Question about 1996 Subaru Legacy

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96 subaru legacy starter problem

The starter bench tests to be ok.  When I turn the key, I can hear the starter solenoid click, then silence.  The parts store suggests a relay.  I cannot find a starter relay.  Earlier, when I could not afford the repairs, a shop said it was the starter. Now that I can afford the starter (thanks Dad) the parts store says the starter is fine?  Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

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  • kennyorders Jan 27, 2009

    The problem has been fixed.  The solenoid was trashed and was not allowing enough current to turn the engine.  The bench test was "no-load" so it passed.  A new starter fixed the problem.  Thanks to all who had ideas

  • anti69 May 11, 2010

    does the starter problem only show up when it's warmed up?



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I have run into this problem. The installation location of the starter is very critical to have a good ground. On the EJ25 motors the way the starter mounts with one bolt to the trans and the other through the trans to the block makes it difficult to get a really good ground. I would make sure you have a nice clean secure ground. Hope this solves your problem, nothing worse than having a Subie and not being able to use it. Good luck.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009


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Low battery (Check battery voltage, recharge if low, or jump start with another vehicle or battery charger).
Loose or corroded battery cables (Inspect, clean and tighten BOTH ends of BOTH battery cables).
Bad starter relay wiring connections or ground connection (Inspect, clean, tighten wiring connections).
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Open P/N safety switch, or open Brake Pedal Safety Switch (automatic transmission) or open Clutch Pedal Switch (manual transmission). Bypass switch with jumper wire to see if engine cranks, or use test light or voltmeter to check for voltage passing through switch when ignition is turned to start.
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My 96 subaru legacy w/2.2 engine wont start especially when cold.if i keep turning the key on and off it clicks then will eventually catch

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I have a 1995 subaru legacy. battery looses charge. i tested the battery and it test good. i had alt checked on the bench tester and it passes bench test but will still not charge battery? could there...

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You're describing a no rotation issue and not a no start issue correct? If you dont hear/feel the starter relay clicking, it eliminates everything in the circuit to that point meaning the ignition switch, Transmission Range Sensor (TRS) (you don't have a neutral start switch unless you have a rare manual transmission), ground input from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to the starter relay coil, and starter relay are good. Based on what you've said that leaves the primary battery cable from the battery to the starter, and the wire from the starter relay to the starter solenoid contact on the starter. Have you checked their continuity? One more voltage to check at contact 30 (input volts from battery to starter relay contacts) on the starter relay socket. Should see 12vdc all the time.

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Autoparts stores like autozone will lend you a good battery while they charge yours if it tests low & after making sure the battery is fully charged, clean the terminal connections and try again. If you still have the problem you will need to test the solenoid & starter independently after checking to be sure the starter is tightly installed, no wiggle & the wires all have good connections as mentioned above. Good luck.

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