Intermittent lazy start w/ 2012 Subaru Impreza, 100k miles

I have a 2012 Subaru Impreza with 100k miles. Back in March of 2021, it started having an intermittent lazy start issue. It typically occurs if the following happens.

  1. Multiple trips within a few hours, say, a grocery store visit and another errand.
  2. Usually on the second or third stop, it will have a lazy start.

When I try and start it, it just sounds lazy, weak, and hangs for a second before eventually catching. If I turn it off immediately after and restart it, the issue vanishes. This has never stalled the car, but it sure feels like it will.

I have taken it to my local mechanic three times over this issue. First they replaced the battery - this did nothing to resolve the issue. Second, they replaced the starter motor - this seemed to solve the issue for a few months.

Recently, they replaced the alternator - this did not fix it.

They have assured me the ground and the wiring is not faulty. However, I’ve spent a lot of money trying to fix the issue and am about ready to give up and just get AAA. I am finally making an appt with Subaru at the end of the month because it’s happening more often, but thought I’d throw it out here Incase anyone has encountered it or has an idea.

One last tidbit - my check battery light will flash occasionally now, but not during the lazy start, just randomly when I am driving.

Any advice is appreciated!

When was the last time the serpentine belt/tensioner was replaced?


I believe both were replaced last year - it was squeaking a ton so I had them do it!

I think you have a defective starter.

Not sure what you are calling a lazy start… a slow crank? A long crank before it fires?

I think this is a minor issue. You are overdue for a timing belt on this car. You are rolling the dice messing with this problem and not replacing the timing belt or trading the car before the engine self destructs.

1 Like