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98 Legacy Won't Start


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2 replies to this topic

#1 Lucenut

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:57 AM

I have a 98 Legacy L wagon. The battery seemed to have been losing it's juice the past 6 months. I only drive the car once or twice a week at most. Sometimes when it hadn't run for a week or so the battery would be dead. I'd just stick the charger on it for the night and it would be good for a couple of weeks. This week charging the battery didn't work, so I replaced the battery with a brand new battery I had as a spare for my boat. It is slightly bigger in size so I had to remove the plastic battery tray, but it is big enough to start the GM 350 in my old ski boat. But after installing the battery it only made a few clicks. So I thought perhaps that battery was low after sitting in a compartment in the boat for 6 months. So I put the charger on it overnight. This morning it won't start and doesn't even make clicks! The power door locks work, but sound a little weak. I looked at the fuse panel under the dash and in the engine compartment and didn't see anything sounding like an ignition fuse.

Any ideas? I don't know what to try next. My cheapo multimeter seems to be dead also, so I'll have to get out and get something to tell battery status

#2 Rooster2

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:57 AM

I suspect that your boat battery may not be good, because after charging, you say the door locks are weak to activate. When installed, how bright is your interior dome light or the head lights? Their brightness is a good visual indicator of how charged your battery is. I suggest you drop in a new battery, and I bet your problem will be solved.

A second thought is to jump start the car, then have the battery tested at a car parts store like AutoZone, Advance, etc. They will test your charging system at no cost.

#3 Allpar Mod

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:09 AM

Problem is that he has to get the car running to get it to AZ first. If you get the car running, the charging system can be checked with a multimeter. Easy and accurate. I can walk you through the few steps if need be.

I agree that the battery could be bad and I would remove it and have it tested first. Let's rule out easy stuff first. I always liked the KISS Principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). If the battery is good, check the connections off of the battery to where they terminate. There could be corrosion there which could be the issue. I would also look at the terminals that connect to the battery themselves. Make sure both ends are clean including what they connect to. The battery posts should be cleaned with a terminal tool or just sandpaper will do well. Most people just look for the fluffy corrosion that shows up, but they can develop just a film that is hard to see but can effectively block the flow of power. I learned about this the hard way many years ago when I car I had just stopped dead. That's all that the problem was.

As far as discharging the battery sitting, this is usually caused by something draining the battery which shouldn't be. A stuck relay is often the culprit. If you get to this diagnostic, I can walk you through a way to see which circuit is the culprit. All you need is a multimeter and some time. It is a time consuming process, but reasonably accurate.




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