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This morning was a repeat of something that happened a few months ago. I turned the key to start the car ('98 Legacy, auto, 113k miles)...and for an instant (1/2 second at most) nothing happened. Then the ignition kicked in and it started right up as usual.

 

Is this a harbinger of starter/ignition solenoid/ignition switch/etc trouble down the road?

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This morning was a repeat of something that happened a few months ago. I turned the key to start the car ('98 Legacy, auto, 113k miles)...and for an instant (1/2 second at most) nothing happened. Then the ignition kicked in and it started right up as usual.

 

Is this a harbinger of starter/ignition solenoid/ignition switch/etc trouble down the road?

 

doubt its an ignition switch. First thing first clean your battery and where they terminate.

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I had the same thing happened to my gtp. Never figure it out and eneded up selling before I actually got it checked out by a pro. I always thought it was just a weak battery, but it started fine once it decided to; which was about a second after the key was in the start position

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i had the same problem. i would have to turn the key a few times for it to work. ended up being the starter. just before i got it replaced it stuck on and kept cranking the car even with the key off

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could be a starter, my legacy did it, but it was cables. at least we are all in the same ball park.

 

 

 

nipper

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Thanks for the responses! I have decided to do a 'wait and see' since the car is starting up normally today. I think a diagnosis will be more successful if the problem happens either frequently or predictable.

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You know the best way to make it never happen again. Buy a starter and keep it in the car .... murphys law :brow:

 

 

nipper

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You know the best way to make it never happen again. Buy a starter and keep it in the car .... murphys law :brow:

 

 

nipper

 

Naw, if I buy a starter the battery will go :dead:

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heheeh always a pessamist :)

If you claena the cables and it happens again replace the starter. There may be a dead spot int the winding, and next thing you know is you have an emergency hammer to hit the starter with to get it out of that dead spot.

 

nipper

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Before you throw money away on a new starter:

 

It's most likely the copper contacts inside the starter's solenoid. Cheap parts and not too difficult to replace, although you do have to take the starter out to do it.

 

Do a search--procedure has been discussed a lot.

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This morning was a repeat of something that happened a few months ago. I turned the key to start the car ('98 Legacy, auto, 113k miles)...and for an instant (1/2 second at most) nothing happened. Then the ignition kicked in and it started right up as usual.

 

Is this a harbinger of starter/ignition solenoid/ignition switch/etc trouble down the road?

 

I have a 99 legacy with similar miles and starter issues. As has been said, the starter soleniod contacts are the likely problems. After searching the board here, i decided to take the starter out and inspect the contacts. It is really quite easy to replace the contacts once the starter is removed. I was fortunate to have a local auto electric shop (Lehr auto electric in Sacramento) that stocks unusual parts like the copper contacts which cost less that $3 and also carried the solenoid plunger for $22 which is the other part that is likely worn and should also be replaced. After doing some research here and talking to Lehr, I am convinced these are most often the only parts that are replaced when these units are rebuilt and sold for about $100, and the starters otherwise last a very long time. If you are at all mechanically able, i would buy/order the contacts and plunger, then remove the starter and replace the parts.

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well not really. The starter is totally disassembled. Those parts are replaced, along with the starter drive and drive bushings. The starter motor windings are tested and replaced if found to be out of spec. There are a few more peices to the start then you see there. personally i just replace the starter, because, the next thing to go is the one way clutch in the drive.

 

 

nipper

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The early / mid 90's Subarus were noted for having the contacts in the starter fail / wear out. There were quite a few posts about that a few years back on the board. Inexpensive to fix if you are willing to spend a little time opening up the starter. Given the passage of time, it could now be happening in the late 90's vehicles. Granted, I haven't seen too much mention of it, so I suspect that the late 90's starters are better in this regard than the early / mid 90's ones were.

 

Commuter

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well not really. The starter is totally disassembled. Those parts are replaced, along with the starter drive and drive bushings. The starter motor windings are tested and replaced if found to be out of spec. There are a few more peices to the start then you see there. personally i just replace the starter, because, the next thing to go is the one way clutch in the drive.

 

Yeah, this is my thinking too, if I can get away with crawling under the car once vs. many times I'll go for once.

 

Anyway, the problem has yet to rear its ugly head again, so I am adopting a wait and see approach. And now the *&$!# 4EAT transmission refused to shift into 4th gear the other day, but only once so it's nothing I can attempt to get fixed...

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