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tamaz, Subaru master technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1253
Experience:  Subaru certified,ASE Master technician,25 years experience
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I have an 06 outback xt that is just really weak for the

Customer Question

I have an 06 outback xt that is just really weak for the last 2.5 weeks. It first came on when I was driving from UT to california for a move. It came on slowly - first the car wasn't able to maintain 80mph up hills, then it started struggling on the flat ground too. Now I have to keep it reved up high to maintain 65 mph going up hills. It also takes a long time just to accelerate from stopped to 30-40mph.
JA: Have you checked the battery, particularly the terminal connections? Are they corroded?
Customer: they are not corroded. On thursday a friend and I replaced the timing belt. turns out it was off a tooth. I was told the timing belt was replaced just before I purchased the car in May. Apparently the dealer lied to me. The pulleys and tensioner were all original - and shot. although the water pump looked brand new....and the timing belt didn't have much wear on it. It had no markings on it like other replacement belts do so we really have no idea how new/old that belt was. anyway, we were hopeful that replacing the timing belt and pulleys would help a bit. It feels like its idling a little smoother now, but no improvement in acceleration at all.
JA: What is the make/model/year of your car?
Customer: 2006 subaru outback XT - so it has the 2.5 liter with a turbo. It's an automatic too
JA: Are you fixing your Outback yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: we gutted the catalytic converters thinking that was the problem, but that yielded no improvement.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: It supposedly had the turbo replaced right before i bought it. I have since put 6000 miles on it. I checked the union bolt upstream of the turbo to make sure it wasn't blocked. It was not, oil was able to flow through the union bolt with no problem. I'm really hoping it's not a problem with the turbo, but I'm worried it might be
JA: What year is your '06 Turbo?
Customer: 06 = 2006
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your question!
My name is ***** ***** give me a moment to review your question and respond with the assistance you need!

Expert:  Mike V. replied 9 months ago.

No need to request a phone call, but please give me a moment to type my response.

Expert:  Mike V. replied 9 months ago.

Is the check engine light on?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the check engine light is one. It's currently showing code p0546 - exhaust gas temp sensor circuit high bank 1. However I had that code pop up months ago and didn't experience any problems with poor acceleration.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 9 months ago.


I think I would have you start with unplugging the mass air flow sensor. This should put the car into kind of a default mode with stored maf sensor readings and it may have more power. If it does, then you know the maf is the problem, if not, let me know.

This is usually a great test for the maf sensor.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
unplugging MAF made no difference. It is still just really slow to climb up through the RPMs.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 9 months ago.

I am going to have to bow out on this one for you and open it up to the other experts.

Please don't reply or it will lock it back to me and they won't see it.

Sorry the maf sensor didn't change anything. Maybe the computer isn't advancing the timing is about the only other thing I can think of off the top of my head.

Sorry about that.

Expert:  tamaz replied 9 months ago.

Hi,did you maybe consider turbo is not spooling up causing the lack of acceleration

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That's what my main concern is. I can usually hear it - and continued to hear it even after the loss of powers / slowed acceleration problem started. But for the last week or so I have heard the turbo make a peep. Is there an easy / cheap way to check it?
Expert:  tamaz replied 9 months ago.

Connecting a vacuum gauge to a intake port or splicing a vacuum tee into auxiliary valve mounted on drivers side of intercooler will tell you if you are building boost