Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R; 2016 VW Jetta SEL 1.8T; 2002 VW Passat GLX V6 4Motion
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good morning, fellow Outback owners. We recently purchased a new-to-us 2003 Outback 2.5 base auto. The car just passed 73k miles. Yesterday we took the around on a few errands and parked it for the day around 3pm. This morning, I hopped in the car, put the key in and quickly turned it to start the car...and nothin' :confused: With the key still in the 'RUN' position, I turned it again to start, and again, nothing. The car was getting power just fine, but when the key was turned to start you could hear a very faint buzz, but not the starter. I turned the key back to fully off, turned it again to 'RUN' and let all the lights on the dash go out, and then started it...and it started right up.

So...I'm wondering if something is going on. Is it possible that the fuel pump wasn't primed when I just flipped the key to start so quickly? I dunno...just a guess.

Any help here or suggestions are appreciated!

- Jeremy.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,758 Posts
If I get it correct, you tried to start the car and the starter did not engage?

If so, start with an amperage check of the battery, cable tightness/condition at the battery as well as the block and starter. Could just be a loose connection and the starter wasn't getting enough current. Start with the simple.

If all is good and tight and not worn/frayed, you can check for signal from the ignition with a test light. Disconnect the coil pack. Just unplug it. Ground the light to the block and hold the pick on the small wire of the solenoid and have someone turn the key over. If the test light lights, you are getting current through the ignition. If not, look into blown fuses or starter is going out.

If it engaged and turned the engine over, then look into maybe a fuel filter change.

If it does it again, try to catch what the dash lights are doing in the start position. Dimming is a sign of large electrical load and if the cables are tight, have the starter checked.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5 XT Limited, 1995 FWD Legacy sedan
Joined
·
29 Posts
Probable simple fix: starter solenoid contacts. These wear out, and cause the symptom you describe. You can replace the starter at considerable expense, or you can order a kit containing the contacts and plunger on eBay and repair the starter you have. It's very easy; most of the job consists of removing and reinstalling the starter.
 

·
Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,816 Posts
I would include cleaning the battery terminals and re-installing the cables as well as possibly bad cables or loose connection at the starter or poor ground.
 

·
Registered
1999 OBW/2004 OBW
Joined
·
56 Posts
My 2004 was doing the exact same thing. Sometimes it would crank super easy, other times not. Finally I couldn't get it to start at all, just crank and crank and crank. Finally I checked fuel pressure from the filter. Barely anything. It was easy to figure out it was the fuel pump. These have a cap on the base that blows the o-ring, and I suspect causing the pressure not to build up enough to start.

You should hear the "buzz" of the fuel pump priming, I didn't, and now I do with the replacement.

I would recommend checking fuel pressure.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5 XT Limited, 1995 FWD Legacy sedan
Joined
·
29 Posts
When the starter doesn't run, that isn't a fuel pressure problem. I'd be surprised if the starter solenoid contacts weren't the cause; this is a common problem with Subarus and many other modern cars. I've had it happen with two different Subarus. The first time, I replaced the starter, which of course did fix the problem--for a price. The second time, I knew better and replaced those contacts for a much lower cost.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top