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Subaru Outback/Legacy Starting Issues

muklukmukluk Posts: 38
Yesterday it was 10 degrees Farenheit and my usually trusty subaru would not start (turned over but didn't start). This car has its original battery. I had AAA come out and jump it, then drove it to Napa auto parts. The guy there tested the battery and said it was fine (holding a charge etc) and I did not need a new battery. I asked if the car should start now and he said it should. He did suggest that I clean the terminals with baking soda- as apparently there was some corrosion that he claimed might cause problems with cold weather starting. Drove my car around for about 20 minutes or so running errands (kept engine running) and brought it home. About four hours later, same problem, turns over will not start. So any ideas? My temptation is to try to clean the terminals and if that doesn't help, jump it and drive it over to the dealer so they can have a look. If it isn't the battery then what is it? If I do need a new battery what model is recommended? Cold weather is anticipated for the next few days. I appreciate any advice that might be offered.
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Comments

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    If it's turning over the problem isn't the battery. Since the car does run and the battery checked out, I'd lean towards a fuel pressure problem. I have a vehicle that's bleeding off fuel pressure somewhere if it sits for an extended period of time and will do the same thing, turn over but not start. Try this as a test. Go out to the car and turn the key to the ON position as if the car is running. Don't turn it all the way to the crank position. If you hear the low hum of the fuel pump running for a few seconds as the fuel pressure builds up I'd bet you have a leak that's bleeding off fuel pressure. If you hear the pump running, turning the key to ON and getting fuel pressure built up should get the car to start when you turn the key to CRANK.
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Well I did go ahead and clean the terminals. The negative terminal didn't seem too bad, there was somewhat more corrosion on the positive terminal. However cleaning the terminals did not get the car to start. I will try the suggestion from pf flyer. Another issue that may not be helping matters is that my gas tank is about an eighth full right now. I was planning to fill it up yesterday assuming it would just be a normal day (when my car starts). At any rate once I got the car jumped I didn't want to risk turning off the engine to fill it up.
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Update: Went out to car and turned key to ON. Did not hear fuel pump noises. But at any rate the car then started! I drove it on the expressway a little to get the engine warmed up and then stopped to fill up the tank. It started like its usual self. I hope it continues to do so. My car will be in to the dealer this week for an oil change so I will see if they have any insight on the situation. P.S. It was 5 degrees Farenheit this afternoon.

    Hi Cliff!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    Is this the original equipment battery now at or past the 5 year point? If so, I am kind of leaning towards it being a marginal battery. As batteries age, sediment builds up in the bottom channel that can short, or create leakage paths between plates. Scum accumulates on the plates themselves, reducing effective capacity. Although there might have been enough amperage to turn the starter, there can be a corresponding drop in voltage produced. If it drops low enough, electronics, which are themselves temperature sensitive, can foul. As a result, fuel delivery can be impacted.

    When you got jumped, it started. Support from a good battery was all it needed. Some running put back enough into the battery to get you thru the following day. Cleaning the terminals also helped a bit, as you removed a series resistance that dropped voltage slightly. I would not be surprised if the non-start happened again after a long cold soak.

    It is time. You got your money's worth out of the OEM unit. When you start having trouble like this, $60 or so is a good investment. See the Oct '06 issue of Consumers for the battery test. I just went thru a week of odd electrical issues with my wife's '02 Honda Ody, finally ending in non-starts. New battery, and the whole electrical system on that van is working a lot better. I'm thinking of changing the battery pro-actively on my '02 OBW just for piece of mind.

    Steve
  • I'll take 5 degrees, it's -5 degrees here in MI today. My car is also hesitating to start and it has a brand new battery.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Also check the fluid level. If it's low top it off with distilled water (note there are 6 seperate chamber.

    Wear gloves and do not touch the water that's in the battery now, as it becomes very acidic.

    Having said all that, I'd still get a new battery with more CCAs.

    -juice
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    It was -5 degrees this am and no start. Why would the battery test as being fine but not perform that way? In fact, I asked the guy at NAPA who tested it to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being a dead battery and 10 being a new battery and he gave it an 8. I don't mind replacing the battery (just going by age it is four years old which is about time to replace it). However, the test versus performance discrepancy seems odd to me. Does this mean that the battery testing device at NAPA does not work? Hmmm.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    Was it the same situation again? It cranks but won't start? Or did it not crank at all in the cold?
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Well it seemed like it wanted to start today but couldn't. I just tryed to start it the usual way, turning the key all the way. Yesterday after I cleaned the terminals and it wouldn't start, I went inside for about 10 minutes. When I came back out, I turned the key to "ON" for a bit before starting it and it started. Today I had to get to work so did not have time to try again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It puts out amps, and that's probably what he measured. But CCAs are more important - cold cranking amps. The guys at NAPA cannot test the crank power in the dead cold, they probably tested it at room temps.

    I'd replace the battery. I got a cheap one at WalMart, something like $40-60 or so, that had nearly twice the CCA rating as the stock battery.

    It's just not worth it to have to worry about something to cheap and easy to replace.

    -juice
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    IF it's the battery, that's a relatively lost cost replacement. Since you turned the key to ON for a few seconds and then cranked it and it started, I'm still leaning towards a fuel pressure situation.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    I almost feel bad for you folks! After coming off a week-long stint of no-colder-than +20F, I feel like we just had summer again! No, just kidding, summer lasts 3 weeks and gets up to 50F. :P

    Temp is still a pleasant +10F. :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    It was -5 degrees this am and no start. Why would the battery test as being fine but not perform that way?

    It all has to do with cold crank amps, and old batteries do not have as much resilience as newer ones. When it is -5F and you have, say 10W-30 oil in the engine, not only are the movable parts very gummy, but your engine is trying to move around thick sludge rather than runny oil. Take a quart of oil, put it outside overnight, and then try to pour it out of the bottle..... it is somewhat akin to molasses (black strap at that!). It takes far more amperage to move that mass than it would at temperatures even 20 or 30F warmer. Get a battery with double the CCA and also take Bob's suggestion of waiting a few seconds between "On" and "Start." The no-start problem will most likely disappear.

    Also, if these temperatures are at all common at your location, you could have a block heater or even just an oil pan heater installed so as to plug it in for a couple of hours before cold-starting. Doing so considerably reduces the CCA demand on the battery.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Good morning all and thanks for all the input. Well it's a toasty 3 degrees this am and I have not yet attempted to start the car. I am going to turn the key to ON for a bit before attempting to start it. If it doesn't start I will have jump it. The we are going to the dealer for oil change and further battery assessment. The weather has been unusually cold for this part of the country- if this were the normal weather I'd get a block heater (used to have one on the vehicle I had in Wyoming). Anyway I did some homework in case battery replacement is recommended.

    Dealer: 500 something CCA $89.00 plus installation (ha ha ha)
    Napa: Legend 7535 600 CCA $65.99 (install it yourself)
    Autozone: Gold Duralast 640 CCA $79.99 (free installation?)
    Advanced Autoparts: Autocraft CCA640 $79.88 (10.00 core- whatever that is- probably not a consumer friendly sort of thing). (free installation?)

    I have never replaced a battery but it can't be too hard right? I will provide another exciting update later today.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Core means the deposit you have to leave with them. You get the $10 back when you take the old battery back.

    That implies that they will not install for you, because if they did there would be no core charge (they would just keep the old one right then and there).

    -juice
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    If you have a WalMart near by, consider also the Everstart Maxx. Another in the family from Johnson Controls Co., it did very well in most of the sizes tested by consumers - at or near the top of the chart. I put one in my wife's van last week. Runs $63, IIRC.

    To answer your earlier question, yes the CCA test that Napa did can be misleading. As I said earlier, when the battery cranks out a large amperage, the voltage drops. The rest of the electronics in your car might very well be sensitive to this at cold temps. If the brain doesn't process well, you get no fuel or spark. Doesn't matter if the starter can turn the engine, she will never start.

    If the jump helps, you got your answer... buy a battery.

    Steve
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll second the Everstart batteries at Walmart. I put 2 of the marine ones in my boat last summer. Good stuff. The other nice thing about the Walmart ones is that in general you can find a Walmart almost anywhere so that if it does die on you, you can pull the battery and get it replaced under warranty pretty easily.

    -mike
  • My local Autozone does still charge the core fee but also offeres free installation.

    Some owners prefer to install on their own even with free installation. They don't want someone else under their hood! :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have one of those in my Forester, and it's been great. Starting became easier once I put in the new one, too.

    For the Miata I got some other brand at Advance Auto Parts, can't remember now. It's one of those gel-acid ones, kinda smaller.

    -juice
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    I appreciate all of the feedback. Well my update today is not a good one. The car would not start, would not jump start. It sounded as close as you can get to starting without starting on one occasion but no start. So now I really don't know what is wrong with it. Tomorrow I will have to get it towed to the shop. Any ideas? :sick:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well that means fuel or spark.

    -mike
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Well actually, I believe that this vehicle is possessed by the devil.

    On the other hand, perhaps it only requires the warm climate of Hell to revert to its former Angelic self?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    Subliminal message: Buy a new battery anyhow.... Clean up the terminals and apply some anti-corrosion spray. Check around the battery box area for any signs of corrosion on any of the wiring in the area, and clean them up before re-assembling. Anywhere you have it towed at this point will suggest a new battery to insure optimum voltage with sufficient CCA, so you might as well deal with this on your terms. End of subliminal message.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Steve, mike, and I all work for a battery consortium and we have millions of dollars in pensions at stake. :D

    -juice
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    For some reason, I have this idea I should get a new battery. Weird.

    So AAA came out again this morning. A balmy 8 degrees today. Car again would not jump start (just as I expected). They put it on the flatbed trailer and took it to the dealer. Guess what!!! The mechanic was able to start the car on his first attempt. Maybe all I really needed to do was lift the front end of the car up a few feet so the gas could slosh around. Why didn't I think of that in the first place?
  • See what happens when you don't shake the car?

    A general question along thisline ... just bought a 2007 Outback last week. When the temps were cold here in Colorado last week (single digits to just under zero), the car turned over very slowwwwly when I started it up. OK, it was cold. But my 1993 Corolla and 2005 Odyssey started right up. Question: Is there some doubt about the original manufacturer's battery in the Outback? Thanks.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    Is there some doubt about the original manufacturer's battery in the Outback?

    Plenty of doubt, for me. I also have a 2007 Outback, new as of 1/7/07. Temps here have been unseasonably warm, but the first 48 hours were quite cold (highest temp was -36F), as well as a lesser snap about a week later in the -20F range. During those temperatures, the car did start (slow cranking), but almost every time it would lose the preset sound adjustments and FM stations on the radio. Highly annoying. As it has not happened during any of the warmer temperatures (between 0F and +30F) we have experienced outside of those two cold spells, I tend to think it is a weak battery issue. The car cranks slower than my old '96 did, but maybe that is a feature of the starter more than anything. Have not had any problems with it actually firing off, but I also have a block heater and oil pan heater that are plugged in below +10 or so (depends on whether I remember to do it!).

    I do know that this car hates cold. The windows will not work during the cold, the shift and e-brake boots both cracked dramatically during the cold, the doors do not want to latch... I could go on. I attribute most of the problems to poor quality lubricants, but (sarcasm warning) since Subaru hardly sells any vehicles in cold climates, why would they bother with cold-tolerant lubricants? :P

    If I continue to have radio issues at cold temps, I will replace the battery with something that has far more CCAs. Loss of current to the radio is step one to loss of current to the ECU. :sick:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Here's what the mechanic said "No problem found tech could not confirm. Car started first time in. Performed a battery test. Battery tests good. 13.19 volts, 362 CCA, 95% of life left. Stated and restarted vehicle 8 times, no problems running or starting, all done in cold. Scanner shows no codes and numbers within specs." All Happy. Picked up. Started. Stopped at grocery store. Started. Parked at home. I hope it starts tomorrow.

    To battery or not to battery... That is the question.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm gonna replace the 2 year old one on my Armada due to it not starting as quickly as I'd like. I've killed it a few times when my carputer crashed on shutdown so it's been deep cycled a few times.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    362 CCA does not sound "good" to me. All of the batteries I have on my cars are (were) 600 CCA.

    I do hope it starts for you tomrrow though... except then it would just exacerbate the ???? :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    Wes,

    Like your problems with the inadequately sized new battery in your Outback, the 5 year old battery in our Honda kept glitching the electrical system. In it's final week of life it would start, but the draw would knock out subsystem processors, like to the power doors, some dash indicators, transmission interlock and the like. For a few days I thought we were looking at a real electrical system meltdown, until I realized it was a battery issue. And that was when morning temps were in the 20-30 degree range. With a new battery and temps in the single digits, she runs like a champ. Oh, and at our last servicing, Honda told us that the battery tested as a virtual 2 year old!

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Forester came with a 265 CCA battery. Kinda pathetic.

    Though I can't blame that - I didn't top off the fluid.

    -juice
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    OK. So we come home from the mechanic last Wednesday as described.

    Thursday am 5 degrees- won't start, won't jump start. Hooked up to battery charger for 15 minutes and then started. Had to get to work but stopped at autozone to pick up some of dry line additive for gas tank which I poured in and some jumper cables. Car started fine from auto parts store. Drove to work. Shut it off. Started it again just for fun. Worked. Car started 7+ hours later to go home (22 degrees by then).

    Friday am 6 degrees- won't start, won't jump start. Battery charger not charged up so I couldn't try charging it up again. Took the bus to work.

    So what next? :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick:
  • Did you say what the original battery was rated (CCA)?

    And did you then buy a new battery? I looked at the thread and didn't see that, but I could have missed it.

    Given that batteries are relatively inexpensive, I'd get a new battery. Paying $100 for peace of mind is worth it to me. And if you still have issues afterward, then it is something else.

    And speaking of, I still view my new 2007 Outback's original battery with suspicion. Given I live in Denver and my wife and two kids are often in the car, I am considering just buying a new battery now. Question: Do I have to go to the dealer because of warranty (bought the car 10 days ago)? If I go to AutoZone or Sears or whatever, is that warranty problem?

    Thanks.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    I'm having a hard time getting my head around it being a battery issue if the car is turning over, and now isn't starting when jumped.

    I've discussed what has been described here with mechanics at the dealership where I've bought all my cars and with the guys at a buddy's garage and they're leaning to a fuel issue, with spark running second in their estimation.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    If I go to AutoZone or Sears or whatever, is that warranty problem?

    No, not as long as the battery is specific for your model (in other words, proper dimensions, etc). If you have battery problems afterward, though, it is a battery manufacturer warranty issue, not a Subaru warranty issue!

    As with anything else you do with the car, make sure you keep receipts, etc. For example, there is no requirement that you take the car to a dealership for interval service, or even that you take it to any shop, but you must be able to reasonably show that the service was performed "within spec" should something related crop up down the line.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    Yeah, I think it might be a combination, but, at this point, a new battery would already be in it if it were mine.

    There have been many times when I jump other cars (or receive jumps) that it takes 2, 3, maybe more minutes to have enough current to start the disabled car - especially if the battery is dead or weak. Oh, also, higher-than-idle engine speed on the donor car will provide more current and help the disabled car start sooner. When solo-jumping, I usually "brick" the accelerator on the donor car to about 2500 RPM.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    I suspect that the 'depleted' battery acts like a load initially when you connect the jumper cables.
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Well on the positive side. After getting home from work, and an ambient temperature of 21 degrees, my car started.
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    On the negative side. Today the car would not start (18 degrees).
    Hooked up to charger unit, car would not start.
    Kept hooked up to charger unit for 15 minutes would not start.
    Was able to jump start with jumper cables after that.
    Drove to auto parts store. Got brand new battery. Duralast gold with 640 CCA.
    Starts like a charm.
    Drive to a restaurant. Decide line is to long. Starts like a charm
    Drive to a different restaurant. Eat dinner, walk to nearby bookstore. About 2-3 hours later

    THE CAR DOES NOT START!!!!!

    It did jump start and I drove it home. And of course it started again right away shortly after I had turned the car off.

    OK brilliant minds of the forum.... what's up with that?

    Also pf flyer had suggested a possible fuel pump problem. Read this whole post for info. The idea was that by turning the ignition to ON for awhile first the fuel pump would engage and then the car might start when I turned the key all the way. Well this did work one time (on 2/4/06) but has not seemed to work since.

    :cry: :sick: :cry: :sick: :cry:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    When the car does not start, are the interior lights dim? Does it crank but not start?

    -mike
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,785
    Having a bad day along with you, unfortunately. I spoke too soon when I told you guys I changed the battery on my wife's Odyssey, and all the electrical gremlins abandoned ship. Everything was great for two weeks, then they returned on Friday, leaving my wife stranded. It is an interlock problem between the power sliding doors and the tranny. Locks it in park, because it thinks there is a malfunction, and disables the doors. Dealer spent about 6 hours on the case Friday, and kept it over the weekend so that they could cry out for help from their fellow wizards. Meanwhile, I am driving a Toaster Element. What a horrible POS, but it beats walking!

    So unfortunately, electrical and computer issues are the downfall of modern cars. Did you see any signs of corrosion when you changed the battery? I still think there is something to the fact that adding a second battery in parallel sometimes helps. Even a strong battery will dip in voltage when cranking. Two batteries in parallel might supply the needed amperage, but have less of a voltage drop. Net being that the electronics are still getting closer to the full voltage (12.6 or so for a wet cell battery). Once the alternator is running, voltage rises to around 14.5v. A good cranking battery can drop down into the 11v range. An old battery substantially further. Something sounds like it is voltage sensitive. Connector corrosion can easily cause a voltage drop, although it could just as likely be faulty electronics.

    Steve
  • muklukmukluk Posts: 38
    Well strangely enough, my car has been a perfect angel all day. Starting each time asked to in the normal manner (not having to turn the key to ON first). The weather is warmer now - 20 ish (20 degrees above). I can't figure why it didn't start last night. In all cases when my car was not starting this past week it would turn over but not start (except today when everything was just swell). I do wonder what would be going on if the temperature were colder like it was last week. After all everything seemed to be fine until last Saturday (2/3) the temps got down to the single digits.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    Now that the battery has been replaced, we're down to fuel or spark I would assume.

    Let's get REAL specific on what you're doing and what's happening when you try to start it to avoid jumping around to different potential problems.

    I assume that the battery IS cranking the engine.

    I assume/hope that you're NOT stepping on the gas while trying to start. If you're old like me :P you might have a reflex that makes you try to step onthe gas while starting. But as I learned, with a fuel injected car you don't need to. Holding the gas down while trying to start will actually turn the fuel pump off while cranking after a few seconds. If there was no fuel pressure (for whatever reason) this would also keep the car from starting. (I sat out in the cold doing this one morning)

    On the car I have this issue with, the only time I HAVE to do the key ON trick is if I let it sit for more than 24 hours without running. Whatever is causing the fuel pressure leak takes that long before it forces me to re-prime the pump as it were... if I've beenout driving and thengo back 3-4 hours later, I can just turn the key and start the car.

    So, back to square one.

    Go out and try to start your car normally. No gas pedal, just turn the key and try to start the car.
    1) Does it crank?
    2) Does it start?

    It sounds like the answers are Yes and NO

    Then I would turn the key to ON and listen for the hum of the fuel pump.

    3) Do we hear the fuel pump?

    That could be a yes or no. My wife really doesn't hear it, even though she says she does...LOL

    You might even want to cycle the key from OFF to ON poition for 5 seconds two or three times.

    Now try to start the car.

    4) Does it crank? (assuming yes)
    5) Does it start?

    If it doesn't start, we still have fuel or spark as possibilities.

    You've said it has started since this thread began, so I wanted to find out if your right foot and the gas pedal has been involved during the times it did not start.

    If it starts EVERY time you try the key ON trick while making sure to not step on the gas, I'm positive you have fuel pressure bleeding off, or some kind of fuel pump issue.

    If seems to start randomly, I'd lean towards a fuel problem since that seems more likely than an intermittent spark, although I could be mistaken or guessing wrong on that.

    If it doesn't start at all, the two possibilities still exist in my mind since battery is crossed off the list.

    Isn't diagnosis via message board fun? :P

    With all the brain power amassed here, we should be able to figure out something!
  • Cynnie! You might want to check your battery cables. I had trouble with corrosion on my Nissan a year or so ago. After cleaning the battery leads with baking soda, like you did, it turned out one of the cables was also corroded and had to be replaced. It could be that one of the cables is no longer able carry the charge, especially when it's cold and the cables get brittle. They can short out and cease to function. Believe it or not, I've similar problems at my house this year, when we had a cold snap here in Reno.

    Heidi Ho
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, so we can take the battery out of the equation.

    Spark or fuel, so in order I'd look at the fuel filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, then the ignition coil and the fuel pump. The cheap stuff first.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There is an aftermarket alarm? I've known a few to prevent starting and it would appear as those conditions as well. And aftermarket alarms tend to fail quicker than OEM type electronics.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,604
    While the conditions differ from those of my old car, I would frequently have no-start situations (temperature independent, though it seemed to be more frequent in the winter months). The "trick" to overcoming the problem was to wait for 3-5 minutes and try again. If I did not do this, and just kept cranking, it would turn until the batter died, but not start. Usually within 3-4 tries, it would start right up. Mostly it was a maximum 10 minute wait, but once it took 45 minutes (and, of course, I needed to get somewhere that time!). Never did figure out the problem, but it vanished in August 2004 concurrent with replacement of the knock, crank, and camshaft sensors. I do not recommend you do that at this point, though! I am just suggesting that perhaps time is playing a more crucial role here than battery or fuel.

    Quite perplexing, really. :cry:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I'm trying to figure out a similar situation with my 02 VDC wagon. It is doing a similar, crank, not turn over. Crank, not turn over. Then crank, turn over, car starts. It is not consistent. Letting the fuel pump do its thing doesnt make it a definite start all the time. Sometimes, it simply starts, no hassle. Whether I just used the vehicle, or it has sat for some time doesnt seem to make a difference either way. One thing positive, it has never left me stranded.

    I just had my fuel filter changed, my battery was done new, actually, thanks to this thread. The only thing, I cant pinpoint when the problem started, before the fuel filter change, or after. The battery was definitely after the problem manifested itself. As easy as the fuel filter was to change, I actually had Tires Plus do this, since I was out of town (too lazy) to get it done. I checked the lines in and out of the filter, and they were tight, and I didnt see any leakage. Is there another thing for me to check to see if this can be part of/ the actual culprit?
  • So, after perusing too many to count threads, I come across a similar issue, and apparently, this issue is sometimes an indication of an on-its-way-out engine coolant temp sensor. Apparently, when this goes haywire, it doesnt give the appropriate corrected amount corrected fuel.

    How exactly do you change this? Where is this? What does it look like?

    Anyway, just suggestions, since I'd like to resolve mine as well.
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