Re: 1999 legacy outback no power going up hill,new knock...
Check your tail pipe for color. If insides are black you are running rich and it all may boil down to an oxygen sensor or an EGR valve. EGR valves are the most common causes for the 'check engine' light to come on. Your trouble codes will tell you what it is. Some auto stores will check it for free or you can buy an inexpensive checker.
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free check engine code read at auto zone. we replaced a sensor 15$ our spark knock sensor is still out but ran fine for two years. a month ago lost power sputtered with ac on , turned out to be a spark plug wire 29$ set of four we replaced ours with one we had from another car runs great again
Knock sensor has gone bad most likely. I had the same problem with the same car and replaced the knock sensor. Fixed the problem. Very common with Subarus.
It's an inexpensive part but it requires patience and small surgeon's hands to get to it and replace it. Lots of how-to articles on line.
What's the check engine light code? You need to get the code(s) read using a code reader and then we can help. A place like AutoZone will read the code for free and then you can look it up at http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/
The light comes on when you climb a hill, accelerate quickly or do anything that advances the timing a lot and the knock sensor doesn't hear the knocks (pinging). The engine timing is not retarded, so you get a misfire.
The computer turns off the CEL if it sees the car start and run with no misfire of this nature 4 times in a row.
If the engine seems like it's OK but you are just seeing a solid Check Engine Light, and if the light has ever mysteriously gone out on its own, check the Knock Sensor. Over time they rust. I have had the repair done on my 2 subies (a 97 and a 99).
The CEL will go out on its own if you have 4 starts with no misfires. If the knock sensor is out, rapid accelleration or steep hill climbing will make the light come back on as the timing advances and the sensor does not ****** the timing for you, so the knocking becomes a misfire.