Last post on Dec 06, 2011 at 12:51 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#10788 of 11746 "check engine" message and car doesn't start
Jul 09, 2005 (10:34 am)
I've just purchased a 1998 Subaru Outback legacy wagon. It has 111,000 miles on it and appears to have been kept in good working order. I got in the car this morning and turned the key and absolutely nothing happened while the "check engine" light came on. When I say nothing happened, the starter didn't click, nor the engine engage. It was like turning the key to open a door. I tried several times and then the car started up fine and there was no "check engine" message. I looked in the manual and this particular situation wasn't dealt with.
I'm hoping someone can give me an indication of what the problem is. I'd hate to be sitting out in the middle of nowhere with a car that doesn't start.
Thanks for your time.
#10789 of 11746 Re: Legacy GT 90K service [masteryoda]
Jul 09, 2005 (10:40 am)
Hey everybody, I'm just about ready to do the 90K service for my 98GT wagon and I was wondering if anybody had this service performed in the denver metro area and how much did they pay for it. Also, is there a list of things that need to be done for this service so that I know I'm not getting charged for something I don't need?
Best thing to do to find a mechanic is to go to the "mechanX files" at the Car Talk section of cars.com. note that a lot of foreign car garages work on Subarus but don't necessarily note it there.
Depends on how long you plan to keep it. Some folks change the seals in the front of the engine and replace the O ring in the oil pump, since they're both prone to failure. Others even change the cam belt at 90K instead of waiting. But most people just do the routine service. You can find what is suggested here:
#10790 of 11746 car doesn't start
Jul 09, 2005 (3:35 pm)
Andy, that happened to my wife's '96' on several occasions. It was a '96' Legacy LSi with the 2.5 motor. It was ages ago and the miles were few, maybe 30 or 40 K. It turned out to be a relay ? under the hood. Darned if I can remember which one or where exactly that it was. I do remember that she had to lift the hood and wiggle something and it would start. We finally got it to act up while at our mechanic's garage. He fixed it and we never had another episode. One other thing weird about our LSi was that if the alarm was activated the only way to turn it off was to open the trunk with a key.
If I can get our mechanic to remember what it was he replaced, I post.
Dick in Ohio
#10791 of 11746 check engine
Jul 10, 2005 (12:28 am)
First off, congrats on your Outback. I've got a '91 Legacy (233k miles) and an '04 Outback (18k).
Sounds exactly like a situation a co-worker of mine had with her '03 Forester. You may have done this, but the first thing I'd do is (if it's an automatic trans) move the shifter out of park and then back into park. It may look like it's in park, but may not quite be, or perhaps that sensor in the shifter is off just a bit. If the car thinks it's not quite in park (or not in neutral) it won't start, for safety reasons. Not sure how familiar you are with Subarus, but in order to move the shifter without the engine running you need to have your foot on the brake and the key turned to allow accessory power (when you're twisting, the first stop's for the radio, the next stop's for accessories, and then the ignition).
First time something similar happened to me I panicked, but eventually noticed I had left it in drive when I shut the car off the previous night.
I don't think the check engine light is meaningful unless the engine has been running for a few minutes and it stays on... it may have just been illumated because the key was turned enough to allow accessory power, lighting your dash indicators.
Or it could be a relay like Dick said. My 2 cents.
#10792 of 11746 Re: Does Bug Schield Effect Mileage? [ponyrider2]
Jul 10, 2005 (1:18 pm)
YES! A bug shield will hurt your gas mileage. The only question is how much. I used to have a ranger and my bug spoiler sapped 2mpg on the highway. I found this out on a cross country trip. I removed my bug shield and my mileage went from 22 mpg to 24. I put it back on and the truck went back to 22 mpg. Took it off and it went right back to 24 mpg.
I get only 24 mpg from my 1998 2.5 legacy Outback. Underinflated tires have got me before. I have tried changing my airfilter to a K&N and will soon remove the cross bars on my roofrack. I am thinking about changing spark plugs and increasing the gap to about .50-.55. Also, I would like to know if anyone has made exhaust changes and do they help?
#10793 of 11746 Re: car doesn't start [rbyrd]
Jul 10, 2005 (2:35 pm)
Thanks for your time and help Dick and if your mechanic remembers the part he replaced that would be great.
#10794 of 11746 Re: check engine [jeffmc]
Jul 10, 2005 (2:40 pm)
Thanks Jeff. I confess to being remarkably nonplussed when absolutely nothing happened. Mine is a five speed and it's possible that I didn't have the clutch depressed. I've had the Subaru for two weeks after owning a Honda Civic Wagon for 19 years. I could have done without all the bells and whistles and automatic doodads on the car but as my brother pointed out, they don't make cars any more the way I would have liked. He suggested that I buy a Model T.
#10795 of 11746 Re: check engine [andyg0404]
Jul 11, 2005 (11:29 am)
LOL You and me both!
#10796 of 11746 Ash Tray Replacement: Coin Holder?
Jul 13, 2005 (3:26 pm)
I just bought a 2005 Legacy 2.5i sedan this week, and am very happy so far.
However, I'd love to replace the ash tray with a spring loaded coin holder.
This is, of course, difficult due to the small size and specific shape of the existing ash tray.
Anyone know of an after market coin holder that is small enough to work in this capacity? I am not afraid of using a Dremel on it to get it to fit either, so "close" might be good enough....maybe.
#10797 of 11746 Re: Ash Tray Replacement: Coin Holder? [lauridsd]
Jul 13, 2005 (5:54 pm)
No suggestions on an aftermarket option, but would it be easier just to modify the ashtray?