Gen 2 – 2004 Outback – Unable to start (last used just before the pandemic)

After sitting for a long time, the fuel may need to be burned or generally replaced. It degrades over time and moisture is introduced by condensation.
The various components in the fuel delivery can be painted or varnished restricting the flow.
Plugs may need cleaning.
Just a guess without knowing what the new issues are.

I’m getting a Check Engine Light and the OBD software is reporting a sensor – I saw it report oxygen and heat as a problem so I’m a little confused as to what the actual problem is. I put more gas in it, but not much more, since I was thinking of selling it (I might change my mind about that), I only put a few liters. Most of the time it runs fine, but sometimes when it’s sitting still and just idling, I can hear it sound like it’s speeding up and slowing down a bit, but the RPM dial doesn’t show a noticeable change in speed.

The new battery is cheap and when the battery was replaced we had to throw it away the first time but we only worked it for about 10-15 minutes and that was enough. No need for jump starts after that. I’m wondering if the uneven idle sound (I was going to say the speed but the RPM knob doesn’t move) could be due to old gas in the tank. And maybe that can cause the problem

I guess I’m an antique too, having graduated from college in 1985. 🙂 My friend is a retired Subaru mechanic in MD. I can contact you with it for advice or help on other matters.

Right now the problem is the Check Engine light coming on and the ABS light (as described in this post). The tires were at about 20 PSI, pretty low, about 2/3 of the pressure needed. I have filled them up but can’t reset the ABS light to see if it still comes on with the tire pressure resolved. If he can help me reset the ABS light that would be a great help. If it doesn’t come back, I’ll probably sell it, but if it does, then I need to fix it or figure out what to do next. I’ve had a few people tell me that the 3.0 liter models are going up in value and that I should be able to get something to sell this one, but I understand the ABS light, combined with the scratches on it (it’s a works vehicle – eh bought when we bought a large wooded lot so I could drive around some back roads on it and drive through mud and such), will seriously destroy the resale value.

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