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Sounds like a sewing machine....

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Hello wonderful people!


Father has gone and bought himself a Subaru! 2.0l gl, bh5 wagon Ej201, 2001....can't think of any other numbers that describe it.

Anyhow, she had her timing belt, oil, filter and air filter along with engine and coolant flush in July. She has only done a couple hundred miles since then and has been stood outside, untouched, for at least 2 months if not more.

I decided that she needed to stretch her legs.


Started fine(after battery had been charge) and away we went! And then it went a bit wrong...


The way to town is mostly down hill, so the brakes freed up very quickly. There is only 1 steep hill after about 2 miles, and I was surprised to find the car didn't have enough beans to get up it, having to change down the gears. Drove fine after as didn't really need to ask the engine anything and figured it was sorted. Came to joining the main road and asked for more and nothing happened. Well,she stuttered,she back fired like a Tommy gun,total loss of power and started sounding like a sewing machine!. Managed to get safe and idled for 10 minutes to allow my heart return to normal, and all she did was fart the entire time! The revs were hunting like mad as well.

Everything seemed to settle, so I raised the revs to 1500rpm, then gradually increased to 3000 for about 2 minutes. All ok, seems to have got rid of any moisture or whatever. Went to join the main road and it was like riding a bucking bronko! But still sounded like a sewing machine. At least the gun shots had stopped (that poor granny and child!) I managed to get to my destination using all of the gears but never having any kind of power especially in 4th and 5th. The longer i drove, the smoother she became - to a point and only up to 30mph as she just didn't have any more. And she was hesitant to get going but did accelerate in 1st,2nd and eventually in 3rd. 4th and 5th - just no.


I checked and cleaned the spark plugs - 1 and 4 were oily so I guess that means the rocker cover needs replacing and that they were arcing which caused misfire??

Please help coz I don't know!


I figure that the cars problems could be:


spark plugs

HT leads

Coil pack

Fuel filter (can't find any evidence of when they were changed)

Or perhaps the fuel has gone off? Could that be it?


The car was working perfectly alright before being left outside for so long.

Any advise would be fantastic


Many thanks


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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I'll be! I ain't got one! A visible fuel filter that is. I have spent quite a while under the hood so to speak and I haven't found a fuel filter, but I did find some wires that weren't attached to anything.......further investigation revealed that they should of been attached to the knock sensor!


After trying to burn fuel up - managed to get down to 1/4 tank, with lots of tinkering inbetween ( sparks, coil and ht leads seem spot on), I began to seriously think that bad fuel is more than likely the cause of the cars issues.

A friend of mine got a lovely Christmas gift of a OBD machine (very expensive) so we figured it can't hurt to see if anything else is wrong.....

Ended up with code P0327 knock sensor open circuit which was now obvious and that the crank sensor voltage was not right ( according to computer).

a week later, open circuit closed, new crank sensor fitted (bastard of a job-easy as hell to get at, just soooooo tight!) and codes cleared.


Still no improvement in going of car!!!!!

Couple of litres of fresh super unleaded - it's a while new car! Bugger me it's near as damn it spot on! Woohoo!


Only trouble is now the front passenger brake caliper is binding!


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Not sure but maybe 2.0 don't have fuel filters in the engine bay. So I stand corrected.


Sounds like the P/O disconnected instead of fixing it..


Caliper binding is either the slide pins are stuck, the pad clips are rusty or not clean or the piston is not moving out or in. Hope that helps!

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