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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Car is possessed.. Runs on it's own

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10 replies to this topic

#1 Faloana



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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:51 PM

I'm -really- sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I tried my best to find the right one - 


My car is a 1991 Subaru Legacy. I've had it for a little while yet, and it's been such a good boy. 


Though tonight, it did something pretty insane. I started the car, as usual, and it started -really- weird. It felt rumbly and shakey, and my dashboard lights were flickering and fading in an out a lot. So I turned it off and took the key out of the ignition. The car sounded like it was still trying to start itself. D: Scared the hell out of me. So I turned it on again, and it was still making funny noises, and I tried turning it off again. It would just try to start itself again. So I turned it on again and drove it like.. a foot.. and the funny noise was just gone. It runs just fine now. For like.. maybe three months or so, it's had a little trouble starting. Like, there's a clicking sound whenever I turn the key and it takes me a few tries to get it running, but when I do get it running, it's fine. And this doesn't happen often, just at, you know, the most inconvenient times. :P I got the starter tested by a few different people, and I also cleaned my battery before I got -that- tested by a few different people too. Both checked out great. My alternator is also great, so.. I don't know. My fluids are all good, nothings low.. :( I don't know anything about cars, so I'm sorry if I sound like an idiot. This is just the best way I can describe this condition.. 


I hope any of this makes sense. ^^; Thank you for your time. 

#2 MR_Loyale


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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:26 AM

I once had a similar thing happen with a 72 Dodge Dart. The starter relay contacts had fused themselves together and even though the key was out the car kept trying to start itself.


In your case the ignition switch may be shorting out.

Edited by MR_Loyale, 12 September 2013 - 01:28 AM.

#3 heartless


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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:30 AM

I knew a '70s Plymouth Duster that did something similar to the Dart above (had been my car, but I had just sold it to someone I knew a few days before - LOL) ...


definitely sounds like a short in the wiring somewhere...

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:56 AM

The ignition switch behind the key cylinder may be failing. It's an easy fix, all you need is a phillips screw driver, and the part is the same for some at least 80's thru early 2000's


This suggestion is based on you having the starter tested.


otherwise i would say inspect the contacts in the starter solenoid(or swap with another unit)

#5 johnceggleston


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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:00 AM

i would also have the battery ans the alt tested.

i do not know how a weak / bad battery or alt would cause the engine to continue running after you turn it off,

but the dash lights dimming sounds electrical to me.

so test the electrical stuff to rule it out.


besides, battery and alt problems are much more common.

#6 Fairtax4me



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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:52 AM

My money's on ignition switch. The return spring is worn out so its not kicking back all the way from the Start position.

You will also need a starter soon. The contacts in the starter are wearing out, causing the "click but won't start."

#7 Gloyale


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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:21 AM

There is a bad batch of ALTs out there I bought a few from Carquest.  Is the Alternator a new one?  replaced recently?


Bad circuit on the yellow "S" terminal.  Only affects 90-94 models where the ECU switched power is directly tied to the "S" terminal of the ALT.


Check to see if your Check Engine light, and your charge warning lights come on with the Key on/eng off.  If they flash, or there are relays clicking with Key on/Eng off, then it's the alt.



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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

X3 or what ever on ignition switch! My wifes 93 did the very same thing. I pulled it all apart, tested it by starting the car with just the switch, turning it off, etc...

I just worked it a few times, attached the battery, and it worked!

#9 chaz345


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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:59 PM

My money's on ignition switch. The return spring is worn out so its not kicking back all the way from the Start position.

You will also need a starter soon. The contacts in the starter are wearing out, causing the "click but won't start."

Why replace the whole starter when the worn contacts cost about $12 and do not require any special tools or experience to replace? 

#10 nipper


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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:23 PM

I had a VW beetle that would start itself (or try to). It was a bad starter. I would look there. 

#11 Cougar


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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:38 PM

If the clinking sound you are hearing at times occurs while you are in the START mode then chances are the starter solenoid contacts are worn out. With the trouble you are having it may be a good thing to just go ahead and replace the starter, which has the solenoid built on to it. So that gets replaced also.


It would be nice to know if you saw any dash warning lights while the engine was trying to start without the key. If there was any on then that would point to the ignition switch is bad. Otherwise, Gloyale's suggestion might be correct. If the trouble is with the ignition switch I'm sure there are some fuses in the dash panel that could be removed to stop the starter but I'm not sure which one at this time.

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