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Old 09-08-2003, 04:15 PM   #1
tdidriver
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Default automatic 95 legacy won't start!

My girlfriend's brother just picked up a 95 Legacy Wagon, 164k, for a real good deal - 2500 bucks. The car has been babied it's whole life, and is loaded. Unfortunately since buying the car, it has stranded him a number of times. At first we thought that this was a battery/alternator problem, but it seems to be something else. We replaced the battery and checked the alternator... everything looks good. His mechanic can't figure it out, so it seems like the next step might be to take it to a stealer, but that idea gives me the willies.

The car just won't react when you put the key in the ignition and turn it. There is power there, but no starter action. However, the car sometimes will start if you move the shifter a bit, or will start later on. It just doesn't start when you want it to.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be? I'm thinking that there may be some sort of problem with a switch in the transmission, or perhaps an ignition switch problem. I'm not at all subaru-savvy, I drive a diesel VW - it's a completely different animal!

Any help or suggestions you folks could give would be much appreciated. The owner of the car is a poor 18-year old and doesn't have the money to let the dealership toss parts at it.
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Old 09-08-2003, 04:24 PM   #2
Karl
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Next time the car wouldn't start, try putting the transmission in "Neutral" and try to start again.
Sounds like the neutral safety switch is on its way out.
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Old 09-08-2003, 04:26 PM   #3
tdidriver
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that was my thought as well.

do you know how difficult a part that is to replace? i'd love to be able to do this myself so he doesn't have to spend more money. poor kid had to replace the windshield and the o2 sensor right off the bat. i was able to do the o2 sensor for him no problem, but again, i know nothing about subarus (except that i want one as a second car).

thanks!
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Old 09-08-2003, 06:21 PM   #4
Karl
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If it is indeed the neutral switch, you don't necessarily have to replace it.
(sorry I can't help you with the details about replacing it. Time to go check out those repair manuals in the bookstore)
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Old 09-08-2003, 06:55 PM   #5
viodea
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My gf had the same problem with her Sentra SE-R. She has to either put the lever to N or P and push it all the way up.
We were worry at the beginning but used to it now. no biggy.
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:32 PM   #6
ciper
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It could be the relay contacts. The relay is still clicking but they are corroded so power doesnt pass.
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Old 09-09-2003, 08:23 AM   #7
tdidriver
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which relay are you referring to? i'll take a look at it.

i think i'm going to pick up a manual for the car. i'm not sure i understand why the neutral switch wouldn't have to be replaced, however.

thanks for the help all.
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Old 09-09-2003, 10:46 AM   #8
Karl
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The neutral switch is there to prevent you from starting the car in gear.
So, as long as you remember to place the transmisson in Neutral, you don't really need the switch.
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Old 09-09-2003, 11:19 AM   #9
avk
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With AT, there is a transmission "range switch" (a.k.a. inhibitor switch) but no separate neutral safety switch. The range switch can be adjusted which might help in case the problem is due to worn contacts. Pin-out and the adjustment procedure can be found in Haynes manual.

Last edited by avk; 09-09-2003 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 09-09-2003, 09:19 PM   #10
imposter
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If the car has a security system it could be the starter interrupt relay. It will cause an intermittent no-start problem. This is very common on the early SVX's.

-Jim
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