1996 Subaru Legacy Wagon

Original 2.2 liter engine, auto trans, 239,000 miles, doesn’t stall, doesn’t burn oil. (Just installed fourth timing belt, pulleys, etc. and water pump.) Starts cold everytime. Won’t start sometimes when engine is hot, for instance running errands around town. Shut it off and go shopping. Come out and it acts like a totally dead battery, or just “clicks” when ignition turned. “Jumper” battery doesn’t help. Electrical connnections clean. But–mess with it long enough (turn ignition fifty or sixy times, or wait for it to cool off and it starts right up again. Mechanic said “Crankshaft position sensor.” Replaced it, and that worked for a couple weeks. Now, same problem. I’m driving this car, “Rosie” (named after my Aunt) until the wheels fall off. Just please help me get it to start again reliably. This is a pain in the butt when I’m running errands. Problem seems worse in hot weather. Is that because it takes longer to cool down?

probably. I suspect a connection in your starting circuit has a bad solder join somewhere. Heat makes metal expand, which could make the wire curl away from where it’s soldered. As it cools, it makes contact again and you can start the car.

I’d start with the starter relay. If you’re tech savvy enough, carry a multimeter around with you and measure the output on the high-power side of the relay when the car refuses to start. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t putting anything out. Then measure the input side to verify that power is getting to the relay. If both are true, then you need a new relay.