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Old 12-14-2005, 06:59 PM   #1
YinUCSD
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Question My car has trouble starting sometimes. 2003 WRX w/ 80k miles.

Hi all,

I'm not very good at diagnosing car problems, and I think this should be a simple solution, but I dont know where to start. I have a 2003 WRX with 80k miles, stock.

So my car has trouble starting sometimes. It's as simple as that. Sometimes it starts right up (morning), but when I let it sit until lunch (~noon), it takes a few seconds for it to start. It's very noticable. Once it does start, the idle is a little rough.

Is it as simple as putting in a new starter? cleaning out fuel injectors? idle timing?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

:tia:
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:59 PM   #2
peterex
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Not sure if this helps, but I run a Costco battery, Walbro fuel pump, one step colder NGK Iridium plugs, synthetic engine oil, and GTA Fuel Enhancer with every tank. I also make sure to keep the injectors clean and run fresh air/fuel filters. Car starts instantly every time - even in the cold.

Out of everything mentioned in the list above, I think changing the battery and spark plugs made the biggest difference.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:05 PM   #3
cstratton04
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It is not your starter. It sounds like you are having trouble kicking over, which could be the things that peterex mentioned (batter, sparkplugs, etc). The stock battery may have trouble putting out the amps you need to start the car, so I would check for a better suited battery for the cold first.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:14 PM   #4
peterex
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Yeah, now that I think about it, my car had trouble turning over when it was brand new off the lot with 20 miles on it. Replacing the OEM plugs/battery made the biggest difference.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:43 AM   #5
HndaTch627
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if you live in northern CA i am guessing you live in a region that sees snow? if so run some Valvoline Synpower Fuel System cleaner thru it. It seems that one of the additives they are running in winter blend fuels these days causes severe waxing of injectors. I only know the WRX is affected by this because my Swapped RS started missing/hard starting(acting like it was flooded) after 400 miles...ran the injector cleaner thru and all is well again.

Jeremy
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:51 PM   #6
YinUCSD
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wow, some great responses. thanks guys. i didnt think it was the starter. but now i know. come to think of it, i havent changed the plugs in a while, and ive never changed the battery. i'll replace those things and run the fuel cleaner and see how it turns out.
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Old 12-16-2005, 08:47 AM   #7
Corkfish
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It could be a number of things, but I had a similar problem with a Totota Tercel and it turned out to be the valves. They were covered with crud which was soaking up gasoline when it was still warm. A fiel systems cleaner is a good idea. Some of the quick change places even have a pressurized treatment.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:23 PM   #8
Psydotek
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Start with the simplest cheapest possible solution then work your way up from there.

As for the spark plugs, they should have been replaced at 60k miles. It didn't make the car start any better for me, but the car did "feel" alot better cruising down the freeway. I use a bottle of Chevron Techron concentrate every oil change to keep the fuel system happy and i repalced my battery for a lightweight one at the end of summer (not because the OEM battery wasn't doing the job, i just wanted something lighter).

I've always noticed the car takes just a wee bit longer to start when the engine is already hot (i.e. after filling up at the gas station or hitting the grocery store). Once in a while it'll start up really weak in the morning (once every month or 2) and it happened with the old and new battery but never twice in a row.
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:22 AM   #9
shoooter_j
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I've noticed that cold starts are never a problem as well, but as psydotek said, warm starts are the issue. It take a tiny bit longer to start up and when it does, my rpm drops, then hovers at the normal 750rpm.
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:02 PM   #10
HndaTch627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoooter_j
I've noticed that cold starts are never a problem as well, but as psydotek said, warm starts are the issue. It take a tiny bit longer to start up and when it does, my rpm drops, then hovers at the normal 750rpm.
it's normal for WRX's to crank longer on a hot restart versus a cold restart. THe motor doesn't run nearly as rich when it's hot as it does when cold.

Jeremy
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:33 PM   #11
hikeeba
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Teh OEM battery is teh suck. One tip to do is to always turn on your ignition, and then wait a few seconds before engaging the starter. This allows time for the fuel pump to dump in the start-up amount of fuel. Otherwise if you turn the key and start cranking right away, you're trying to start the motor and prime it at the same time. Anyhoo, a second or so of cranking isn't horrible.
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