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1996 Legacy L
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
HELP!!!!! I'm trying to figure out why my car won't start....thought it was the starter, gor starter checked, not starter. Thought it was the battery, got new battery, not battery. Before starter was removed was making clicking noises when car was started(attempted). After starter was put back in, no clicking noises. My husbands great idea to try to start car the first time it conked out was to smack the starter(lightly) with a hammer, and lo and behold, it started. Now it won't.
Whats going on?? anyone have any ideas???
thanks
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
Sounds like the starter needs to be changed. Or atleast serviced. It's suppose to stick out and turn when it gets power, but I guess it does not do that :icon_frown:
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
On a second note. be sure that the starter got good connection to the battery. It needs alot of current to run. Bad wires/contact can ruin that.
 

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2000 Outback
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153 Posts
Yes make sure battery connections are good; the soob starter needs around 140 amps to crank. Sometimes the contacts get pitted with age and cause this issue but if tapped with hammer will then start. But if you already tried a new starter, then it could be something else. Does it start with shifter in neutral instead of park (if auto trans)? Does it crank with power applied directly to the starter solenoid?



This is for a '94 but is probably at least similar



Make sure starter ground is connected too, and not just dangling there



Starter contacts that can pit. Sometimes if you have a really bad Subaru oil leak it can get down into the spark plug tubes and cause a severe misfire, or even sometimes a no start condition, so that could be something to check. I've seen that happen on box trucks for sale from time to time, usually when they have over 300,000 miles or so and haven't been maintained properly.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
Sounds to me like they did not try a new starter, just pulled it out and put back. Not clear on that part....
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,458 Posts
If tapping on the starter got it to start once, that's a sign of a bad solenoid. (small cylinder on top of starter) Comes as part of a new starter. I do agree that checking your connections may be the best first try. Bad battery cables can cause lots of weird symptoms. Check to see if car will start in nuetral. Good luck.
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,683 Posts
If tapping on the starter got it to start once, that's a sign of a bad solenoid. (small cylinder on top of starter) Comes as part of a new starter. I do agree that checking your connections may be the best first try. Bad battery cables can cause lots of weird symptoms. Check to see if car will start in nuetral. Good luck.
I agree with the solenoid, invest in a new one or get one from the junker (cheapest/easiest solution).
 

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93 legacy
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1 Posts
Brilliant and thorough post

I'm not much for forums, but I wanted to thank Porcupine for posting these detailed photos and instructions and help any other folks that encounter my exact problem with a few details.
The starter on my 93 legacy has been firing less and less frequently over the past 4 months (never any problems prior). First it was infrequent enough that I thought the carpet was in the way (it would miss a couple times, I'd move the carpet and it would work- thought it kept the clutch from fully depressing), but then it seemed like the steering wheel locking or not when I parked was the problem, etc. Appears now that that was all just random.
I jumped the clutch safety switches and that seemed to fix it- just thought the few times it didn't work were due to my paperclips needing adjusting, but then, in the past week, it started to only turn over about 20% of the time, so I just relied on voodoo, (pumping the clutch, wiggling the shifter and cranking the wheel) until in the last three days its only been turning over about 5% of the time. I gathered it was a connection, because it seemed like when the fog rolled in or the sun went down, it would go from not starting to turning over right away, but then wouldn't turn over again if the engine was hot, etc.
Today, I finally decided to deal with it, found this post, took off the solenoid connector (even wiggling this with a friend turning the key had no effect), and jumped directly from the positive terminal with a 14 gauge wire I had laying around- fired up no problem. I'm sure there are better solutions, but to get through the day with what I had, I sprayed the connector and terminal with WD40, scrubbed it a bit with my finger, and the car fired up 4 times in a row as if nothing was ever wrong. All together, web-searching for Porcupine's post, trying the easy solutions, then actually getting my hands dirty while at work took less than an hour.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that I didn't just hit the lottery several times in a row and that this very corroded looking connection was actually the culprit.
Thought I'd test before I posted this. After it sat for 30 minutes, it failed to start on 4 key turns... I sunk thinking perhaps I did just get lucky and rolled the starter into some position when I jumped it. I turned the wheel back and forth- old voodoo that had stopped working in recent days, and it started. I drove up into the sun and a hill in case it failed again, and it started intermittently a few times- about 50% in 6 attempts. I got out and pulled the terminal from the solenoid again, saw it was gunked with WD/grease/old corroded stuff, wiped it and put the wire back on several times, wiping the blade in between to clean that as much as possible. Started 8 out of 10 times, and I think the two misses were from trying to start too soon after shutting down- so far so good!

Yes make sure battery connections are good; the soob starter needs around 140 amps to crank... Does it crank with power applied directly to the starter solenoid?
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
^Just don't start it too often without driving a bit. You only flood the engine with gas and tap the battery of power. Besides that good work :woohoo:
 

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2003 Forester XS
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804 Posts
Thank you for the picture of the starter but one question how do I bench test the starter after I replaced the contacts?

nevermind I got it.. had to twist the jump pack clamp to get the bolt and 12v solenoid.
 
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