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Discussion Starter #1
I saved and got her a 99 outback and a month later the battery and brake light come on and off. It always starts right up when cold but after a 20 min drive it will just crank and crank. When it cools it will start right back up. I ran the codes and the only thing that came up was the Fuel temp sensor. And I also forgot to say the headlights vary in brightness while driving but have never had a low battery problem and all this stuff varies in regularity. Could it all be related and is there any test I could perform? I need to try and avoid a shop we are both broke. Any help would be great I have a meter and most tools.
 

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Ground wire has been a common issue in the older cars not grounding well and causing some odd issues start there - disconnect check all the surfaces use a proper conductor grease on the connectors - make sure the cable is Ok no corrosion under the covering etc. That might get you sorted out or solve some of the problems.

Any old car can be unreliable 1999 is getting up there in age and will need some TLC on old worn out stuff to be reliable. Just a warning. In the boating world we have a saying - there is nothing free or cheap about a free or cheap boat. LOL they always cost you WAY WAY more than they are worth to make them reliable. ;-)
 

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A reliable car that is 13 years old is still a pretty old car, and probably just needs some typical maintenance work. Like it or not, age really does a number on a vehicle, and who knows its history?

These other guys sound like they'll get you on the right track.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys I checked the voltage at the battery when it was running and the two warning lights I spoke of were on I got 14.6v and 14.9v at the alternator does this nessasarly mean its good? I know its an older car But its what I could afford for her and cost more than mine it only has 140,000 on it and as I understand thats not a whole heck of alot for these. Does anyone know if that fuel temp sensor would cause the starting while hot issue. Im going to check all the grounds tomorrow I did check for continueity from body to alt. houseing and it seemed fine.
 

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14.9 may be a little high - and we don't know if there's a lot of ripple so - an alt. test may be a good idea, take the battery too. The recent heat wave seems to have killed a lot of batteries this year. Double check the belt and it's tension - could be slipping a little I guess. (push with approx 22 lbs of force halfway from crank to alt, should deflect approx 8-9mm or so.... about 1/3 inch)

Check the brake fluid level - maybe that light is on due to low fluid.


Overall, I gotta go with the 2 main issues already mentioned - bad alt. or bad cable/connection/ground/relay somewhere.

I wouldn't worry too much about the fuel temp code until the electrics are fixed. bad batteries/alt can sometimes cause spurious codes to set.
 

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not starting while warm is usually cam or crank sensor ( i forget which is most common). rarely fail and not worth the cost of new - so just get a used one. post in the parts wanted forum or find someone with a junk motor, they're really not worth much. they are both very easy to replace, 15 - 30 minutes tops only one bolt holds them in place.

you need a cam or crank sensor from any 2.5 liter 1996- 1998 engine. or 1999 Legacy or Outback 2.5 liter.

dash lights coming on is common sign of alternator or other charging related issues. your numbers look okay but that doesn't mean it's not intermittently freaking out - voltage regulator, etc.

at one point Subaru had remanned units they were selling due to a recall for like 1996 or so EJ25's - for like $60. a good deal and probably the same or better quality than the aftermarket alternators.

battery and cable connections at the battery post should be thoroughly inspected.
 

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not starting while warm is usually cam or crank sensor ( i forget which is most common). rarely fail and not worth the cost of new - so just get a used one. post in the parts wanted forum or find someone with a junk motor, they're really not worth much. they are both very easy to replace, 15 - 30 minutes tops only one bolt holds them in place.

you need a cam or crank sensor from any 2.5 liter 1996- 1998 engine. or 1999 Legacy or Outback 2.5 liter.

dash lights coming on is common sign of alternator or other charging related issues. your numbers look okay but that doesn't mean it's not intermittently freaking out - voltage regulator, etc.

at one point Subaru had remanned units they were selling due to a recall for like 1996 or so EJ25's - for like $60. a good deal and probably the same or better quality than the aftermarket alternators.

battery and cable connections at the battery post should be thoroughly inspected.
I second all of this post.

It's also a possible fuel issue. I had a Jeep that would not start after several quick stops in town every time, until it cooled. On that vehicle it was vapor lock.

If it cranks and cranks your battery and charging system are probably fine.
 

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My two cents. Clean your battery terminals real good, and the starting issue could potentially be from low compression in a cylinder. I had a 1.8L loyale with real low compression in one cylinder. It ran great, but when it was warm it would crank for a while before it fired up.




I am not a car mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ill have to run the obd again to be sure I think it was p01080 I could be way off now that I erased and wrote like five different numbers going that's the one. I looked on line a couple of places that day and they all said fuel temp sensor for the code I got. Is there a way to test these crank or cam sensors and should the obd be giving a code for them if they are bad? I looked over the wiring today and everything is really clean and looks to be in great shape. All the grounds were tight and clean . unlike the girls I choose this was one I was proud to bring home to mama.
 
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