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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:43 am 
Well, I broke down one night shortly after noticing the dash was abnormally dim. Called AA - they showed up eventually and confirmed battery not charging after putting his big battery/tester onto my car (car started just fine at this point). We decided to lug his battery pack onto the passenger seat and run the wires to my battery so I could drive the couple of miles home. After messing around trying to get the wires to stretch that far finally tried to start and that's when the probs happened. Car wouldn't start - would sort of start but not fire properly - smoke out the back (was cold so could have been steam but looked like proper smoke to me). Ran more cables from his van to my battery for more battery boost but same. Got towed home. Week later I got alternator, replaced, and also battery - car starts, smokes (white), 5 or 10 seconds, splutter die. That's it. I've checked and doubled checked for things like loose connections, fuses, fuel filter, even tried a spare MAF. I'm stumped! I'm concerned that it could be symptoms of a head gasket failure but I'm having a really hard time accepting that possibility because the car ran fine before that - no overheating (got oil temp gauge). I've checked the coolant expansion tank but no sign of oil, have yet to get sparks out (we all know this is a pain!). I'm stumped! Anyone had similar experience or suggestions? - oh car is a BF5 EJ20G


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:23 am 
First thing I would do is pull the plugs. See what they look like, are they wet, ie. have fuel, are they sparking. Rule out the easy stuff before the hard stuff.


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:33 am 
and if they are wet then they're not sparking obviously - so what does that mean? - The coil packs are fine. I mean they're obviously firing or the engine wouldn't run normally for a few seconds..... or am I just being a bit thick?......


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:13 am 
I wouldn't rule out the coil pack unless you've checked the impedance and done diag tests on it.

It's possible the injectors could be getting the wrong signal and dumping more fuel in then they should.

Just for kicks and giggles you could try resetting the ECU. Pull the battery for about an hour........then try and start the car.....if it starts......just let it idle with no accessories on for 10-15 min, then turn the ignition off.


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:33 am 
I had a similar problem just a week ago, started the car one very
cold morning and it ran normally for a couple seconds then it died.
Wouldnt restart. (It sparked and got fuel) I cleaned all of the
spark plugs (they were considerably mucky) and reset the ECU and it
started up...slowly. I didnt want to start at first, but after a
couple tries, it works normally.
Noah


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:06 am 
I know it's not the coilpacks because I've tried them on my other car. EC reset wont to don't anything cos it's been without a battery for yonks!


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:16 am 
Ok.......let's see if the ECU is seeing any codes.

Go to my site www.surrealmirage.com/subaru under notes & tips section, engine related, I have instructions on how to pull the codes. It doesn't require starting the car.......This may or may not show anything. However there is a green set of connectors for the D-check mode which pulls all the sensors to make sure they are working, and if there's anything necessarily wrong, it should find it.

If you do both of those, I'd say you have some sort of mechanical issue.....possibly timing belt jumping a tooth or something else........

Have you done a compression test?

Josh


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 Post subject: car startes but dies...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 9:16 am 
dont forget one of the most common problems with our gen legacys is that damn fuel connector! pull up your back seat bottom and check the condition of that connector. if it looks bad, remove it and hard wire it!


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:46 am 
I can't get it anywhere to do a compression test!


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 Post subject: car startes but dies...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:46 am 
Done that check - looks like new!!


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 1:56 pm 
You can buy a compression tester gauge at auto parts store. Shouldn't be much more then 20 bucks. That way you can check yourself, and it's a good thing to have for future work.

Josh


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 Post subject: car starts but dies
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:06 pm 
Is it a 5 speed?

If so try a gentle push up to about 20 mph then ease the clutch out in second gear

If you have a head gasket leak you might be able to get it running and keep it running enough to tell.

The idea is to get the engine and alternator spinning enough to maintain ignition with the battery circuit out of the picture...make sure you have the key turned all the way on.

My second choice is to replace your ECU. Bad ECU can look like all kinds of stuff. Had a mechanic once diagnose a bad fuel pump that turned out to be fine when my ECU was trash.

You can get one about half price if you try the right places

Larry Witherspoon


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