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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks, for the first time with my Forester '14 2.5i (base, not-keyless), the car would not crank at all. The dashboard lights and headlights are working. I have not drove the car for one whole day. The battery was replaced at the dealership about 2 years ago. I checked the battery terminals and the positive was a bit corroded, so I cleaned it off. Unplugged and replugged terminals. Also checked the fuses that can plucked with the picker, and nothing is blown. I'm thinking it may be the battery, but is there anything else I can check?
 

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2009 Legacy
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912 Posts
So just to get our ducks in a row, with not cranking you mean that the starter does not turn over or do you mean that it turns over but doesn't start. I ask because people sometimes confuse terms.

Your battery is good? Do you have a multimeter in your possession and do you know how to use it? You could have a bad terminal.
Get a booster cable but only use the negative lead - do NOT use the positive lead. Hook the negative (so BLACK) lead to the battery's negative (-) terminal. Hook the other end of that booster cable (BLACK only - RED is not used) to a bare piece of metal on the car. Will it start now?

If it doesn't turn over, what happens when you try it in neutral and/or move the stick from neutral to park a bit roughly? Does it start in Neutral or after some rough moving of the stick? (1)
Push the key in, move it around a bit more rough than normal. Does it want to start then? Have you tried a different key? (2)
If you turn the key to the start position with the radio on, does the radio turn off while you start it? (3)
Do you hear a click from under the hood while starting? (4)

(1) Trying to determine whether you have a bad shift interlock - the car basically only allows itself to start in neutral and start. If may 'think' it is not in park but drive or reverse.
(2) possibly a bad ignition switch, key or transponder.
(3) bad ignition switch in that the start position is bad.
(4) bad starter.

^Those are just some basic things to try that do not require a lot of automechanic knowledge. How comfortable are you with electrical and mechanical stuff?
 

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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your comment. I have not done much with automechanics. Have some basic Electrical knowledge. In response to your first question, turning the key does not start, just clicks. I do have a multimeter to test with. I will try the jump cable for black terminal tomorrow in day time.

1. I will try this..
2. I will try a different key
3. I have not tested the radio yet, will let you know
4. There is a light click noise when trying to turn the key
 

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1999 "L" - 231,000 mi. AT
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633 Posts
Remco's advice is good ^^^

In response to your first question, turning the key does not start, just clicks.
When I've had a car that won't start but there's a clicking sound (I wouldn't call it faint, but that's subjective), that means the starter is bad. Proof: have someone try to start it with key - and you use a hammer and a long sturdy screwdriver perched on the starter; if it starts with the hard hammer blow to the screwdriver/starter, that means the starter is to be replaced. not a biggee, they just go out once in a while. ~ $125? part, plus labor. I've read that people can hit starter with a broomstick - in place of the hammer/screwdriver and it also works; don't know.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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When I've had a car that won't start but there's a clicking sound (I wouldn't call it faint, but that's subjective), that means the starter is bad.
The clicking is the starter motor solenoid. It could be faulty, but is more likely to be insufficient current to run the starter motor. The corroded terminal is a strong hint that the battery is the cause.
 

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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the replies. Once I try the above suggestions, I will update the post tomorrow. Here is another symptom I should have mentioned, when I first encountered the car not starting, the dashboard lights came on and had the sound beep that is usually heard when key is turned to ignition. After I had removed the terminal connections to remove the corrosion, and re-plugged terminals, now when the key is turned to ignition, I see less lights lit up on the dashboard and no beep sound. I also notice the battery light and security light stay on, but the battery light is flickering.
 

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2009 Legacy
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912 Posts
I don't own your year but I'd look at that security light's function in your manual. One would imagine it turns off when it detects a legitimate driver/key. Maybe the car is refusing to start because it thinks you're stealing it.
Not sure what a flickering battery light means on your car. A battery light usually is on when the car isn't running so that may be normal, other than the flickering thing.
 

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2014 Forester
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check your ground cable at the battery, remove it and clean both the battery terminal and the cable end. reinstall back on the battery and try to start vehicle again. it dosent take much power to light the gages but i have had the terminal corroded just enough to light them up but as soon as you turn the key it all goes dead.
 

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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #9
Your battery is good? Do you have a multimeter in your possession and do you know how to use it? You could have a bad terminal.
Get a booster cable but only use the negative lead - do NOT use the positive lead. Hook the negative (so BLACK) lead to the battery's negative (-) terminal. Hook the other end of that booster cable (BLACK only - RED is not used) to a bare piece of metal on the car. Will it start now?

If it doesn't turn over, what happens when you try it in neutral and/or move the stick from neutral to park a bit roughly? Does it start in Neutral or after some rough moving of the stick? (1)
Push the key in, move it around a bit more rough than normal. Does it want to start then? Have you tried a different key? (2)
If you turn the key to the start position with the radio on, does the radio turn off while you start it? (3)
Do you hear a click from under the hood while starting? (4)
I tried the things above and no difference. Also I have an automatic. Radio does not want to turn on at all. With the multimeter while battery was hooked up by the terminals, it was reading 7-8V, isn't this suppose to be read 12V? With the battery detached, read's about 9-10V.

check your ground cable at the battery, remove it and clean both the battery terminal and the cable end. reinstall back on the battery and try to start vehicle again. it dosent take much power to light the gages but i have had the terminal corroded just enough to light them up but as soon as you turn the key it all goes dead.
I did clean the terminal yesterday, car still does not start up. But perhaps the battery itself..
 

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2009 Legacy
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I'd have a good look at the battery. It is definitely supposed to be around 12V while the car isn't running. Do you have a charger? Take it out, let it charge overnight and see what it does.
It it then starts, measure across the terminals. It is then supposed to be around 14V.

Still check the cables, clean the terminals with a solution of water and baking soda. Make sure the other ends of those cables are attached and connections aren't frayed, etc.
 

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2018 Forester CVT
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133 Posts
The battery should be around 12vdc or plus or minus, when engine is running it would be anywhere from +13 to just over 14 Vdc. since turning the key drops so low the battery needs to be recharged anything below 11 vdc generally cannot start. Also have the battery checked and also the alternator too see if it’s properly recharging the battery. I had one alternator that was shorted after two batteries died , it wasn’t till I heard an arcing sound that when we found a shorted alternator.
Lou Cioccio
 

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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #12
I didn't have a charger in hand, so I brought it to AutoZone to have them charge it up and run checks on it. Awaiting results.
 

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2014 2.5i Lineartronic CVT
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Discussion Starter #13
Turns out the battery is completely dead, even when they tried charging it for 2 hours. Thanks all for the help on this
 
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