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1997 Subaru Legacy Won't Start

All lights/radio etc. come on but my car won’t start at all. There’s a leak in the engine (see photo) and I’m wondering if this is the problem…or an additional problem and if it’s something I could fix on my own. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

That’s a ripped CV-joint boot. It has nothing to do with why the engine won’t start.

When you say the engine won’t start, do you mean that you turn the key to start engine and nothing happens? Or, you turn the key to start and the engine cranks over but won’t start?


That looks like a leaking CV joint. That needs to be repaired before the axle fails. But has nothing to do with not starting.

The lights come on, but there is no sound when you turn the key? not even a click? This is an electrical problem, and could be the battery, the ignition switch, the battery and starter connections or cables, or the starter.

Some simple tests with a voltmeter would narrow it down.

There’s a little click and then nothing.

That could be caused by a dead battery or poor battery connection.


Sounds like a bad battery or corroded connections for the battery cables. Are you in a roadside assistance program you can call for a jump start??

TSTF: Try the Simple Things First (usually).
One of my friends couldn’t get his wife’s manual gearshift started although the electrical system was fine, and he heard a click when the key was turned.

Turns out you had to depress the clutch all the way to the floor before it will start.

This keeps people from cranking the car with the engine in gear.