Starting issue

Asked by Dekle78 Sep 26, 2019 at 08:29 PM about the Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am having intermittent starting
issues with my 1997 Subaru Outback.
Sometimes it doesn’t turn over, just
gives one loud click. Usually will kick
in in 3-5 attempts. Is this the starter,
spark plugs, or perhaps fuel line
issue?

1 Answer

1,820

Start by cleaning the battery terminals well, replacing the soft brass ones with generic heavy ones if necessary. If a fully charged battery doesn't solve the problem the usual cause is a worn out set of solenoid contacts in the starter assy. This is a fairly easy fix if you can reach the lower starter mounting bolt (either from the bottom or top; bottom is easier if you can get under there) to remove the starter. Then separate the solenoid and replace the inner brass contact set (about $15 at dealer) and you're good to go. It's very rare for a solenoid or starter to actually be worn out, but these soft brass contacts abrade away often. Then again, it's a 22 yr old starter assy, so a cheapie from a boneyard might be an option...but replace ITS contacts before you install it too! Have fun. Ern TSG/B

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