car won't start. Please help!
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This is a discussion on car won't start. Please help! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My 2004 wrx wagon wouldn't start up this morning. Here are the symptoms. - @ 30 degrees F outside - ...

  1. #1
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    car won't start. Please help!

    My 2004 wrx wagon wouldn't start up this morning. Here are the symptoms.

    - @ 30 degrees F outside
    - car started up on my first try, but after about 20 seconds, the idle was rough and then the car stalled.
    - successive tries were unsuccessful, with a flashing CEL while the engine was turning over.
    - low fuel light on with gauge almost at zero, so I added two gallons (91 octane) from a gas can... but the same problem persisted (and the gas light is still on, and the gauge doesn't appear to have moved).
    - I managed to get the car to start once more (with no CEL while the engine was running), but again it stalled after about 10 seconds.


    Background info: A week ago, I took to car for a 1000 mile trip... then the car sat for about a week while I was in NY for thanksgiving. Also, I have a Cobb Stage 2 reflash with uppipe and TBE.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Joe

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    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    Vapor Lock?
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    In -30 weather I hope you are running a 5W or lower motor oil.

    My guess is that you ran out of gas and have frozen gunk in the fuel lines.

    Put more high octane gas in it. Check the battery to make sure you have enough power. Check the oil level; a 1000 mile trip will consume more oil than 1000 miles of regular driving, and you may be surprized to find you are low.

    Turn the key to ON and listen carefully for the fuel pump whine. Then crank the motor.
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    thanks for the quick response. The temperature is +30 degrees (it's only gotten down to about 20 degrees the last few nights), and I am using 5W30. I'll have to check the oil level when I get back from work, but I did check it halfway through the trip and it was fine.

  6. #5
    Registered User JRod's Avatar
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    Is your CEL still on? If so pull the code, if not try to pull it anyway. Sometimes info is stored without the CEL on.

    It really does sound like a fuel problem. Maybe running it that low caused some condensation to form in the tank or even get some water in the fuel lines.

    Maybe some of that dry gas stuff would work, I really dont have any personal experience to recommend that though.
    2002 WRX Sedan-Silver
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    Well, I was able to solve the problem. Got the car started, and kept giving it gas when the RPMs started to drop. Made it over to the Chevron station, filled up, and the problem seems to have gone away.

    Now here's the weird part. I was never close to being out of gas (realized this after filling up at the Chevron station w/ only 7 gallons). Even when I left the car for the week there were 4 gallons of gas left. So after manually adding another 4 gallons (8 gallons total), the low fuel light was still on, and the gas gauge read below zero. Coincidentally, the last time I refueled, it was at a small rinky-dink gas station in the middle of nowehere on the way back from my road trip. I think I may have gotten some bad gas, and while sitting for the week, somehow the float in the gas tank got stuck or something. Anyway, it's good to have the car back to normal. Also, I took a ride to the local AutoZone, and no CEL codes were stored. Thanks for the responses, guys.

    - Joe

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    Registered User JRod's Avatar
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    Glad to hear she's back on-line. Be carefull with those no-name gas stations. Actually be carefull with all gas stations. I got a bad tank from Sunoco the other day. Find one you trust and try to stick to it if you can.
    2002 WRX Sedan-Silver
    Turbo XS UTEC Stage IV (VF34)+TMIC, STI RA gears, Exedy clutch/flywheel

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    Problem happened again, this time I had it towed to the dealer.

    The Cause: Wires connected to the ECU were loose. Should have swapped ECU's myself instead of letting Cobb do it.

    The Price: $80 in labor. (luckily roadside assistance covered the towing)

    The Lesson: Always work on your car yourself whenever possible.

  10. #9
    Registered User capt'n'caveman's Avatar
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    well, at least the problem is solve, and it's always good to see what the problem was, danx for the update
    k&n, sti-hoodscoop, engine mounts, & tranny mount, blitz dtt, catless up-pipe, samco ic hose, greddy CC, cusco f/r swaybars, gutted midpipe, oil cooler, prodrive exhaust & f/r replica sti strut tower bar, gunmetal rota tarmac, goodridge ss lines, p'n'p exhaust manifold

    deny the fly-by

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    did the dealer say anything about your mods???
    04 JBP STi

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    I didn't get to speak with them in person. The service guy just told me over the phone that a wire to the ECU was loose and it wasn't going to be covered under warrantee. I assume they saw the Cobb sticker, but they didn't make a big deal over it like blacklisting me, "voiding" my warrantee, or ratting me out to the Roadside Assistance folks.

    Personally, I'm cool with being denied a warrantee claim as long as it was indeed a direct result of my mods. And this was a perfect example. I was just pissed that I didn't figure out the problem myself before I had to take it in (and that the ECU wasn't secured properly after my reflash).

  13. #12
    Registered User 20wrx02's Avatar
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    they didnt tell you but cross your fingers that they didnt MARK ur VIN as VOID WARRENTY for future services..

    anywho... send COBB the reciept for the labor and have them pay for it since it was there mistake

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