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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

New to the forum. I'm usually on the jeep forums with my TJ but i have a problem i can't seem to figure out by myself. My wife has a 2005 Outback 2.5 SOHC auto. On Sunday i was cleaning her car out and getting it it ready for winter(blanket, water bottles, hand warmers, shovel, etc, etc.). I had the rear hatch open for no longer then 20 minutes. I happen to notice to cargo light was a bit dim and i suspected the battery was probably dead (I have noticed the car takes a little more effort to start the past couple of weeks.)

Not sure what i was thinking but I hit the aftermarket remote start and tried to start the car. As i suspected, the car failed to start but it was clicking like a dead battery would. The odd thing was the remote start kept trying to start the car over and over. So i hopped in and put the key in the ignition and turned it on. That didn't work and it kep going. So, to not damage any components i disconnected the battery.

Now i was a bit confused about the remote start. I have been around a good number of them and i thought they had a failsafe and stopped after 3-5 trys. This one kept on going. So i reconnected the battery and tried to start it with the key. Same issue, no start just the starter clicking. I then jumped the car with my jeep. The car now has full power, but when i go to start it up i hear nothing at all. Not even the starter clicking.

Confused as to what was going on i thought the starter had gone bad. When i removed it and did a bench test, it was in good working order. So i reinstalled it. After all this i tried to restart the car with the remote start again thinking there was a security feature with the remote start. No luck. So i located the remote start and disconnecteed the entire control module from the car.

Here is where I'm at now. With the remote start control module disconnected, and with the original battery in, When i start the car, the starter clicks like there is a dead battery(makes sense). BUT when i jump the car with my Jeep and now have full power to the subaru I get nothing. Not even the starter is clicking. Although i do hear clicking coming from the left of the car and the right.

At this point I'm at a loss. I am picking up a new battery today for it, but i still don't understand why it won't start, or even engage with full power, but it will with half a dead battery. Please help!
 

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how old is the battery? it might have a dead cell.

what condition are the battery cables in? sometimes they will limit current flow if corrosion has crept inside/down the insulation.
 

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I'm with 1 Lucky Texan on this one. I would replace the cables. You might not have the negative strap grounded correctly. If you get the new battery in and it still doesn't work, I would look for a battery and alternator tester (Interstate Battery retailers have nifty little units) and have them run a test. Those machines can sometimes pinpoint a problem.
 

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Did you connect to the same place for every jump? Did you jump via the "black wire" on the battery or an engine or strut mount? You should have an easy time to jump the car if you use a ground point like the top bolt of the strut. If it's still hard it's possible the low battery is just drawing more power than it can get to start AND overcome the draw on the battery. A fully discharged battery is hard to jump start. Sorry this may be old news to you since you have a TJ, but we should cover the basics!

I highly suspect that a new battery will solve the starting issue. If it doesn't look hard at the wires to the starter, alternator and battery.

Not all remote starts work the same way, it's possible yours keeps trying with out stopping but the number for stopping could be higher too like 10.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. I just installed a fresh new battery. I tried to start it and I got nothing as before. I'm going back out to check the wiring to and from the starter and if I can check the single wire going to the starter with a volt meter.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I just installed a fresh new battery. I tried to start it and I got nothing as before. I'm going back out to check the wiring to and from the starter and if I can check the single wire going to the starter with a volt meter.
Good idea. If it started before and now it doesn't, go over every calbe/circuit you unhooked or spliced in to and recheck it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I've checked all the wiring that is associated with the starting system. Here are my results

Power Cable - Key On Engine Off-12.34V(both in the on position and while cranking)
Ground Cable - 1ish ohm(fluctuated because of the connection, only had the lead touching not hard wired.)
Small Black wire roughly 14-16 gauge - Key On Engine Off- 6mv, Key On Engine Cranking-8.9mv.

According to the power and ground results, Those cables are in good working order. The black wire I'm not sure what the appropriate value is I should be seeing. Does anybody know? Is that a good reading?

thinking the female spade connector had been corroded i jumped it with a lead wire and it still didn't start, eliminating a possible bad connector(on the wire end nearest the starter at least)
 

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Power Cable - Key On Engine Off-12.34V(both in the on position and while cranking)
was it actually turning the engine over? or did you mean in the 'start' position, but only clicking as before?

kinda seems like power is not getting to the solenoid cause, I'd expect a drop, maybe as much as 1 or 2 volts.

could be in the column - try jiggling the switch? maybe neutral safety or some kinda problem with the remote start/security bypass?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
was it actually turning the engine over? or did you mean in the 'start' position, but only clicking as before?

kinda seems like power is not getting to the solenoid cause, I'd expect a drop, maybe as much as 1 or 2 volts.

could be in the column - try jiggling the switch? maybe neutral safety or some kinda problem with the remote start/security bypass?

Sorry for the confusion, The key was turned in the start position but all i got was the clicking like before.

I messed around with it a bit more. I was also reading another post that had a similar no start issue but not exact. So I used some of those ideas. I shifted through all the gears and back to park to try and (reset) the neutral safety switch, but that did nothing. I believe I located the starter relay and swapped it out with a known good relay(fog light relay). Still no start.:banghead:

Just to clarify, the clicking I am hearing is the starter relay, I believe the electronic throttle, and another solenoid on the right side of the car behind the glove box(body control module relay/security relay???) I'm taking the starter back out to get it tested again just to eliminate that from the equation. Tomorrow I'm also going to jump the starter wire and test for resistance being that it was a little cruddy on the connector.
 

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Sorry for the confusion, The key was turned in the start position but all i got was the clicking like before.

I messed around with it a bit more. I was also reading another post that had a similar no start issue but not exact. So I used some of those ideas. I shifted through all the gears and back to park to try and (reset) the neutral safety switch, but that did nothing. I believe I located the starter relay and swapped it out with a known good relay(fog light relay). Still no start.:banghead:

Just to clarify, the clicking I am hearing is the starter relay, I believe the electronic throttle, and another solenoid on the right side of the car behind the glove box(body control module relay/security relay???) I'm taking the starter back out to get it tested again just to eliminate that from the equation. Tomorrow I'm also going to jump the starter wire and test for resistance being that it was a little cruddy on the connector.
got it. 05 seems new-ish to have bad contacts in the solenoid, but it seems like it must be that or a bad cable. I once discovered a bad cable in a parking lot ans was able to start and drive my car using 'half' the emergency jumper cable set I had to bypass the starter cable.
 

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Just to clarify, the clicking I am hearing is the starter relay, I believe the electronic throttle, and another solenoid on the right side of the car behind the glove box(body control module relay/security relay???)
Okay, so it's not the starter solenoid ("magnetic switch") that's clicking.

At the back of the starter solenoid there's three connections. Two are heavy bolted connectors. One of these has the cable coming from the battery; the other has a wire going down into the starter motor itself.

The third is a small, single wire with a spade-type push-on connector. This is the one that provides power to the solenoid when the key is at the Start position. If this hasn't been done, I suggest measuring the voltage at that connection; when the key is turned to Start there should be approx 12 V.

If there's approx 12 V there, then the starter solenoid is bad. (It isn't activating to connect the heavy battery cable through its internal contacts to the starter motor winding.)

If there isn't approx 12 V, then there's a problem in the starter system. The inhibitor switch and the starter relay are involved, but also the security system through the body integrated unit and security relay. I've attached a wiring diagram which I believe applies to your car.

The aftermarket remote start system could be a factor as well. I have no experience with these, but from what I've read here, they aren't just "plug and play"; installation involves some wiring changes. If this is the case, then they can't just be disconnected to take them out of the system. Rather, once they're disconnected, the wiring of the car has to be returned to the original state. If that's the case (and I recognize I might be wrong), then troubleshooting might require more than just disconnecting the remote start module.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is a BIG update.

I found my test light and began probing the starter relay. I started with Pin 14(Wire going to Starter) got nothing while cranking, which i suspected. I Then moved on to Pin 13. This showed 12 volts while cranking(checked with my multimeter). Thus eliminating the ignition switch as a problem. I then did Pin 15 and got 12V as well, thus eliminating that side.

Here is where it gets interesting. I hooked up my test light behind Pin 16 (just as the other tests) and grounded it under the dash on a good spot. When i went to crank, the car started up! Scared the crap out of me haha. I then shut it off and tried with out the test light, and got nothing. I then reconnected the test light and tried it with the remote start, and the car started thus eliminating the remote start system as a problem. I'm assuming because i grounded it out, it bypassed the security relay, and was able to start.

Now I only took the voltage(no test light) at pin 16 while trying to start it, It didn't start BUT was giving me 12 volts?? Im going to replace the starter relay tonight when i go pick one up just to eliminate that as well.

Does anyone know where the security relay is located within the car? I think i found it behind the glove box on the passenger side but i can't see how to get there.
 

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Now I only took the voltage(no test light) at pin 16 while trying to start it, It didn't start BUT was giving me 12 volts??
Quite normal.

With the key at Start, the 12 V from pin 15 of the starter relay will go through the starter relay energizing coil wire and appear at pin 16 as long as pin 16 isn't grounded. This is a Voltage measurement, and applies when no appreciable current is flowing.

The relay coil typically requires only about 100 milli-Amps to work. Most test lights will pass far more than that current, so when you connected the test light between pin 16 and ground, you provided a path for current to flow through the starter relay coil. This activated the relay, closing the connection between pins 13 and 14, which in turn energized the starter solenoid. But when you connected the Voltmeter to pin 16, the relay couldn't activate because the Voltmeter doesn't pass very much current, and so the car would not start.

Clearly what is happening is that the Security relay is not closing, thereby preventing the current from flowing through the starter relay coil, and preventing the starter relay from closing. I doubt the security relay is bad; instead, I suspect the Body Integrated Unit isn't activating the Security relay as it should. And, interestingly, it all started when the battery was run down.

There was another thread with a very similar situation with a 2005. It's a long thread, but probably worth looking through. There were a lot of tests done (and searching for various relays etc), and the outcome was a bit of a surprise. See: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/44728-need-some-help-seriously.html
 

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It sounds like your security system isn't allowing the car to start. On mine that happens when ever I touch anything electrical on the car and I can reset it by locking and unlocking the doors with the key fob.

On mine to get it to start after the security system is tripped I have to disconnect the battery, put the key to the on position, re connect the battery, turn the key to off then it will start. Might be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So at this Point I'm beginning to get frustrated with the car. I read the thread that plainOM posted a link to(was VERY helpful, thank you!) I usually don't throw parts at a car but after reading that, I was convinced and I went and bought a new crank sensor and installed it.
Went to start the car, and. Nothing like before... I also tried what Hillmann suggested and that didn't work either. I can't find the ECU or the BIU because I have no idea where it's located. I tried searching google and found nothing that looks like the control boxes under the dash. the wiring schematics also dont seem to match up either. so I'm not sure which wire to probe. Does anybody know the locations??

Also is it safe for me to drive the car after grounding the starter relay to get it started? I want to bring it to a shop to check and see if any codes( live or pending) are being thrown.
 

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Just for sh1ts and giggles, have you checked the battery in the key fob? Fuses?

Does the security light continue to stay on with the key in the ignition and on?

Its possible that the body module is not receiving a signal to disarm from the fob or ignition switch.

Have you tried locking and unlocking the door with the key then attempting a start?

Do you have another key/fob?

If you can get it started and it stays running, it shouldn't do any damage. There are possibly codes on the BIU that will lead you in the right direction.

The BIU, by the way, is mounted under the driver side panel. It has a snap on cover and mounted with two screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update

Just for sh1ts and giggles, have you checked the battery in the key fob? Fuses? Checked all the fuses with a multimeter and they all tested good. The FOB works ok, I will change the battery tomorrow just for the **** of it and see what happens.(it is the original from 05) Although i have not tried the PANIC button on the back. Ill try that out and see if that resets it tonight.

Does the security light continue to stay on with the key in the ignition and on? No it Doesn't.

Its possible that the body module is not receiving a signal to disarm from the fob or ignition switch.

Have you tried locking and unlocking the door with the key then attempting a start? Yes, Several times with the key and the keyless entry. I lock it when i leave the car to go inside( living just outside Boston :hide:), Press it once, locks all doors, press it twice, does the same thing, then press it a third time and it honks like it always has.

Do you have another key/fob? The keys we have for it are 2 metal stock keys(no buttons attached to them at all), and a seperate keyless remote which i believe is factory. We also have another remote for the remote start which is aftermarket.

If you can get it started and it stays running, it shouldn't do any damage. There are possibly codes on the BIU that will lead you in the right direction.

I just took it to Autozone(as much as I absolutely hate that place) and had them scan for any codes. There were no codes active or pending. Now I know when you disconnect a battery the TPS gets reset and triggers the check engine light and makes the cruise control light flash. This was reset by turning the engine on and off 3 times.

The BIU, by the way, is mounted under the driver side panel. It has a snap on cover and mounted with two screws.

I also decided to take it for a long(er) drive and see if anything happened and everything works. I checked every button and option and it all works just like it did with no problems. (radio, fans, windows, heated seats, mirros, wipers and such) I drove it for about 25 miles through Boston on the highway and 30ish minutes. No engine lights or security lights came on and it drove great. Im going to make a semi-permanent jumper for the relay so my wife doesn't have to walk to work in the cold being that she is battling a cold herself until I can get this fixed.(She can't drive the Jeep because its a standard, although I'm going to teach her VERY soon though!)


I think i found the BIU but like i said before it doesn't seem to match the wiring diagram plainOM attached. Also there doesn't seem to be a cover over it either. Ill snap a picture tonight and post it so you can verify i have the right module.

I'm also going to call Subaru tomorrow and see if there is a manufactures proceedure for reseting the BIU after a replaced battery.

again thanks for the help!! I'll figure this out one way or another!!:29:
 

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You won't get codes from the body module with a quick scanner. You will need access to a select monitor or aftermarket diagnostic tool designed to communicate with the various modules on the car. The ones used and sold at the parts stores like Auto Don't only communicate with the ECM.

Someone must have removed the cover and not put it back if you are looking at the right one. It just snapped in place.

No surprise on the wiring diagram either. The color codes never match what is in the car. You have to look at pin numbers. Those will match the circuit. At least on every Subaru I've worked on they did.
 

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I think i found the BIU but like i said before it doesn't seem to match the wiring diagram plainOM attached.
It's possible that the wiring colors have changed; as cardoc noted, that's been seen before. However, the connector at the BIU (B280) has 30 pins, so finding the right one (pin B10) can sometimes be challenging.

The connectors that are shown at the bottom of the attached wiring diagram show the numbered positions of the pins on the harness connector when looking at it face on. When looking at the connector from the back, as when it's still connected to the BIU, everything is reversed. This has also led to confusion in the past.

Also should have noted that the BIU has three large connectors, designation A, B, and C. The connector that has the wire going to the Security Relay is B ("B280"), which I presume is probably the middle one. I've attached a diagram showing the location of the BIU, it's connectors, and what some of the connections are, from the 2005 manual.

In order for the car to start, it appears pin 1 of the security relay has to be high (see this post) and pin 2 of the Security Relay has to be "low". Presumably pin 1 will he high if the security system, which is incorporated in the BIU, has been dis-armed. Pin 2 will go low when the ECM detects that the inhibitor switch is in P or N. So there's two possibilities that can be checked and might help narrow down the cause. (These were observations in the linked thread; useful but not suggesting the Tribeca route!)
 

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