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95 Legacy Wagon - Starting Problems...(RESOLVED)

Starter grounding battery switches sensors

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42 replies to this topic

#26 sorli

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:37 AM

Yes that is what I've been reading and kinda weird huh? Either way, my I initial test showed significant and was night and day results wise. I'll know more when clouds subside and we get some heat since it only happens when the cars temp rises and engine gets warm. Yesterday's test had my Legacy outside parked all day in the sun and pulling the gas cap made a huge difference.

Couguers advice (gas tank relief valve may stuck) above maybe worth checking and as mentioned here and on another Subaru website referenced checking the Charcoal Filter and Small Return Line on the gas filter to see if it is blocked and flowing freely.

Also as noted on Legacygt.com, "These later cars do not suffer from vapor lock. When the car is running, so is the fuel pump. Fuel is always circulating thru the system and back to the tank. Pressure is 34psi, and 60psi with the return line pinched. If not within these specs, you could have a faulty fuel regulator. Check all your vacuum lines and check the temp sensor with an ohmeter. Steven." May also be a good option to check.


Thanks everyone for the help and more info soon. Sorli...

Typical vapor lock in the fuel line is pretty much uncommon with fuel injected vehicles if everything is working properly

Have you tried the "opening the gas cap & relieving pressure" trick more than once? Does doing that work every time?


Edited by sorli, 09 June 2013 - 10:10 AM.


#27 sorli

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:33 PM

Sadly, no this does not always work. Seemed like a perfect option the first time, but suspect I just got lucky and my problems came back.  I've also swapped the Computer with a unit from a 96 Legacy Wagon and that also did not help or fix my problem.

 

I plan to try Presslab's suggestion if I can figure it out "Try this: disconnect the fuel tank vent line.  It's located on the driver's side next to the two fuel lines going to the intake manifold.  The vent line is the smaller of the three.  Just leave the side from the body (the tank) free, and put some kind of cap on the metal tube from the manifold." and see how that works since I right now I'm out of options and waiting on my Fuel Pump Tester in the mail headed my way.

 

What's even more interesting is the fact that many people have mentioned checking the EGR valve...which my Subaru Legacy Wagon doesn't seem to have or I simply can't find it.  Actually, I looked for the EGR Valve at U-Pull-It and could not find it on that 1996 model either...so I guess it is possible for a Legacy not to have one or using some other option. 

 

Thanks everyone for the help!!! Sorli...

 

Typical vapor lock in the fuel line is pretty much uncommon with fuel injected vehicles if everything is working properly.

 

Have you tried the "opening the gas cap & relieving pressure" trick more than once?  Does doing that work every time?



#28 heartless

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:54 PM

sorry to hear the problem is back - it was basically a shot in the dark anyway...

 

I plan to try Presslab's suggestion if I can figure it out "Try this: disconnect the fuel tank vent line.  It's located on the driver's side next to the two fuel lines going to the intake manifold.  The vent line
is the smaller of the three.  Just leave the side from the body (the tank) free, and put some kind of cap on the metal tube from the manifold." and see how that works since I right now I'm out of options and waiting on my Fuel Pump Tester in the mail headed my way.

 

for the location of the lines mentioned - look at drivers side - there are 3 "fuel" lines clustered together attached to metal tubes that distribute the fuel to the motor (follow the fuel line coming off the fuel filter toward the motor to find the correct location) - 2 of those lines will have the SS screw clamps on them - these are the actual fuel lines, the third one will just be a spring type clamp - the kind you can remove with a pair of pliers - that is the vent line that Presslab is speaking of - disconnect it from the metal tube at the engine, put a rubber vacuum cap over the metal tube, and just leave the rubber line free - see what happens with that.



#29 sorli

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:11 PM

sorry to hear the problem is back - it was basically a shot in the dark anyway...
 for the location of the lines mentioned - look at drivers side - there are 3 "fuel" lines clustered together attached to metal tubes that distribute the fuel to the motor (follow the fuel line coming off the fuel filter toward the motor to find the correct location) - 2 of those lines will have the SS screw clamps on them - these are the actual fuel lines, the third one will just be a spring type clamp - the kind you can remove with a pair of pliers - that is the vent line that Presslab is speaking of - disconnect it from the metal tube at the engine, put a rubber vacuum cap over the metal tube, and just leave the rubber line free - see what happens with that.


Thanks for the advice and I take it rubber vacuum cap can be picked up anywhere? Thanks again, Sorli...

#30 heartless

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:20 AM

yup - go to your local auto parts store - look in the "help" section - there should be a package of various sized vacuum caps - should only cost a buck or two

find & use the one that fits that metal line snugly (dont want it falling off)



#31 sorli

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:14 PM

Sadly, I tried your suggestions and the car ran fine on the way to town and did the usual problems after sitting for an hour or so.  Car would not start on first crank, turns over, but won't engage.   Also tried the placing the gas peddle to the flour to start without injectors being overly aggressive and just in case they are leaking, and this did not work at first, but after 5 tries...engine cranked right up and took off. 

 

Couple things of interest, found a fuel line leak at the Gas Filter that I tightened and did not notice previously.  I may have come lose when I disconnected the return vapor line and plugged the out pipe from the manifold.    Also noticed, that when starting the car...I can hear the gas pump kicking into gear and if I wait for full pressure...nothing, but if I turn the key to on for a brief second, then the car starts.  Pretty weird and plan to snag the Fuel Pump from U-Pull-It just in case it something wrong with my new replacement added a couple of years ago. 

 

Honestly, getting tired of just swapping parts around, but it is a lot cheaper then going to a Subaru expert or dealer and simply having them swap parts that costs extensively more and includes labor charges. I may not have much choice and running out of options and may just end up retiring the car and cutting my loses. Either way, I should have my Fuel Pressure Tester soon and maybe just maybe it will give me some indications. Also need to pickup a new Temp Sensor since my replacement last week may also be faulty.  Sorli...

 

yup - go to your local auto parts store - look in the "help" section - there should be a package of various sized vacuum caps - should only cost a buck or two

find & use the one that fits that metal line snugly (dont want it falling off)



#32 Cougar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:47 PM

If you think you are having a fuel delivery issue when the engine doesn't start then spray a small amount of starter fluid into the air intake and see if that makes the engine fire.



#33 sorli

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 12:00 AM

If you think you are having a fuel delivery issue when the engine doesn't start then spray a small amount of starter fluid into the air intake and see if that makes the engine fire.


That would be grand, but yes it has been many times with no or limited success. Seems like it, but my problems only occur when the car is hot (middle of Summer in Florida), when showing problems it wnt start no matter how I fuel the vehicle, and it still avoid notion and why I replaced the fuel pump this afternoon. Right now I'm busy swapping and testing parts, and I'll either find the issues this summer or it will go to the bone yard and replaced next semester.

Either way, I spent better half of day swapping other parts picked up from UPullIt like the Fuel Sender unit, MAF Sensor, and making sure things like Gas and Vacuum Lines were clean and flowing properly. I'll do more testing tomorrow and should receive my Fuel Pressure Tester also early week planned for diagnostics, but suspect some component is only effected when hot, pressure builds up, or similar.

One thing interesting about the fuel pump...is the size difference between my 95 Legacy and the 96 Legacy Outback donor car. The replacement unit has a much large motor and short return pipes. My original Legacy Fuel Pump was rebuilt years ago when I initially began having problems, but the problem seemed to get worse. After two years trying to have my mechanic fix my issues, I began to realize he simply wasn't able to fix my car and I had to do my own repairs. Thankfully, I'm 45 year old student back finishing my engineering degree and have the summer mostly free to test and play parts swap. I plan to finish up tomorrow (afternoon rain) and then test drive my car tomorrow after church hopefully with some more info on my progress in the coming week.

Thanks for the advice, Sorli...

Edited by sorli, 23 June 2013 - 12:04 AM.


#34 Cougar

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:11 AM

I'm a little confused with your reponse to my previous post. Are you saying you have already tried using starter fluid or some gas in the intake and you still get no fire from the engine? If that is the case then you need to be checking for a problem with the ignition system. The ignitor would be my first suspect in that case.



#35 heartless

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:19 AM

agree with cougar - if you have tried the starting fluid with "no or limited success" then you do not have a fuel delivery issue. You never mentioned that you had tried starting fluid before this. If you had, you would have gotten very different responses.



#36 ivans imports

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:59 AM

Try a new ig realy and a different crank senser also check main engine harness conector is pluged in all the way and tight



#37 sorli

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:00 AM

I'm a little confused with your reponse to my previous post. Are you saying you have already tried using starter fluid or some gas in the intake and you still get no fire from the engine? If that is the case then you need to be checking for a problem with the ignition system. The ignitor would be my first suspect in that case.

 

Sorry about that...but it is honestly hard to remember what I've done and haven't done over the last 2 years.  Thankfully, I've been able to live through the problems and still drive my Legacy at times with patience...plenty of patience!   I suspect you are correct and their is something wrong when the engine gets hot with the ignition, but I'm also covering those bases (replacing the Coil Pack, Sparks, Cables, etc) to resolve those issues.

 

agree with cougar - if you have tried the starting fluid with "no or limited success" then you do not have a fuel delivery issue. You never mentioned that you had tried starting fluid before this. If you had, you would have gotten very different responses.

 

Thanks and understand...

 

Try a new ig realy and a different crank senser also check main engine harness conector is pluged in all the way and tight

 

I also suspect I may be having a cable short and the Ignition Relay comes up faulty at times and won't resolve till I find the short.   The main Engine Harness was rechecked/plugged in yesterday, and I'll have more information this afternoon how my changes have effected things today.

 

Thanks everyone!!!!  Sorli...



#38 MilesFox

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:17 AM

Actually, originally I wasn't being specific, the part is cheap and worth swapping again if the replacement done years ago has also failed. Kinda hard to know, but I also found the service specs for that sensor that will allow me test and see how it is performing and if in operating range. Thanks, Sorli...

 

Back to the temp sensor, did you change the 2 pin one on the water cross pipe with the brown terminal, or the single spade terminal one. The first is the CTS for the ECU, and the latter one id for the temperature gauge in the dash.

 

Sorry this wasn't specified, but we assume the CTS for the ecu has been changed.



#39 sorli

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:26 AM

Hmm...

 

Can you clarify for the newbie???  

 

I replaced the 2 pin one on the water cross pipe and believe it had a brown terminal.    Not sure what the Single Spade Terminal One is...only single spade unit I've located in the engine relates the Knock Sensor that I haven't replaced (though I do have a used spare).   Actually, there is another single spade terminal at the front just behind the Crankcase sensor and that wasn't replaced either. 

 

The unit I replaced was the Engine Temp Sensor just below the Idle Control Valve, but as noted elsewhere....my replacement Temp Sensor could also be bad and I just need to get another new unit to make sure this not the problem.

 

Thanks for the clarification!  Sorli...

 

 

Back to the temp sensor, did you change the 2 pin one on the water cross pipe with the brown terminal, or the single spade terminal one. The first is the CTS for the ECU, and the latter one id for the temperature gauge in the dash.

 

Sorry this wasn't specified, but we assume the CTS for the ecu has been changed.



#40 sorli

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:18 PM

As referenced yesterday, I swapped out from my 96 Legacy Outback U-Pull-It volunteer:

  1. Fuel Pump - much larger unit with short return line tubing into tank (no problems so far and much less noisy)
  2. Idle Control Valve - from same Outback
  3. MAF Sensor
  4. The ignitor
  5. Cleaned/checked all Gas and Vacuum sender and return lines

My Legacy is running much better and I took it for a test drive 30 mins or so to warm things up and plan to wait a hour and test again when the problems usually occur with engine getting hot and then sitting for a hour or two.

 

Update (possibly final update) - looks like one of the options above has finally solved my problem!  I suspect my problem was finally either Fuel Pump or Ignitor related, but I'm not going to switch either now they are working just to test my theory

 

In the end, I went through a bunch of different suggestions, Fuel Sender issues, Clogged/Leaking Fuel/Vacuum Lines, Relays, Sensors, with the final changes listed above.  As noted, I got he car hot this afternoon and let it sit as usual for one or two hours as when the issues usually occur. Car cranked and turned over starting without hesitation and on the first try, which never happened before after driving and then sitting for a couple of hours.

 

I'll know more in the coming days when I drive and test things out on a full day of driving in town and will update if I notice anything.   I'd also like to hear form everyone on what you think my final problems were???

 

Thank You and appreciate all the feedback and patience with my efforts and questions!  Sorli...


Edited by sorli, 23 June 2013 - 05:12 PM.


#41 Cougar

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:27 AM

My vote is with the ignitor causing the issue. Whenever you have a starting problem the first thing to determine is if the trouble is due to a fuel delivery problem or ignition issue. Using some starter fluid in the air intake usually makes quick work in determining where the problem is at. If the engine still has no signs of life using the fluid then the ignition system needs to be checked.



#42 ivans imports

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:10 AM

Crank senser



#43 sorli

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

My first guess is either the Ignitor (sadly the last component replaced) and or the Gas Pump (since it was making bunches of noise...though probably common).

 

The Crankcase Sensor was one of my initial replacements when I first posted this message, but it and the Camshaft Sensor had no effect besides the loss of money swapping with new parts.  Not a complaint, just the way it is! 

 

All in all, I wasted about $200 buying new and used parts, but my problem seems resolved and now I have a bunch of spare components if I need them sometime in the future.

 

Thanks for the feedback, Sorli...

 

PS - still cheaper then continuing to pay my mechanic to fix my problem that cost way more then $200 and was unable to fix my problems.

 

 

My vote is with the ignitor causing the issue. Whenever you have a starting problem the first thing to determine is if the trouble is due to a fuel delivery problem or ignition issue. Using some starter fluid in the air intake usually makes quick work in determining where the problem is at. If the engine still has no signs of life using the fluid then the ignition system needs to be checked.

 

 

Crank senser







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Starter, grounding, battery, switches, sensors

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