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Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1218
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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Subaru Forester 2010. I'm disabled. I use a power chair. I

Customer Question

Subaru Forester 2010. I'm disabled. I use a power chair. I drive and cary my chair in the back of my Forester. I have a lift that runs off the the car. The car has to be on. Yesterday while loading my chair the engine died but all other electric remains. I think I have a blown fuse. My dad is "Fix it Felix" and is willing to check on this for me. But I need to give him some kind of referenc.
JA: Do all the fuses have the correct amperage for the circuits they're in?
Customer: Yes
JA: Are you fixing your Forester yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, my dad is doing it. He wants me to get a manual.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: The lift is of course not original to the car. My dad installed it. Iv'e had problems with blown fuses before. But nothing that killed the engine or effected the starter.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Jared D replied 2 months ago.

To clarify, at this point the vehicle won't start right, but it seems like everything else electrical is ok?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Jared D replied 2 months ago.

The first thing I would check is the battery. It's not common that the battery dying would be enough to kill the engine, but subaru is picky about a solid voltage stream to keep the PCM (computer) running correctly. The battery acts as a voltage regulator. If the battery had a bad or weak cell it could be enough to turn on accessories on the vehicle (lights, radio, etc) but not enough to start the engine. You can test for that with a battery load tester. You will probably have to remove the battery from the car and take it to a parts store to have it load tested.

The next thing to check would be the alternator output. If the alternator has even slightly low output, in combination with a weak battery it could cause the engine to stall under a high voltage load (running the engine and the chair lift). The alternator output should be 14.9v or so with the engine running.

You might try jump starting the vehicle to see if it will start so you can then test alternator output. If that doesn't work then you will need to test voltages at the starter. It's hard to say what exactly to look for without knowing how the chair lift was wired in, but we can check the basics if we get to that point.

Expert:  Jared D replied 2 months ago.


Thank you for the opportunity. I love helping people fix their cars and saving them money. Please keep in mind that most problems will require some diagnosis to get them sorted out. I will be here to help until you are satisfied.

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Expert:  Jared D replied 2 months ago.


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