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2002 TS Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First thread, but have been using the info on this site for the last six months I've owned this "lemon" of a subaru. I love the car, but has been failing me since I bought it. Ive had an intake on the car but took it off and put the air box back in.

First issue I had after I bought the car was the cruise control started cutting out. I drove the interstate for 3 hours when it first happened. Then happened more and more to the point its at now where sometimes it doesnt even engage. It has kicked off over a bump numerous times, but will also just kick out cruising. Also I dont see a cruise light come on when it does engage. Never has i guess. Sometime when it kicks out it kinda accelerates quickly for a second then shuts off. Which may be related to the more serious issue ive been trying to fix for the last couple months.

The first time i noticed anything going on, was when i backed up in my driveway and as soon as I hit the accelerator it died. Started back up fine. Then started to bog from park to 3500rpms... Then take off with the power it use to have. Then id get cruising when it wouldnt need much throttle and it would cruise fine.

Once id get on the interstate id accelerate from 40ish to 80 up a hill then it flattens out so i let off the pedal and it would seem to cut out like only half the cylinders would be working then jump back to normal. I dont get it.

Ive also run into a problem where when I slow down from 40+ to turn of something, the car will start to jerk real bad, like cutting out. Like its stuck in over drive and cutting out. Weird.

I feel like its one thing that is causing all this. Ive been told it may be a TPS or front 02 but I get no CEL. When I first got the car, a CEL had me change the knock sensor and havent had an issue. Ive def looked thru the hesitation sticky and the fixes ive done are plugs, wire, and valve cover gaskets cause I had oil on the passenger side spark plugs. I also went ahead and tried replacing the fuel filter. Each time resetting the ECU. It seems to work great for the first few drives after the reset but then goes back to old tricks.

The last issue I can't figure out is when I drive 70-80 for a longer period, when I park I smell coolant. I pop the hood and every time its coming out of the fill tank. Its the only wet place.

The worst part is, is that it hasnt been consistent by any means. Seems to not bog as much when cold.

So if you can help me with any of this that would be great.
 

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Give us more background on the car. Miles? You mention overdrive, so I can only assume it an auto. Is it?

The sub-3500 sluggishness points to a faulty front O2 sensor. You mention a CEL for the knock sensor, do you know how long it was on before you replaced the part? A faulty knock sensor can/will eventually kill an O2 sensor.

As far as the cruise, sounds like a loose electrical point somewhere that gets disconnected (or connected) under vibration.

Most/all cars have a switch on the brake pedal to disengage the cruise, maybe yours is just a tad too close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The CEL was on for probably 2 months. I did buy the front o2 sensor but havent installed it yet. I was confused about not getting a CEL now? When the car drives as poorly as it does, youd think it would kick on a CEL. Ill go ahead and swap it out this week.

The car is an automatic with 135000 miles.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Any idea on the coolant leak?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE:

Replaced o2 sensor with $60 bosch from advanced auto, along with o2 sensor socket kit ($30 refundable) and got the job done in 40 minutes. Looks like it shouldnt take that long but you gotta fuss with the wire and try to spin it with the sensor. But took it out after i reset the ecu and seems like im good to go. hopefully for a few thousand miles before anything else happens.

Also, cruise control didnt turn on during my test drive. I checked out the brake pedal sensor and it seems to be ok. it sit at like a 1/16" off the brass housing when disengaged. I also sprayed the connecter with elec cleaner. Not sure what the next step is. But my lead foot def needs cruise.... Help please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Drove the impreza 150 miles on I-90 today. Cruise worked for the most part all the way there. Didnt respond at all for the last 30 miles returning. When the cruise actually does engage, it will seem to cut in and out momentarily like power shortage then gains power back. Sometimes it would do this off and on so quickly it would actually accelerate a few mphs faster on its own! Couldn't associate it with any bumps or inclines so not sure whats going on. Had a thought that it may be an issue inside the cruise control module where the controller is sticking when trying to accelerate or decelerate? Just a thought. I can't be the only one with this problem. Awhile back I read it may be a neutral switch on the transmission? LMK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still havent figured out this cruise control issue. It tends to engage if you try it shortly after starting the car. Sometimes when cruising it will cut out so I start using the pedal again, sometimes if I'm in the area of what I had the cruise set at it will re-engage itself?! Been told loose wiring, but I'm thinking that it tends to be more of an issue when its been cruising for awhile. Like 30 minutes plus. Can almost guarantee its not disengaging from bumps or shaking. Seems more like when its going up or down slight inclines?? Thats the best I got. Let me know what you think or point me to a thread I've miraculously missed.
 
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