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Old 12-06-2004, 02:29 PM   #1
SUBYDOODIE
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Default problem starting my car today

I have on 05 wrx. For some reason today, i tried starting it and it didn't start. I tried again and it hesitated but finally caught on but it felt like i had to give it gas. Is this normal in the cold weather?
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:58 PM   #2
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Hello,

I'm brand new here...so I won't be of much help...

Just gonna say that I also have a brand new 2005 wrx, but I have not had a problem starting it. I live in NW PA and it gets very cold, so I guess I will find out.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:15 PM   #3
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That used to happen to my car when I got it new (2004 purchased on Jan 8th 2004). Then the car wouldn't even turn over when the clutch was pushed in. Turns out that something with the clutch wasn't calibrated right.

Got it towed by Roadside from my house to the dealer and haven't had any problems since.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:36 PM   #4
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Sounds like the clutch pedal switch might barely be getting depressed, which would make the engine try to turn over then not.. if so:
  1. Make sure the floormat isn't keeping the clutch pedal from going all the way down.
  2. Lay down in the floor boards with a small flashlight and look at where the clutch pedal travels. You should see a switch at the top (toward the seat) and another at the bottom (toward the firewall). They're adjustable. Make sure the bottom one is being depressed when the clutch is pushed all the way in. if not.. adjust it.

If you turn the key and the engine turns over and turns over and just won't 'catch' (fire), then you have another issue.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:55 PM   #5
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Wife was having trouble starting the car-flooding. When she went to Cobb stage 1 reflash it got much worse, enough to were I a few ear fulls. Tracked it down to when she wears heals she was hitting the throttle before/or as she was starting the car. Sorry I know that doesn't help you. It could be several problems-take it to the dealer.
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX03
Wife was having trouble starting the car-flooding. When she went to Cobb stage 1 reflash it got much worse, enough to were I a few ear fulls. Tracked it down to when she wears heals she was hitting the throttle before/or as she was starting the car. Sorry I know that doesn't help you. It could be several problems-take it to the dealer.
flooding? on an EFI car?
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:09 PM   #7
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In cold weather, I'd suggest turning the key to the On position for a second or two before starting the car. This gives the fuel system a chance to prime and will usually start a bit easier, and it certainly won't hurt the life of your starter, either. A better battery with more CCA over the stock would help too, but it wasn't necessary during my first two New England winters.
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:22 PM   #8
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I've read complaints on here about crappy stock batteries so maybe you got a bad one. I suggest having it tested and asking the dealer for a new one if it's bad. (it's 100% covered by warranty)
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabal
In cold weather, I'd suggest turning the key to the On position for a second or two before starting the car. This gives the fuel system a chance to prime and will usually start a bit easier, and it certainly won't hurt the life of your starter, either. A better battery with more CCA over the stock would help too, but it wasn't necessary during my first two New England winters.
AGREED! By doing this the car usually turns over pretty instantly. If u have the fan and radio off, you can hear the fuel pump turn on(humm), when you turn to the on position.
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawdads
flooding? on an EFI car?
On a previous vehicle I had an injector problem that replacing the injector didn't cure. Bro use to be manager at a dealer, he gave me handful spare injectors to connect to each connection externally. When you press on the throttle and just turn on the ignition without trying to start the car, it would squirt a short burst of fuel. The one that didn't leave a little puddle of fuel, turned out to be an electrical/connector problem. On our cars I have no clue that when the ECU sees anywhere from .1 to 5volts from the throttle position sensor if it does this too. It may not because of the crank position sensor-if it aint turning, it ain't running. But all I have to say is on "our car"(main point our car), if you hold down on the throttle as you turn over the engine, sometimes it doesn't want to start. If you wait a second, not hit the gas pedal, it will start with some hestitation(like it's rich). Once it took 3 attempts with about 5 seconds of cranking to fire. When I was testing my theory she was hitting the pedal, I could duplicate the problem/test on a regular basis. Ever since I told her to be careful not to hit the throttle when she starting the car with heels, it has never happened again. To throw in another log on the fire or maybe a clue, this really showed up when she was using the Cobb's stage 1 reflash, which I thought ran rich under stop and go driving. I think she only mention hard starting once or twice before the reflash. I haven't tried to duplicate the test yet if it will react the same way after going to stage 2---mainly because she hasn't complained. If she's happy-my ears our happy. Just kidding, it takes a lot for her to complain.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:34 AM   #11
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Just this week, I started experiencing difficult starting as well. FYI - trans is automatic and was in park. The first time it happened, the car just cranked over, but no ignition. Then on the second try, it fired and ran fine. Just this morning, it happened again. This time though, it started to fire on the first try, but sputtered and died. Again - on the second try, it ran fine. Not really sure what's going on here, but if it keeps up I'll definitely have it checked out and report my findings.

As for the issue with the gas pedal, it's my understanding that except for a few rare, specific occasions, you want your foot COMPLETELY off the gas when starting a fuel injection engine. The computer is able to monitor everything it needs, and can adjust the idle control valve as required. Let the computer do its job; using the gas pedal will only confuse it and possibly work against what it's trying to do.

That said - there are some instances when using the pedal is necessary. The first is when the engine is flooded. Most fuel injection systems include an intentional feature programmed into the computer that causes it to shut down the injectors when the gas pedal is all the way down during starting (I'm not sure about Subaru, but I'm assuming this is the case). It comes from the days of carburetors where wide-open throttle would create almost no vacuum and thus no gasoline from the carburetor.

The second time is if the sensors feeding information to the computer were to fail. I was told (by the technician who responded to my AAA call and was able to get my ’94 Legacy started in –15 degree weather) that older Subarus are susceptible to this in extremely cold weather. In this case, the throttle needs to be held at about half open while the engine is cranked for a considerable amount of time.

-Scott
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:03 AM   #12
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The same thing used to happen to my 04 when i first bought it. Clutch fully depressed but wouldn't turn over or anything, take my foot off and try again and it would start. I took it in for service and they recalibrated the clutch and cleaned the battery terminals and i've never had a problem since.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:10 AM   #13
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This same thing just happened to me this morning. It's the first time in over 3 years that I've had this car that it ever took more than the first try to start. It just kept trying and trying and trying and finally started on the 7th attempt. Once it did start, it sputtered a little but then drove fine. Very odd and I'll have to see if it does it again this evening and tomorrow morning. Seems very odd with 42k miles and new 6 month old Optima battery.

Scott
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:44 AM   #14
EnforcerPSU
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Update from above:

I gets below freezing here at night, and yes my car has problems starting. It takes at least 2 or 3 seconds to start when its cold.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:53 AM   #15
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I don't know if it's been mentioned yet (far too lazy to read all the posts), but prime the fuel pump before cranking it. Stick the key in, and turn it to "on". You'll hear the pump going. After it finishes, crank it, and it should start right up.
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Old 12-13-2004, 01:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabal
In cold weather, I'd suggest turning the key to the On position for a second or two before starting the car. This gives the fuel system a chance to prime and will usually start a bit easier, and it certainly won't hurt the life of your starter, either. A better battery with more CCA over the stock would help too, but it wasn't necessary during my first two New England winters.
Exactly what I was going to say. If it's cold out you may also want to make sure everything is off (fan, radio, lights, etc) when you start the car. My interior lights and headlights significantly dim when I turn the car over. I've made it through the last 2 winters with out much trouble.
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:43 AM   #17
MgMidget72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VSG
Exactly what I was going to say. If it's cold out you may also want to make sure everything is off (fan, radio, lights, etc) when you start the car. My interior lights and headlights significantly dim when I turn the car over. I've made it through the last 2 winters with out much trouble.

This is definitely what you want to do WHILE you're starting the car.

However, if it is cold out and your battery is getting weak, it often helps to "prime" the battery by running some current through it. Running current through it will warm it up slightly, and the battery will work better when warm. Turn the ignition on with the headlights on. This will get current flowing through the battery and warm it up, getting it ready for the high load of the starter.

Then turn the lights off BEFORE trying to actually start the car.

This doesn’t need to be done regularly (though it won’t hurt anything if you do – the power used by the headlights is immediately replaced when the alternator starts charging), just if you have a bad battery.

-Scott
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