Cursed 95 Subaru Legacy

So I have a 1995 Subaru Legacy Wagon, which often doesn’t like to start. Here’s the issue; If the car is turned off and restarted within 5 minutes (like when getting gas) the car will start. If the car is left off for more than five minutes and under two hours, the car will turn over, but not catch. If left for over two hours, the car will start and catch normally. Sometimes when the car doesn’t catch, a few pumps of the gas pedal will eventually get the car to catch. However, this doesn’t always work and has become more of a ritual than anything else. Thinking this issue may be battery related, a new battery was bought and the terminals are now shiny and new. Much to my disliking, after testing the car after the new battery was installed (and leaving it for more than five minutes of course) the car did not catch. What could the issue be?

If the car was cranking but not ‘catching’, the battery was never an issue. It sounds like it may be fuel related. Pumping the gas pedal on a fuel injected car does no good–it only serves to confuse the system, but if it makes the car start when it otherwise would not, I guess I would have to agree that it’s doing SOMETHING. The next time it won’t start, try holding the pedal to the floor. I think it may have an injector that’s leaking fuel into one of the cylinders and ‘flooding’ it, but this is only a guess. Another thing to try is without starting the car, turn the key on, wait a few seconds turn it off, then back on, and repeat a few times. Now try starting the car. If it starts, it may be that the fuel system lost its pressure due to the aforementioned leaky injector, or it could have a weak fuel pump.

Do you smell fuel when it won’t catch? When is the last time it was actually tuned up, with new plugs, wires, etc.? Any smoke out the back when it finally starts?