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Old 10-07-2004, 05:45 PM   #1
pieces
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVA
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08 STI, 03OBS, 99L

Unhappy Car not starting after work?

Hey everyone.
I have a Subaru Impreza L 1999 wagon.
I've had the car for about 1.5 years now.
Every Fall and Spring I get a strange problem once sometimes twice (so over 3 fall and springs I've had the problem ~4-5 times) and can not figure it out. It always seems to occur on days when it is cold (<40 F) in the morning and warm (>75 F) in the afternoon. Any other weather and the car drives just fine.
The car starts fine in the morning. I drive my 10 miles or so to work and park. The car has plenty of time to warm up and all of that on the way to work.
In the afternoon I come out and the car has trouble starting.
The first time or so it was just hard starting. Then it threw a CEL which stupidly I didn't check before I cleared it. Now it has done it again and I can't get it started.
What's worse I think I may have flooded it out (I can smell gas faintly in the passenger compartment).

I have no engine modifications. Unless you count a K+N panel filter.
The car seems to be turning over fast and strong so it doesn't seem to be the battery.

Does anyone have an idea as to what this might be? Many thanks.
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:42 PM   #2
Akarui
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whats the mileage on it? just out of curiosity. Just so we have an idea of the wear and tear on the engine.
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:04 PM   #3
Legacy777
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What sort of maintenance have you done on it? I'd check to see if you're getting spark....because it sounds like you've got fuel.

I'd probably lean towards spark plugs, wires, coil pack, or something in the wiring between the ECU & coil pack.
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:06 AM   #4
pieces
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Thanks for the replies.
The car has about 50k on it right now.
It's been happening though, seasonally, since I got the car (purchased it with 25k).
I changed out the plugs, fuel filter and did the rest of the 30k maintenance when it was due. It has done right after I changed the plugs and I think even once before I changed the plugs so I don't think it is that.

Do you guys think it might be vapor lock?
That would go with the seasonalness of the problem. And the fact that it is really hot in the afternoon on days it happens.
Anyone have any experience with this? I know it was much more common with carbuerated cars but I guess it is possible for a Subaru. The fuel pump is not in the gas tank in a Subaru is it? That I would think would make it much less likely.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:11 AM   #5
Legacy777
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the fuel pump is in the tank on subarus.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #6
pezman04wrx
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Just a thought ... What you speak of sounds exactly like my old 91' Pontiac Bonneville SSE starting issue ... Car sits overnight, or a long work day, and it would crank like a bastard, but not start ... Only from fall through the winter, summer was always fine ... Battery was great, and all was well with the fuel and electric ... Turned out to be either a bad Crank sensor or Cam sensor ... Not sure which as I replaced both at the same time ... Was fine after the replacement ... New to subies, but I imagine they have one, if not both ...
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