is a schematic that shows me WHERE the sensor bank actually is!

I'm sure willing to do it myself, just haven't done much on this car other than change the air filter and wiper blades myself!

By the way, the Seafoam worked wonders on my 1980 vintage Grasshopper lawnmower for my 2 acre yard that I have to mow! But then again, that's not a newfangled contraption like my car! Guess I'll go lookin for some Outlaw! Since I lived in Montana until last year, I know an Outlaw when I sees one!
 
  #4  
Old 06-29-06, 01:48 PM
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You may need to buy a $5-10 O2 socket to do it yourself.

The O2 hangs off the exhaust with a wire coming out the top.

The bank (1)(side where cylinder number 1 is) or (2)(side where cylinder #2 is) number tells you which side of the motor, the sensor number says if it is before (1) or after catalysts (2)

You have that flat 4 so I am not sure of how they numbered the cylinders you can always ask the parts dept at the dealer if cylinder one is on the drivers side or passenger.

A local high school autoshop can take care of this job if you don't want to. You would have to contact a local high school and ask for the autoshop teacher and they do things really really cheap. I always get my tires mounted and balanced at high schools because they do all 4 for usually $20 plus $1 per tire waste disposal. If you go to tire shops they have the same high schoolers mounting and balancing but they charge $40-50 to do all 4
 
  #5  
Old 07-07-06, 12:40 PM
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Turned Out to be "Knock Sensor"...

Well, I decided to get the codes read a couple times again before deciding to do it myself. Turned out to be a knock sensor. I ended up taking it to a Subaru dealer and paid $200 but the problem seems to have remedied itself. I'm sure I could have saved a bundle, but with two boys (3 & 6) I don't get much uninterrupted time to work on anything... my tools usually wander off.

Thanks for the good advice, however. I will remember the high school auto shop advice, too-- when school is in session.
R
 
  #6  
Old 07-07-06, 01:02 PM
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Good point forgot school wasn't in session my bad
 
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