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Old 09-24-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
BuggedWrx
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Default Car only starts sometimes

So my car has been having starter issues for a couple of months now and I can't seem to figure out what it is.

The symptoms are: The car will always start perfectly everytime in the morning no problems, but as i drive throughout the day especially if my lights and AC is turned on the car will have trouble starting.

So when i turn the key it just makes a clicking sound, the same it makes when your battery is dead, but when I turn the key multiple times sometimes 10 to 100 its random, the car will then start, and sometimes it will have a CEL for maybe 5 minutes then goes away.

I've searched to see if anyone had the same symptoms and I've tried replacing the battery, the starter and alternator none of which have helped.

Im thinking that it may be the main relay, fuel related, or possibly some old wiring from the alarm the previous owner had installed.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:28 PM   #2
Cougar4
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Clean the battery connections with a wire brush, even if they look okay. Especially clean the surface area that makes contact with the posts. If you still have problems after that check the voltage getting to the main panel under the hood while the problem is occuring. Make sure the main fuse nuts are tight. If the voltage is low at that point then the wire suppling the power from the battery has a connection problem.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:46 AM   #3
Gladidonthaveanevo
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It could be a grounding issue. Yes happened to me before. Even if things are tight, unbolt them and wire brush the ends.


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Old 09-26-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
BuggedWrx
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yeah i actually did clean all the connections that was the first thing i did, i've also regrounded and checked everything as wel, that's why im kind of stumped and the mail relay or alarm could be the only problem i can think of
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #5
BuggedWrx
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bump any other ideas?
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
Cougar4
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I suggest you next verify what the voltage is at the dash fuse panel while trying to start the engine and the trouble is occurring. if you have over 12 volts getting to those fuses then the trouble may be with the main battery lead to the starter solenoid. You would need to check the voltage at the solenoid doing the same test. There should be at least 10 volts getting to that point while the starter motor is working correctly and turning the engine over. If you don't have 12 volts getting to the fuses then suspect the ignition switch. Check the input to it and output while under load to verify the condition.

There are no relays involved that can cause the kind of trouble you are having. There is simply a bad connection to power somewhere in the starter circuit.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:57 PM   #7
BuggedWrx
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^Thanks I'll look into that!
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:47 AM   #8
Persius88
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I had the same problem. The car would start cold just fine. But drive to town run some errands and Nothing. Friend of mine came down while the car wouldn't start. Hit the starter with a hammer and varoom. Brush's were worn and when the starter got semi hot they did not make contact. I could tow the car home and restart it the next morning just fine so it confused my pea sized brain.

The friend works at Knechts and he saved me a lot of money. I avoided taking it into a shop and doing hundreds in diagnostics. That's what they were quoiting me. Friend in need etc..
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
t6chan
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I am working through some elec issues too. This must have happen to the car I just got. The po had run 2 x 16 ga wires from the main power to the ignition.

It's definitely not ground.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:57 PM   #10
BuggedWrx
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So it was a wiring problem for you guys ?
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:03 AM   #11
EnzoRomeo
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Default Solved my intermittent starting issue

I had the same issue with my 2003 WRX. Sometimes it just wouldnt start but most of the time it was fine. It was so intermittent it was hard to test for. The check engine light would come on, and I'd check the error code, and it wasn't always the same code. I finally went through and started checking all the connections grounds and battery connections in the engine. Then I remembered! About 6 months earlier I had replaced the battery cable with a cheep one from O'Riley Auto parts as the previous owner had modified the stock cable for some reason. I went to the dealer and bought an OEM battery cable which had both positive and negative cables and the proper connections. Cost about $90 but it was well worth it. My car is running fine again and no more starting issues. Puzzle solved for me, hope this helps anyone else who has this issue.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:09 PM   #12
Cougar4
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If the main battery wires are okay most starting problems usually are caused either by the inhibit or safety swich or bad solenoid contacts for the starter. Sometimes the ignition switch can be the cause but not often.
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