Question about Subaru Outback

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I was driving from east TN to central AR this weekend, ad while on the freeway my car just died. The first thing I noticed was slowing down no matter how much I hit the gas--no loud sounds, no hissing, fluid loss, etc. I had just had my oil changed recently. When I got the car to the side of the road it wouldn't restart, and hasn't restarted since. The engine will turn over, but it won't actually start up. Thankfully my dad was able to come get me. He's got some auto know-how, but we've run into some dead-ends. First we hooked it up on the computer of one of his friends, and that told us it was either the crank or cam sensor. Both of those have been replaced, and it's still not working. Since then we've tested for spark, and we've got none. He tested it and said there's no power going to the coil, so we don't think it's that. We think that leaves the ignition module, the ignition switch, or maybe the timing belt. But Dad doesn't think it's the timing belt, because that should have caused a lot of ruckus going out at 80 mph down the highway.

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When a timing belt breaks you loose the signal from the Cam sensor and it can trigger a code from the crank sensor as well, the reason of course is the cams get out of syn with the crank signal, the Powertrain Control Module senses this and sets a code for the problem, as far as hearing any thing when a cam belt breaks that is not the case, over the last 40 years I have replaced 100"s of stripped camshaft drive belts, which of course is called the timing belt, never once did i hear a complaint that there was any "RUCKUS" as u call, and i would ask as part of my investigation into the problem, when the belts go on this car they loose the rubber teeth, the timing belt should be changed on this car every 60,000 miles if it was built before 1999, after 1999 the made the belt bigger and longer lasting and they last up to 105,000 miles.
If the belt is not the issue u will need to have shop hook up a scan tool with live data stream capability to see what is going on with the ignition system, installing parts on a guess is a bad idea due to the cost, what u have spent so could have paid the diagnostic time at a dealer, then you and your dad could have maybe done the repair based on the dealers diagnosis.

Posted on May 16, 2010

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