Question about 2008 Subaru B9 Tribeca

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Intermittent Starting Problems 2008 Tribeca

On 1/19, we had snow on the ground, the car was hard to start, like it had a weak battery, figured it was the cold. Same thing on 1/20. Then after it warmed up, no issues.
Starting 1/31 the Tribeca got worse. Now, without warning or reason, the car will not start in the morning. Only in the morning, not in the afternoon or evening. Once we get it started, it will start the rest of the day with no issues, first time every time.
Each time we have tried to start it; my wife gives it 10-15 seconds to catch.
It makes three noises, one sounds like the starter is spinning but not engaging. Then we can make our 2nd attempt and it sounds like the motor is being spun over with the starter, but no fuel.
Our 3rd attempt my wife will feather the gas pedal (like you would do with old carbureted cars) and the Tribeca, after a couple pops that sound like detonation in the exhaust manifolds, will eventually start. Once started it will run rough for 5-10 seconds and then even out and run fine the rest of the day.
This only happens in the morning, but not every morning. She has left it at the dealership for three different mornings now and they cannot duplicate it. This happens whether we use the key or the remote start.

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  • 1 more comment 
  • fstasntz Feb 10, 2009

    As of today the dealer has determined it is not a fuel pump or a battery related issue. Issue cannot be duplicated while at dealership. Battery and charging system pass a load test without issue.

  • fstasntz Feb 12, 2009

    We were finally able to get the Tribeca to act up while at the dealership. Looks like it may be the coolant temp sensor. They have overnighted one and will install today.

  • fstasntz Feb 25, 2009

    It has been two weeks, looks like the sensor did the trick. This issue is solved.


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Fit a New Heavy Duty Battery !

Good Luck !

A FixYa rating would be nice !


Posted on Feb 10, 2009

  • John Quinn
    John Quinn Feb 12, 2009


    I have my fingers crossed for you !



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I have the same problem with my 08 subaru legacy 3.0r. Its only in the mornings that it wont start. I have had brought it back to the place where i go in installed twice, first time to up the voltage on the battery receiver and then second to find tach and hard wire it in to the tach wire. still nothing. very frustrating

Posted on Dec 17, 2009

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