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2012 Subaru WRX has to be jumped to start, and dies shortly after

Yeah. 2012 WRX sedan with 84k miles. This actually isn’t my car, I’m asking because I found one with the issue and have an idea on some things it could be, but was wondering what other people might think it is. It has to be jumped, And once running and driving for a few minutes the car dies. I asked the owner if it simply turns off and dies, or if it bogs down and dies. He said it bogs. He says he isn’t a car guy, and didn’t have any problems before this happened and he hasn’t Tried anything to fix it. I think it might be: Spark plugs, possibly alternator (although it seems unlikely for a car with such low mileage), IAC valve, MAF sensor, throttle position sensor, battery (eh), vacuum leak. Based on him saying it “bogs down” and dies, I’m leaning more towards a fuel/spark/air issue, I think the fact you have to jump it may be Unrelated. But curious to see what you guys think.

Without seeing the car I vote dead battery and failed alternator. You surely aren’t considering buying this?

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eh, not really. Maybe for the right price though. I like a challenge. Subies are easy to work on.

I personally think they are junk.

I drive a Mazda :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve seen a lot of high mileage Subaru’s though. What makes you think they’re junky?

The fact that they produced (and knew about) poorly designed engines subject to head gasket failures for many years. The fact that they are now producing engines with high oil consumption. The fact that their AWD system requires meticulous tire maintenance to avoid failure. I’m sure there are more reasons.

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No warning lights on the dash?
First step: check battery voltage at idle.
Should be 13.5-14.5V.

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Not really the design of the engine, just the gaskets themselves. N/A engines were more prone because of the open deck design along with the composite head gaskets. The Forced Inductions didn’t see that issue. But yeah still pretty stupid and unacceptable for a head gasket to fail like that at such low mileage. Subies have their problems. I live in ‘Rado so everyone here drives the damn things hahahah

None that I know of. And yeah , that’d be a good place to start

And just where is that ? The other question is how much are they going to pay you to take this problem vehicle ?


I too lean towards battery/alternator as the problem. If the owner will let you check the voltage when the car is running. You might invest in an OBD II reader and see if there are any codes.

I’ve got both a Multimeter and OBDII reader, so I’ll start there. Thanks for the suggestion!

Pay to get a proper inspection done If you wish to pursue it. I would pick something with no issues.

Lol I’m not buying it. I’m more interested in just fixing it. I don’t need a car. Just wanted some ideas on what it might be. thanks for your reply.

The causes of spontaneously dying can be many. First step is to check for any diagnostic codes faults.
If there are none then one has to verify fuel quantity and ignition spark.

Fuel pump, crank sensor, ignition coil, bad ECM (would be very rare), faulty connection between the injectors or coil and ECM, etc etc, etc, While the engine refuses to run it should not be difficult to sort this out and get a handle on what’s missing; fuel, spark, or both.

It could also be something very simple such a corroded battery cable end. I clean the cable ends on my cars every other year whether there’s a problem or not.
Some years ago I used to have a Mercury Sable and that car had a quirky issue of developing a very subtle stumble at idle once in a blue moon. Turned out the cable ends were scaling over where they made contact with the battery., Run a wire brush over the ends/terminals and instant smooth idle. Hope that helps.

Why do you think someone in Colorado , USA would want to call a mechanic in Uganda at international rates.
Plus you have a post here where you are asking for help so I doubt if you really are a mechanic.

@cdaquila @GorehamJ Carolyn and John this might be some thing that be a number that should not be called . I can’t imagine that someone would but who knows.

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I never said I was a mechanic… lmao. What are you blabbering about? Who said anything about Uganda? Are you okay? :rofl:

Yes , I am fine. Someone posted to this thread from Uganda and they were flagged .

Ahhh my mistake.