Turns over but won't start

I have a 2001 Subaru Outback. Went to start it this morning and it will turn over but won’t start. I tried clearing fuel lines by holding down gas pedal as if it were flooded. Opened gas cap to release any pressure incase of any vacuum. Neither worked. And yes there is gas in the car about a half a tank. I live in the North West and the last 2 days have been around 100 degrees. The car did start the last 2 days but not today and it was 73 degrees when I tried to start it. Any ideas anyone?

Remove the gas cap, and while listening down the filler tube, have someone turn the ignition switch to the run position so that the dash lights come on. You should hear the fuel pump run for a second or two and then shut off. If you don’t hear this, the fuel pump isn’t operating. One thing to try when this happens is, hit the bottom of the gas tank a couple of times with a rubber mallet to see if that gets the fuel pump to operate. If it does, you’re going to need a new fuel pump.


this it totally what happened! i put a hose it the filler tube then up to my ear. when i turned the key to run position the pump ran for 1-2 seconds. so looks like i need a new fuel pump. i replaced on on my 83 subaru in high school by myself and did just fine. but it has been 14 years and the car is a 2001. makes me wonder if I can do it again?! any tips?

No. You don’t need a new fuel pump. The pump is supposed only run 1-2 seconds when the ignition is turned to the run position. The next thing to check is if there’s secondary ignition to the sparkplugs.


oh, oops. misread your statement the first time. it there any easy way to check for secondary ignition to sparkplugs? or do i need a mechanic?

Obtain an extra sparkplug. Remove one of the sparkplug wires from a sparkplug on the engine. Insert the extra sparkplug into the plug wire. Lay the sparkplug and wire on the engine so the sparkplug body is touching the engine. Now try starting the engine. There should be a bright blue spark at the tip of the sparkplug. If there’s not, or if the spark is more of a yellow color, there’s a problem in the secondary ignition system.