Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Starting/electrical issue


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 gofargogo

gofargogo

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • NorCal

Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:33 PM

Car: 2001 Outback wagon 2.5, MT 112k mi.

I went to start my wagon today, and the lights on the dash kind of came on. Then everything went dead when I turned the key, but there was some clicking under the dash that felt like the fuse/relay block. I turned the key to acc, and wiggled the block and then all the dash lights came on correctly and the security got reset and the alarm went off (horn blasting). I de-armed the system, and tried again. Basically the same result. More clicking from under the dash, and over by the glove box, the key-chime sounded like it was dying, and no start.

I checked the battery (12.8v), and then charged it with a battery tender. Still no start, same symptoms. If I wiggle the fuse block and get all the dash lights powered up, and then tap the brake peddle, everything dies again.

I cleaned the terminals (they were plenty tight), and removed all teh fuses for sub-systems I didn't need (alarm, radio, interior lights, etc). Same symptoms.

The battery is old (I've had the car 3 years/50k and it came with the car), but it seems to me that the symptoms are of a short/bad connections. What am I missing? Could it be just the battery?

I'm short on funds at the moment and really don't want to be buying stuff I don't have to.

Any ideas?

#2 GeneralDisorder

GeneralDisorder

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 20,281 posts
  • Portland

Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:07 PM

You need to do a battery load test before you do anything else. It definitely could be just a dead battery. Try jumping it from another car if you can't get to a parts place with a load tester. Nearly all auto parts stores will test batterys for free.

GD

#3 hohieu

hohieu

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 569 posts
  • Philadelphia

Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:22 PM

You mentioned the connections to the battery are clean. Is it the orginal battery? As already mentioned by GD, you should go ahead and have it tested.

The rapid clicking you heard was probably the solenoid cycling on and off. The solenoid is integrated into the starter assembly these days and supplies voltage to the starter motor, which requires a high electrical load to turn the engine. When actuated, this causes the voltage in the battery to drop, and with a bad battery, drop to an insufficient level to hold the solenoid switch closed. When this happens, power to the starter motor cuts off, the battery recovers, and the process repeats itself.

Poor connections to the battery and/or internal corrosion in the starter lead (cable from the postive terminal on the battery to the starter solenoid), can also cause these symtoms, but I'm guessing it's your battery.

#4 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 18,164 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:33 PM

You mentioned the connections to the battery are clean. Is it the orginal battery? As already mentioned by GD, you should go ahead and have it tested.

The rapid clicking you heard was probably the solenoid cycling on and off. The solenoid is integrated into the starter assembly these days and supplies voltage to the starter motor, which requires a high electrical load to turn the engine. When actuated, this causes the voltage in the battery to drop, and with a bad battery, drop to an inssuficient level to hold the solenoid switch closed. When this happens, power to the starter motor cuts off, the battery recovers, and the process repeats itself.

Poor connections to the battery and/or internal corrosion in the starter lead (positive wire from the postive terminal on the battery to the starter solenoid), can also cause these symtoms, but I'm guessing it's your battery.


Starter solenoid contacts like he said, but really first thing is first, have the batery tested. The car is old enough to need one.

nipper

#5 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,557 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

Since moving the fuse panel around under the dash things changed it sounds to me that there is a connection problem to that fuse panel in the buss wire going to the main panel under the hood. Another possibility is one of the relays in the panel may be bad.

#6 gofargogo

gofargogo

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • NorCal

Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:57 AM

Update: it was the battery. I guess this is the first time I've had to replace a battery in a 'modern' car, so it's failure mode seemed weird to me. But shiny new battery, cleaned contacts and the Wagon has been running like a top. Thanks!

#7 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,557 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:19 PM

Good deal. Thanks for the update.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users