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Old 01-29-2004, 05:28 PM   #1
lvsmo135
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1993 Impreza L
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Unhappy Hard starting 1993

Have a 25th Anniversary 1993 Impreza L with 1.8L gas. If it sits out in the cold for over 6 hours, it just won't start, but will keep cranking. If I leave it in garage, it starts OK, but runs rough for about 3-5 miles, coughs and sputters, hesitates on acceleration. Local mechanic did tune up, checked starter and battery, cleaned all terminals..still has problems starting in cold, and still coughs and sputters if you start it from a warm garage. He has a diagnostic meter, but is unable to locate the port to plug into; he suggests local Subaru dealer...a 45 mile drive one-way. Read about coolant temperature sensor in another thread...could this be possible solution? Any suggestions to either difficulty?
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:57 PM   #2
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Is he trying to hook up an OBDII scanner? If so he won't be able to since your car is OBDI and has a proprietary interface rather than the generic OBDII type. The only way to scan it is with the equipment at a Subaru dealer or maybe with a Snap-On scanner if they have a module for it (not sure if they do).
The coolant temperature sensor is a definite possiblity as a cause for your hard starting and poor cold running, if you can't get the car scanned to check it it may be worth just replacing it. The part should not be expensive and it isn't difficult to change. Even if it turns out not to be the problem you won't be out a lot of time and $$, and you'll know that isn't the cause so you can look elsewhere.
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Old 01-30-2004, 09:44 AM   #3
Max Umbarger
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I have the same year impreza, and same problem. I changed the Eng. Coolant temp sensor, and it did absolutly nothing for me. For the past 3 years in the winter I have had this problem. Nothing has fixed it. NOW my body normally wakes up every 2 hours thru the night so I can have a car to drive in the morning! I have 210,000 miles on my 1.8 and if it still around this fall I am going to put in an engine block heater, I wonder if that will help?

Max
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:26 PM   #4
lvsmo135
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Will ask about coolant sensor replacement. If my mechanic doesn't have the proper meter, I had read a post about using the flashing CEL to get a diagnostic code. How is that done, and what would be the codes for a 93 Impreza L?

Max, I already had a battery trickle charger hookup when I am parked at home to keep the battery at full charge during the winter, just plug it in overnight; but there's no such hookups at work, and 11:30 at night is no time to mess with trying to get a jump start! This has been a GOOD vehicle, had it since late 98 with no major problems, with 160,000 miles; all this just started this past December 03! VERY frustrating!!!
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:52 PM   #5
travman733
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So, what happened? I'm just curious since I have a '93 with 143,000 miles on it.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:46 PM   #6
lvsmo135
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Looked around on this website and several people commented that it was the engine collant sensor that was bad and misreading the temp, thus setting the fuel/air mix too rich. Replaced the sensor...now I have to wait for a COLD morning to see if that helps (it's 67 degrees today in SW Missouri).
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:31 AM   #7
Max Umbarger
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my problem turned out to be spark plugs. after 20,000 miles they had a whit-chalky residue built up on them, also the gap was way off.

Max
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:01 PM   #8
lvsmo135
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Max. already had a major tune-up done, thinking it would fix hard starting problem...new plugs, new wires. Car was left out overnight at mechanic's and HE called me to apologize that he still couldn't get it to start! Supposed to be COLD (21 degrees) overnight Tuesday...will park outside and see how it starts Wednesday morning.
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Old 02-25-2004, 02:56 PM   #9
scoobydrew06
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i have the 25th anniversery also...133k miles on her....and still runs like new so i don't know how to help you on this one.
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Old 02-25-2004, 03:05 PM   #10
lvsmo135
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Thumbs down Hard starting 93...

Well, overnight low was 24 degrees...left the car out all night...this morning VERY difficult to get started...took 3 tries, BUT IT DID FINALLY START! Ran rough for a little bit, but then evened out. Wonder if putting a drop light next to sensor overnight would help keep sensor warm and, hopefully, accurate? Unfortunately, can't do that at work...Anyone else with suggestions?
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Old 02-25-2004, 03:51 PM   #11
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ummm...what about resetting your ecu?
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:30 AM   #12
Max Umbarger
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maybe get an engine block heater?

Max
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:42 PM   #13
lvsmo135
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Default Hard starting 1993...

How do I reset the ECU? Tried to find something in Forums, but nothing very specific, just talk about resetting the ECU but NO actual directio0ns.
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Old 02-26-2004, 05:14 PM   #14
clyde
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To reset the ECU (probably in some FAQ, but who knows which one):

Step 1:
Disconnect one of your battery terminals (most people say to disconnect negative, I always disconnect positive) and step on your brakes to for a few seconds to discharge anything that has retained a charge. I always waited 30min beyond that with the battery disconnected when I reset my ECU. I hear the brakes alone will do it, but I've never had a chance to try myself.

Step 2:
Turn on the car and let it run until the radiator fan(s) come on, then turn it off. Do not touch the gas pedal at any time during this step. If your reset was successful, any CELs you had will have been cleared and the idle will probably hunt around a bit at first.

Hopefully your step 2 will work
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:17 PM   #15
vrg3
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Don't disconnect the positive terminal with a metal wrench while the negative terminal is still attached! If the wrench contacts any metal on the car it'll be a dangerous short circuit situation.

Your 1993 Impreza ECU trouble codes can indeed be read through the flashing check engine light. These instructions here should mostly apply:

http://www.surrealmirage.com/subaru/engine.html

The read mode procedure will show any codes that have been stored in memory. After reading them you should clear them and then check to see which ones come back.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:46 PM   #16
ben_ak
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The temp sensor is a very likely culprit even if the check engine light is off. Cam and crank position sensors are also a possibility. They are fairly expensive for your model however, so you may want to find a donor parts "swap" car. One other thing that we see in Alaska is damage to the mass air flow sensor because a failing temp sensor causes a hard starting condition in cold weather. The driver then pumps the gas, loading up the engine with fuel and causing a hard backfire through the intake (you shouldn't need to press the gas pedal to start your car). Be wary of your tune-up. Be sure high quality parts were used.

-Ben
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:38 PM   #17
lvsmo135
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2005 Update: Still having problems with cold weather starting of 1993 Impreza L 25th Anniversary model; worked OK during warm weather,back to same problems this winter. Local mechanic again tried his best..no use...put in new battery, then new MAF. Found TSB #09-34-96 for hard cold weather starts with high humidity; replacement of fuel injectors required. Also noted other problems with oxygen sensor in front of catalyst. Will try these ideas to see if they help. Any one else resolve their similar 93 Impreza difficulties?
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:31 AM   #18
Max Umbarger
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After many hard start issues... beer helped. I needed to just relax...
also, plugs is what I really needed to run the engine!

>>>max
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:03 AM   #19
scoobydrew06
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I have the same car as you and mine starts fine, on the below zero days at killington my car sounds like it is in pain on the start, but it still starts.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:28 PM   #20
lvsmo135
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Update on hard starting Impreza 1993...replaced injectors, O2 sensor(s)...STILL won't start when it gets below 35-38 degrees after 4-6 hours outside. Mechanic now mostly bald after tearing hair out over this problem! Someone said the 1993 had "pre-injectors" for cold weather starts...any one know about this? PS: Car runs just fine now that it's late spring/early summer!
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:04 AM   #21
Mulder
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Not familiar enough with those to say for sure, but if there is a cold start injector it would certainly cause those symptoms if it wasn't working properly. Either the injector itself is defective or there may be a relay that powers it that is NG. I can't say more without seeing the car or a manual for it.
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:15 AM   #22
Tim Sanderson
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Go to the library and see if they have a haynes or chiltons manual for your car. Look in them for diagnostic codes and how to retrieve them. Make a copy of it. Go home and do it.

Usually obd1 cars have a port somewhere that you jump a couple terminals out on and turn the car to on. The service engine/check engine light then flashes out the codes. You then look at your list of codes and replace what it says to replace.

I just did this with my 91 s10 and a haynes manual.It worked like a charm.
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Old 05-07-2005, 01:24 AM   #23
Max Umbarger
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I changed the spark plugs and the problem was corrected. I went to more bigger/important stuff too, ad nothing fixed it. Then I decided to buy spark plugs, and those seemed to be the more important part. The problem was gone.

What is your mileage?

Mine was from 200,000 to about 210,000 miles. car ran great until I traded it in with almost 250,000 miles.
>>>MAX
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:10 PM   #24
sick1.8t
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93's, or any EJ series for that matter, had no 5th injector that i know of. there were options such as a block heater, but an extra injector constitutes alot of changes to get it working, and i doubt they would do it for a dealer option.
My car also has a similar problem even in the warm weather. It is hard to start, but it gets closer and closer over about 4-5 tries, and on the last one it starts up and runs like a charm. my mechanic replaced the cam angle sensor ($20/10min labor) amongst other things and said my problem was it was way rich at initial startup, which was fouling the plugs. new plugs will fix the problem for 1 start, but the second time its back to the problem. i havent been able to figure it out.
but heres a bit of input: remember that at initial startup you car isnt taking a bunch of sensors into consideration, such as (i believe) water temp. once it runs for about 45secs it starts to take all those other ones into consideration.
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