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Starter solenoid ?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Megell

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:11 PM

I would appreciate any advice anyone can give regarding my 91 Legacy Sports Sedan, 192K. For the last week or so, when I first start the car in the morning, I turn the key and just get a "click" sound. I release the key and try again, or more and the starter finally engages and starts right up.
Recent repairs include new alternator and battery.
My car has always started on the first turn of the key and this is kind of a all of a sudden message that something is going south in my starter or solinoid.
Thanks for any advice,
Mike

#2 Olnick

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:37 PM

Pitted contacts. Look at this thread (right next to yours as I type this!):

http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=105427

#3 Megell

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:08 PM

Pitted contacts. Look at this thread (right next to yours as I type this!):

http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=105427




Thanks Olnick, I saw the thread after I posted my question.
The starter looks fairly easy to get to, except for all the hoses in the way of removal. Can It be removed from the top or underneath the car?
Again thanks,
Mike

#4 bheinen74

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:12 PM

solenoid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solenoid

not solinoid

btw its your starter thats the problem it has worn contact brushes. can be rebuilt with 2.95 in parts or replaced entirely
its a common normal issue at that mileage. I had 2 or 3 subaru cars that it went at about 160-175k mileage so yours is overdue. that is all

Edited by bheinen74, 12 November 2009 - 10:16 PM.


#5 Olnick

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:47 PM

Thanks Olnick, I saw the thread after I posted my question.
The starter looks fairly easy to get to, except for all the hoses in the way of removal. Can It be removed from the top or underneath the car?
Again thanks,
Mike


You're very welcome, Mike.

It really is quite easy to get out, you may have to move/disconnect some of the hoses (it's been awhile!)

Disconnect the battery negative cable then the wiring to the starter. One bolt and one nut hold the starter in place (17mm and 14mm IIRC). Top one is easy, bottom one I reached from under the car--some use wrench extensions and do it all from above.

Once you have it out remove the pentagonal shaped backplate from the solenoid and you'll see the copper contacts.

Good luck.

Edited by Olnick, 12 November 2009 - 11:54 PM.
To add info!


#6 Megell

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 02:14 PM

[quote name='Olnick']You're very welcome, Mike.

It really is quite easy to get out, you may have to move/disconnect some of the hoses (it's been awhile!)

Disconnect the battery negative cable then the wiring to the starter. One bolt and one nut hold the starter in place (17mm and 14mm IIRC). Top one is easy, bottom one I reached from under the car--some use wrench extensions and do it all from above.

Once you have it out remove the pentagonal shaped backplate from the solenoid and you'll see the copper contacts.

Good luck.[/quote


I love this forum! It helps make owning a Subaru such a pleasure.
This was exactly the information I needed.
Thank you again everyone.
Mike

#7 johnceggleston

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:08 PM

I love this forum! It helps make owning a Subaru such a pleasure.
This was exactly the information I needed.
Thank you again everyone.
Mike[/quote]


one or two of these hose go to the AC, so don't mess with them.

i had to get the lower bolt / nut from below. it was a surprise to have to crawl under the car when the starter is on top but that's what i did.

#8 Megell

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:40 PM

[quote name='johnceggleston']I love this forum! It helps make owning a Subaru such a pleasure.
This was exactly the information I needed.
Thank you again everyone.
Mike[/quote]


one or two of these hose go to the AC, so don't mess with them.

i had to get the lower bolt / nut from below. it was a surprise to have to crawl under the car when the starter is on top but that's what i did.[/quote]



I see least two "hoses" in the way of easy removal from the top. One of them is pretty obviously the AC Hose. The other(s) looks like a coolant hose and maybe some vacuum. I see a couple of screws holding the brackets for the hoses, so removing them should help with clearance.
The starter is pretty small so, that's good.
I Live in Tucson, AZ, so I won't mess with the AC Line as it is working just fine right now and I don't want that to change.

#9 Megell

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 07:04 PM

I just changed out the contacts on my starter and reinstalled it. It occurred to me that I really did not do anything else other than wipe the contact surface of the access plate. Should I have done anything else while I was in there, like lubricate anything, or maybe the contact part of the plunger?
I don't mind taking it out again if I missed something. Thanks again for any post repair advice.
Mike

#10 Olnick

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 07:34 PM

Congrats, Megell. Main question is--Does it work? If so you're probably just fine. That contact ring is more rugged than the copper contacts so it usually doesn't wear or pit as much.

Happy driving . . . and starting!

#11 Megell

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 07:56 PM

Congrats, Megell. Main question is--Does it work? If so you're probably just fine. That contact ring is more rugged than the copper contacts so it usually doesn't wear or pit as much.

Happy driving . . . and starting!



Thanks, Olnick. Yeah, it started right up. The real test will in the morning when the engine is dead cold. The last few mornings, it would just click a dozen times or so before it would engage the starter, after that, it would start just fine for the rest of the day. Pretty easy fix for $11.00 and an hour or so of time.
Thanks again for all the great help.

#12 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:35 PM

If that doesn't fix your problem, then you have battery cable issues or issues with the crank circuit that engages the solenoid. Both are common - more common than contact failure's.

GD

#13 Megell

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:57 PM

If that doesn't fix your problem, then you have battery cable issues or issues with the crank circuit that engages the solenoid. Both are common - more common than contact failure's.

GD


Thanks, GD, Cables are original, but in good condition. Battery and alt. are recently new. I changed the contacts and everything seems to be back to normal. Thanks everyone for all the help.
Mike

#14 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:57 AM

Cleaing the contacts may mask the real problem for a while - look for it to possibly come back. If it does then your problem is the crank circuit - it's not passing enough current to kick the solenoid out hard enough.

GD

#15 windrupted

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:26 PM

I just found this forum while desperately looking for what was keeping my car (95 Legacy AWD 2.2 5 speed) from cranking. It is this "crank circuit", as the starter and battery are new and the battery is getting 14.3 volts while running and all contact points have been scraped clean. When it gets the juice it turns over strongly and starts right up, (i squeezed a giant battery in there for more cranking amps.) When it wont crank theres no solenoid click, theres no noise whatsoever. Thanks for illuminating my real problem, which brings me to the real question now that I know it:

Whats a crank circuit? The route from key to solenoid I imagine. I am guessing there is a bad relay or connection in it. Oh, the 1st thing I did was chop out the clutch pedal safety system and hook it up permanantly, and it seemed to solve the problem for a while. But now, it sometimes takes a few seconds to "load up" enough juice to get through, and when I press the clutch pedal down out of desperation and the prior muscle memory reaction I could swear it helps to kick it over. Yet normally theres no need to do the clutch, so perhaps it just luck that it kicks when I go for the pedal. It takes anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds for this time lapse from turn-key to start-crankin. Whew, now what?

#16 Megell

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:00 PM

I just found this forum while desperately looking for what was keeping my car (95 Legacy AWD 2.2 5 speed) from cranking. It is this "crank circuit", as the starter and battery are new and the battery is getting 14.3 volts while running and all contact points have been scraped clean. When it gets the juice it turns over strongly and starts right up, (i squeezed a giant battery in there for more cranking amps.) When it wont crank theres no solenoid click, theres no noise whatsoever. Thanks for illuminating my real problem, which brings me to the real question now that I know it:

Whats a crank circuit? The route from key to solenoid I imagine. I am guessing there is a bad relay or connection in it. Oh, the 1st thing I did was chop out the clutch pedal safety system and hook it up permanantly, and it seemed to solve the problem for a while. But now, it sometimes takes a few seconds to "load up" enough juice to get through, and when I press the clutch pedal down out of desperation and the prior muscle memory reaction I could swear it helps to kick it over. Yet normally theres no need to do the clutch, so perhaps it just luck that it kicks when I go for the pedal. It takes anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds for this time lapse from turn-key to start-crankin. Whew, now what?



I noticed when I replaced the contacts in my starter solenoid that the spade terminal for the ignition wire was a bit corroded and seemed like it could have been a tighter fit when connected. You might look at that connection a bit closer.
Mike

#17 windrupted

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:24 PM

Thanks Mike! I had just done that very thing after noticing it being slightly loose and very grimy. Chopped it off, stripped the wire back to clean wire, brand new female and scraped the male "spade" on the solenoid shiny clean. Maybe thats it, but I still detect that lag in cranking.....no difference thus far as it's all warm and juiced up, I need to get up in the Rockies at -10 and let her sit by the trailhead all wet and cold for a week (on a good sized slope of course). Thats why I got the car, Awd for snow. Ironic that this starting snafu makes it the last car in the world youd want to depend on in such conditions....is there any fizzled relay I could be overlooking?

Its got a rust free west coast body with good orig. white paint, a few dings, 240K and strong, solid clutch, new brake pads, perfect 5 speed trans and some jerry rig shift linkage problem that will require dropping the engine halfway out to access.....(still shifts but very sloppy) if anyone on the LA to Denver via I-70 corridor wants a challenging project. Oh, and a very moody starting scenario. I am walking away from this car at some point soon. Its also had the front end bushings done and is extremely smooth and tight at 80mph. The linkeage problem plus the 240K has got the junkyard calling me. She's too good for that but I am out of time and patience. (oh, and the 2.2 is a bit underpowered for the AWD and big 16" rims.) 500 bucks! Current Ca. reg out to next October!

#18 1997reduxe

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:24 PM

Just a funny story here.
I had similar problems with my 97 Legacy, it would only start at certain times, and wouldnt do so especially after the car was hot or running for a long time.
I actually took it to one of these auto starter cheap places here in Houston area, and they "rebuilt the starter" for 80 bucks, but i am assuming that they didnt do it right or didnt fix solenoid because it still did the same non starting when hot thing.
I hadnt gotten around to take it back in there, when I actually realized one day that you could take a hammer and set it on the top of starter, open drivers door and tap starter through top of open hood with arm down along windshield, while turning the ignition with the right arm.
I never took it back.
Just kept starting it that way when it got, uh, cranky, till I finally got rid of it.
:horse:

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:26 PM

That's a common issue - the solution is to install a relay for the solenoid to power it directly off the battery. Use the existing circuit to fire the relay's coil. Just hook the male spade from the back of the starter to the relay's coil + side and then ground the other side of the coil. Run a new wire with an inline fuse from the battery + to the relay contact and the other side of the contact to the starter solenoid.

Your problem will never return. :)

GD

#20 bearbalu

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:00 AM

:banana:

I did this repair as well - just replaced the two solenoid contacts.

For those of you looking for the part/links:

http://www.4crawler....s/Starter.shtml

You need an A and a B for Subaru Outback (mine is 98).

http://www.repairkitsuk.com

This guy from UK sells the plunger too - I don't think you need it - just the two contacts.




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