1997 subaru


I have a 1997 subaru outback, 245,000kms. In the last year I have had a new clutch, new head gasget, timing belt, relay switch and various tubes etc. my problem: My car will not always go. It will turn over but not ignite.eventually, it will start. Have had it diagnosed and no one can sove the poblem. Also had computer sensors changed. Ant ideas? Thanks


The first thing you need to do is determine if you are missing spark or missing fuel. Try connecting a spark plug in place of one the installed ones and see if you get spark when you try to start it. check the fuel pressure too.


I just reread your post. It sounds like a fuel pressure problem. Check the fuel filter. Before starting, turn the switch to ON for a few secondes and then off. Repeat this a couple of times. This will run the fuel pump and “prime” the system. If this works, it indicates a fuel pump problem.


Did you have the starter checked out? Ours did the same thing. Would click when you went to start but just wouldn’t. After 5-10 tries, it would finally start. It was very intermittent though when it decided to start or not.


the fuel pump was checked, o.k. the car will turn over and almost catch but not quite, if I wait a few minutes it will catch and go. There is fuel, no fire. If there was a starter problem, wouldn’t it NOT turn over at all? I have had it gone over by a top subaru mechanic and he is stuped! thanks for the help


Mountainbike here. Your assumption is correct, if it had a starter problem it would not turn over at all.

Does it do this only when cold? It could have a bad temp sensor.

I’m wondering too of the spark is weak. A tech with a scope could check the spark voltage and profile and go from there.

I’m going to assume the battery has been load checked? And the connections checked? And the fusible link checked (they can be intermittant when they melt)? You can turn an engine over and not have enough juice left to also get a good spark.

Post back.


thanks I will check the spark voltage but the battery is fine and I have had the sensors changed.I am wondering about a crack in a fuel line or as you said, something with the battery voltage. I don’t want to put much more money into the car as we have put alot of $$$ into the car this year! I just need a reliable car!!!


One simple thing you can do to see if there is a fuel delivery problem is to spray a small amount of starter fluid into the intake and see if the engine responds to that. If not then the trouble may be with the ignition system.