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Old 05-05-2020, 09:18 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 406834
Join Date: Nov 2014
Exclamation Need a hero - Intermittent cranking, no start, no spark

Two days ago, my 2006 WRX started up, went ten feet, died, and wouldn't restart. Thinking it was too low on fuel, I came back to it several hours later, added five gallons and it started on the first crank.

I drove several miles home and it ran perfectly fine, but a few hours later, it again would crank but not start. The next morning, it started right up, I drove several more miles as a test, parked it, then started it up again a few times. I left it idling for a short while, and when I came back to it, it had stalled and now will no longer start at all no matter how long it sits.

Here is what I've tried and observed, plus some misc. info:
  • Car is stock (195k miles), and has been running fine with no codes
  • Tried a brand new crank position sensor - no change
  • Battery is full charged
  • All fuses are good
  • I can hear the fuel pump whirring normally when the key is switched on, and smell fuel after it cranks for a while
  • I pulled one of the plugs and it is not sparking. It was wet from fuel (I dried it before testing for spark), so fuel is definitely making it to the cylinders
  • I have a new FPR on order but am very confident this is electrical
  • OBD tool shows no codes, all sensors ready. The ECU accepts a flash (stock BIN) using ECUFlash, and has been running the same BIN for roughly 60k miles.

Any thoughts on how I can further troubleshoot this would be a godsend. With no codes and no apparent faulty components, I'm really at a loss. Is it possible the ECU could have gone "bad" but still accept a flash and still scan normally with the OBD tool? Is there any other common issue that would prevent spark on all 4 cylinders and then allow it to run perfectly fine after sitting?

I've searched extensively and can't find anything to point me in a direction, so I'm dead in the water at the moment.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by Padawan; 05-05-2020 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:50 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 29292
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Orange County CA
2004 WRX wagon


so does it run rough and then dies? how long does it take to die?
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:25 AM   #3
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Member#: 406834
Join Date: Nov 2014

No, when it starts it runs perfectly and idles rock solid. This last time it ran for about 15 minutes, then just died almost instantly. Now it won't start at all anymore.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:51 PM   #4
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Member#: 514568
Join Date: May 2020
Location: New Hampshire
2012 Wrx Sedan, Grim


Check the o ring on the fuel pump, I had a similar issue in 2012 don’t know how similar the setup is but If that o ring on top of your pump is bad you’ll get fuel at the motor but it won’t run maybe sputter a couple times
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:26 AM   #5
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Member#: 17315
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Date Line Denies F-22s
MY95 Impreza 207C
MY05 Forester 257X


Pull the rest of the coilpacks and plugs to check if they are good. Also try to get an inline fuel pressure gauge on there to see if you are getting consistent pressure.

Check fuel pump connectors for any corrosion. I've seen corrosion at the connection point from the bottom of the fuel pump assembly (tank side) to the pump itself. If there is that, you may need to replace the fuel pump controller located on the right rear of the vehicle.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:55 AM   #6
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Member#: 326692
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Cda, id
2012 sti


Check crankshaft position sensor very common issue
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:14 AM   #7
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Member#: 489016
Join Date: Aug 2018
2015 STI


You have obd scanner that shows data? Is the cam sensor showing data when cranking? Crank sensor actually providing data? My 15 is car will not start if cam sensor is unplugged.

Many cars 00 plus will throw a crank code sometimes and the cam sensor will fix. Fn stupid. Dodge has that issue alot as well as kia.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:10 AM   #8
some dude
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Member#: 100300
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: MIC|-|IG/\N
06 WRX


What fuel pump is in the car now? My 2006 started acting like your car, the culprit was a rubber seal in the fuel tank, on the pressure line. I had a Walbro 255, my FPR went dead-head, not returning fuel, and the pressure line blew a seal causing intermittent behavior, followed by crank no starts. When the car started, it would run and drive. Eventually it stopped starting. It would deliver fuel to the engine, but not enough to start it. Check fuel pressure when key is turned on, priming the pump. My 2 cents. good luck!
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:38 PM   #9
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Member#: 406834
Join Date: Nov 2014

Thanks for all the replies. I've replaced the FPR, the crankshaft position sensor, and the cam position sensor, with no change. Still not getting any spark, but the plugs are wet so fuel is definitely getting to the cylinders. I have a basic OBD scanner but it's not showing any codes.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:52 AM   #10
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Member#: 108051
Join Date: Feb 2006
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NY
2005 TickingTimeBomb
Jr tuned TT Sleeved


Make sure you're getting rpm signal when cranking
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:02 AM   #11
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Member#: 459799
Join Date: Dec 2016

I would suggest looking into the wiring and identify the wires for the coils and check continuity. Sounds as a signal, common power, or grounding issue is preventing the coils from firing. If the engine is getting fuel it tells me most likely the position sensors are working allowing the injectors to fire.

I would also say it wouldn’t hurt to unclip the injectors to prevent them from aimlessly pumping fuel into a cylinder without spark. Once you correct the spark issue plugging the injectors back in is simple enough.

An older higher mileage car can have some corrosion build up on the connectors for the harness. It can sometimes help to “swipe” or disconnect and reconnect the the main harness connection to allow the pins and contacts to remove minor corrosion.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:19 PM   #12
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Member#: 312223
Join Date: Mar 2012
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Colorado Springs
2002 WRX


Originally Posted by igoiks View Post
Check crankshaft position sensor very common issue
X2, they fail when they get warm.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:40 PM   #13
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Member#: 446364
Join Date: May 2016
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor Cal
'17 STI LMT '08 LGT


Most common causes have already been mentioned. Main circuit connections are worth a look. Also check you clutch pedal position switch. A failed switch could keep the car from starting. Probably unrelated since you are not getting spark, but I know at this point you are considering everything.

Last edited by shadowsports; 05-21-2020 at 10:35 AM.
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