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1998 Legacy Starting Problems


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4 replies to this topic

#1 AdamCKach

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 04:40 PM

My brother has a 1998 Legacy that has been experiencing starting problems. When the vehicle sits for a few hours, and he turns it over, it either clicks as if the battery was dead (occasionally) or usually nothing at all - turn the key and nothing happens. However, he replaced the battery two days ago so it's not that.

If he shuts down the A/C, makes sure the headlamps are off, etc., and then lets it sit for a few minutes and then cranks it, it turns over as if there was never a problem.

The garage can't do a code read since the vehicle successfully starts before he drives it there. They told him they would tow it and pull the codes the next time it clicks on start up. However, he would like to save himself from having to have the Suby towed.

I suggested the starter; however, having only worked on Fords (I have a Sport Trac, but there's also an '05 Legacy GT Ltd in the family that I have yet to toy with) I am unfamiliar with Subarus and their issues.

Any help is appreciated.

#2 Olnick

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 06:00 PM

Sounds like a classic case of worn starter contacts. Easy, cheap fix--remove the starter and open the pentagon shaped plate at the back of the solenoid. You'll see two "L" shaped copper contacts that are probably pitted and half worn away. Local auto-electric or starter rebuilders should have replacements for a few bucks. A suggestion, take the old contacts with you to compare--there are at least 3 different configurations used in various Subies!

Good luck!

#3 Cougar

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 07:39 PM

I concure with Olnick. New solenoid contacts are what you need. You were right in looking at the starter as the fault.

#4 Scottbaru

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 09:10 PM

Is there a typical mileage these go out? On 80-series Landcruisers it's usually about 100k, and an engine fire can result if the contacts weld to the plunger.

#5 Olnick

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 09:44 PM

Is there a typical mileage these go out? On 80-series Landcruisers it's usually about 100k, and an engine fire can result if the contacts weld to the plunger.


Wow, right on! I just went out and checked my notebook--changed mine at 101k.




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