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Hi

I bought a 1996 Subaru Legacy a week ago. It has 118k miles on it. The car runs smooth. A couple of days after I bought it the check engine light went ON. The I started having starting porblems.

 

The engine cranks but does not start. If I try to start again the same thing happens. After a couple of trys it fails to crank too. All I could hear is the "tak" sound. (I guess the battery gets discharged) I give it some time and then I try it starts (sometimes in neutral) This happens once in a while and there is no pattern to it. After a car wash it would not crank too. It just gave me the "tak" noise. I put it to neutral and it started after repeated tries. The battery is new and the headlights were working fine when I couldn't start.

 

Can anyone help me?

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A little trouble shooting is in order.

 

Get the codes from the check engine light. Since it won't start, you can't drive it to AutoZone to get the codes read, but I think they will loan the scan tool for a deposit. Get back to the board with the codes.

 

Check for spark and fuel. An internet search should produce some basic automotive trouble shooting sites. Remove a plug and see if it's wet with fuel. Hold a plug wire about a 1/4" from ground and crank. Don't put the wire against your tounge like you're testing a 9 volt radio battery.

 

The car wash part suggests you have bad ignition wires, coil or some other electrical problem. When it is running, mist the ignition components in a dark area and look for arcing.

 

Good luck and get back.

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I was able to get it to pep boys and the code it generated was P115 - engine coolant temperature sensor. Would that help in anyway to solve the problem?

 

Thanx for the quick reply

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I've heard of the coolant temp sensor creating hard starting. The ECU isn't getting the right temp reading, thereby using the wrong fuel maps. It could be your problem. You will want to fix it, as it will reduce gas milage and increase pollutants.

 

Another common probem is contacts in the starter. Your car is of that age where it seems to happen.

 

Good luck.

 

Commuter

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OK. You're off to a good start. Problem may well be the coolant sensor. Maybe someone can tell you what resistance it should read cold and hot if you want to check it out. Probably just as easy to replace it. Once it's in, have Manny clear the codes and you should be good to go. The computer may have to re-learn what a good running engine is.

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I am not sure what you mean by the "tak" sound. If you mean that to say that the starter motor isn't turning the engine over, then changing the sensor will not help with this problem but you do need a new sensor anyways.

 

If the starter is intermitant and the connections an leads have been checked for a problem then you most likely have some bad solenoid contacts in the starter as was suggested by Commuter. These can be replaced for less than $10 in parts costs.

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I was able to get it to pep boys and the code it generated was P115 - engine coolant temperature sensor. Would that help in anyway to solve the problem?

Yes, it should. At least it helped for me with the same symptoms of (not) starting.

 

Egidijus

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