Today I lifted the rear end of my 2004 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport on jack stands and removed the wheels to replace the brake pads. I removed a little brake fluid, but then realized that the pads were just fine, so I replaced the fluid, and lowered the car. Then I tightened up the parking brake cable a little -- it's now solid at 8 or 9 clicks.

When I started the car, I noticed it sounded different -- a bit cleaner actually. It was driving well, but noticed the idle was low. Then I stalled when coming to a stop. This never happens, so I'm wondering if maybe lifting the rear end could introduce air into the fuel line or something like that? I don't think the parking brake is affecting anything -- the drop in RMPs at idle was sudden and not related to attempts at driving.

  • 1
    You didn't do anything under the hood? That sort of behavior indicates a disconnected vacuum line.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 19:38
  • i just disconnected the negative terminal, removed a replaced some brake fluid with a turkey baster, and checked my oil ...
    – tef2128
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


what you're describing is actually normal for these cars :)

I own a 2005 OBS and I have found that the ECU takes a bit of time to re-learn how to idle after the battery terminal is removed (this clears the ECU's volatile memory). I found that I was stalling when I came to a stop and even between gear changes.

Your car should be back to normal by now (mine re-learns within a day or so of use), but if not, just let the car idle for 20 minutes after you reset the battery.

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    That seems like an exceptionally gross oversight by Subaru... Especially with a crank angle sensor, it should be hard to stall out without the engine load exceeding the power available with just the ICV. Can you share some links to other people who've experienced this?
    – Hari
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 23:05
  • @HariGanti Stalling after disconnecting a battery terminal without a battery backup is fairly common and is due to an incorrect idle relearn procedure.
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 23:38
  • @Ben That may be true for Subarus. Seems strange to me given that none of the cars I've worked on had that problem.
    – Hari
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 4:57
  • Perhaps you should expand the range you work on :)
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 7:13

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