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My 1996 2.2 outback has been increasingly intermittent when starting, to the point where it may take 20 minutes of trying to start it.

 

Battery is good, starter does work when it gets the signal. A think the alternator is good, as I have never had a dead battery.

 

I hear a clicking when I turn the key, would that be the solenoid trying to engage?

 

The second phase of my issue is that when it does crank it will not fire. It died on the road the other day. There's a whirring type noise when it does crank, does not sound good. I'm just a little stumped on where to start with checking electrical things.

 

There's also a delay to when you turn the key to the start position before it will crank. The click will be immediate, but the cranking takes a couple seconds.

 

I apologize for how random all this information is, but hopefully one of you guys will understand it. Thanks!

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I do not think that your battery is good...it may register as an "OK" battery when tested (not sure how you tested it) but it's probably not putting out enough power. Also check your terminals. Everything you mention, from the clicking, to the stalling while driving, whirring sound, to the taking forever/pausing before start, is all sounding related to a battery that is failing and causing stress on your alternator and engine if it's stalled out.

Edited by coryl

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you may have 2 problems but, excellent chance on a car this old that the solenoid needs rebuilding. plunger and contact kits are not expensive.

 

did you get a CEL after the car stalled?

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Yes, two problems.  On old cars like yours, the starters fail all the time.  Either rebuild it as suggested or, do as I do, go to advanced auto and get a rebuilt one.  Cost is about $100.

 

Stalling or near stalling while driving is not very common.  It has happened to me a couple of times on a 2.2.  One time it was a failure of the TPS and the second time it was the MAF.  I got a code for the first but not the second.  Otherwise, there are a lot of sensors and equipment that could cause such a failure.  Without a code, you will have a lot of trouble figuring it out.

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