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Old 10-13-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
Victory207
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Member#: 507332
Join Date: Oct 2019
Default 2005 WRX Crank but no start..

Hello everyone first time posting! I own a 2005 Subaru WRX, I live in the rust belt, and the car has roughly 225k original miles... I bought this car six years ago with no issues at 150k. Anyways...

The issue starts here... I bought a new car in spring and put my high milage subie aside for a few months. The car had a code for a misfire I already new about so I took it upon myself to do some maintenance this last July. I changed all the spark plugs and coil... It was pretty easy although cyl 3's plug that came off the harness had a broke clip. I went to reinstall it and the thing was so brittle it broke into the coil.. I still tired firing it up. The car ran rough and sounded like it was only running off of 2 cylinders. It shook badly but yet I still took it down the road because I though maybe it had bad fuel and it needed to just be drove a little. Man I was wrong the car ran poorly.... but it still started and drove, I parked it again, frustrated. I ignored the problem... I decided to drive my new car and let the subie sit untill 2 weeks ago. I decided finally enough was enough. I checked the car with a code reader and found a misfire on cylinder one... I thought that was very bizarre considering I already knew the plug on cylinder 3 for the coil was broken and potentially not making contact properly. I ordered a new plug for cylinder 3's coil and changed it out, because of the misfire code I swapped coil from cylinder 1 to cylinder 3. I went to start it and the battery was dead. I charged the battery the next day I go to start it and the car ran for about 5 seconds... within those five seconds I went from hearing the engine run very rough without any turbo to a smooth-running engine with the turbo spooling noticeably and then it completely died. It would not restart. There next day I went to Start it again. Hoping even though I didn't hear the fuel pump priming it would start... and it did for about 2 seconds...Then I think about what I've noticed so far.. that the engine turns over and I'm assuming is getting spark because it could start for 5 seconds one time and the next day a couple seconds so I looked online and started hunting for solutions because I'm the type of person that I will not throw money at a problem under assumption I need to be somewhat confident in a solution before replacing parts.. I ran into the idea that the fuel pump is bad due to it starting but I couldn't hear the fuel pump prime when the key was turned to the "On" position. I had my friend stick his head near the relay while I hit the switch and we both could here it activating with one click but I also noticed a lot of moisture in the area on the floor where the relay is located.. I also had my friend hit the key after removing the back seat and I put my ear near the fuel pump.. it did sound like the fuel pump with activating but had very very little power it was obvious it was not running under full load I have owned the car for many years and I was a bit worried when I didn't hear the pump whining...? I dug deeper and found this video:


If you follow the videos instructions like I did, I checked the continuity of the front harness and the rear harness and everything checked out.. Although when I went and turn the key to the "on" position in order to test the relay with a test light, the light stayed on constantly, and from what I learned in the video I posted above this wasn't supposed to be happening. The relay should only opening briefly just to prime the fuel system.This lead me to believe the relay may be the culprit and not the pump. I'm lost in thought...

Is the relay in my 2005 WRX supposed to act the same way with a test light hooked up as it appears in the video for the 99 legacy under normal?

The fact that I can hear the fuel pump running but only when I stick my ear to it concerns me as well but I don't know what to think of that issue...

My next and current ideas are :

1: Sraight wire the fuel pump and see if It will actually pump fuel.

2: Take the relay out and bench check it.

I'm not sure how to do the check because I can't find any information on the solenoid and wiring.. (if anyone knows )

Any info and idea are welcome for discussion. Please help me get my subie back on the road!
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:05 AM   #2
dangerousatom
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Member#: 70710
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Quakertown/AREA1320 391whp
Vehicle:
2002 04STi Swaped RS
w/PPGS & 02 Wagon w/PPGs

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-Check fuel pressure with a gauge, should be about +/-43psi
-Change fuel filter if you haven't in awhile

If you can hear the pump then more then likely its working fine. The pump will prime basically till its maxed PSI or like 2-3 sec, then you have to key FW again to reprime ( like if car was sitting for weeks ). Your WRX has a Fuel Pump Controller that's told what to do via the ECU. If the controller goes bad or any wires to it are stripped ( mice ) it wont work, so IMO its doubtful its the controller. There are check valves in the system too near the filter ( those black mushroom button things in the fuel lines ) I seriously doubt any went bad or are finicky but you can delete all of them without issue.

Other things to look at:
-Compression test
-Vac leak test....AKA smoke test it, if there are any vac leaks it will not be happy or start or sputter n stop ect.
-When was the last timing belt job done? I had an old belt stretch just enough that the car ran fine then didn't the next day when I tried to start it.

Remember: its got a motor so it can only be SPARK-FUEL-AIR or Compression. Figure out what which ones off.... and it runs
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:15 AM   #3
Victory207
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Default

Thank you for the detailed reply dangerousatom. I'm looking into getting a fuel pressure testing kit this week. I'm lead to believe the problem is fuel related because the car has started for a few seconds two or three times, all on separate occasions. If the engine wasn't getting spark the car would only turn over not letting the car fire up for even one second. That is correct to assume right, anyone????

Next reason why I think it's fuel related because I don't hear the pump priming from the drivers seat. I have owned this car a a while and I am familiar with the sounds of it's fuel pump priming it's actually pretty loud for being stock.. the clear audible noice from the pump is nonexsistant currently. Like I mentioned the pump sounds like it gurgled a bit when I put my ear up to it while the seat was removed in the rear of the car... It makes me think the pump is weak but a pressure test is definitely the next step.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:15 PM   #4
Victory207
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousatom View Post
-Check fuel pressure with a gauge, should be about +/-43psi
-Change fuel filter if you haven't in awhile

If you can hear the pump then more then likely its working fine. The pump will prime basically till its maxed PSI or like 2-3 sec, then you have to key FW again to reprime ( like if car was sitting for weeks ). Your WRX has a Fuel Pump Controller that's told what to do via the ECU. If the controller goes bad or any wires to it are stripped ( mice ) it wont work, so IMO its doubtful its the controller. There are check valves in the system too near the filter ( those black mushroom button things in the fuel lines ) I seriously doubt any went bad or are finicky but you can delete all of them without issue.
Okay, I got my hands on a Haynes book for the subie and rented a master fuel pressure testing kit. I tapped into the top most fuel line that went into the fuel rail. This line was located on the driver's side near the brake master cylinder. I turned the key forgetting to put the gas cap back on and tried to crank it it read 0psi. (Smart one I am) I went to the back and put the gas cap on, then I had a friend turn the engine over it over a few times still getting a 0psi reading from the test equipment. (I took a photo of the way I rigged the pressure tester to see if one of you could verify that I had tapping into the correct line and not the return, or vapor line but I don't have permission to upload the photos, why's that??) I'm getting no fuel pressure at all which I found weird because before I started the job today I turned the key to the on position and could hear the pump gurgle a bit but it didn't sound like it had full power... I turned the engine over and it started for a few seconds I stopped on the happy pedal and the rpm gauge did indeed climped to about 3k I let off and tried to give it more gas again as the RPMs dropped only to watch the car die out and it would not start again. This is a reoccurring problem and it makes me thing the fuel pump is being over energized... maybe it is working just enough to fill the lines over a weeks time maybe it's draw lower while the car is off?


To depressurize the fuel lines I unhooked the fuel relay from the passengers side kick panel and turned the engine a few times. When I went to disconnect the relay it was warm to the touch. 🤷*♂️

I disconnected the battery and hooked up the fuel pressure test rigging and reattached the power and ground the battery didn't have a spark or a short at this time but... I went back to the cabin and hooked up the relay... After finding that the car had no fuel pressure. I unhooked the battery again this time with the fuel pump relay still hooked up. I reassembled the fuel lines and went to hook the battery up, well it sparked when I reattached the ground meaning there is a bad connection somewhere leading to the fuel system I believe because that spark didn't occur when the relay was disconnected..

I'm not expert mechanic I'm a welder I like to believe I can be sufficient on my own when I comes to anything but I need help trouble shooting the electrical system....

The video I posted in my original post showed when the ignition key is "on" the 12v to the fuel pump should only stay on for a few seconds to prime the system when I checked this connection with a test light it stayed on constantly.. Although I'm not sure if the 96 legacy in that video has a fuel pump control maybe Subaru changed the way the circuit worked because of that feature??? (That's just my assumption I have no facts guaranteeing that I'm a noob to Subarus)

I also noticed a new check engine light "p0183" fuel temp sensor this is new and was not there last time.i worked on the car and tested the continuity last weekend....

I'm thinking maybe the moisture I found near the passenger side kick panel had ruined the fuel pump relay. I'm not sure how to bench test this relay but I'm willing to bet I could find one for cheap at a local junk yard, I'm wondering if I could use one out of any Impreza? Maybe the relay is stuck open and had over energized the fuel pump wearing the motor down drastically. The fuel temp sensor is in there with the fuel pump from my understanding and if I'm getting constant voltage it could of fried that too, maybe?? If this is the case I need to fix the problem before replacing the pump and sensor... When I checked the continuity of each pin that leads to the fuel pump nothing was crossed each pin was fine but like I mentioned the pump was always getting constant power when the key was on.

So I'm getting air, I have compression, I have spark because I just changed out the plugs with nice iridium ngk plugs and brand new after market coils and the car does fire intermittently after sitting for a week or so..

Hopefully I have enough detail here to get a couple ideas floating around here guys.. I live in Maine it's going to snow soon so I need this car on the road asap please any ideas even off the wall are welcome.

Thanks
-David
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:15 AM   #5
dangerousatom
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Member#: 70710
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Quakertown/AREA1320 391whp
Vehicle:
2002 04STi Swaped RS
w/PPGS & 02 Wagon w/PPGs

Default

Pull the pump and replace it at the least with 200k+ miles it’s tired if not broke.

The temp code is for a high temp reading . . . the sensor maybe bad?!? it will really only effect gas economy and make it run rich.

Only turbo subys have the fuel pump controller 02-06 are a direct fit for sure outside of that I’m not 100%. The line coming from the filter is obviously feed the line going back into the firewall by the brake booster is return. The 3rd line that’s not high pressure fuel line is EVAP to/from the tank & emissions bits. You need to test fuel pressure before the regulator, the return line is after it, patch in right after the filter.


If it were me, I’d just put in a whole new FP assembly with pump and all the bits in the tank.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
Victory207
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Default

I ordered a pump and filter since I've owned the car the filter wasn't serviced... I was reading elsewhere on the forum that a clogged filter could cause the fuel pump to over work itself and tiring itself out like you mentioned. I'm hoping this is the case I'll post a update once I have the parts, and install them.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
Victory207
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I went to tear out the pump assembly, the fuel line connectors were caked with rust and I broke them. Advance auto had a great product that you do not need a pressure fitting tool to replace these into the nylon fuel line, they are 5/16 to 5/16 adaptors, and subaru gives you just enough slack in the original line to cut it one time and replace them.

I pulled the assembly and I found out I still had the OEM pump and filter was still in the tank, the car has 225k miles on it too... (Wow, thing was so dirty!!!) After reinstalling car started right up but I found I had a pin hole in the hard section of return line right on top of the Assembly. It was pissing fuel );

I went to the local scrap yard ripped out a assembly from a 2002 Impreza sport hatchback, I took off the fuel pump, filter, and float from the assembly and left them, I paid $12 for the core.(what a steal) I went back home changed all my new parts to the new-used assembly and reinstalled. This time I could hear the pump whining loud but I was not getting fuel pressure again...

Scratched my head, pulled the assembly again and uninstalled the pump, inspected the pump while energizing it. The float in the valve of the pump was getting stuck so I messed with it and got it aligned and working proper. I reinstalled everything and it cranked right up, purrs like a kitten, I mean a lion 🤣.. 225k WRX never been modded what so ever thing runs like a beast again!

In summary for parts

Pump with life time warrenty -$30
Genuine Subaru OEM fuel filter - $60
New fuel line fittings -$30
New assembly -$12

Grand total $132


In summary I had 12v constant on a closed circuit to the back of the fuel pumps 6 prong connecter. I guess this is normal even with the igntion on not cranking.

If you're not getting power back there at all that when you really have a short or bad ground.

If you look online new full assembly's are expensive. In my opinion I saved a little cash buying a used one and the after market pumps are not always perfect. The one i bought may of had a defect but it was easy to fix just check your parts before installing.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:20 PM   #8
dangerousatom
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Member#: 70710
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Quakertown/AREA1320 391whp
Vehicle:
2002 04STi Swaped RS
w/PPGS & 02 Wagon w/PPGs

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Rite On

Glad to see it was a cheap DIY fix and nothing major.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:18 AM   #9
Shik
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Location: PA
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2006 GT Ltd 5spd sdn
'15 WRX 6spd CWP, '02 WRX

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Glad you got it working. Good info for others as well!
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