Occasional trouble starting
mattcarter Member Posts: 4
I have a 1998 Sub Outback that has occasional issues starting. I have only noticed the problem on short trips to the store and such. I will drive a few miles to the store, run inside and then when I come back out the car will turn over but won't fire. Then if I wait about 10 minutes and try again it generally fires right up. It does not seem to matter how many times that I try before the 10 minutes or so mark, it just won't fire, and then mysteriously it will decide to fire. Other than this issue, that happens about once every two weeks, the car runs tip top. Ideas...
This discussion has been closed.
In 2004, I had a knock sensor failure and replaced that plus the camshaft and crankshaft sensors simultaneously. After that, I never had the non-start issue again. Whether or not they are related, I just don't know, but there's a pretty good chance of it. I owned the car until 12/30/2006, with another 60,000 or so miles on the car and no driving habit changes, and it did not happen even once.
Even if there is no added fuel/pressure, the pressure in the system at the time of start up would be sufficient to allow the car to fire (or attempt to fire) for a few seconds.
The good news, though, is that you can test a relay easily to verify whether it may or may not be the problem! And, if you decide to replace it, it might set you back $10-$15 (and take 30 seconds of time) versus sensors which are $50+ and a little more work to replace.
The Camshaft Position sensor is the easiest of the three to access and should take only a few minutes to replace. It is located on the driver side, front of the engine... at the top front corner just to the left (if you're looking at the engine) of the oil filler spout and, I think, to the right of the air conditioning compressor. If memory serves, you should be able to get to it without removing anything else!
Of course, this is only available for the next three days....