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Discussion Starter #1
2006 OB, NA, 178K on the clock.

Hello All.

Today, for the first time, I had trouble starting the Blue Beast.

He would turn over, start for half a second, then stop.

This happened 3 or 4 times, until I finally got it to start.

This has never happened before in 10 years of driving, so I don't think it's just "one of those things."

I think this indicates a serious problem.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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The easy stuff. Your age and mileage lands you square in the leaky valve cover zone. This can foul the sparkplug wires and impact the spark quality. Plugs should only be NGK and the wires need to be high end stuff NGK to avoid issues.

Make sure your airfilter and box are clean, no rats nests, ice build up, or missed clips/catches on the bottom of the air box. Its easy to miss the catches and have the bottom if the box cracked open. This can mess up the air flow readings during cold starts and cause a rough start.

Also all modern cars set up a cold start fueling process. Some vehicles like my 05 Sequoia will continue to run the starter till the engine is running even if you let go of the key. Subaru doesnt do this. So if you let off the key early and interupt the starting process, the fueling process then gets mixed up and the next starting effort will take more cycles before the fuel system basically resets.

You can hold the key down for 10-15 seconds and your not going to hurt anything. But font crank longer than 20-30 seconds given youll heat up the starter motor.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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CEL on? even if not, scan the ECU for pending codes. parts stores will do this typically at no charge. Post the number(s) here. (there's also a routine you can perform that will display the codes on you gauge cluster I think - search for that)

any recent work or wrecks? is the car outside? weather conditions? well maintained, etc.


after it started, did it run normally?
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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I think this indicates a serious problem.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I think there is not enough data known or provided to say anything serious is going on.

Is your CEL on? What codes if so?
How old are your spark plugs? What is their condition?
Air filter?
Fuel filter is in tank on your 06, so not really serviceable or exceptionally likely.
Condition of battery and engine grounds?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The easy stuff. Your age and mileage lands you square in the leaky valve cover zone. This can foul the sparkplug wires and impact the spark quality. Plugs should only be NGK and the wires need to be high end stuff NGK to avoid issues.

Make sure your airfilter and box are clean, no rats nests, ice build up, or missed clips/catches on the bottom of the air box. Its easy to miss the catches and have the bottom if the box cracked open. This can mess up the air flow readings during cold starts and cause a rough start.

Also all modern cars set up a cold start fueling process. Some vehicles like my 05 Sequoia will continue to run the starter till the engine is running even if you let go of the key. Subaru doesnt do this. So if you let off the key early and interupt the starting process, the fueling process then gets mixed up and the next starting effort will take more cycles before the fuel system basically resets.

You can hold the key down for 10-15 seconds and your not going to hurt anything. But font crank longer than 20-30 seconds given youll heat up the starter motor.
Hello All, and thanks for the thoughtful responses.

It started and ran well later this afternoon.

However, while stopped at a red light, the engine "coughed." The RPMs dropped for half a second, the car shuddered, and I thought the car would stall right there. But then it ran normally after that. Again, this never happened before.

Here is some more info:

-No CEL
-Obsessively maintained
-Nice weather today (dry and in the 50s)
-Tuned up a few years ago
-Battery a few years old
-Brand new air filter

I think I'll have a thorough tune-up done. I don't want to be far away from home, and the car doesn't start.

Subiesailor, you sound very knowledgeable. Honestly, I never heard of the NGK brand. Is this preferable to Subaru OEM parts?

Thanks again, all. Have a great night.
 

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NGK is what Subaru uses. Anything else will cause issues much like what your describing. The stumble while running does sound like plug wires. Or bad battery cable etc.
 

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I hope you did the Timing belt 170-180k on the original timing belt would be way into the zone of it failing every time the car runs. If that fails your engine is a fancy paperweight.
 

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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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FinnMcCool,

Subaru's like NGK brand spark plugs the best, as that is what it came from the factory with. Other brands may cause ignition problems.

As for your hard start issue, one would wonder with the age and mileage of the car if the intake system needs to be cleaned.
 

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I'd be checking the fuel pressure. Failing pump/clogged filter.....
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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early DBW cars can have odd behavior from the throttle pedal.

scan for 'pending' diagnostic codes.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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Did you recently disconnect the battery or need a jump? The "dip" coming down to idle and the start-stall-run is usually what happens after the battery has been disconnected.

Otherwise, if it's not a repeat or replicable problem, I would continue to monitor and record/remember any and everything that happens if it occurs again.
 
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