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I have a 98 Legacy GT and I am a novice at best. My starter is dead and gone from what I gather. Is this a job that I can take on? I have access to the Hayes manual to guide me...If not, recommend a local shop in South Phoenix/Central Phoenix.

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It's a very, very simple job. Just follow the instructions in the maual and you should be fine. You should first confirm that it is indeed a starter issue by checking your battery and starter leads. Check that your battery terminals and starter lead cables are tight and clean.

 

Does the starter make any noise when you try to crank it? It may very well be only the starter solenoid contacts that need replacement. Do a search and you will find some pictures and plenty of info. I believe that your car has the easily rebuildable solenoid -- the solenoid on my 99 Forester was a sealed unit so I could not access the contacts. Good luck.

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Try cleaning your battery terminals and starter lead cable with a wire brush and some baking soda and water.

 

If your car has a manual transmission , the starter should be located at the rear of the engine on the driver's (left) side (I don't know if the same is true for AT vehicles). In any case, you can find the starter by following the starter lead cable from the battery to the starter. Make sure this connection to the starter solenoid is clean and tight. If it still doesn't start, then the starter is probably the problem.

 

If you have a voltmeter, you could also check the starter lead cable for internal corrosion.

 

Replacing the solenoid contacts is easy and economical, but you will need to find an elecrical shop that sells them. You may want to remove the contacts from your old starter to ensure that you're getting the correct replacement ones. I rember one of the posts mentioning that Toyota contact kits will work for Subaru starters, but you will need to confirm this.

 

In any case, if you decide that replacing the contacts is too much of a fuss. Installing is quite easy. Good luck.

 

 

 

Good luck

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Not sure how much trouble shooting you did but here are some things to look at:

 

If it's an automatic make sure it is firmly placed in park. Also you can try putting it in neutral.

 

If it's manual check the switch on the clutch pedal. When the clutch is depressed you should get a short between the two pins.

 

Keith

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Look at "Cold Starting Problem" a few posts down on this page. Search under "Starter Contacts." It's a common problem and can be fixed quite inexpensively. It does require removing the starter from the car--but even that's not as difficult as it sounds.

 

Good luck.

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When you turn the key to the "start" position, (and hear the click), do the dash lights dim all the way out at that time, or remain bright? If they stay bright, I'd call it a starter contact problem. If they go dim, it's the battery or the battery connections. If it's the starter contacts, replacement is probably the best bet.

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If it's the starter, it usually doesn't click at all when you try to start it. If it clicks then stops each time you start, it may be the starter solenoid. If you just hear clicks but can't crank, it's low battery.

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If you do decide to replace the starter yourself, first disconnect the battery cables at the battery. After the starter has been removed and the new one installed, then reconnect the battery. There is enough current flowing in that main cable to the starter motor to melt metal if you by accident ground it.

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I agree that the problem is most likely due to worn solenoid contacts. You can purchase replacements for around $10 dollars I think.

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I agree that the problem is most likely due to worn solenoid contacts. You can purchase replacements for around $10 dollars I think.

Replaced the solenoid contacts and it is good to go. Thanks. Really Easy to do also.

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I have a similar problem on my 97 OB. Sometimes I just get a clik (solenoid contacts) but no starter action. I figured it's the contacts so I got the rebuild kit but now that I replaced them it seems to be worse so I'm not sure any more. I re-opened the solenoid multiple times, reset the contacts to be level w/ the armature (center), cleaned them w/ alcohol & wet rag. It works fine outside of the car (no load) but once installed it only clicks. I charged the battery fully & even jumped it w/ another known good battery from my other vehicle but still nothing. Is it that coplicated to get a good contact? I also checked all other contacts to the solenoid. The only thing possibly left is the return path which I think is through the starter & then to ground. Does that mean I should replace the whole starter? The car is not that old & the starter is a rebuild one already so it's been replaced at least once. It is frustrating...

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It shouldn't be that hard to get a good connection. I bet the new contacts are OK - have you checked the ground connections, and the battery terminals?

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well, i ended up getting a rebuild starter & cleaned all the connections along the way as well at the battery cables. I thought it fixed the problem but today it happened again in the rain. It was just cliking for my wife who had to take baby to doctor. I don't understand what else it could be? It sounds to me as if the solenoid is not pulling down the plunger hard enough to make a good contact. Not sure if alarm has anything to do w/ it but I doubt it since I hear the solenoid clik. I've only had this vehicle for 4 months & I'm haviing second thoughts. The mpg is not that great either & I'm not really sure how much safer an AWD is. I kind of wished i kept my Vigor...

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You may have a problem with the main battery cable to the starter. They can get internal corrosion at the battery connection and cause this kind of thing. You can verify this by checking the voltage of the connection at the starter when the problem is occuring. If the voltage drops low when the key is turned to start then the cable is bad or the battery connector is at fault.

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Replaced the solenoid contacts and it is good to go. Thanks. Really Easy to do also.

 

This is exactly how I resolved my starter "click-only" problem. But Cougar is right, a bad cable with corroded terminals or wiring will make a good starter act bad.

 

Photos of the worn contacts (89,000 miles) in the solenoid and the new ones before installation.

2035802_9.jpg2035802_8.jpg

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Thanks for the cable suggestion. It makes sense. I can check the V at the solenoid & compare w/ V at the battery during cranking (or clicking).

 

Nice pics. My old contacts were not nearly that worn which started my suspicions.

Thanks for all the replies.

P

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I'm having this problem with a 2002 Outback Wagon LL Bean H6.

 

Terminals are reasonably clean,   power to accessories stays good after attempting to start car.

Loud single click each time you turn the ignition. Usually starts after a few tries sometimes as many as 10-20.

Today for the first time my wife couldn't get it to start.

 

Car has been good to me, but has too much wrong with it to sink a lot of money into it.  Hoping I can fix it myself for short money.

 

Reading through this post it sounds like I need to replace the Solenoid contacts.   Anything I need to know specific to the H6 engine?  Is the starter a sealed unit? Can I replace just the contacts?

 

Any place that walks through the steps?  What do I have to remove to get to the starter?

 

Will a starter on the shelf at a big box store work fine or do I need a suburu part?

 

Thanks in advance for your help

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I have replaced the starters on 3 subarus using rebuilt ones from Advanced Auto.  So far, so good.  However, I want to caution that on the 90's subarus, sometimes the power supply to the starter solenoid is a problem, and this problem may carry over to the 02 model. 

 

Many posters have said that the rebuilt starters are not very good, and advocate repairing the solenoid on the starter or using OEM starters. 

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