I’m posting on behalf of my friend. She just bought a used Subaru Impreza Sport (wagon) from a family member but it has had trouble starting since she got it. The first time it wouldn’t start she was at my house, and we gave her a jump start, thinking the battery was run down since she had been sitting in the car listening to the radio for a half hour before I came home. It started up fine, and she drove it around for awhile to recharge.
But the car continued to not start, inconsistently. Sometimes it doesn’t start and she waits a few minutes, and then it will start. Or not. It’s sporadic and seemingly random. So she brought it to the mechanic and they said it was probably an old security system switch on the steering column that she was probably bumping with her knee and somehow preventing the car from starting. They had checked the battery and I guess it was fine. She had them remove they security system, but the car kept randomly not starting. She brought it back to the same mechanic, and they said it was probably the fuel pump, so she had them replace that. But on the way back from the mechanic she stopped off somewhere and found that it wouldn’t start again!
Does anyone have any ideas on what might be going on? She is frustrated that this car is turning into a money pit, and she is a teacher and needs to be able to reliably get to work on time! I know Subaru’s are great cars, so I feel like we are missing something…
@saralee the first thing your friend needs to do is find a shop with seasoned, competent mechanics
These other guys have obviously been guessing and taking your friend’s money
DO NOT BRING IT BACK TO THE MECHANIC WHO REMOVED THE SECURITY SYSTEM AND REPLACED THE FUEL PUMP
IT SOUNDS LIKE HE HASN’T GUESSED RIGHT ONE SINGLE TIME
It’s time for a mechanic who is willing to strain his brain and diagnose the car, versus some guy who just wants to keep guessing and collecting money for “nothing”
If by not starting, you mean it doesn’t crank, take a look at these two links, may be of some help.
Why does engine not crank?
Testing starter and selenoid.
Thanks for the suggestions. By not starting, I believe it does not crank. I think maybe there were clicking sounds but nothing else. I believe lights and radio worked, but no “turn over.” I can verify.
Your symptoms are a common problem, could be anything of half-dozen problems. Since you are hearing clicks when the turn the key to “start”, unlikely to be a security system glitch. Something’s wrong somewhere between the ignition switch and starter motor. Most likely would be the starter motor selenoid contacts, which is usually fixed by replacing the starter motor with a new or rebuilt one. Should be relatively easy for a good inde mechanic to diagnosis and repair. Be aware that reports here are common of problems w/offshore rebuilt starter motors, bad right out of the box. If the cost isn’t much difference, or you just want to know you have a good part that will start the car reliably for years to come, consider to ask your mechanic to use an OEM replacement if it turns out to be the starter motor. Best of luck.