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1999 Legacy won't "re-start" when it's 25F or lower outside


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Seb123

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:16 PM

I have a very odd problem with my 1999 Legacy:

It won't re-start if it's 25F or colder outside..It will start once and I can use it, but if I turn it off, it won't start again... The engine turns, battery is fine, but it feels like there is no fuel pressure.. This usually happens at night..I have to let the car sit overnight, and the next day once the sun has warmed it up it starts right away :wacko:  As you can imagine this is very frustrating...

 

Could the fuel pressure regulator get stuck or freeze? I have replaced the fuel filter, so thats not the problem. I also bought a fuel pressure gauge and checked the fuel pressure around the regulator and it seems fine, but that was on a warmer day, it would be pretty much impossible to work those hoses at night outside in 25F or colder weather...

 

I have also noticed that sometimes the gas tank is very difficult to fill, but it only happens 2-3 times a year which is very odd..

 

Is this a common problem? I love this old car and don't want to give up on it but we have very cold winters here in Qc and I need a car that will start year round..

 

Thanks


Edited by Seb123, 07 May 2014 - 03:17 PM.


#2 willwright

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:28 PM

It wouldn't take you but a couple minutes to pull the gas line off and cycle the key to see if its pumping at all when it gives you the problem. First thing that comes to my mind is weak fuel pump or water in lines but if it was that much water you should have other signs before it was enough in there to freeze a line up I would think. When you say " turn it off" do you mean it will not start again immediately or do you mean once it cools down a while and then you have to wait til it warms up above 25 again?

#3 Seb123

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:50 PM

If it's very cold outside (-5F) I only have to turn the car off for a few minutes and it won't re-start. I haven't tried to turn it off and on again right away...

 

Unfortunately I cannot troubleshoot this problem again until next winter unless someone has had it before and found a solution?

 

Now that summer is around the corner the car works fine, I could sell it.. or wait until next winter and face the problem again <_<



#4 Cougar

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 04:12 PM

I would suspect an ignition problem before a fuel problem. To see if it is a fuel problem spray a small amount of starter fluid into the intake when the trouble happens again. If it strarts up then it is afuel issue. If it still doesn't run suspect an ignition problem. Always check for power first if that is the case.



#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 07:48 PM

Does it have a MAF sensor? If so I would check all of the hoses that attach to the intake tube behind the MAF. And make sure all the clamps are tight.

Possible the ECT sensor is borked and is telling the ECU the engine is warm all the time. This would allow warm starts but would not give enough fuel to start when very cold.
If you know anyone with a scanner you can check the temperature reading and compare that to outside air temp.
If not you can check the resistance of the sensor (stick it in the freezer) when cold and see if it differs once warm. There are charts online that give an estimated resistance at certain temperatures.

#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:41 PM

Try holding the gas pedal to the floor when starting. That signals the ECU to go into 'clear flood' mode and it will shut off the injectors. maybe the car is flooding. Some people experience this when moving a cold car 20 feet, shutting it off to get out and close a gate or retrieve mail, then, they get back in and  the car won't start. Too much fuel from being cold, then, the fuel washes down the cylinders reducing compression AND, since the car is still cold, MORE fuel is dumped in.  You could pull a plug when it fails to see if it is wet with fuel.

possible intermittent crank position sensor too I'd guess.

 

 

I have also noticed that sometimes the gas tank is very difficult to
fill, but it only happens 2-3 times a year which is very odd..

 

this is sometimes bugs/spiders getting into the evap parts on infrequently used cars.(Mazda has had more than one recall due to Yellow Sac Spiders doing this) My mother in law is having her second issue of this (2011 Forester). There is a drain valve or maybe a hose associated with the charcoal canister that can cause this. could of course be a bad solenoid or rodent-chewed wires or....

 

Is the check engine light on? even if not, scanning for pending codes could be a good idea.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 07 May 2014 - 10:47 PM.


#7 johnceggleston

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:50 PM

so it starts when the engine is cold,

but will not restart when the engine is warm, right?

this sounds like an ECTS, temp sensor to me.

the engine is warm,

but the computer thinks it is cold,

wrong fuel air mixture.

 

it is hard to believe that would happen at below freezing temps,

but who knows.

 

 

just saying.


Edited by johnceggleston, 08 May 2014 - 02:52 PM.


#8 bratman2

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 09:26 PM

I have had this problem to occur on a Ford Ranger truck and my Subaru Brat. Both times it was water in the fuel causing gas line/pump/or filter freezing. That would of course be my first guess.




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