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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, my wife and I have a 2014 Outback Premium with 35k miles on it. We are the second owners of this car, and bought it from a local Subaru dealer about 5 months ago. About 3 months ago we started experiencing an issue with the car where while trying to start the car it would crank noticibly longer than usual and would stutter and almost die out before eventually starting. It happened intermittently at first and never actually failed to start. So we took the car back to dealer 3-4 times and they changed the battery (went from 490 CCA to 520 CCA) and the reflashed the starting for extended crank TSB (did this twice). At one point they told us they tested the vitality of the fuel and it was 2.0 and they said it should be 9.0. They said that means we were using bad fuel. So they recommended a switch in gas stations and run 89 octane which we did for dozens of tank loads. The car is STILL having this issue. I myself replaced the battery again with an optima 700 CCA (desprite for any fix) because I’m at a loss. Does any one have any answers? Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@real_deal, it happens every so often. It doesn’t seem to matter the temperature. It could be sunny and 65 out or could be snowing and 5 degrees. It does seem to happen more when it’s below 45 degrees. It’s definitely happening less now since the bigger (optima red top 700CCA) battery. But it still does it maybe 3-4 times a week. When I say it does it, I mean it’s very noticeable and very embarrassing if there’s other people around! Here we are paying top dollar for 3 year old car with low miles and the thing is starting like that! Idk, other wise I love the car. My father has a ‘13 premium and he hasn’t had a single issue with it! They are very good cars other wise IMO. I just wish we could figure this out.
 

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SOA might pay you for some or all of the replacement battery. (does not hurt to ask)

did anyone put in a cleaner like seafoam in the tank? (such takes care of any water/ resin gunk left over from bad gas).

$7 for the plain can in walmart.
 

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If dealer was correct you were running bad fuel I might suspect dirty injectors.

If it were me I would be opting for a fuel injection service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@eagleeye OK good idea I didn’t think to run seafoam through it, can’t hurt. But the dealership did assure me that switching stations and running 89 octane would totally clear up the problem. I told them I wanted them to drop the fuel tank, change the fuel filter, flushed the whole system, whatever they had to do. And they told me no, that none of that would do any good, that wasn’t the issue. He assured me the issue was the low vitality of the fuel and that it couldn’t mist properly through the injectors. He said to trust him he seen it tons of times and that what he told me would fix it. Well we’ve done that for weeks now and it still hasn’t cleared up the problem hundred percent.
 

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2nd owner
Possible the first owner filled it with bad fuel or very wrong fuel and fould up the plugs.

I would ask the dealer to pull the plugs and replace them. And yes injector cleaning. Do not!!! Sea Foam the car your self!! Let the dealer do it. If its worse off than before then the dealer is on the hook not you
 

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just to be clear, I mentioned a plain jug of seafoam in the gas tank. in relation to what is left in the tank. (usually done with a load of fresh good gas).

NOT the expensive seafoam aerosol in the intake.
(I have a can of that on the shelf for years now,
but I have yet to find anything with a "problem" to put it in. vs. plain old cheap carb cleaner spray or running a small engine on straight old liquid seafoam out of the tank)
 

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@real_deal, it happens every so often. It doesn’t seem to matter the temperature. It could be sunny and 65 out or could be snowing and 5 degrees. It does seem to happen more when it’s below 45 degrees. It’s definitely happening less now since the bigger (optima red top 700CCA) battery. But it still does it maybe 3-4 times a week.
This is exactly what is happening to me. It's maddening and yes, also embarrassing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
2nd owner
Possible the first owner filled it with bad fuel or very wrong fuel and fould up the plugs.

I would ask the dealer to pull the plugs and replace them. And yes injector cleaning. Do not!!! Sea Foam the car your self!! Let the dealer do it. If its worse off than before then the dealer is on the hook not you
That could be, it’s weird though that it took a few months for it to manifest this issue. Of course we didn’t notice it in the couple of test drives that we took the car on prior to buying it. Have either of you guys heard about an issue with the camshaft positioning sensor causing the car to start rough? I remember reading a service bulletin about that. The dealer did reflash the computer twice on our car because of a service bulletin for an extended crank but I don’t know if that’s the same one that talks about the sensor or not. So you are saying that bad spark plugs could be the issue, If so wouldn’t the car run rough at idle all the time? Just to be clear there is no issues while driving the car, the car performs flawlessly once it started it doesn’t lag it doesn’t hesitate it doesn’t act like it’s starving for fuel or anything once it’s running. I would think a bad spark plug or a fouled plug would make it run rough all the time, no?
 

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That could be, it’s weird though that it took a few months for it to manifest this issue. Of course we didn’t notice it in the couple of test drives that we took the car on prior to buying it. Have either of you guys heard about an issue with the camshaft positioning sensor causing the car to start rough? I remember reading a service bulletin about that. The dealer did reflash the computer twice on our car because of a service bulletin for an extended crank but I don’t know if that’s the same one that talks about the sensor or not. So you are saying that bad spark plugs could be the issue, If so wouldn’t the car run rough at idle all the time? Just to be clear there is no issues while driving the car, the car performs flawlessly once it started it doesn’t lag it doesn’t hesitate it doesn’t act like it’s starving for fuel or anything once it’s running. I would think a bad spark plug or a fouled plug would make it run rough all the time, no?
From what your describing, it sounds like our car(2011 CVT 2.5), when it needed a fuel pump assembly. I installed a new pump and the thing fires off immediately, better then the first day we got it from the dealer. We'd have rough starts every now and again, maybe an almost stall when coming to a stop. I'd replace the plugs and it would improve it, but wouldn't solve the power, acceleration, and mpg loss. I noticed this type of behavior at 25k and wrote the dealer who denied everything(no problems here). Wish Subaru had designed in a real fuel filter into the system. The pump is not bad to change out, just make sure your tank is low. It was about $300 for the part.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That could be, it’s weird though that it took a few months for it to manifest this issue. Of course we didn’t notice it in the couple of test drives that we took the car on prior to buying it. Have either of you guys heard about an issue with the camshaft positioning sensor causing the car to start rough? I remember reading a service bulletin about that. The dealer did reflash the computer twice on our car because of a service bulletin for an extended crank but I don’t know if that’s the same one that talks about the sensor or not. So you are saying that bad spark plugs could be the issue, If so wouldn’t the car run rough at idle all the time? Just to be clear there is no issues while driving the car, the car performs flawlessly once it started it doesn’t lag it doesn’t hesitate it doesn’t act like it’s starving for fuel or anything once it’s running. I would think a bad spark plug or a fouled plug would make it run rough all the time, no?
From what your describing, it sounds like our car(2011 CVT 2.5), when it needed a fuel pump assembly. I installed a new pump and the thing fires off immediately, better then the first day we got it from the dealer. We'd have rough starts every now and again, maybe an almost stall when coming to a stop. I'd replace the plugs and it would improve it, but wouldn't solve the power, acceleration, and mpg loss. I noticed this type of behavior at 25k and wrote the dealer who denied everything(no problems here). Wish Subaru had designed in a real fuel filter into the system. The pump is not bad to change out, just make sure your tank is low. It was about $300 for the part.
Regards
I understand what you’re saying, but in my case the car runs fine otherwise. The only issue is with the starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2014/SB-10052498-5734.pdf

I really think this is the issue. It describes the issue that I’m having perfectly, and it would make sense why nothing else is working. The only thing is it’s on a 2013 model year not a 14. But I think the chances of me bringing this to the dealers attention and demanding that they check the clearances between the camshaft sensor in the timing chain cover is slim to none.
 

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Does it only happen after the car has sat for a while or will it also occur when the car is completely warmed up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does it only happen after the car has sat for a while or will it also occur when the car is completely warmed up?
Either or, usually the first start of the day is OK and then if the car sits for a few hours it normally does it. But there’s no rhyme or reason because sometimes the first start it could do it and then it doesn’t do it for the rest of the day. Sometimes you can go a week or two weeks without doing it all.
 

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Either or, usually the first start of the day is OK and then if the car sits for a few hours it normally does it. But there’s no rhyme or reason because sometimes the first start it could do it and then it doesn’t do it for the rest of the day. Sometimes you can go a week or two weeks without doing it all.
I'm thinking perhaps an issue with dirty injectors that are allowing fuel pressure to bleed down or perhaps an issue with the fuel pressure regulator.
 
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