Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, my 2006 Outback's battery died so I replaced it. No big deal. Alt and starter are all good. However, now the car will not start on the first try. The starter cranks, but no ignition. Then, when you try a second time all is well and it starts right up. So, my guess is some kind of ECU issue. Anyone have a quick fix or ecu reset or some such?

Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
The ECU did reset, when you replaced the battery, unless you hooked up a backup. If that is all that is wrong, it will correct itself with a little time, when the ECU relearns everything. Could take 100 miles, and maybe 20 starts.
 

·
Registered
'00OBW, '96&'94 Legacy - all rusted RIP, current: 2016 Focus MT
Joined
·
4,804 Posts
Something that might be easy to try would be leaving a battery terminal disconnected overnight. Some soobs in the 90's had a bulletin out that just unhooking the battery for a short time like 10-30 minutes could cause strange things since it might not completely erase the memory. I doubt it's the case on a newer one such as 2006 but it's easy enough thing to try.
 

·
Registered
2008 outback
Joined
·
10 Posts
found this on North american subaru impreza owners site. Tried it after work and it worked for me


with the engine stone COLD

and make sure ALL ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS ARE TURNED OFF.....NO RADIO...NO BLOWER...NO LIGHTS....NO AC NO NOTHING IS ON

disconnect the battery.....leave it off for 10 minutes and pump the brake pedal a few times
reconnect the battery...make sure the terminals are CLEAN and tight

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

get in car

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the key to the last position before the starter engages and WAIT 10 seconds

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the key to start the car

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

leave the car to run until the radiator fans come on.......this may take 20-25 minutes

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the engine OFF and take the key OUT of the ignition switch and wait at least 10 seconds

put the key back in the ignition and start the car and drive normally for a bit and see what happens
 

·
Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
Joined
·
7,529 Posts
I understand, when one replaces the battery, the module has to re-set automatically by itself ... that takes a few starts and a few runs... I have experienced that with my Civic, when I replaced the battery. I never had that kind of a problem with Subarus though - I always immediately replace OEM batteries with red or yellow top Optimas...then sell OEMs on Craigslist....I know, it's an overkill, but so be it! Optimas then last "for ever"....
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Ltd 2.5 eyesight Nav push button Hole in roof, Lapis Blue
Joined
·
738 Posts
found this on North american subaru impreza owners site. Tried it after work and it worked for me


with the engine stone COLD

and make sure ALL ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS ARE TURNED OFF.....NO RADIO...NO BLOWER...NO LIGHTS....NO AC NO NOTHING IS ON

disconnect the battery.....leave it off for 10 minutes and pump the brake pedal a few times
reconnect the battery...make sure the terminals are CLEAN and tight

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

get in car

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the key to the last position before the starter engages and WAIT 10 seconds

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the key to start the car

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

leave the car to run until the radiator fans come on.......this may take 20-25 minutes

DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL

turn the engine OFF and take the key OUT of the ignition switch and wait at least 10 seconds

put the key back in the ignition and start the car and drive normally for a bit and see what happens
I think you forgot to mention that they should should be sure to; >>>



wait for it >>>>>>






wait for it>>>>>






DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE PEDAL AT ALL





.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just for the record I tried that reset and it did not fix the problem at all. And no, I didn't touch the gas pedal. Any other thoughts? Now I've got the CEL and my ODB port won't work. What happened...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Just a guess. Bad battery cable or bad battery. Yes new batteries can have flaws. Though most common issue would be a bad battery cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I thought of that, but the car has been otherwise working fine for 2 weeks. I'd think if the battery was bad that it wouldn't still be going strong, no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
I thought of that, but the car has been otherwise working fine for 2 weeks. I'd think if the battery was bad that it wouldn't still be going strong, no?
Not really. I had a bum battery brand new, worked sporadically turned out it had a cracked plate internally which created an inconsistant charge and impacted its charging ability. It was a major pain in the back side till we sorted out the battery was flubbed. Ive seen cables go bad down under the insulation, they look good but are basically toast under the insulation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Found the problem. Battery was fine but the 7.5 amp fuse under the hood had blown. Likely from when they hooked up that backup battery thing when they put in a new battery. That was causing the ODB port not to work, the CEL to be on, and the crazy starting idling issue. New fuse, all is good. Thanks all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
First, I know this is a really old thread. I'm posting here because I think it's relevant to my situation and I tried the procedure posted by Ranger. While replacing spark plugs on my wires 2013 Outback 2.5, I disconnected the battery. After buttoning everything up, the car was running very rough. That's when I searched and found this thread.

I was skeptical of the procedure. It seemed like it was headed toward reciting incantations while rubbing two Subaru keys together. But I gave it a try. The car idled very badly at first and for quite a while. However, by the time the fan came on (took almost 30 minutes), it was idling smoothly. Then I shut the car off, waited 10 seconds, started it and went for a drive. In my neighborhood, it ran well. Once I reached a road with a higher speed limit, there was some stuttering under acceleration. I drove maybe 10 miles. It seems that under light acceleration it runs fine and under somewhat heavy acceleration it is fine as well. But under moderate acceleration it stumbles a bit.

So is this a case in which it's likely to improve if I drive it a few more times or do you think I need to start looking for causes related to the plug replacement? I guess what I'm asking is, does Ranger's procedure fix the problem completely in cases where it works, or is it sometimes the first step in a process of driving/retraining the ECU?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Update: I went for another drive a couple of hours after the previous one. MUCH worse. Almost undriveable even after it warmed up. Ended up with a check engine light and the BRAKE light on the dash flashing (though the brakes are fine). May need to take it to a shop. Would like to hear any thoughts/advice. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
The lights that are lit up on the dashboard means you have a Diagnostic Trouble Code logged. If you can get the code read via your OBD-II port, at a guess you will have a misfire on one or more cylinders (which is why the engine is running so rough)

Working backwards, I would check your spark plugs and spark plug leads/coils to make sure everything is connected properly as this is the likely cause of your problem after changing the spark plugs.

Seagrass
 
  • Like
Reactions: cardoc

·
Registered
19 2.5i OB LTD w/SSD Strt Twr Brc + OEM 19mm RSB
Joined
·
1,350 Posts
And are you sure the wires went back on in prescribed order? Might also have a marginal wire or connection.

Very important to clean both terminals and battery clamps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Thanks for the replies everyone.

To answer questions: I used OEM NGK plugs -- verified that the part number on the new plugs matched old. The connections to the ignition coils are right as well. There is so little slack in the wires on cylinders 3 and 4 that there's no way to connect them to the wrong cylinders. When I performed Ranger's procedure, I cleaned the battery terminals and connectors very thoroughly so that shouldn't be an issue and the battery is only 3 years old so it should still be good.

My thought from the beginning was that it's a misfire. But then I read about the ECU relearning and decided to give that a try. By the time I finally got a check engine light last night, I was aggravated and wanted to step away for a few minutes. Before going to bed, I read the code: not surprisingly it was P0303 - cylinder 3 misfire.

So this afternoon I left work early to see if I could figure things out. First thing I did was clear the code and reseat the ignition coil on cylinder 3. That didn't help. Next, I swapped the coils on cylinders 1 and 3 to see if the misfire followed the coil or stayed put. I can't answer that question because after swapping, I didn't get another check engine light though the car was still misfiring. I drove several times yesterday before getting the light so I guess the car is slow to give that. Anyway, I don't know if the misfire stayed with cylinder 3 or moved to cylinder 1.

In the end, I don't have more time to play with it in the next week so I just dropped it off at a local indie mechanic. I'll report back what they find. Thanks again for the input.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
13,779 Posts
Thanks for the replies everyone.

To answer questions: I used OEM NGK plugs -- verified that the part number on the new plugs matched old. The connections to the ignition coils are right as well. There is so little slack in the wires on cylinders 3 and 4 that there's no way to connect them to the wrong cylinders. When I performed Ranger's procedure, I cleaned the battery terminals and connectors very thoroughly so that shouldn't be an issue and the battery is only 3 years old so it should still be good.

My thought from the beginning was that it's a misfire. But then I read about the ECU relearning and decided to give that a try. By the time I finally got a check engine light last night, I was aggravated and wanted to step away for a few minutes. Before going to bed, I read the code: not surprisingly it was P0303 - cylinder 3 misfire.

So this afternoon I left work early to see if I could figure things out. First thing I did was clear the code and reseat the ignition coil on cylinder 3. That didn't help. Next, I swapped the coils on cylinders 1 and 3 to see if the misfire followed the coil or stayed put. I can't answer that question because after swapping, I didn't get another check engine light though the car was still misfiring. I drove several times yesterday before getting the light so I guess the car is slow to give that. Anyway, I don't know if the misfire stayed with cylinder 3 or moved to cylinder 1.

In the end, I don't have more time to play with it in the next week so I just dropped it off at a local indie mechanic. I'll report back what they find. Thanks again for the input.
A code is a start. As for the battery, don't know what part of the world you're in, but down here in Texas where extreme heat is a factor, depending on the brand/manufacturer of battery you have, 3 years is old and they start to show signs of having weak cells. A battery can show over 12V and not provide enough ampere flow for the systems to operate. Also, if you have that fuzzy acid build up on the battery post, the post seal is leaking and that's an indication necessitating a replacement. As for the cabling, it's not just the clamp on the battery but also the lug at the starter bolt, the ground straps around the engine compartment and how much corrosion may be inside the cables underneath the insulation.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top