Subaru Outback/Legacy Starting Issues

24

Comments

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    '02 6cyl? If I get a chance, I'll pull a page from my shop manual and e-mail it to you. Might take me a day to get to it.

    Steve
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    Yep, 02 6 cyl, at least mine is. I dont remember if OP's is as well.

    If you can, that will be most helpful. Thanks.
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    So after a new fuel filter, new battery and 3 different gas treatments, I was on my way to figuring out how to change the temp sensor, when I read a thread about someone having his ECU reflashed, and the dealer mentioned that there was a new version.

    I inquired of it at the dealership, and was quoted a $75 charge to re-flash. I have reset the ECU, both by myself and through the new battery change, so I wasnt too optimistic. As with the other poster, mine apparently had a newer version available. They went ahead and reflashed, and plus an added bonus, there was no charge. Dont know if my vehicle having only 46k had anything to do with it.

    The car has been starting like a champ. No sense of hesitation at all. Now, today has been hovering around 30s and 40s, so I'll have to repost in colder days. That wasnt a factor in the starting issues, but want to see how it does.

    As the title states, so far so good....
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    Great! So it sounds like you don't need the page on temp sensor location?

    Steve
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    I am hoping that I dont. If I do, I'll be sure to let you know... :)
  • sailman18sailman18 Member Posts: 2
    I've a starting problem, mostly intermittent now but getting more frequent. Replace battery 1 yr. ago with good high cranking amp rated, lights work well etc., just won't turnover sometimes. Mostly in the morning when freesing but sometimes during the 50 degree days. Come back a couple hours later then it'll start. Some faulty swithc somewhere? Appreciate responses, thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like a bad starter?
  • sailman18sailman18 Member Posts: 2
    Yes it may be a bad starter. went out this morning and wouldn't start, clicked once and nothing, repeated 2-3 times and same thing. Did the old tapping on the starter (was easy to find, right on top of engine at right rear) and turned over alittle bit the first attempt, second then started right up. Faulty solenoid and does anyone know if I have to replace the whole starter?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It's an easy change. Might as well replace the whole thing.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    I agree that you might as well just change out the whole starter, but it sounds like the solenoid is the culprit.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • nrabeknrabek Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1995 Legacy which has 180,000 miles, and, until now, no major problems. Last week the fuel pump suddenly stopped delivering fuel consistently. The pump no longer runs the second or two when I first turn on the key, except occasionally. I tested the relay, and it worked. I pulled the pump and it runs fine outside the tank, when plugged in to the control wires for the tank. If I hear the pump run up initially and start the car, the car will continue running. Otherwise it won't pump any gas and no matter how long I crank it, it won't start and the pressure won't build up. It has fuel injection. What am I overlooking? Is it a weak pump that can't maintain pressure or a problem with the computer control? Whatever it is, it is driving me nuts. Thanks for your help.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    hmm, is the pump running when it's stalling or is the pump cutting out? I think it might be a relay problem. Perhaps a fuel injector? Did you recently get 10% ethanol fuel in your area? If so it could be the sock at the bottom of the pump is clogged. That's a start, let us know what you figure out.

    -mike
  • nrabeknrabek Member Posts: 3
    No, the pump doesn't run much now, only when it wants to. So, the engine will start but immediately die. It has a tank full of regular gas with no ethanol. When I pulled the pump, the sock was fine, and, as long as the pump was out, it ran continuously while connected in the circuit with the relay and all. Not problems till after it was submerged back in the gas tank, and the key was turned on several times. Then it refused to pump at all, until it was pulled again. I have continuity on the relay on the control side, but when it acts up, the relay doesn't "click" to complete the power side till the control side is grounded. I can jump the power side of the relay and the pump will run fine outside the tank, but not when in the gas.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Seems from your description that it's a ground or power issue to or from the relay. How about replacing the relay it's a fairly in-expensive item to test out to see if that's your cause. My guess from the data provided is that it's not the pump or the lines at this point but rather either the relay, the ground for the relay or the power from the relay to the pump itself.

    Have you tried the pump connected up but physically outside the tank but connected to the car's wiring?

    -mike
  • nrabeknrabek Member Posts: 3
    Yeah, I have pulled the pump twice now, and both times it runs outside the tank. It just runs for a second or so when the key is turned on, like it is supposed to, but if I jump the power side of the relay it will run continuously. When I test the relay by energizing the control side, the relay works and closes the circuit on the power side, so that part seems to be functional. When I check for voltage at the relay, I have 12 volts at both leads going into the relay, but the line leaving the relay has only a minimal amount of voltage - from 1/10th to 1/2 volt. This is with the key on. While the test the manual gives for checking the relay - energizing the control side - seems to indicate that the relay is good, I am with you on replacing the cheap stuff first. The pump is $100. Thanks. Norman
  • phil34phil34 Member Posts: 1
    I have an intermittent problem with my '94 Subaru Legacy...when turning the key, I hear a click but the engine does not turn over. Several tries and it may or may not start. Dealer guesses it is the starter because they could not duplicate the problem and wants to TRY starting there for the tune of $350. Any suggestions that may cause this behavior.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Starter should run about $90-120 and you can install it in about an hour, as it's right on top of the engine.

    I would check the grounds but you may have a bad starter, seems like it's not engaging properly.

    -mike
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    so my 98 legacy GT (135K) with new plugs and wires at 120K, new battery around Xmas and new starter this year, wouldn't start. all electricals work fine but not even a click. it had done this intermittently the last year (hence all the various work done) but it usually would start up after you turn the key several times. new starter went in when it started to do this several times a day rather than once every few weeks. since new starter in ? January, it has been perfect , till yesterday. Tried over an hour to see if it would start, nothing, though all electricals seemed fine, tried jumping it, nothing. Didn't even seem like fuel pump was whirring when key turned. Called AAA and while waiting said a prayer and tried again. Of course now it started just fine!! Drove it to my mechanic who's looking at it right now. There was that one time last year when the negine kept running when the key was in the off positiion!
    Is it the ignition key switch?? Good thing I'm getting rid of this soon (as soon as they start delvering 2.5OB with VDC to the dealers). there is a line of people who want the car but I don't want to sell, or even give them something which will leave them stranded somewhere.
    PS never get stuck in a parking ramp with 6' 7" clearance, not many tow trucks can get it!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    While it is surprising to me, I think that the ignition switch is the most likely culprit in your case. The one on my '69 Econoline is going out. While I have never had it not start, it will often not turn off.

    From the sound of it, it is giving you nothing - not even electric for your windows, etc... is that right? Since you said it did not seem like fuel pump was turning on, I would guess nothing else that should come on in the "ON" position was working either.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    all the electricals work (very well) which is what got me puzzled
    well, car got checked out, all electricals seem fine, couldn't reproduce the no start. had a CEL a few weeks back P1507 and they cleaned the engine idle sensor or something.
    thinking back, the car started up after I had tried to get it into N and try push it out of the parking space as the AAA lady was despairing of ever finding someone who could get their truck into the parking ramp. I usually put my cellphone in front of the gear shift and I know sometimes when I put it in P, it jams up against it. maybe it wasn't quite in P and the Neutral safety interlock switch or whatever had me cut out so engine couldn't start. when I fiddled with it to get into N to try push the car it must have gone back into P properly and then worked!!!
    well I 'll be more careful about getting the gear into P and see what the future holds!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Yup, quite common problem. I used to do that on my Rodeo and my Trooper all the time.

    -mike
  • sheroosheroo Member Posts: 9
    I just got a 2007 OBW 2.5i A. Everything is working great except that whenever I start it for the first 20 secs or so it sounds like a old car. I know there are some issues with the OBW and cold starting but I am in SF, CA and have noticed this even after work if I park it inside. Any cause for worry? any advise is appreciated

    ---Sid
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Without hearing the sound live, it's hard to tell but my guess is that either it's low on oil, or it is the normal sound that a subie makes while starting up as it has to pump oil throughout the engine.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    20 seconds seems like a long time, but when you first enter the car, try turning the key to "on" and waiting a few seconds (put your seatbelt on, adjust mirrors, etc) before attempting to start. This will allow the fuel pump time to prime, and may result in smoother startups.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • sheroosheroo Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for your replies guys. I did check the oil first thing this morning and it was to the correct level. I will try doing what you suggested and let you know
  • salisburylab1salisburylab1 Member Posts: 1
    Make certain the battery terminals are VERY tight. I've experienced your type pf problem before and tightening an already tight terminal did the trick.
  • jsilva10907jsilva10907 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Legacy OutBack with intermittent starting issues. The starter has been replaced. It won't do it for a month or so, but then all of a sudden it will start acting up. It won't start, but all of the other electrical works, radio, windows etc... just no starter... nothing. The car is in park (saw that in the other discussion)and fiddling with the gear shift doesn't do anything (its an automatic). After about 10 minutes, it just starts... any Ideas? Batter has been tested and is fine. New started as I said. Help.
  • dfciiidfciii Member Posts: 12
    We recently purchased a new 2008 Subaru Outback 2.5I. When the car sits all night and you go out in the morning to start it, for the first 10 seconds it spits and sputters and runs rough as all get out. We had it to the dealer 2 times already, and they have failed to fix it. They tried to feed me a line of BS about it being a PZEV vehicle. They said it runs to lean but cannot be fixed. I was very disheartened at the fact that it is an 08 doing this. Even after the first 10 seconds once the engine is warm, it runs rough enough that it literally makes the car shake.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    That is definitely not normal. My '07 Outback ran smooth as butter from day 1 (at -45F, at that!) regardless of ambient temperatures. The only hiccups I felt at all happened if I tried to start it up with a full turn of the key rather than allowing the fuel pump to prime for a couple seconds with the key in the "on" position before starting. Even then, though, it was rough for only 2-3 seconds. Not even close to the apparent minutes you describe.

    I would recommend contacting SOA customer service and opening a ticket with them.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    800-SUBARU3
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    :blush:

    Was that bad, or what?!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • dfciiidfciii Member Posts: 12
    I already did contact them and I did open a ticket. That was the first thing I did after the dealer said they could not fix it. I went to two other dealers and started a total of 5 new Outbacks. None of them acted like mine did. And I made sure that none of them were started that day. The dealership said it can't be fixed. I told them either fix it, or keep it. No new care should run like that. Anyone with any explanation as to what could cause this, feel free to comment. Thanx
  • cfezzacfezza Member Posts: 1
    I too have a 08 2.5i Limited and experience the same symptoms when starting a cold engine. I brought it to the dealer left it over night and was told the same as you....."characteristic of PZEV."
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    My guess is that the PZEV program in the ECU is causing this or the electrical air-pump that is used instead of a pre-cat.

    -mike
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    how does this PZEV stuff work??
  • dfciiidfciii Member Posts: 12
    PZEV stands for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle. Basically what the dealer told me is that it would be healthier to breath the exhaust from our outback than to breathe the air in Los Angeles. He said Subaru sets the vehicles to run so lean that it does not give itself enough gasoline. He said that is part of the way they achieve PZEV. I told him that I live in a county in PA where emissions are not required and therefore I do not want a vehicles that runs like that.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    how did you get a PZEV if you live in a non PZEV state??? do you live near NY? how can you tell if a vehicle is PZEV?
    are people in PZEV states having similar problems with their Outbacks??
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I think all the Subies sold are PZEV or all the ones of a particular model. I don't think it's specific to one area.

    -mike
  • tedyatedya Member Posts: 10
    I have a 2007 Legacy GT and I get the same weird noise right after it starts up. It goes away every time right after the RPMs wind down under 1500. I attribute this as a normal thing since it has done this since day 1.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    according to their brochure only the 2.5i can be PZEV not the turbo or H6 and cars101 shows a price differential between PZEV and non PZEV ones (200 bucks).
    since I can't get a hybrid, maybe I'll get a PZEV to be "green". I'm going to talk to the dealer in next day or two about it, I am finalizing an order for a 2.5iLtd to replace my 98 GT.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    98 Legacy running rough first thing in AM, CEL on, P0303, cylinder 3 misfire.
    136K on car, had new plugs and wires at 120K. What could it be? Coil problem?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,969
    Could be; could also be a fuel injector problem.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Since you already changed the plugs and wires, the next thing to try, both in terms of likelihood and low cost, is the ignition coil. It was $80 for my Forester, and fixed that exact code, even on the same cylinder!
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    thanks wes and juice, will get coil tomorrow
  • isaiah58isaiah58 Member Posts: 7
    PZEV vehicles can be sold in any of the sates. Your dealer can order you one if they do not have one available. We have been getting some in stock and are in a non-PZEV state. The ectended PZEV warranty is only good though if the car is in a PZEV state.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    my dealer ordered one for me, took about 6 weeks to get it. You get a nice PZEV logo on the back under the Outback. Have not noticed any of the rough running issues others with PZEV have had.
    My neighbour who just got a Prius (to add to his stable of an Escalade , Carrera and E500!) is upset I have a PZEV too like his Prius! I still think the household fuel economy in my household beats his even with my little Winnebago dragging me down!
  • nano7nano7 Member Posts: 1
    I drive a 1993 subaru legacy wagon.
    One day i was driving along and the car started to smoke from the hood. It had a sort of burning rubber smell. As i drove up the road my car starting chugging and when i would give it gas nothing would happen. then while driving it shut down, and now it won't start again. when we turn the key on the car tries to start but it doesn't.
    Please help, and thanks in advance for your help.

    Fernando
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Are your belts intact? If the exposed belts are intact then it's likely the timing belt that went on you. But it could be something totally different w/o much info to go on.

    -mike
  • edbaseballedbaseball Member Posts: 2
    I have a starting issue in our 2000 Subaru that has never happened before
    last month. Cold weather seems to be the trigger. New battery, still problem. I also notice "clicking" sound when I "move" the shifter to the right getting ready to engage
    it. Lights seem to be dimer...
    On these sights i see everyone, for the most part getting new batteries with the same problems coming back...
    Surely someone has solved this issue?
    edbaseball :sick:
  • edbaseballedbaseball Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever get this resolved? It sounds like what is happening to us and i have read many postings and concluded:
    1. Already replaced battery
    2.Replace solenoid and or "relay"
    3. Replace starter?
    4. One person replaced electrical system?(not doing :( that)
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