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floor it to start it?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 TRAVIS75

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 08:21 PM

My wife has a 89 gl wagon awd a./t, turbo. She just informed me that she has had to hold the gas pedal all the way to the floor to get her car to start. This being a non carb'd model, I'm not sure why. It left her stranded at the grocery store couple days ago and I had it towed to work. Charged the battery last night since she cranked on it for so long it was nearly dead. I went to try and start it this morning, and true to what she said, it won't start unless you floor the thing.

 

I got all the stuff today for doing a basic tune up. Plugs wires cap rotor etc. etc. I am not going to hold my breath that this is going to be my cure all, but its going to be a start, while I've got this in our shop tomorrow, anything else I should look at as a possible culprit.

 

I've never had this issue on any other Subaru I've owned. But they were all manuals, and non-turbo (don't know if this particular issue has any bearing on that). I will be hittin it in the morning.



#2 MilesFox

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 08:49 PM

Suspect the engine coolant temp sensor, the one with the brown plug behind the intake. Usually causes a warm start issue, but also tells the idle air control valve what to do.

 

Perhaps the idle air control valve has failed. This is the component on top of the thermostat housing with the runner hose to the intke



#3 naru

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:30 PM

Flooded.

Very likely leaky injectors if not a CTS problem.

Use a gauge to see if it holds pressure after shutdown if the CTS checks out.


Edited by naru, 04 January 2014 - 07:46 PM.


#4 Uberoo

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:39 PM

The computer has a wire that is 12V hot when the car is starting to tell the computer to enrich the fuel to make starting easier.Is it possible that that wire somehow got corroded or cut?

#5 TRAVIS75

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:16 PM

Pardon my limited knowledge, what is the CTS. Just like testing the compression in each cylinder? I am going to do that since a friend loaned me his compression tester.



#6 TRAVIS75

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:17 PM

Not sure on this wire, exactly where to look for it, or which wire it would be. The check engine light is on now, once I do the tune up, I am going to see if I can track down the diagnostic code sheet for this, I printed it once years ago for one of my other subarus but have know idea where it is now.



#7 TRAVIS75

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:19 PM

Good tip, I will search out what these components look like and see if I can actually locate them and perhaps order new ones.



#8 81EA81

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:16 PM

Pardon my limited knowledge, what is the CTS. Just like testing the compression in each cylinder? I am going to do that since a friend loaned me his compression tester.

coolant temp sensor as stated by Fox



#9 silverhelme

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

I had the same thing happen on an 88 turbo. It was a bad connection at the CTS.



#10 ivans imports

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:55 PM

Check cap button and rotor has no arc to dis shaft also check for leaking or bleeding down injector or low fuel pump output



#11 rain_man_rich

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

Mine did the same thing.  It turned out that the injectors were flooding the engine.  This can be caused by most of the issues already mentioned here like the Coolant Temperature Sensor circuit.  Mine however was completely random but worth you checking out.

 

Near the battery tray the wiring harness comes through the fender.  Where it comes out and lays on the bottom near the tray it may rub through the wiring insulation and short out some of the fuel injection wiring.



#12 rain_man_rich

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

Oh and I forgot, a cracked distributor cap will sometimes show symptoms similar to yours.



#13 Gloyale

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:46 PM

Coolant temp sensor

 

or leaks in the air boot/PCV system.



#14 Ziginox

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:52 PM

Not sure on this wire, exactly where to look for it, or which wire it would be. The check engine light is on now, once I do the tune up, I am going to see if I can track down the diagnostic code sheet for this, I printed it once years ago for one of my other subarus but have know idea where it is now.

 

Look at the light on the ECU (mounted under the steering column, there's a hole on one side with a red LED inside) and note what code it gives you. (Long pulse = tens, short pulse = ones, so three long and three short is 33.) You can sometimes see it if you put the wheel at its highest setting, if not pull off the kick panel and have a look when the engine is running.



#15 suprjohn

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 09:51 AM

Look at the light on the ECU (mounted under the steering column, there's a hole on one side with a red LED inside) and note what code it gives you. (Long pulse = tens, short pulse = ones, so three long and three short is 33.) You can sometimes see it if you put the wheel at its highest setting, if not pull off the kick panel and have a look when the engine is running.

 

Sorry to temporarily hijack this thread, but would my '89 DL SPFI 5 spd wagon have this aforementioned light on the ECM? Could be useful!

 

John



#16 TRAVIS75

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 06:25 PM

Okay, so here is where I am at. Replaced plugs and wires, cap and rotor. Also did the thermostat and gasket since she had no heat. Also did the oil change.

 

This did make a noteable difference, couple of things I have found while I was poking around under the hood. I don't have pictures yet, but I am working on it, I don't have internet at home, and am learning the intricate workings of a digital camera and then loading the pictures, for now....a description.

 

I found a vacuum line on the passenger side of the vehicle towards the mid engine that had been disconnected, it runs to a number of other vacuum lines via t's about 4 inches to the left of the intake manifold, lines t off and go several directions from this. Easiest one to describe from memory is it heads straight to the firewall and plugs into a canister that is whitish colored and resembles a large coffee cup. If I reconnect this vacuum line the car starts and idles fine, but once it gets warm, it bogs down and dies and I have to floor it to start again, it will rev up fine, but dies upon letting off the gas. However with it disconnected it idles just fine when its warm. There is a distinct hiss from the port when its disconnected. When its warmed up, I can put my finger over the port that is hissing, and it will stumble and start to die, take my finger off, revs right back up.

 

Opposite side of the engine, again another vacuum line that had been previously disconnected and plugged, I removed the plug and reconnected the line, haven't noticed a difference in idle warm or cold, but with it connected, the check engine light went off.

 

I did do a compression test on all 4 cylinders, compression was between 150 and 155, not sure how long you do a leak down test for, but I left it connected for about 2 minutes on each cylinder and lost nothing on any of them.

 

That's all for now until I get some pics for you guys.

 

One tip I learned on changing these plugs, I swear it seems like there was way more chit in the way on this a/t turbo than my manual non turbo. Out of the 3 tool boxes in the shop, not a single guy had a plug socket that still had the rubber in it. This car was built by Japanese, and though I'm not Japanese I do resemble a sumo wrestler, not a small guy. Not lots a room to get the drivers side plugs lined up, I found that stuffing the plug into a chunk of hose, gave me a MUCH better chance of getting the plug started. Never would have thought of it had I not used the compression tester. Anyways, I'm sure I'm not the only big guy who's ran into problems with getting you arm where it needs to be. 



#17 rain_man_rich

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

the hose is the only way to go and yes they are hard to get to even getting the boots on is difficult.



#18 ivans imports

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:41 AM

a snapon magnetic plug socket goes a long way



#19 TRAVIS75

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:09 PM

Not to knock Snap On, great product. But they probably want 150.00 for the socket, and for all the more often plugs have to be changed I am pretty sure no matter how handy it would be, I could never justify it to the check book>(wife) :rolleyes:



#20 naru

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:19 PM

Rubberless plug socket and a seperate magnetic pickup tool works for me.

Those rubbers always fall out or stick to the plug.



#21 TRAVIS75

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

Now theres something I didn't think of






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