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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,932 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My '12X has had an issue when starting after being driven and then restarted.
Key in, and turn on ignition and immediate start attempt - cranks and won't catch. Very consistent.
This doesn't happen when the car is cold and started.

I noticed that if I wait for a couple of seconds after turning on the ignition before I turn the key to start, it always starts, and if I don't - It won't.
It is no longer a problem provided that I wait a short time. (until the gauges stop moving).

I suspect it is the engine immobilizer. It could actually be a good theft deterrent, because if I left the keys in the car anyone in a hurry would not be going anywhere...

In any case, problem solved, but I'm interested in any theories as to why, or if anyone else has noticed the same issue.
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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312 Posts
I had a similar issue with my 2002 WRX. I always assumed it was vapor lock in the fuel rail. My solution was the same as yours. I just considered it a quirk of the vehicle.
 

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2004 Subaru Forester 5 Speed Manual
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36 Posts
I always wait for all the lights that go out to go out before cranking...the car is doing a self check of it’s systems and in my opinion starting the car during this check could cause something to happen...


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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,932 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
@Snow3d
Elvis would say - "Thank You... Thank You Very Much.."
I looked but could not find anything "officially", but chalking it up to a quirk works.
@theophilus48israel -
In my case slightly longer than that... but actually starting it too soon means something DOESN'T happen ;-) because the car won't start.
If it doesn't start - it won't - it will crank until the cows come home until ignition off / key removed / ignition on / wait / starts right up.

When there is a computer involved there is bound to be a mystery...
 

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2004 Subaru Forester 5 Speed Manual
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36 Posts
Yeah they are a mystery and if not taken gently they can make you suffer bit by bit

I hope you’ll find the core of the issue.


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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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667 Posts
I had a Toro lawn mower that would start when cold, would start when hot, but wouldn't start when in between. I also had a 1990 Civic that did the same thing. I don't remember whether or not my 2007 Forester did it. My 2018 Forester XT with pushbutton start sometimes takes a bit longer to start when cold. I push the button and release the brake and button as soon as the gauges start moving (because I think it's dumb to hold the brake pedal down and create an extra load while cranking) and sometimes the pushbutton start system takes a second to get the engine going.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,932 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yep - Engines do have "interesting" behaviors...
I doubt I'll find anything definitive, and there is an easy work around.
If anyone else has the issue, what I have found is if the car doesn't initially start, it's a waste of time letting it crank or trying to start it.
Pull out the key, put it back in, ignition on, wait a few seconds - starts right up.

Maybe the ECU runs on Windows...
 

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493 Posts
Is the immobilizer light on in your dashboard? Once, I accidentally mixed up my wife's Legacy keys with my Outback keys. The telltale sign was the bright red, steady immobilizer red light on the dash, and I knew something was up.

I've heard of this type of thing happening on Outbacks, and it was something related to the fuel pumps/vapor lock as mentioned above.
 
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