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Old 08-18-2005, 11:10 PM   #1
blackmedal
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Default Car won't start - help

Hey
I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy GT - 5/spd manual
I came back to home from work and ate dinner at home. I then tried to start the car to go to the store about 20 mins later but the car won't start. Nothing happens, it doesn't even turn over. The radio and cd player work perfectly. Interior lights also function. I have had no problems starting the car prior to this incident. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Daniel
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:19 PM   #2
BJamerican
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Check for corrosion on your battery terminals. I had this happen last winter during some very damp weather, and my radio and interior lights worked fine even though the starter wouldn't turn. I cleaned the battery posts, and haven't had a problem since.

Turning the starter in draws a ton of amperage compared to your radio. If there is corrosion on your battery posts, enough current may be pass to run your radio, but not enough current to turn the starter.
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:04 AM   #3
blackmedal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJamerican
Check for corrosion on your battery terminals. I had this happen last winter during some very damp weather, and my radio and interior lights worked fine even though the starter wouldn't turn. I cleaned the battery posts, and haven't had a problem since.

Turning the starter in draws a ton of amperage compared to your radio. If there is corrosion on your battery posts, enough current may be pass to run your radio, but not enough current to turn the starter.
The battery terminals weren't very gunky but I cleaned them off anyways. Still no luck. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Anyone else know what could be wrong?
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:49 AM   #4
TrickNipple
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Is your car making any noise when you try to start it? Also try to start the car with everything off. The lights and stereo might be pulling just enough power off the battery so that it wont start.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:42 AM   #5
blackmedal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickLippert
Is your car making any noise when you try to start it? Also try to start the car with everything off. The lights and stereo might be pulling just enough power off the battery so that it wont start.
The car kind of makes a whine noise so I am assuming I need to recharge the battery. It's an Optima Redtop.
Any other suggestions?
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:22 AM   #6
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I'd try to jump it to see what happens.

Any type of security system? I'd check that out next.

Then on to alternator/starter.

fibuz
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:10 AM   #7
Jonathan
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I beleive you are suppost to press down on the Clutch pedal in order to start these cars. Perhaps the switch on your clutch pedal is not operating correctly ?

Maybe someone installed a "Kill switch" on your car somewhere that you might have accidently bumped into ?

Also if you have one of those starter "Bump switches", try running the switch from your Positive (+) battary terminal to your solinoid switch terminal on your starter motor, just to verify that there is enough power in the battary to crank the starter.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:52 AM   #8
b4wantab
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When you say you get a whine noise, is it an electrical motor whine? Is it only when you turn the key to "start" position or is it the fan motor? If it is only when you turn to the start position you probably need a starter. The starter motor is turning but the solinoid is not engaging to pull the gear into the flywheel. I do not know where the starter is on your car but you can get a hammer and hit it with a heavy tap a few times, tap not smack. If you can't reach it with the hammer find a pipe or something metal and place it on the starter then hit it with the hammer. Sometimes the solinoid will freeze-up and a bit of shock will free it. This is really just to get you going. If it works you know you need a starter.

Or is it just clicking? If you are just getting a clicking/thunk sound then it is probably just the battery.

Peace,

Greg
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:46 AM   #9
bhall
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Try jumping it first to see if it is a battery issue, they work your way down the line. I have also seen corrosion creep up the positive cable inside of the insulation but not have much on the terminal it self.

But sounds to me like a battery or starter issue.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:23 PM   #10
fastenova
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Also check the posi cable at the starter, as well as the starter ground. If you can, just take the battery to Les Schwab's and have them test it. You'll know if it's bad right away. If it's not the battery, check connections, then it's the starter or solenoid, like everyone else said.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:41 PM   #11
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I had this same problem today, although i have had problems with it over the past few weeks. I saw a bunch of corrosion on the positive terminal, took some coke to it and it worked fine for about a week until today. Everything looks clean to me, but i was told to clean it off more. The battery tests normal, i have no idea what the problem is, but its pissing me off... If you figure out what is wrong, let me know and ill do the same.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:34 PM   #12
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It sounds a lot like stuck starter solenoid contacts (which has plagued me multiple times on my '91 Turbo). If this is the problem, the temporary "workaround" is to whack the starter with something while the key is turned to the "Start" position. This will usually jar the solenoid contacts enough to come unstuck and the starter will fire. The easiest fix is just to replace the whole starter. Some of the folks on Legacy Central have found suitable replacement solenoid contacts, which makes fixing this cheaper, but it's more work as you have to disassemble the starter to fix it this way.

FWIW, the starter I used to replace mine was a reman from Advance and it died the same way about 6-months later (I guess I shouldn't have been surprised since I noticed that the brand I put in was exactly the same as the one that was coming out). I've heard that the starters you get from the Subaru dealers tend to last longer, though.

Shane
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:44 PM   #13
b4wantab
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Les Schwab...... Oh my Lord does that bring back memories.

I spent some time in The Dallas. Les Schwabs are awesome, talk about service.

Sorry for the hyjack.

Peace,

Greg
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:50 PM   #14
Sleeper20t
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Bump for a problem...


I have been having weird starting problems, usually when its cold it wont do anything, and ill have to turn the key a bunch of times. eventually it will slowly crank, stop, crank again, and after a few tries will start up. Well, the other day when it wouldnt start at all i replaced the battery, everything worked fine for about 2 days. I jsut went outside to start it and it wouldnt do anything. Kept at it, and it eventually started, BUT this time, the starter would not turn off. I heard this whinning noise and knew the starter was still turning, so i went to shut the car off. Motor shut down, but the starter kept on turning the motor over, WITHOUT the key in ON position, AND with the clutch pedal up!! Eventually after a couple of tries shutting the motor down, the starter finally shut down too. It was really scary that my car was just sitting there trying to start on its own. Has anyone ever heard of this type of problem? Im afraid to drive the car now, as i do not want this to happen again and grind off all my ring gear teeth/starter teeth...

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:08 PM   #15
Jonathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper20t
Bump for a problem...
I just went outside to start it and it wouldnt do anything. Kept at it, and it eventually started, BUT this time, the starter would not turn off. I heard this whinning noise and knew the starter was still turning, so i went to shut the car off. Motor shut down, but the starter kept on turning the motor over, WITHOUT the key in ON position, AND with the clutch pedal up!!

Has anyone ever heard of this type of problem?

Im afraid to drive the car now, as i do not want this to happen again and grind off all my ring gear teeth/starter teeth...
I have not experianced this particular problem myself, although it sounds very much like a stuck Solinoid and/or starter. I would go with either a NEW or REBUILT Starter Motor (including solinoid).
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Old 09-21-2005, 10:23 PM   #16
Subietonic
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Check this in sequence (after making sure the battery is charged):

1) Battery connections (clean, free of oil, grease and corrosion)

2) Battery cables (check UNDER the plastic cable covers/sleeves for corrosion - if present, replace the cable)

3) Ground connections (pay particular attention to the large ground cable and strap(s)

4) Starter connections (check for corrosion at the connection and under the plastic cable covers near the starter but moving backwards toward the battery - if present, replace the cable)

5) Starter connection lugs (can be checked on the car but easier with the starter out - undo the connectors and check for arcing, corrosion, or other signs of dysfunction. Replace if any of the above are present) There is a thread on the board about starter lugs, spades or connectors so a search should turn this up... it's a failure item.

6) Battery/Starter/Alternator check (jump start your car and take it to an electrical shop and have them do a quick load diagnostic on both your starter and your alternator) Voltage regulator is internal to the alternator so if that's going bad, everything else will stop working correctly.

Oh, forgot to ask if this is a an auto or a manual. The clutch lockout was already mentioned, but don't forget to cycle your shifter back and forth through PRN, NRP to make sure the auto trans lockout isn't causing this problem. I've actually had this before.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you find out.
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Old 09-22-2005, 02:43 AM   #17
Bakergtt
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its the starter. mine does the same thing. i have replaced the leads on the inside of the starter and it still does it. Im about to start looking for a new starter.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:49 PM   #18
kevinsUBARU
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Definately most likley the starter or solenoid. First, do as others say and make sure the battery is nice and charged/clean terminals. A common problem with subies are the copper contacts inside the starter solenoid. Cheap thing to fix, only a few $$. The next thing to do is crawl under the car and check the starter mounting bolts to make sure they are nice and tight. If these are loose, it may not start. While you're under there, check out the wires to see if they are in ok shape. Replace as necessary. You can also use a screwdriver on the solenoid and bridge the battery and starter terminals. If it turns over, the starter is fine and the solenoid is most likley the problem. You can tap the starter solenoid with a small hammer a few times to see if it wakes it up. A really good (but lazy solution) idea is to find the ignition switch wire, tap it, and run the new wire up to the battery. Make sure the car is out of gear, and touch the end of the wire to the positive battery cable with the key in the on position. If this works, then the solenoid is most likley the culprit.

I have spent the past 6 or so months of this year tracing down various starting issues with a 1989 Mitsubishi Montero, and these are all things I tried. I ended up replacing about 8 inches of ignigion switch wire, put on new connections at the solenoid, and its been working flawlessly since.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:52 PM   #19
Wiscon_Mark
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I know its not a good practice to do often, but you could try roll starting it, if its a must to get somewhere. Since you have a 5MT, you can do this...
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:58 PM   #20
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybrid gti 2
subscribe
Hasn't this been dead for over a month?
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