Strange starting problem - any clues???

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Daniel Wilson

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Daniel Wilson »

My Uncle has a 94 Legacy N/A.

If the car is started and driven a small distance down the road then
switched off, the car will not start again, if they wait about 5
minutes then the car will start again. But the strange thing is that
it doesn't do this all the time (maybe because they travelled a bit

Subaru have been looking at the problem and are yet to resolve it
after about 3 months.

I have reset the computer soft and hard, it was hard to know if the
hard reset fixed it because the battery was getting flat. But once I
connected the jumper cables and it started immediately.

Apparently Subaru claim no error codes in the ECU, but my Uncle
advised me that he had seen the check engine light a couple of times.

I believe the problem is with the ECU or maybe a part tied into the
cold start system
Josh Colombo

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Josh Colombo »

When it doesn't start, do you hear the clicking noise of the starter solenoid contacts?

This could very well be what the problem is. I had an intermittant problem starting around christmas time where the car wouldn't start when cold......or sometimes when hot....but more when cold. At first I thought it was battery, and I thought I didn't hear the clicking sound. I finally opened the door and listened and did hear the clicking sound.

I got around to replacing the starter solenoid contacts about a month ago......The car was wouldn't start at all. Contacts cost me like 16 bucks. It was more work to pull the stupid starter out then it was to replace the contacts.

Here's some pics of the old contacts. You can see that they were toast....especially the one. ... enoid1.jpg ... enoid2.jpg ... enoid3.jpg

Also, here's a word document showing the starter, contacts & plunger assembly. (please right click and save) ... tarter.doc


Links fixed
Carl Andersen

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Carl Andersen »

I had a similar problem one time. I fiddled and twiddled and discovered it wasn't pumping gas from the tank. After unplugging and replugging both the electric connection under the rear seat and the connector on top of the fuel pump under the inspection plate in the rear it started and ran fine till this very day.
Todd A Erickson

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Todd A Erickson »

It sounds to me like a cam or crank sensor. Call 1-800-SUBARU3 and have the car checked for WXD-61. They’ll need the VIN. WXD-61 is a Service Modification/Recall of the cam and crank sensors for malfunctioning intermittently. Causing stalling and or no start conditions. You can get both sensors in a kit for about $40.

Todd Erickson
Josh Colombo

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Josh Colombo »


He's in New Zealand.

But I'm curious......could I get new sensors for that price if my car didn't fit in the recall/modification?

Do they wear out....would it be beneficial in replacing them on my car....1990 Legacy....since it's 13 years old.


j k

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by j k »

Little tip on the cam sensors, I might also post this on the bbs site if
I get time. On the 90-94 2.2's, the cam sensor is the sensor and the wire
cord running along the intake to the plug located on top of the transfer
case, it is all one unit and I belive can cost you over $80 at the
dealership. The cam sensors on the 1995 and up are exactly the same except
for the sensor is one piece and the wire cord is another piece that plugs
into the cam sensor then runs back to the transfercase plug. The kicker is
that the cost for the sensor plus the wire for the 95 is supposed to be like
$40 bucks and will work (it is exaclty the same except for it's two pieces)
on our 2.2's and I belive all EJ motors. I don't know if the crank sensors
between the two are like this, havn't had to replace one yet but I have had
to replace several cam sensors, they do seem to go bad and will give you an
intermidiate start/woun't start symptoms. Kudos to Todd for knowing about
the recall,worth a try, I am sure it is for the 95 and up Legacy's, they got
the bad cam sensors, we got the bad purge control solenoid valves. John
Josh Colombo

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Josh Colombo »

Thanks John for the tip.

I haven't necessarily had problems with my cam sensor or associated not being able to start. But I didn't know if they could get a little sloppy over time and not give the best, most accurate readings.

Nutter Kam

Strange starting problem - any clues???

Post by Nutter Kam »

If this is a carb model (1.8) and the car turns over as normal but just doesn't start it's because it's running too rich. I had this prob when I had a 1.8 carb model and only happens when the engine is cold. There's a little one way valve thing under the air box near the carb and on the side (can't remember which side tho). This needs replacing after a few years and makes a world of difference. If it's a fuel injected model then ignore this.