Subaru B9 Tribeca startup problem

lobophyllialobophyllia Member Posts: 1
Hi there,

Recently I bought a '06 Subaru Tribeca, a used one which the dealer used as a loaner vehicle, with about 9K miles on it. I was happy to get a great deal on the vehicle. However, after bringing the vehicle home, I found something frustrating: there's a engine startup problem.

When I turned the key to start the engine, I heard the engine clicking, but I had to hold the key at the turn position for a few second to get the engine running. It's especially obvious when the engine was cold. Sometimes I had to turn the key a few times to start the engine after failing to start.

I bought the vehicle to the dealership twice, but they kept saying that it's the carbon buildup in the engine(assuming that when used as loaner vehicle customers used regular gasoline to cause the extra carbon buildup in the engine). I was told that after running for several tanks of premium gasoline, the problem should go away. Does it make any sense to you? They have replaced all spark plugs, and an on-board calibration computer with minimum improvement. I wonder what the next step is? Can the problem be the underpower DC starter motor?

Please advise


  • weewaywooweewaywoo Member Posts: 1

    I had the exact same symptoms, and it turned out to be a weak/dying battery. If you have a voltmeter, put the test leads on the battery terminals while someone else cranks the vehicle over. When I did this with the bad battery, the voltage dropped from 12.0 volts to 8.0 volts.

    If the battery is indeed weak/dying, then it could be that you have a bad alternator. The dealership (or any auto repair center) can run a test to check out the battery and alternator.

    Hope this helps!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Either Battery or Alternator.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Battery, and probably because it was not driven regularly and for long distances. So the battery sat discharged a lot.

    No biggie. Check the fluid levels, you may be able to add distilled water.

    But I'd just replace the battery. Cheap piece of mind, and the OE ones aren't all that strong anyway.

  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    Have an 07 Tribeca, that has the remote starter that has worked flawlessly till last week. When the start is initiated via fob, it goes through the same sequence (as far as I know audibly, ie lock doors, dash lights, sound of gasoline being sent), but alot more slowly. It turns the car over, but immediately shuts it off. It tries the mandatory 4 tries, but fails, and so it stops. I have not had a successful start since.

    I've read bad battery, bad leads, bad wires. Will attend to.
    Read bad tach sensor, but didnt look like the Tribeca uses that.

    Any other avenue that I might be missing?
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    After much looking around, found out that other OEM remote starts (Legacy, Rex) have similar behavior. I was able to look at the install, and figure that the kink in the system is in the immobilizer. The wiring seemed to have moved a bit, and after re-placing it, and pushing in anything that needed pushing, I was able to restore function.

    Hopefully, this will help others.
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