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2006 Forester Manual
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127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a training day in the woods on a -25C day.

Leaving the house the block heater had been plugged in and the car started normally. I drove 15 minutes to the site; so the engine and other systems were nice and toasty.

On arrival I was told to drop off my stuff and take the car to the parking lot.

Getting back in the car a few minutes later I let the key go before the engine had fired up. A half dozen other attempts followed with the engine firing weakly but not taking.

Did the plugs frost up? Note that they will be due for replacement in another 3000 km.

Four hours later, we were done. I got back in the car, reviewed the driver's manual -- and the car started on the first try.

Did a circuit board get mad at me?

There's been a few other times in warmer weather I let the key go too soon and then needed 3-4 tries to get it to start.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,064 Posts
A hard start after a failed attempt(letting off the key too soon) isn't out of the ordinary. I end up doing it once or twice a year on mine when out of habit you do the cycle too fast.

I have my own theory that the failed attempt is enough to dump fuel into the cylinder, then on the successive time trying to start it the second dose of fuel for the start up results in flooding it out partially. Can't confirm it though.

I have found a few extra seconds of holding the key in the start position will usually be enough to clear it out for it to fire up(rich exhaust smell after wards for a couple of seconds). If it still wont start due to flooding, on fuel injected cars holding the gas pedal to the floor while cranking shuts off the injectors and will allow the cylinders a few cycles to clear them selves out, stop cranking, let off the pedal and try again as normal.
 

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Registered
2006 Forester Manual
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127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Didn't think of flooding until I read your explanation which makes perfect sense.

Nor did I know that holding the pedal all the way down would shut off the gas. I've done that with carburated cars at least once.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,713 Posts
I just automatically wait 30 seconds after I do that and its no problem.
 

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1998 Forester
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951 Posts
on some cars, a extreme cold weather start tip is depress the throttle full down, than hold at 1/2 throttle. Not sure if it applies to subarus but when it wont start anything is worth a shot.
A tip; if you start a cold engine pay close attention to the oil pressure. (I wish they still had gauges in them) if the oil is to cold the car can start but have no oil flow and kill the camshafts. I would start the car and let it run briefly, then turn it off (oil pressure gauge days) if I didnt see pressure. I dont know what to say about extreme cold weather and today's gauge-less cars.
My cold weather experience is 11 years in North Dakota.
 
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