12th Mar 2011, 23:32
I have a 1991 Subaru Liberty 2.2 Auto (2 wheel drive - 260,000 odd K's now), which has been in the family since new.
This vehicle experienced engine breaking down/cutting out problems at 225,000k's, and replacing the oxygen sensor seemed to fix the problems.
More recently (246,000k's), we experienced the cutting out up hills problem. This usually occurred at highway speed, and seemed more likely to happen if vehicle was given a bit of a squirt whilst going up the hill. Problem was resolved by having the "lash adjusters" removed, cleaned and reinstalled. Plus, the oil was replaced with Mobil 1 0W/40 full synthetic oil.
This work was carried out by a specialist Subaru mechanical workshop (Scorpion Subaru) in Capalaba, Brisbane. I was advised that the problem can be caused by running too heavy an oil, and not changing oils often enough. Before I got the vehicle, I know it was often serviced with 20W/50 type oils, and although it was done at correct mileage intervals, timing was often late due to low usage in its early years. Oil changes are now done on time, and only with a full synthetic 0W/40 grade oil (Castrol Edge last time).
Am now experiencing problems with not starting (or starting, then stalling about 20 metres up the road). The motor turns over, but doesn't fire. Problem seems more likely if the vehicle has been parked up hill and left standing for a few hours. I am pretty sure the problem is the fuel pump, and am going to replace the same this week.
Also experienced the alternator failure at about 231,000k's.
Whilst this seems quite a few issues, the vehicle is great to drive, and prior to this had been pretty much trouble free.
Hope this info is helpful, because we also went through the same dilemma of what to do to fix the problem, and contemplated trading in or auctioning the car, as we would not have felt comfortable selling it privately with the known issues. Once someone tells you how to fix it, it doesn't seem so hard.