1993 Subaru Wagon won't start after sitting 1 year!

We have just moved to Scotland (where it rains frequently) and our friends were nice enough to give us their 1993 Subaru Wagon. It ran one year ago when they parked it at the end of their driveway (in the middle of the country). Now it wont start but the engine does crank. We have tried popping the clutch and spraying WD-40 over the cable leads. Still nothing. We also have put some new gasoline in the tank. When the car was still running, there was mention of a strong gas smell whenever the tank was filled up. Could there be a leak in the fuel line? And could this prevent the car from starting now?

Check to see if the plugs are getting spark. If they aren’t then see if the ‘plus’ side of the coil is getting 12 volts. If that is ok but still no spark then there may be a crank sensor problem which is in the bottom of the distributor.

If spark is good then see if you can briefly hear a slight hum from the rear when you turn the key to ON. This will verify the pump circuit is ok. You might try spraying a small amount of starter fluid into the intake to see if that helps get it going. Hopefully the problem is just due to a lack of fuel and getting it back up the line will make it run.

Here is a link to a good Subaru site if you need some more help.


If the fuel pump is running for a few seconds whenever you turn the key from off to run, doing this several times may bring enough fuel and build up enough fuel pressure that the car will start.

There may be a slight fuel system leak somewhere as evidenced by fuel odors noted in the past. That could mean the fuel pump needs more time to get the engine ready to start.

A short spray of starting fluid may help it start and run for a second or so, but you need sufficient fuel pressure and volume to keep it running.