Question about 1998 Subaru Forester

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Check engine light and intermittent bucking

I just bought a 98 Forester. The guy that I bought it from told me that the car bucks (like it is not getting gas) and the check engine light comes on when this happens. It does not do this all the time. It may run 200 miles or more and then it will start bucking and usually stops after a few miles. Previous owner said it has bucked for 20 miles or more and if you stop and cut the engine off for a little while, it will not buck again. Car runs great when it is not bucking.The previous owner has had it in the shop numerous times. While the check engine light was on, i had it checked at Auto Zone and they said it was a miss on #4 cylinder and could be a electrical problem (plugs/wires), dirty or leaking fuel injector, or the valves needed adjustment. I know the previous owner cleaned the injectors and replaced the coil assembly. Check engine light was on for the last 3 days but did not come on this morning and did this once before. Any ideas?

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You might get lucky here. Go out and open the hood and start the engine when it's dark. See if you can see sparks jumping around the spark plug wires. That will tell you for sure. Otherwise, my first choice would be to put on new plug wires of the highest quality you can find. I've seen this type of problem before, and it can be made worse if the boots on the wires are not clean or too much grease was used at the factory. The solution was to clean everything and replace the wires and spark plugs because carbon tracks have been created that can't be easily (if at all) cleaned from the spark plug insulators. The coil towers will probably be okay if you clean them well.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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