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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 23617
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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2006 Subaru Forester. I just replaced the engine with a used

Customer Question

2006 Subaru Forester. I just replaced the engine with a used 75,000 mile engine. When I turn the ignition on I hear nothing. All electricaI systems work. When I have ignition on I only get 6.62 volts at the solenoid. When I hit the starter solenoid and positive starter lead with a screwdriver she cranks fine. I have checked all connections multiple times and all seem fine.
I tried to start it with a cheap starter button and it fried it. It probably grounded out. I would like to know where to check next.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 months ago.

Hi there,

Is it an automatic or manual transmission?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.


First, check and make sure the yellow/blue stripped wire isn't pinched between the block and the transmission.

If it's not pinched, check SBF #4 and make sure it's not blown. The low voltage could be from the fusible link to the ignition switch being blown.

Also, make sure the ring around the ignition switch is not red. If it's red the security system could have you shut down.

Please let me know.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Yellow blue wire to 12 pin connector not pinched. Yellow blue wire resistance from starter to 12 pin connector .024. Can't get a voltage at the 12 pin connector for yellow/blue wire with ignition in on position. SBF4 has a resistance if .032. The terminals in the fuse box for SBF4 12.11v. Ignition circle light is green when key is inserted then goes out when turned on. Fusible link for ignition not sure where it is located.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.


Check the blue/red for power with the ignition switch on

The yellow/blue comes out of the inhibitor switch and to the starter. Originally you posted you had 6 volts on this wire. Is there no voltage on it now?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
There is 6 volts at the solenoid on the blue/yellow but nothing at the 12 pin connector at the top of the transmission. That seems wrong. I'll try it again tomorrow maybe I am not getting the tester pin in far enough. I did though get continuity. Doesn't make sense. Where (location) am I checking the blue/red wire?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Easiest access to check the blue/red is at the same connector, then down at the inhibitor switch on the side of the transmission. You can also check the other wire down there as well. Basically the power comes from the relay through the, then through the switch and out the blue/yellow to the starter. The key has to be in the start position when doing the testing.

Let me know.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Well I have had a lot of varying readings. I'll try to keep it simple. The T7 inhibitor switch, when I disconnect and check what is going into the switch I get voltage at all terminals except 2,5, and 7. If I am correct 7 is the terminal I am chasing. When I reconnect T7 and disconnect at T3 to check terminal 11 I get nothing. Also when I disconnect T3 the inhibitor switch begins to buz. I took the trans harness out and spliced a lead into terminal 7's wire which is black/white. I wanted to see if current was coming back out as close as possible to the inhibitor. I checked it and got as high as 12v then went down to nothing. I checked voltages at the blue yellow wire at the solenoid a couple of times today and never had higher than 3v. I also got a new key fob a couple of days ago. I have been trying to program it and it won't let me. I am assuming it has to do with this circuit problem.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also when putting engine back in I had to roll the car. In order to do that I needed to get it in neutral. I hooked up power before engine was in so I could move the shifter. Not sure if that means anything.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.


First, the wire colors I gave you are the only 2 wires involved with the starter at the T3 connection at the inhibitor. The other wires are for the positions to the TCM which I don't even have on the wiring diagram. If you are going to add power to any wire, it should be the blue/red wire. You can do that at the T3 connector or the T7 connector, doesn't matter, the wire colors are the same for the whole shot.

Thing is, if you have to add power to that wire, then one of the relays has failed. Or the security has the power shut down to the starter. The keyless entry control module grounds the starter interupt relay and allows power to flow to the starter interlock relay. The starter interlock relay is what powers up our blue/red wire. It sounds like it is possible the key fob and not being able to program it would or could be the issue with the starter relay as well.

Remember though, you will not have any power to the b/r unless you are in the start position on the key.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did not add power to anything. I only added the battery power before I knew I had any problems while installing the engine so I could put the the car in neutral.
Back to the wires. I assume your looking at a factory Subaru manual like I am. The wires we talked about go into the T3 connector as Blue/Red and Blue/Yellow but come out and go to the T7 connector as Black/Yellow and Black/White. I thought it was very strange to change colors midstream until I saw it and then read it see attached. BTW all tests were done in the start position. Does this change anything?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Ok, and yes, now that you pointed that out I do see it. The wire color change I mean.

I think if you aren't getting any power on the b/r, then it's highly likely there is a problem with the module not grounding the interupt relay. This is the one that gets the show going. Or one of the 2 relays themselves has failed.

The fact that you can't program the remote kind of makes me think there may be an issue there.

I assume no issues prior to installing the new engine?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have power on the blue/red all the way into the inhibitor switch. I have very inconsistent power coming back on the blue yellow to the starter. I had as high as 12v for about 2 seconds then down to nothing and the inhibitor switch buzzing. Then at the starter blue/yellow connector 3v or less. I was thinking it was the inhibitor switch or something in the ignition. With this review your thoughts next?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Yes, agree with the inhibitor switch being the cause of the problem. Try putting the car into neutral and see if it changes the readings, if it does, then you know the switch has failed. Very happy to hear it has full voltage going in. Pretty good indicator its shot.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you think that inhibitor switch would prevent me from program keys?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

It shouldn't prevent the programming the key fob. You can't program the keys without the dealer scan tool and security codes for this model year. Thing is, if your ring is green, your key program is ok, or should be at least.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Me again. It was not the inhibitor switch. Where is this interrupt relay and do you have a o.e. Number. The information online is vague on this item.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

That doesn't make any sense to me because you have the power going into the inhibitor.

The service manual doesn't tell where the interrupt relay is. I do have a diagram of the wiring harness so it will at least get you in the area of it. Listen for that click and see if you can locate it.

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