('98-'00) Won't start, won't jump, hazards won't turn off - Updated! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Won't start, won't jump, hazards won't turn off - Updated!

First time subaru owner, 6 weeks in.

The battery was acting sluggish but it reads 12.5 V. So it should be OK. I suspect it's battery anyway as I've had mystery problems solved by a new battery before.

But here's what happened.

I parked on an incline side to side, not front to back. It was a pretty good incline. I noticed as I walked up to it that the hazards were on. Odd because I don't recall turning them on. Car wouldn't start. A little bit of clicking but no start. I cleaned the terminals, they did have some corrosion on them. No start. I cleaned the living you know what out of the terminals, and no start. So we dragged the car out of the spot I'd parked and aimed it down hill. Popped the clutch and at least I got it home.

Hazards will not shut off unless I disconnect the battery.
Car will not start with a jump or on it's own.
I can pop the clutch to start it and it'll then run fine.
I drove it about 15 miles after having pop started it.
I'll check to see now much battery I have in the morning but it it's still at 12.5 V then I suspect it's not the alternator, but still could be the battery.

Anyway I'm a poor freelance wildlife biologist and I'm supposed to be doing my field work right now, so I need to resolve this ASAP.

Desperate for suggestions and very light on tools. I basically brought nothing in the way of tool with me.
PS I'm on the a$$ end of Yellowstone so I'm about 70 miles from any help, and it's about a $700 tow outa here.

I can make it run, but I don't know for how long.

Any and all ideas will be very greatly appreciated.

Moose

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:03 PM
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Check the circuit the hazards lights are on for a short to ground and also note how the ignition system is related to the hazard light circuit and the turn signal circuit. Find the fuse for the hazard lights and pull it. See if the car will start normally.

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Last edited by karlaudi; 06-10-2019 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:07 PM
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@1moose1 I see this is your first forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

Take a look at these thread to see if your problem is the same:

My blinking, parking lights won't turn off!
parking lights flashing after battery change
parking lights flashing

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:22 PM
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Could be the starter off the top of my head.

The higher, the fewer.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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It really acted like it wasn't getting sufficient current. I checked and the starter leads looked clean. But the battery leads were filthy. So I have to wonder if it's not a combination of bad battery and bad battery making the reset alarm go off.

Parking down hill for now with the battery disconnected.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:57 PM
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Before you condemn the battery make sure everything is clean of corrosion and connections are tight. Give the battery a proper slow charge, check the electrolyte level and quality, if not a maintenance free battery, before and after the charge and then do a load test. Being in Wyoming, a local auto repair shop or NAPA auto parts store should be able to offer a battery load test as a routine service. With luck you could hit up a the Park Service or USFS equipment maintenance yard to check your battery.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:07 AM
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Call AAA and join over the phone: good service package. AAA road side support number - ask to be transferred to membership for whatever state: 800-222-4357

Towing, starting, locked car, out of gas service. You can upgrade the benefit category at OK cost - tow distance can go from 7 miles to 100 miles (Plus) or 200 miles (Premier level). Best
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:12 AM
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12.5 volts does not guarantee enough amperage to start the car............... while this may be the battery and subarus are infamous for battery,wiring problems, if you can pop clutch and start it to get to a parts store, do so , this may be battery and a bad battery can ruin the alternator, .............and a bad set of start cables to starter cae prevent starting as can a weak or bad starter or starter connection,............ again all subaru known problems,................. it takes a very powerful jumper battery to overcome the resistance, often jumping from another car wont do it ,.......... usually takes big tow truck driven BIG jumper[ 200 or more amps]m to do so , so pop clutch, drive ,get new powerful battery[ biggest one you can find now], clean and tighten cables to starter, and remove the hazard light fuse if you can and fix that short later , .................. fix as eventually you will damage the clutch by pop starts,
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Some nonsense about a token expiring.

In short I at least fixed the blinking lights

Battery still seems weak and won't start the vehicle

Token expired
Is there a timer on each post ?

There's a really easy fix for the blinking lights, would have loved to post it but apparently you gotta type fast around here LOL

Oh well.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:01 AM
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Nope there's no timer. The compose window stays open till you click the button to post it.

Are you on a portable device? Accidental fat finger perhaps?

Glad you got the blinking lights problem fixed, and look forward to the explanation.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm on my lap top out here in the middle of nowhere with a sketchy connection. So might have been something on my end.

The fix involved pulling a certain fuse for just a moment and it resets the system.
Meant I didn't have to crawl under the dash and look for a mystery switch.

The car turned over but I hadn't even tightened the lead to the stud on the battery, so I still have to work through the starting issue.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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So no idea why the alarm keeps going of but it's super finicky. We traced juice all the way to the starter and finally replaced the starter, (I got one hell of a deal on this, $125 for starter and install) Car starts and runs fine.

The battery was low on fluid in all cells but is holding steady at 13V and turns over the engine just fine now that it has a new starter.

I hear rumor there's a guy in town (small town Montana) that never managed to fix his subaru blinking lights problem and disconnected his battery every time, all last year ;-). Can't wait to fix that for him.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:26 PM
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Did you add distilled water to top off the battery cells?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlaudi View Post
Did you add distilled water to top off the battery cells?
Snow melt water aught to be close enough.....

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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bottled water, I was headed for tap water when someone handed me two small plastic bottles of water. The battery took all of one and about 1/3 of the other.
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