If it's not the fuel filter causing you to stall, your next best bet is the fuel pump.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1985 Subaru wagon which has been treated nicely all of its long life.
It has about 130,000 miles on it and has never given me any trouble until
recently, when it decided not to run. It would start and run for a few seconds
and then die. My local mechanic suggested it might be the fuel filter, so I
replaced it and drove to his shop. I could barely get above 30 mph without
stalling out.

After sitting in the mechanic's field for a week, he was able to check it out
and it ran perfectly. It continued to run perfectly for about two months, and
now the problem has recurred. I can't even get it to run long enough to get it
back to the mechanic's field. Can you help?-- Mary

TOM: I'd be willing to bet it looked right at home parked out in that field,
Mary. Did it have the hood up and amber waves of grain growing up through the
engine bay?

RAY: Actually, I wouldn't put it out to pasture yet, Mary. It could be a lot of
things, but it sounds a lot like a fuel-pump problem.

TOM: This car has an electric fuel pump. and it could be dying a slow and
painful (for you) death. But it's easy to check, especially when it's not

RAY: Right. See if you can talk your mechanic into riding his horse over to your
field with his pressure gauge, and ask him to measure your fuel-pump pressure.

TOM: But before you do that, take another look at the fuel filter. If it's all
clogged up again after only a couple of months, that suggests that there's crud
and rust in your gas tank which keeps plugging it up. And that could be the part
or all of the problem, too. In that case, you may need to replace the gas tank
to keep the problem from recurring. But I suspect you've got a bad fuel pump.
Good luck, Mary

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