I have a Subaru Impreza, 2008, about 36000 mi. On Saturday afternoon, I moved my car maybe 30 feet in the driveway, but that was all I drove it. It seemed fine. Now Sunday, I tried to start it, and it wouldn’t start. There is no reason for the battery to be dead, because the lights go out when you turn off the car. The guy who towed it said it didn’t sound like a spark plug issue when he heard me try to start it. Are there any known causes of not starting in Imprezas?
There are no-start issues possible with all cars, and a mechanic really has to examine yours to see what the specific issue might be.
The good news is that your car is under multiple warranties at this point.
(You were aware of that, correct?)
Simply have it flat-bedded (not towed) to the Subaru dealer for free warranty repairs.
Don’t bother with giving them a diagnosis. Just describe the symptoms and allow them to diagnose and repair the car.
When you are covered under the warranty, you don’t try and do anything yourself. Just call the dealer and let them figure it out.
It did turn out to be the spark plugs. apparently they are only expected to last around 30,000 miles. This surprised me. When I asked if they were platinum plugs, I was told that my car does not take platinum plugs. Does anyone know why?
“This surprised me”
Car maintenance should not be a mystery, and the only surprises that should be involved with maintenance are the unexpected repairs that result from lax maintenance.
Not only are those spark plugs supposed to be changed at 30k miles, but there are other service procedures that are supposed to be done at that interval.
Have you taken the time to look at the booklet titled Subaru Maintenance and Warranty? That booklet tells you about the correct interval for spark plug changes, transmission service, differential service, timing belt changes, and other things that can lead to “big ticket” repairs if they are ignored or deferred. If you continue to ignore the specified maintenance for this vehicle, you will wind up with bigger mechanical problems and you will also void the warranty.
As to replacing the spark plugs with something other than what was specified originally, I suggest that you stick with the ones recommended by the engineers who designed your car. Changing to spark plugs other than what was originally specified can lead to driveability problems in some cases.
So you start your car up with apparently no trouble, move it thirty feet and all of a sudden the plugs seem to go bad when you try to start it again. I don’t know what the real trouble was but I guarranty you it wasn’t due to the plugs. They may have been worn but that didn’t cause the car not to start. There may be a hidden intermittent failure in the ignition system. If the trouble occurs again then I would check to see if the plugs are getting spark to them while thr trouble is occuring.
Enjoy the nice car. If you drive in snow you are really going to like it.
To be honest, I’m not buying into this defective spark plugs causing a no-start condition for one nano-second. I think this car suffered an intermittent problem of some sort and the blame was placed on the plugs by someone who has no idea. Do not be surprised if this problem resurfaces.
If your car uses regular copper core plugs then odds are they needed to be replaced for performance reasons at 30k miles, but as the cause of a no-start I do no see this at all.
There are a number of reasons why this could have been an intermittent problem one would have hoped they would have scanned the car.
Fuel pump check valve leaking off, hiccup in the Idle Air Control valve, shaky electrical connection in any one of a dozen places, etc, etc. are possibilities.