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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Impreza 1998 GX won't start, possibly related to a water leak.

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Jdh2425



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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:17 PM



This is my first post on this forum. I tried searching and couldn't find anything regarding this topic. Sorry if it's been covered already.


Basically I have an old 1998 Impreza GX and have an intermittent problem with it not starting. When I turn the ignition on, power comes on the dash and the start motor makes the normal noise like it's trying to turn over, but the engine won't start. I suspect it is related to a water leak because when it rains heavily my car smells damp and this problem seems to only happen after heavy rain.


Once when it wouldn't start I called the NRMA, they said it was most likely an electrical issue, maybe related to the ECU. Apparently the battery was ok. The problem is that it happens intermittently. It has been sunny recently and the car has been starting fine. I have taken it to a mechanic and he said it might be the starter motor but because it's running fine now there isn't much he can do.


I have it booked in to see an auto electrician next week but I'm concerned I'll have to fork out hundreds of dollars and they might just give the same response as the mechanic.


I can clutch start the car when I have this problem.


Any feed back or advice would be much appreciated. Even advice regarding typical water leak areas on this model. I have temporarily sealed the top of the windscreen because it looks like the rubber has broken there.


Thanks so much.



#2 1 Lucky Texan

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    I read a lot about Subarus. '03H6OBW,'06WRX

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:16 PM

This can sometimes be due to old, cracked plug wires or coil.


On a dry day, when you feel it would easily start, try misting the plug wires with water from a plant sprayer. If it fails to start - get some new wires (NGK or from the dealer - subies need specific resistance plugs and wires and it's best to stay with stock equip if possible)


some people do this test while idling at night and can spot blue arcing from the high voltage!

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 04 July 2013 - 11:17 PM.

#3 mikaleda


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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:59 AM

Okay you need to be more clear, when your having the problem is your starter turning the engine over or not, from your description I would bet its not since you can "clutch start it" wich I'm assuming means push start it.

It sounds to me like your cylinoid is getting stuck and not engaging the the starter to the flywheel, next time this happens tap the cylinoid with a hammer and see if it works

Edited by mikaleda, 05 July 2013 - 10:01 AM.

#4 NashGuitar



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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:14 PM

I've had this same issue with an old 1998 i just got.  Weird.  anyone got any diagram?

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