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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the midst of trying to purchase a 1998 Outback. It had a blown fusible link, which I replaced. The guy said he jumped it with his 12 cylinder BMW and he thinks that's why it wouldn't start, but the auto shop fella claimed that he must have switched the negative and positive when he jumped it. So, it still won't start. All the other electronics work in the car (radio, headlights full power, etc). We replaced the battery, thinking there weren't enough amps to turn it over, also it was very corroded. Still won't start. The problem is the starter seems to give no response at all. When the key is turned, things click and whir like you'd expect (yes I'm pushing in the clutch), but the engine just won't turn over. We tried hitting it with an extension and a hammer, no good.

What else should I check? I haven't gotten a voltage reading at the starter cable, maybe the wire from battery to starter got fried? If he did switch the neg and pos when he was jumping, could it have fried the starter? We looked all through the manual and fuse box for some sort of starter relay or something like that but couldn't find anything.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 

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Does the car have keyless entry (lock and unlock the doors using a remote control)?

If it does, then it could be the security system is locking out the starter circuit. This will often happen if the battery is run down or is disconnected and then reconnected. The solution is usually to use the remote to control to lock/unlock the doors. This resets the security module. There's also supposed to be a "reset" switch on or near the security module up underneath the dashboard on the driver's side that will do the same thing.

Also, check all the fuses for continuity (the ones in the engine compartment and the ones in the fuse panel in the cabin, to the left of the steering column).
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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you say 'whir' but, does the starter crank the engine over, or does the starter spin with no contact to the flywheel, or is there no starter activity at all?

kinda seems like a starter or solenoid problem but ????
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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You should have battery current at the starter through the large battery cable all the time. You will have battery power on the smaller, ignition circuit wire, when the key is turned to "start". This activates the solenoid to kick & spin the starter.

If you have batt power from the ignition switch through the smaller wire, replace the starter. If you don't, look into the ignition circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. No keyless entry. No activity from the starter at all, just nothing. When I say whir I meant like a fuel injector/pump or something like that. I'll check voltage when I get a chance. Thanks again.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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quite likley the contacts in the solenoid. it's rebuildable.
 

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But first check whether there's 12 V at the solenoid connection (single wire push-on connector), as cardoc suggested, when the Ignition switch is at Start. If it's there, then the starter replacement route is the way to go; if it's not, then the problem is upstream in the starter circuit.
 
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