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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 12886
Experience:  ASE Master Certified Tech, 32 Years, Foreign.Domestic, Diagnostic Specialist
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subaru legacy cold start troubles

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subaru legacy cold start troubles
Hello, when you say it is now not starting, are you hearing the click or nothing now? Are you saying thestarter wikll not turn engine at all?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
last time i tried to start it, i turned the key and sometimes it would just click, and other times it would crank like it was trying to start but just not enough. i am use to having to try and start it a few times when i'm starting it in the cold and just having it try to start, but it always use to start eventually... but the other day it never actually started and i even tried to jump it but it wouldn't
You are describing one of 2 problems. Either you have a bad starter and just the solenoid is working ( the click) OR what i think it is per your description is a bad battery terminal or one that is dirty or not making good contact. It is crucil the terminal at battery are very clean and tight. they may look just fine and be tight but... in reality be just dirt enough to reduce connection wher ever light load item like headlights, wipers etc will work but the second you go to crank, the connection is lost. I would take off the terminals from battery, clean the battery posts real good with sandpaper or similar. you can even put baking soda and water on them to really get good and clean. then sadn the inside of ach battery terminal itself using same method. reattatch them and try this. This is all providing you know your battery is good. the fact you tried to jum to no avil leads me to the terminals. if the cleaning does not work, and battery is good, you need a new starter
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I recently just replaced my battery, and i tested the new alternator with the battery and i had 14volts. Do you think its just to cold to start with a bad connection or my starter going out? or Another thing (maybe a coincidense?) but whenever i charge the battery and just put it in, or even right after i just put my new alternator in, right after it was recently connected it would start right off the bat, but then in a week or so it would go back to it old ways of having trouble with cold starts.
If batt is new, you can pretty much rule that out, the alt is charging just fine. the only common denominator is you are tking terminals off then on and yes, it could work for a week then go out again with bad terminals. You said at one point you could not start even jumping, this rules out battery all the more. I really would recheck and really clean thos terminals. if the problem persists, you then near 1005 have bad starter and only the solenoid portion is working
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
do you think it could have anything to do with fuel? fuel injectors? or do you think that its a terminal, or starter problem. just throwing it out there.

I am basing my answer on your description. If you are turning the key and you get a click or nothing at times and engine will not turn over via the starter, then this has nothing to do with fuel.


If you are turning the key and the starter is turning the engine over ( belts going round) but will not start, this is a whole other problem and more complex.


if your problem is as described, you have electrical for starter function only. battery, cable, terminal or starter.


Hope this helps


the easiest thing to try with no 4 involved is do the terminal cleaning i suggetsted, At least... rule it out

Randall C and 3 other Subaru Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I appriciate your response, knowledge, and you trying to help me with my car problems.

To give you more information on the symptoms of my car problem: When I turn the key the fans come on and it cranks like its trying to start and turns over, but it never reaches enough power to completely start.


As for the starter: I have had problems with my starter in the past and I know the symptoms of the clicking and it not turning over, and this is NOT the ongoing problem I have now.


I have an idea of some possibilities for the problem:

1. A bad connection in the cables that connect to my battery terminals.

2. Faulty or bad Temp. sensor

Also, I do have a check engine light that is always on. and sometimes when i am driving my break light and my battery light are on (either flashing, or solid) but this does not always occur.


I have recently replaced:

-spark plugs



-terminals to battery (although they need to be changed again)

-fuel injectors

-fuel and air filter

and some others I can't think of at the moment


Any feedback you could give me would be GREATLY Appriciated! Thanks