Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my car in June 2011 it's a 2011 3.6R LTD with 22K miles on it. I went out to start it up and the car turned over, but wouldn't start.

I never press the gas pedal, I just hop in press the brake and start the car. I didn't do much troubleshooting as the car was turning over and just wasn't starting. In the past when I've had this issue, it's typically the plugs, etc.

So, I called for a tow to the dealership and my husband tried to start it (he pressed the gas pedal). But the car continued to do the same thing, just turn over and not start.

The tow guy tried to start it too - to no avail. Off to the dealership it goes. I get a call in the late afternoon that the engine was flooded and they drained it and it started just fine. They ran diagnostics and checked the alternator and nothing showed as a problem.

Soooo, we have no root cause for the not starting issue. Other than the engine was flooded, which could have been from the men pressing the gas pedal, but I know I tried to start it 3 different times over a 20 minute time period and I did NOT press the gas pedal and it didn't start, just hopped in and pressed the brake and turned the key. The car was in Park.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? Any thoughts on what it could be? I just don't want to get stuck somewhere.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
maybe an injector leaked fuel? seems unlikely one out of 6 would prevent starting though.

very odd.

in the future, if you have a failed start, depress the pedal ALL THE WAY to the floor and HOLD it there while turning the key to START. ECUs are designed to go into a 'clear flood' mode and if the car then starts, for some reason the car is flooding itself after sitting for a while/overnight or immediately before turning the key to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Please post the environment conditions for the night and morning start. You didn't identify where you live and some fuel injection systems have a 7th injector (extra injector if you just 4) and this could be faulty causing the flooded condition. The extra injector is designed for cold conditions to put extra fuel during the start and initial run cycle until the temp sensor or timer cut it off. I don't know if the Outback employs this extra injector that is about the only thing besides multile leaking injectors that would cause this.
A single injector will not cause a flooded condition but once the engine starts it will run rough until that cylinder is cleared out of excess fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
cvan't be neutral safety as that would prevent the starter from turning the engine over.

and with no CEL codes stored....very odd.
Perhaps the engine WAS flooded from the other 2 start attempts and there's an odd intermittent ignition problem - but it would have to be something the ECU doesn't set a code for and still allows enough power to crank the engine(no bad battery issue).

maybe some weird igniter problem? crank angle sensor? (but why no code?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
cvan't be neutral safety as that would prevent the starter from turning the engine over.

and with no CEL codes stored....very odd.
Perhaps the engine WAS flooded from the other 2 start attempts and there's an odd intermittent ignition problem - but it would have to be something the ECU doesn't set a code for and still allows enough power to crank the engine(no bad battery issue).

maybe some weird igniter problem? crank angle sensor? (but why no code?)
Hi,

One or two leaky injectors can cause a no-start condition (it has happened to me on a non-Subaru). Also, such a condition may not set the CEL; after all, the engine was fine when shut down and since no ignition event has taken place when trying to start it, there is no misfire detection.

The other way to verify this is to see if the car starts up if sitting only for a few minutes. If it does but refuses to start overnight, it points to leaky injectors.

Probably advisable to replace the fuel filter too as you may have a bad tankful of gas laden with debris.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Other than the engine was flooded, which could have been from the men pressing the gas pedal, but I know I tried to start it 3 different times over a 20 minute time period and I did NOT press the gas pedal and it didn't start, just hopped in and pressed the brake and turned the key. The car was in Park.
QUOTE]
Hi,

With modern fuel injected cars and drive-by-wire throttles, pressing the gas pedal typically has no effect at starting. The ECU simply ignores throttle input during the start sequence, opening it as it sees fit. I doubt that this caused flooding of the engine.

The fact that you couldn't get it to start either suggests an injector problem. If it happens again, try this: press the throttle pedal to the floor when cranking. Most ECU's have a WOT switch on the throttle and when it sees this activated durng cranking, it assumes the engine is flooded. Cranking will now result in no injector fuel delivery at all, offering a chance to clear the excess fuel from the cylinders. After some cranking in this manner, try to start it again, normally.

Edit: Just noticed that Lucky Texan suggested the same thing - sorry!

I'm willing to bet that this is exactly what the dealer did to clear the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. I'm on a personal level with the Service Manager. He said his best tech worked on it and when I mentioned that I read pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor should clear the condition he told me yes that is what they did to fix it. But nobody has an explaination as to why. At least next time I have something more to try.
The vehicle was driven about 60 miles on Sat and then was parked overnight. On Sun it moved a few feet in the driveway to be washed and then was backed up and parked overnight. I live in PA outside of Philly. Sunday it was really mild and nice out (high 60s) and Monday AM I guess it was probably in the 40s?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
Thanks everyone. I'm on a personal level with the Service Manager. He said his best tech worked on it and when I mentioned that I read pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor should clear the condition he told me yes that is what they did to fix it. But nobody has an explaination as to why. At least next time I have something more to try.
The vehicle was driven about 60 miles on Sat and then was parked overnight. On Sun it moved a few feet in the driveway to be washed and then was backed up and parked overnight. I live in PA outside of Philly. Sunday it was really mild and nice out (high 60s) and Monday AM I guess it was probably in the 40s?
this is very close to an AHA moment because, over the years, I've read of problems with moving soobs (usually Outbacks) just a few feet, then experiencing a flooded engine!

check here; http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=96338&highlight=flooded+moving+start

lol! and here (where my brilliant memory kinda helped out again!);http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/44553-2001-llbean-wont-start-spring-flooded-engine.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
this is very close to an AHA moment because, over the years, I've read of problems with moving soobs (usually Outbacks) just a few feet, then experiencing a flooded engine!

check here; Subaru won't start after moving a few feet, needs a "good shake" - Ultimate Subaru Message Board

lol! and here (where my brilliant memory kinda helped out again!);http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/44553-2001-llbean-wont-start-spring-flooded-engine.html
Very interesting, indeed! Very odd, too. I thought that an ECU always measures all sensors first, before even attempting to meter fuel. Within one or two revolutions of the engine, the ECU has plenty of time to scan all analog and digital channels.

Even if it didn't, it should not dump out so much fuel as to cause flooding the next time around. Since neither our 2002 nor our 1996 OBW's have exhibited this behavior (I have many times moved it just like described), I wonder if some cars have an electrical problem that causes noise on the sensor lines during cranking.

What if the IAT or ECT were intermittent and the ECU thought that the ambient temperature was very, very low? That would result in a very rich mixture. I know, I'm grasping at straws but if it's a design flaw, all Subaru's should misbehave like this. But, they don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
I've seen this happen with people who pump the pedal before or when they try to start the car some old folks have bad habits that never die. Not that this could be the cause but if they don't see this issue again chances are it was a combination of things that all led to the perfect combo causing this to happen.

I wouldn't worry about non starts are pretty rare today so rare you get people posting on forums when one case happens. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,967 Posts
I don't think the ECU has a way to detect that the engine was started and stopped again while still cold in the previous few minutes. Plus, the system wants the cat conv to 'light off' quickly to begin functiong. It just knows "hey , it's cold so, I need to pump fuel in."

one guy claimed he had a Ford truck (IIRC) that would do the same thing.

doesn't seem to be common, but it isn't common to move the car, then restart. Even if, say, you need to get out and close a garage door or gate, most folks would probably leave the car idling.

I HOPE that actually is what happened to bries11, but it could be some other intermittent issue still I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
LOL, cold start issues. I live with that daily in my RX-8 (rotary engine).

I could see horizontally opposed engines being susceptible to this too. If it's anything like the RX-8, it's more likely to happen in cold weather on a completely cold motor with a quick start/stop, since this is when the idle rpms are elevated with a rich mixture, and with a quick shut-off the internals are not hot enough to burn the leftover fuel after the rapid shut down.

On the RX-8 this is often followed by fouled spark plugs, but I don't know if that's the case here.

To the OP, since your car has done this once, you might want to be a little careful with a quick move in cold weather in the future. Either let it idle for 30 secs before shutting it down (wait till the idle drops a bit), or elevate the revs with the throttle a bit to get heat in the motor.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
About this Discussion
11 Replies
6 Participants
Georgeh
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top