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cloe0626
cloe0626, Auto Mechanic
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  was a mechanic in the army for four years and have been working at a dealer ship the past five years
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Recently our 2000 Subaru Outback would not start when we

Customer Question

Recently our 2000 Subaru Outback would not start when we turned the key. When we turned the key, all we got was a clicking sound at the starter solenoid. We thought maybe a bad battery, so we jumped the car; however the jump did not work, so we ruled out the battery. Nevertheless, we replaced the battery since it was old, and we we replaced the starter assembly, and that seemed to fix the problem. But the problem occurred again the next day. We then examined the battery cables and ground wire and found them to be very corroded, so these were thoroughly cleaned, and that seemed to fix the problem. But we now find the problem still occurs periodically, so were thinking inanition switch or starter coil. Can you Help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  cloe0626 replied 1 year ago.
  1. Step 1:
    1. Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands (if applicable).
    2. The starter motor must remain connected to all of its cables/wires.
  2. Step 2:
    1. Attach the BLACK multimeter lead (with an appropriate tool) to the Negative Terminal of the battery.
    2. With a wire-piercing probe or a suitable tool, pierce the wire that is attached to the S terminal of the starter Solenoid
      1. Or if you have enough room, touch the S terminal with the multimeter lead.
  3. Step 3:
    1. Put the multimeter in Volts DC mode.
    2. Have an assistant turn the key to the Start Position and have him or her hold it there while you observe the multimeter's voltage reading.

If when your assistant turned the key to the Start position to crank the engine (and kept it there), and if the multimeter:

  1. DID NOT register any voltage, then the starter motor is not the cause of the Does Not Crank condition. Without these 12 Volts here (when the key is turned to the Start position) the starter motor will not come out to play. Possible causes for this missing voltage are:
    1. Bad Ignition Switch.
    2. Bad Neutral Safety Switch.
    3. Go to the test in TEST 2: Adding 12 Volts to the S Terminal Circuit.
  2. DID register 10 to 12 Volts, then the Start Signal is being received. The presence of this voltage confirms that:
    1. The Ignition Switch is good.
    2. The Neutral Safety Switch is good.
    3. The next step is to make sure the starter motor is getting plenty of Power. For this test, go to the test in TEST 3: Voltage Drop Testing the Power Circuit.

Adding 12 Volts to the S Terminal Circuit

You've reached this Test because you have verified that there aren't 12 Volts (10V - 12V) present at the S Terminal of the Solenoid when the key is turned to the Start position in TEST 1.

Now we're gonna' apply the 12 Volts ourselves (with a jumper wire or a tool like a Power Probe) to verify that the starter motor works.

We're gonna' get only one result from this test. And it's that the starter motor should engage the engine and crank it.

  1. Step 1:
    1. With the vehicle still raised and supported on jack stands.
    2. And the starter motor connected to all of its cables/wires.
  2. Step 2:
    1. The Key (Ignition Switch) must be in the Off position (or the car or truck may start).
  3. Step 3:
    1. Apply 12 Volts (with a jumper wire or a suitable tool or tools) to the starter Solenoid's S Terminal or to the wire itself.

The starter motor should engage the engine and crank it. If it does, then now you can be absolutely certain that the starter motor is good and not the cause of the Does Not Crank Condition. The most likely causes will be a BAD Ignition Switch or a BAD Neutral Safety Switch.

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