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Old 12-09-2008, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting problems...

Last winter in December my 03 Forester x would not start after driving it about 3 miles ( it would turn over but not start the engine). The outdoor temp was about 10 degrees F. I took it to a mechanic to have a engine block heater installed driving the car about 3 miles to his shop. When he tried to start the car outside the garage about a half hour after I had left it did the same thing. He waited an hour and it started right up. No more problems last winter.... At that same time I also had a new thermostat installed along with the block heater.

Tonight the same thing happened all over again after driving about 2 miles, running an errand and it wouldn't start. I called home for my wife to pick me up. We went back an hour later and it started immediately. Battery is fine. It is happening when I shut the car off before it has reached normal op. temps about once a winter. It makes me concerned about taking it out of town; we live in a very cold climate for the next 2 months (-30 F not uncommon).

Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like your engine is getting flooded with gas, the exhaust smell rich?
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My Ford escort used to do the same thing exept I got it started again either by let it roll or turning the key enough times until it started (grinding)
I don't think it's healthy but it worked for me. Anyway it happened alot of times for me. But it only died once and that was after driving off and first time I push the clutch it dies. Lucky I don't have that car anymore.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ahhhh, my 08 with 11000kms is doing the same thing. (If you google "forester won't start" there's about 5 other sites/owners saying the exact same symptoms.) 5 times for my wife and now once for me this morning. Only when it's really cold -25C or -13F. Full of fuel&gasline a/f. It always starts fine cold. When you drive for only 5 minutes, shut it off, and when we go to start again a few minutes later, just turns over without catching. Luckily only a 10 minute wait and it's always started again. Of course the dealership will gladly 'look' for $130/hr, but until I hear a fix I won't take it. I didn't think it could 'flood', but next time it happens we'll try holding the pedal down, and taking the key right out/in in case it's a coded key/security issue, but i think it's a fuel/carburation glitch. Would love to hear a 'solve' for this one.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripitup View Post
Ahhhh, my 08 with 11000kms is doing the same thing. (If you google "forester won't start" there's about 5 other sites/owners saying the exact same symptoms.) 5 times for my wife and now once for me this morning. Only when it's really cold -25C or -13F. Full of fuel&gasline a/f. It always starts fine cold. When you drive for only 5 minutes, shut it off, and when we go to start again a few minutes later, just turns over without catching. Luckily only a 10 minute wait and it's always started again. Of course the dealership will gladly 'look' for $130/hr, but until I hear a fix I won't take it. I didn't think it could 'flood', but next time it happens we'll try holding the pedal down, and taking the key right out/in in case it's a coded key/security issue, but i think it's a fuel/carburation glitch. Would love to hear a 'solve' for this one.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripitup View Post
... my 08 with 11000kms is doing the same thing... I didn't think it could 'flood', but next time it happens we'll try holding the pedal down... i think it's a fuel/carburation glitch. Would love to hear a 'solve' for this one.
Holding the pedal down would open the carburetor butterfly and lean the mix to get a flooded car started.
But AFAIK there has never been a carbureted Forester? Certainly not my 2008.
The "carburation" theory is but an analogy. The mix may be rich, but think "ECU" instead of "carburetor". And do the drive by wire throttle and the ECU respond to holding the pedal down for starting? Would that mean you can physically override the ECU?
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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On many fuel injected cars, when you hold the pedal all the way down while cranking the engine, the vehicle will not inject fuel. I think it was called "Flood Mode" or some such thing on my Nissan. Don't see anything in the Forester Manual, but it may have the same type of feature.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Neither one of our FXT's have done this & we had temps that were -5 a couple of days.Now mind you we have remote starts on both plus our drivers to work get them both up to OPtemp.I would say next time it does this hold the gas pedal all the way to the floor & try starting it.


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Old 01-07-2009, 10:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry, I missed the point. I thought it died by itself after 3 miles or something. If it gets flooded with gas would not the car die on it's own then?
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripitup View Post
Ahhhh, my 08 with 11000kms is doing the same thing. (If you google "forester won't start" there's about 5 other sites/owners saying the exact same symptoms.) 5 times for my wife and now once for me this morning. Only when it's really cold -25C or -13F. Full of fuel&gasline a/f. It always starts fine cold. When you drive for only 5 minutes, shut it off, and when we go to start again a few minutes later, just turns over without catching. Luckily only a 10 minute wait and it's always started again. Of course the dealership will gladly 'look' for $130/hr, but until I hear a fix I won't take it. I didn't think it could 'flood', but next time it happens we'll try holding the pedal down, and taking the key right out/in in case it's a coded key/security issue, but i think it's a fuel/carburation glitch. Would love to hear a 'solve' for this one.
My 05 Forester has done this two -three times every winter since I bought it March of 05. Starts at -20 drive 2-3 mile have coffee half hour to hour later no start. Two hours later it will start. There is no flooded fuel smell. At first I though frozen fuel line. Been using isopropyl. Doesn't help. I've been thinking it is a relay that turns on the fuel pump or injectors. Last week it happened so I flipped the key off and on a few time and it started after that. Well this past Wednesday it happened, did the key thing, didn't work. I still think it is a relay. Something related that has me thinking "relay" is 2 times when cold in the morning the headlights won't come on. If I crank the switch off on a few times they will come on. It must heat up the contacts enough to cause the relay to work.
I have had a lot of trouble with this car. I'm thinking of trading it in. It is a lemon.

"ripitup" your rig is should be covered by warranty. From my experience with my local dealer. I don't think they would have a clue. If anyone find a cure it would be great.

Thanks
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This seems to be a common problem for those who have to deal with really cold temps. Disappointing, I'm looking forward to someone finding a solution.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Does it seem to turn over slower when you try to start it after the 3 minute drive? If so, it could be a thermal expansion thing. 3 minutes is enough time for the pistons to warm up and parts of the engine in close proximity to the cylinders. But, in an extremely cold environment, the block may not warm up enough on a short drive. Thus, a cold block and warm pistons could bring the clearances down to the point that your starter has trouble turning the engine over.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The engine turns over at normal speed. good battery, oil change 200 miles ago. It doesn't have to be 10-20 below it has happen at 5-10 above. This morning it was 4 above one hour later still 4 started right up.Usually when it happens at first crank it will start for 2-3 seconds then stall. After that you can crank and crank and it will not doing anything. Like it is completely out of gas or the coil wire is disconnected. There is no smell of gas it is Not flooded. Then I'll hitch a ride home come back in a couple of hours. It starts up like summertime.

I would like to see a schematic of the wiring for the fuel system. Find out where all the relays are that control the fuel, fuel pump, injectors, etc.

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Old 01-11-2009, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Found some info over at End Wrench about the relays and I found the following. It had more to do with "hot start" but it could be something to look at if that code shows up. I haven't had it scanned yet.

T h e E n d W r e n c h > w w w . e n d w r e n c h . c o m
The shape of the reluctor teeth is very important to the
strength and clarity of the signal produced by the
camshaft position sensor. A chip or deformation on any
tooth can result in a drive-ability or no-start condition.
The camshaft position sensor is made from a permanent
magnet and a coil of wire. As the camshaft sprocket reluctor
teeth pass in front of the camshaft position sensor, a relatively
weak alternating current (AC) is generated by the camshaft
position sensor.
Due to the unique orientation of the reluctors on the
camshaft sprocket, the AC signal produced by the
camshaft position sensor has a distinctive signature.
Rather than the steady AC sine wave produced by ABS
wheel speed sensors, the camshaft position sensor pro-
duces a signal that has a series of deliberate gaps. The
ECM receives this information, and uses it to make deci-
sions regarding fuel injection sequence and the position of
the #1 cylinder.
The OBD II system monitors the camshaft position
sensor, to make sure that its signal falls within an expect-
ed and acceptable range. Information about the expected
range is included in system memory. The main thing the
system is watching for is a signal with a certain amplitude,
or voltage range from high to low. As far as OBD II is con-
cerned, it doesn’t matter if there is no signal or a weak sig-
nal. Both are considered abnormal. Likewise, the ECM
can’t work with a weak or non-existent signal from the
camshaft position sensor, which is why the vehicle would
not start.
On first examination, the pattern appeared normal in all
respects.The signature humps produced by the reluctors on
the camshaft sprocket were there.The only thing that wasn’t
there was the signal amplitude necessary to satisfy the PCM
and the OBD II system.
The camshaft position sensor was affected by engine tem-
perature, and produced a slightly weaker signal when the
engine was hot. Most times, it produced a signal that was
just strong enough to get the engine started. Once started,
the increased engine RPM had the effect of increasing the
camshaft position sensor signal amplitude and everything
was normal until the next restart.As the sensor steadily deteriorated, the hot no-start
incidents became increasingly frequent. Finally, the owner
brought the vehicle in for service. After diagnosing the
cause of the no-start and the related OBD II DTC P0340,
a new camshaft position sensor was installed. The new
sensor produced a noticeably stronger AC signal during
cranking (hot or cold), with the amplitude required to sat-
isfy the OBD II system and the ECM. An example of a
strong, normal camshaft position sensor signal is shown on
this page. ■
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hard to say, but that situation is probably being caused by flooding. When it is that cold outside, for a little while after startup, the engine is running very rich. Shutting it down before everything has an opportunity to warm up can cause the engine to 'flood'.


A quick check to see if it is a flooding problem:
next time it won't start, pull the fuel pump fuse or relay. Crank it over for long periods of time with the starter (but don't kill your starter) while holding the gas pedal to the floor. What we are doing here is to get as much air as possible (and no fuel) through the cylinders. The engine may want to fire and try to run for a few seconds - keep cranking until only the starter is spinning the engine. Now, go put the fuel pump fuse/relay back in. Hold the pedal to the floor, and try to start it. Keep trying - sometimes they'll take a while to fire back up.
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