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'98 Legacy is acting weird

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My son has been driving the Legacy for the past couple of months back and forth to school. One thing I need to do is replace the front driver's side caliper (the brakes are running hot), but couldn't break loose the upper caliper bolt, so we took it over to a friend who runs a garage and they broke loose the bolts and snugged them back up last Monday, so I can get to the caliper this weekend. No problem there.


Then this morning my son tells me that car feels a little jerky when he is braking (he says it like it's changing gears). I figure maybe the caliper's a little loose and I'll take of it tomorrow anyway.


Then there's more... when he got home tonight my son pointed out that sometimes the engine doesn't catch right away when you crank it (sounds like like it's half starting for a couple of seconds) then it fires up and runs OK...


Then when I tried starting it again to duplicate the not catching right away issue I noticed the idle won't go below 1,500 RPM even at operating temperate. I wonder if that's related to the starting glitch?


I checked under the hood to make sure all vacuum lines looked OK. My son told me all of this started Monday after we had the caliper bolts loosened (and they were never under the hood).


But wait, there's more. When I was poking around under the hood I could hear a pretty noticeable ratting coming from somewhere on the driver's side front of the engine. It's not rhythmic (like a bearing noise that is timed with the engine) but the rattle is irregular.


What the heck is happening with this car? Not blaming my 17 year son for any of it, but I miss driving it everyday where i would notice any irregularities right away.


BTW, there are no CEL's or anything like that.

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Update- I decided to do an ECU reset. Afterwards, the engine seems to start and run normally. While resetting all of the stuff on the radio, it threw a CEL (which stayed on after multiple restarts). I need to get an OBD2 code reader I guess.


Actually I few weeks ago my son got a CEL, but it went away and didn't return until after the ECU reset.

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