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2011 Outback starts sometimes, but other times the engine…

Customer Question
2011 Outback starts sometimes...

2011 Outback starts sometimes, but other times the engine turns over (battery is charged and voltage is correct) but the engine does not start. The security light blinks slowly, but used to turn off after the car started. Yesterday, the car worked fine. Today, the engine cranks but there appears to be no spark. You can also smell gasoline after cranking the engine, so I presume that the fuel injector is working. Subaru dealer tried to sell me a new battery to replace one that is 8 months old. They appear helpless to solve the problem. I am wondering if there is some security issue, but I don't know what it could be. When it does run, it is fine. When it is not starting, you can wait a day or two and then it runs fine. It therefore seems like a computer-related problem.

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light flash, blink or stay solid? Have you tried to reset the security system?

The light turns on for 1/10 of a second, then is off for 1 1/2 seconds. Don't know if that is is called flashing or blinking. I don't know how to reset the security system.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Outback yourself? What have you tried so far?

I took it to Subaru and explained the problem. They took everything out of the car because they want to treat it like a flooded car. Hurricane Harvey flooded a lot of cars around Katy, Texas, but not this one. I talked to the maintainence manager and he could not explain why they had taken the car apart. They put it back together (sorry to be so wordy) and then there were four errors on the dash: CHECK ENGINE ON, CRUISE blinking, Something that looks like traction control or something is ON. BRAKES is blinking, They claimed that I needed a new battery and alternator, which appear to be fine -- the battery charges and has plenty of power to turn the engine over -- just no fire. The dealer reinitialized the firmware and the error lights went off. I drove the car home without problem. They never claimed to have fixed anything, and I believe them. There was no charge. The next day (yesterday) we drove the car for 30 minutes, parked for an hour, and then drove home. No problem. Today, the car will not start. Checked the battery (12.8 volts) after trying to start car.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

Yes, what will the charge for this service be? And how can I try to reset the security system?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Subaru
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Are there situations in which the fuel pump, or spark module (whatever they call it now) could cause these problems. If so, shouldn't there be an indication on the dash board?
Answered in 1 day by:
9/17/2017
Subaru Mechanic: Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager replied 8 months ago
Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 34,347
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
Verified

HI,

I am sorry that you have not been helped yet. I just came online and saw your question

Ok, at this point, is the security light flashing and I will need the last 8 of the vin number to pull the schematics.

As the question on the fuel pump and /or secondary ignition system, an intermittent fault will likely not set a code and cause the check engine light to come on

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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 34,347
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