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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 25514
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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I have a 2010 Subaru Legacy. When I came out of the

Customer Question

I have a 2010 Subaru Legacy. When I came out of the restaurant last night it wouldn't start. I thought at first it was the battery. so I had it jumped off and drove it home just fine, however the brake light and slip control light came on and they had never been on before.
I got home and was sure that the battery had time to recharge. The car wouldn't start anymore. I noticed that all the lights come on the dash so the problem isn't the battery. I have cycled the key in the door. The lights on the cluster all come on and the needles on the gauges go crazy. I think it could be the car's security immobilizer system. But I can't get my car to start.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Is the engine cranking and not starting or no cranking at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not cranking, just a clicking sound
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.


Here is what is the likely issue. The alternator has probably stopped charging. So, this would turn on your brake light and usually the battery light at the same time. Either it's stopped charging or the battery will not hold the charge. I would go with the jump start again. Let the donor car sit on it for about 15 minutes, then try to start it. Even if it doesn't start, if the engine cranks it's improvement and you know you have to start with the battery. Then, if you can drive it, take it to a parts store and have the charging system and battery tested. At this point I do not believe the immobilizer is the issue at all, but you are dealing with a weak or dead battery and possibly an issue with the alternator.

Please let me know what more I can do to assist you today. Also, please remember to rate my answer, Just Answer does not compensate me for my time and resources. Follow up questions are included in the price of your question. If you are using the free trial, a rating is still required.
Thank you so much!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just replaced the battery 2 weeks ago. It could be the alternator. But why would all the lights come on the dash and the needles move around at specific intervals?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Low voltage will do that. The systems need at least 12 volts, if the battery only has 10 volts in it, your electronics will act strangely. This could also be why the brake and traction control lights were on as you were driving the car. You may have an alternator that is under charging and simply not putting enough out, so the car is using the battery up at the same time.

Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

The immobilizer and security isn't going to make the gauges to this.

Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Thought I would check in and see how you made out?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just had it checked this morning and it was the battery terminals. My mechanic just put a little piece of metal there and now it starts like a charm.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

So I was right about it being the battery, although it was the terminals, had you tried to jump start the car you likely would have seen it was loose.

Glad to hear it was repaired and you are back to up and running.

Please be kind enough to rate my answer, thanks so much.