Help! Forester wont start.. Sometimes..! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Forester wont start.. Sometimes..!

Hi.. New to forum (and my Forester) so first, hello everyone..

Bought my Forester S Turbo 1999 2 days ago.. Drives fabulous, then would not start! Felt like immobilizer was preventing it... One tiny click, and thats all... After trying for 1/2 an hour, I called RAC who came out, then it started first time!!.

It was suggested that I check out the starter motor so I replaced that yesterday, started even better than before...! 2 hours later it refused to start again... Took it to a scooby dealer today and had the immobilizer and alarm reset on both keys. The mechanic also checked the battery (ok) and all the earths he could get to, all ok.. 1 hour later it refused to start again! Took about 10 mins of trying to start it, then it started no problem...

As it is an intermittent problem, I am wary of putting into a garage as it may be ok when they try it...

Anyone had the same problem or any ideas for me to try?

Thanks
Steve..
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 05:35 AM
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Sounds like starter brushes.

After they wear, the brushes fail to touch the commutator sometimes, unpredictably.

Then the car either starts or absolutely won't. The cure is a gentle tap with a hammer, it jars the brushes just enough to get another start. Put in a rebuilt starter ($300) or take it to bits and put in new brushes ($15).

S
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi StealthTL...

Thanks, but already did that.. Took out the starter motor yesterday, had it reconditioned and back in the scooby an hour later. Starts very very well now (was a bit 'dry' sounding before). But the problem is exactly as you describe, either it starts, or it absolutely does not!

Any other ideas?

Steve..
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:22 AM
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cranks or cam sensor
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi TSTRBOY2004...

Any way to check? Is one more likely to be intermittent than the other? Trying to avoid checking new parts at it just to eliminate probs...

thanks
Steve
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:39 AM
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When it fails to start, does the starter engage and turn the motor? ( Failure to start )

OR you turn the key and the starter does not engage? ( Starter motor fails to turn )

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Ferret..

No, starter does not engage, just a quiet click, and thats it.. Last time it did it, about 3 hours ago, took about 20-30 tries, then suddenly started as if there was no problem....

Am wearing some grooves in my head from scratching it!!

Steve..
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:48 AM
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Automatic or 5 speed?

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Ferret...

Auto, 2lt Turbo S, 1999...

Steve...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 06:58 AM
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Then the power from the battery goes to the IGNITION SWITCH, which in the Start position passes to the A/T INHIBITOR SWITCH directly to the starter motor. ( starter solenoid and motor are 1 assembly on these cars ).

So if all the wiring and connectors are good, the moving parts here are the Ignition Switch and the A/T Inhibitor Switch ( which allows the stater ONLY to engage in P or N ).

My next guess would be when it is failing, move the shifter to the Neutral position and see if it starts. If it does, then the inhibitor switch would be my guess. These have been known for fail as a car ages.

If it does not, it could be the Ignition Switch. I have seen a few of these fail also.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Ferret..

Thanks dude.. Really needed something to try, and you have given me a couple of ideas to play with...
Typical, it is starting every time at the moment...! I will post the results of looking at your suggestions next time it plays up..

Thanks loads!!
Steve...
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 08:10 AM
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Check your battery cable (connection to battery post). I had this exact same thing happen with a Subaru before. When it failed to start, I could go wiggle the cable and it would then start right up. I had to replace the post/cable clamp end because it wouldn't tighten, but you might not need to.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Hi problemcat13..

Thanks for the advice.. Checked it out and the battery connections are spot on, tight and solid... Its starting every time at the moment, sigh, wouldn't have believed I would actually want it to play up, but its the only way to get to the problem I guess...!

Steve.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hi again..

Ok, did it again.. Wont start in P or N.. Took about 30 goes to start it, zapped the car with immobilizer a few times between goes.. No difference..

When it did start, I was trying to start it on the last two positions of the key and not returning the key all the way back to the start position... Then it started perfectly...

The key is a tad floppy in the ignition, has a bit of play.. Is it possible that it is something loose in the barrel of the ignition..? If not, I will assume the A/T Inhibitor Switch (thanks ferret) and attempt to replace it after having a good look at it .. Not sure what one looks like so will try to find schematic or pics on the net...

Steve....

Last edited by fasteddy; 08-16-2009 at 12:09 AM.
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