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2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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I have a 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4sp Auto with 150K on it. Had this problem in Nov. while on a holiday in Banff when it first got cold. Solved it and got it to work and it's been starting fine for about 2 mo. in all weather. Was -28C yesterday and the Subie started fine. Not this morning… only -22C. Lots of battery power, even repeated boosts didn't work. All lights go on… just starter wouldn't engage. Banged the solenoid… nope. Tried changing from park to neutral and back again… nada. Finally took a clip cord from the solenoid to the POS battery and started right off… (hot-wiring skill from when I was a Juvie!). Spend the rest of the holiday hot-wiring the starter and there was no problem. With the 12v wire to the solenoid disconnected I got a MIL light error code P0340 Crankshaft Position Sensor error and flashing Cruise Control Light. I later found out that this is sometimes generated when there is a problem with the "starter circuit"… yah.. I removed the solenoid wire!

When I got home from the holiday went to my nephew shop to trace the electronics. Changed the crank position sensor just in case… nope. No 12 V at the solenoid wire. Getting 12V from the starter switch to the starter relay. Switched around relays… nothing. Took out relay and powered it up with a tail light bulb between the relay pins. Relay works fine. Grounded the other side of the relay coil when it was in place… BINGO. When that side of the starter relay was ground, the Subie started fine using the key/ignition switch. Disconnect temporary ground to track why there is no ground to opposite side of starter relay.

So… no ground on starter relay… the wire goes to IBCM then apparently to the security relay that is supposedly somewhere on the passenger side under the dash. Messed with the security system user "toggles"… key on/off 5 times then hit the unlock or lock door switch to turn the security system off/on. Got the LED display to say system is off. NOTHING. Still didn't turn over. Tried turning the security system back on… still no starter response.

Started searching for the security relay (WHERE THE H*** IS IT???) I think it could be stuffed just under the dash to the right of the glove box, vertically with a bunch of plugs attaching to another wiring harness that goes in behind the passenger kick plate. Gave up trying to get it out, worried that I might screw up something else.

According to the wiring schematic the security relay is normally in "closed" position (letting the starter relay to get grounded) unless there is a problem of some sort. I can't get in there to see if the security relay is at rest or activated and actually not sure if that is the location of the security relay anyway. There is a "click" coming from that area when I turn the ignition on. (some of the wiring colours are not the same as in the manual so it's hard to trace.)

Anyway, I was just about to give up and simply tap into the ground wire side of the starter relay and ground it somewhere under the dash, when my nephew Brian said… "let's just try unplugging and plugging in the plugs of the wiring harnesses to the IBCM" (or whatever that module is right under the steering column… where the ground wire goes). He unplugs and then replugs in the connectors… and BINGO. Everything has been working again for about 2 months until this morning.

Brian thought maybe by unplugging he allowed some capacitor to discharge and reset the security relay. I thought it was just a poor connection… and maybe the cold weather caused the contacts to contract and disconnect. (although, once it warmed up, they should expand and reconnect… not!) So I am back to using a clip cord to hot-wire the starter. Everything else works fine… MIL light back on of course because of disconnected solenoid wire.

Can anyone give me some insight here about how the security system works or even where the stupid relay IS? When it warms up, we'll try the plug/unplug thing to reset the contacts OR I CAN do my ground-wire fix on the end of the starter relay… but is there a "proper" fix.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? Thoughts?

/The.GreyOne
 

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There's a number of reports here of no-starts with the 2005. As far as I can recall, none have been caused by the security relay itself, but the relay is controlled by the Body Integrated Unit/BIU (your "IBCM"?), which in turn integrates data from a number of sources, including the crankshaft sensor. In one case, after a lot of troubleshooting, the problem was traced to the sensor.

Here's a few examples:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/44728-need-some-help-seriously.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/206833-starting-issue-05-outback.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/80-electrical-electronics/151418-my-2005-ll-bean-wont-start.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/51595-wont-start.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...37-05-outback-dead-battery-no-start-help.html

The BIU doesn't cause the P0340 code; nor do I believe it would be caused by disconnecting the solenoid wire. It's caused when the signal from the sensor doesn't meet the norms expected based on the engine revolutions (compared to the camshaft sensor.) There could be a bad connection, or a short to ground, at the sensor or somewhere between it and the ECM.

Probably way off here, but tabs on the crank shaft pulley (the one the timing belt is on) are what trigger the crankshaft sensor signal, and it's these pulses that the ECM monitors. There have been cases where, during a timing belt replacement, a tab (or more than one) broke off. That would cause a missing pulse and perhaps could lead to the P0340 code. Once that "trouble" is detected, it would appear the BIU inhibits starting by opening the security relay contact. Just a thought . . .
 

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2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Plain OM. Yes, I had found the first 4 links with a search previously… tried the "changing the Crank Position Switch" with hope, but that was to no avail.

But I missed the last one line that was the very same as my problem…. "05 outback dead battery, no start, Help". THANK YOU… although I re-invented the wheel and followed very similar logic as they did, it's comforting to know that someone else had the very same problem!

I installed a ground wire from Pin 16 of the Starter Relay so I don't have to lift the hood and touch the end of the clip cord to hot-wire the starter solenoid. I hadn't noticed the start in all gears issue, but I expect that is true and I will switch to just snittping the B10 wire on the BIU so we don't have any accidental starts when in gear.

Before I do that, I will disconnect my ground wire from Pin 16 and try Hillman's suggestion with disconnecting/connecting the battery with the ignition switch on.

So like 05Scoobie2.5 I have a "solution" that keeps me mobile, BUT I too would like to figure out and "explanation" of what/why the security relay is being activated.

Although I can't find the Security relay, I have no doubt that it is working… it's got to be something else that is trigging the BIU.

ANY IDEAS? Oh, WHERE is the ECM located?

Anyway, thank you plain OM… your explanations and logic are very appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just had a thought, but it's late… I haven't tried starting it in gear with the starter relay grounded… but I seem to recall that my "interlock" relay was working. I THINK that with the car in gear, that I couldn't even turn the ignition switch to the "start" position ??? If that is the case, I will just leave my "fix" with the grounded started really in place instead of cutting B10.

I'll let you know….
 

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The ECM is under the carpet of the front passenger side foot well, on the sloped part toward the front. The BIU is under the dash.

Are you still getting a P0340 code, or for that matter any other codes?
 

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2008 3.0R L.L. Bean (Brownie), 2006 Forester X Premium (Frankie), 1999 Forester L (Walter), 1995 Legacy Outback (Old Blue)
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It could also be something as simple as the ignition switch not liking Calgary weather.
 

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For anyone else running into this issue: The security relay is behind the glove box, to the left of the blower motor assy. It sits on a metal bracket all by itself, the one I'm fighting with has 4 wires: Black/blue, Blue/Green, Yellow/Blue, and White/Blue. Green/Blue wire runs to the starter relay to supply the ground. Black/Blue wire runs back to the ECM (where the ground is supplied). Yllow/Blue goes to pin 10 on the BIU (mounted under the steering column), White/Blue runs to the fuse relay box (driver side under steering wheel) 7.5amp fuse #21. Hope this helps anyone fighting with this issue.
 
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