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1996 Subaru Impreza randomly does not start! Help please!

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First off, thank you for your time!


My '96 Subaru Impreza has had an issue for the past few years where it will randomly not start. It can go at least 20 times starting/running normally, before it does not start.


The problem started about 2 and a half years ago.  I immediately thought it was the battery and replaced it. No change.  I then replaced the battery cables. No change. I replaced the starter, no change.  When I turn the car on, all of the dashboard lights/radio/headlights function normally. However, when I try to start the car, there will be one click, then nothing (headlights also do NOT dim).  It does not try to "turn over" and there are not multiple clicking sounds.  After about 5 or 10 minutes of scratching my head, it will turn on normally as if nothing had happened.


I figure the only thing left it could be is the ignition switch.  I just wanted to get advice before I brought it into a shop and spent all my money to get it fixed.




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Sometimes on older subarus, the electrical current to the starter solenoid is not sufficient to completely close the contacts.  The voltage is OK, when tested.  It just does not have enough current.  I had to add a relay as described as follows on a couple of 90's subarus.  This is copied from from an older post.  It's a fairly common problem.


Maybe, but before i spent $75 on a replacement starter, i would try the
relay fix. the parts are cheap and it doesn't take long to try it.

1 - relay (generic head light relay will do just fine)

1- wire pigtail w/ inline fuse (from the the battery to the relay)

1 - ground wire (from the relay to the chassis)

1 - jumper wire pigtail (from relay to starter)


6 - 8 - female spade connectors

no existing wires to cut, install the relay in line between the existing
''small wire'' on the starter and the starter. power it from the
battery, fused, and run a ground wire. if it works great. if not just
disconnect it and you have spent ~$12 diagnosing your problem.

but my bet is that the relay will work. this is not an uncommon problem for subarus, 80s - 90s.

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