2003 Subaru Baja intermittently doesn’t start

Won’t start. Intermittent. With a bit of shaking and door opening, sometimes starts. It starts fine now! But when will it stop again? I don’t’ know.

If you have a question, please ask it. And explain your problem much more completely. Tell us more about you Subi, too.

Thanks for getting back to me.

I have a devilish little problem.

Sometimes, in the morning, when I go out to my Baja (2003, 160,000 miles), it hesitates to start. I turn the key and … nothing. Or I turn the key and there’s a little “um” but no turn over. I try again, and again, same thing, and then I’ll do something like, put the hand brake down or open the door, try again, and it turns over fine. I’m going, and good for the rest of the day. Though it has shown signs of stubbornness in the parking lot as I leave work. Sometimes it shows signs of turning over, but not any strength, as if I had a very low battery. So, I got my battery replaced. It was somewhat aged. But, it didn’t fix the problem. And so, this last week, it finally crippled me. Wouldn’t turn over, and wouldn’t turn over, and I was stuck hitching a ride to work with my wife. I contacted my garage guy, Craig, but he didn’t have time to drive over to see me, and I didn’t want to pay to have it towed, so I waited for him to have a window to drive over. But before that could happen, I went out on the Saturday (day before yesterday), after things had warmed up a bit, and pushed the car around (just rocked it a bit), and managed to get it to turn over enough to start.

In a conversation this morning with my mechanic, telling him I don’t need him to come over anymore, we couldn’t figure out what to do next. He doesn’t know, and he wants me to decide. If it’s a starter? And I replace that. And then the problem still is with me, I’m out some significant $. If it’s a short somewhere…it’s impossible to find unless the problem is actually present…right? What’s the best way forward?


The best way forward is to pay your mechanic to diagnose the problem the next time it occurs. You tried to save yourself some money by not towing it or having him stop by, so where did that leave you? It left you with an unreliable car and the consideration of spending money replacing a possibly god starter.

You can throw parts at this guessing at the problem and not fixing it. That gets expensive real quick! OR you can pay the mechanic for his time to diagnose the problem and fix what is actually wrong.

Your post is actually pretty common here. People try to save a few $$ and end up spending much more.

Thanks. Will do.

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