Last post on Dec 06, 2011 at 11:51 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#11419 of 11746 1998 Legacy/Outback intermittend starting problem when engine is warm
Nov 26, 2006 (9:27 pm)
I have a starting problem with my 1998 Legacy/Outback that is driving me crazy. The car won't start when warm, i.e. after driving it for a while and then leave it standing for 30-60 minutes (a typical shopping trip say). The starter will not do anything at all, all other electrical functions are okay. When turning the key you hear some soft clicks (probably relays), but only a significant click from near the starter when you let go of the key and it returns to the On position. Often the car will start after 5-10 attempts, but sometimes it will take half an hour before the temperature of the engine has dropped enough to start. This seems to be a common problem with older Outbacks from scanning the Subaru forums, but I have never found a solution.
We are now using our 5th new starter (all on warranty!), but by now even our mechanic is convinced it is not cause by the starter . I do not think it is the neutral start switch (it is an automatic), as moving the transmission stick around has never made any difference, and I am not sure how this would relate to engine temperature. It is also not caused by the alarm system, as I tested the override. The battery was checked fine twice.
It seems that every time a new starter was put in, the car was less prone to this problem, but soon it would start again and get progressively worse. Could it be related to the ECM, which is being reset after the battery gets disconnected? But the wiring schedules I have suggest it is not involved in the starter wiring at all.
Some other, probably unrelated problems we have after replacing the knock sensor:
- somewhat rough idle, but only when in Drive, not when in Park/Neutral,
- strong gas smell when driving small distances.
Any suggestions appreciated, because we are getting worried about getting stranded at some point...
#11420 of 11746 Re: 1998 Legacy/Outback intermittend starting problem when engine is warm [foleor]
Nov 26, 2006 (9:51 pm)
it probably is not a complicated problem. It is likely a lose connection somewhere on the large amp wires, and possibly a bad wire terminal. It could also be the starter relay itself. The mechanic should be able to trace it.
I had the exact same problem on my farm truck. It turned out to be a lose wire terminal on the starter relay.
#11421 of 11746 Could be several items
Nov 26, 2006 (10:09 pm)
ground wire to starter
#11422 of 11746 Re: 1998 Legacy/Outback intermittend starting problem when engine is warm [once_for_all]
Nov 27, 2006 (5:23 am)
Thanks for the suggestions, but all connections were checked after putting in so many starters... The wiring diagram I have for this automatic does not have a starter relay, but correct me if I am wrong. I have not checked the wire terminals to Neutral/Park switch, but as I wrote before, I am not sure how this would be effected by engine temperature (but maybe it is?)
Nov 27, 2006 (7:14 am)
Hi: I thought the 3.0 Rll bean was an Outback, but noticed on the window sticker it said outback legacy. Is the Rll Bean model a legacy ,outback or both? thanks
#11424 of 11746 Re: Just curious [scottca]
Nov 27, 2006 (8:12 am)
What's in a name, right?
They usually call it just Outback, but some times you see Legacy Outback.
Oddly, when Subaru announces sales, they include Outback sales in the total Legacy sales. But not the other way around. Weird.
#11425 of 11746 Stereo upgrade on 2007 OB Limited
Nov 27, 2006 (4:58 pm)
Just bought a new 2007 limited OB wagon, and was planning on improving the factory stereo. I was actually suprised at the quality of the system....pretty good bass and decent fidelity in the mids and highs.
Here's what I ~ know
According to Subaru, the front stock component speakers have a bass response down to 75hz but they sound much lower. Also, I've been told that the stock speakers are 8ohm, so just replacing the speakers (no amp) is not a good idea as aftermarket options are always 4ohms. According to Subaru rep, the rear door speakers are not even coaxials. Also, heater controls are integrated with the HU, so full aftermarket swap is problematic. Front doors are limited in space, so mounting depth is an issue with many component speakers.
I'm worried that if I add line-level converter, amp, and four speakers, I'll actually lose bass response as the stock speakers already have pretty good low range, and many of the shallower component speakers lack good bass response. Alternatively, I could add a 4-channel amp to power front components, bridge 2 channels for sub, and then keep crappy rear door speakers running off the HU power, but would have a big sub to conceal.
Just curious what types of aftermarket systems folks have done, and how it turned out. Sounds like the stock subwoofer upgrade fits under the driver's seat, which would leave room under the passenger seat for a smallish amp??? Anybody have any experience with the factory sub upgrade?
Any thoughts/corrections would be appreciated.
#11426 of 11746 Re: Tensioner [nygreg]
Jan 20, 2007 (5:44 am)
Been there, done that. 67K on my 03 Legacy GT Wagon. I had what I thought was a slight knocking noise only when the engine was cold. Tapping noise went away after no more than 4 minutes. Tried two different tanks of gas, same sound. Gave it to the dealer...bad tensioner. Looking at the bottom of the tensioner (where the "piston rod thingy" comes out of the tensioner) I can see several groves perpendicular to the surface where something was hitting the surface. There is also a film of oil on the surface of the plate held into the tensioner by the "C" clip. I doubt the slight film of oil means anything but the marks on the metal do. I do not know enough about where the tensioner sits in the car but something was obviously coming into contact. Maybe the "piston rod thingy" starting to give up? Of course my Classic Extended warranty does not over it. $710 with a new belt. Problem solved.
#11427 of 11746 Legacy/Outback names
Jan 20, 2007 (9:14 pm)
Every Outback is a "Legacy" (body style), but not all Legacys are "Outbacks". This has been going on for 10 yrs. Next year their will be no more Legacy wagons, so this confusion over the nomenclature should cease.
By the way, since I sell them, I drive the LLBean 3.0 a lot, and have never experienced any hesitation. I drive them hard as well as "normally". The only "hesitation" is from the XT due to turbo lag. That is annoying. Yes, I can be very critical, and yes, I own a Legacy sedan paid for with my own $$. I used to have a company demo, but no more. I still love the Legacy, even when I make the payments.
Feb 02, 2007 (6:20 pm)
a movie and was amused enough by a small detail that I thought I would post it here. The movie is "Catch and Release", and the lead drives a first-gen Outback wagon all through the movie. You fans of the car may be amused if you watch the movie to note that at the end, after she has taken a long trip in the thing (of which they show various quick shots along the way), she arrives at the end of her trip and drives up in.......a SECOND-GEN Outback! Same color, and they even put the rooftop storage box from the older car on the roof of the newer car to make it look exactly like the older car.
Makes me wonder what happened - did the older car break down irreparably just before they finished shooting the movie or something? Why would they need to have two different cars?