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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well everyone, terrible news for the STi (maybe?) I have been driving myself nuts over this and I hope you don't mind reading a long winded post to possibly lead me in the right direction. So here it goes, I will do my best to make this as readable, and tolerable as I can.

This past Tuesday (9/18/2018) I made a big step for me and for the STi. I bought a new daily. A 2007 Honda CR-V in excellent condition. I bought this to replace the daily duties for the STi with the intentions of starting to make the Subaru track ready in the spring. I was very excited to hit this point as it has always been a dream to AutoX the STi and use it for what I feel are the cars intended purposes.

When I bought the Honda and got handed the key I had a feeling of accomplishment and happiness and was ready to get the STi home, cleaned, and put away for the winter. Now, I was driving the CR-V, and the girlfriend was driving the STi home. Everything was fine. She was following me and we were just cruising. (before anyone bashes me for letting the GF drive, she drives a clutch and has driven the STi many times with ZERO issues) After about an hour of driving I decided to stop for gas and drinks. We pull off of the interstate, her following me, and come to a stop at a stop light. The light goes green, I pull out assuming she is behind me and pull into the gas station. I then realized she wasn't behind me. About 5 mins later she calls and said the car died and will not start. Oh crap.... :mad:

So I go and get turned around and pull up behind her in the STi. First and foremost I checked the accessport for CEL's. There are NONE. When I tried to start the car is would attempt to crank one or two times and die with nothing. My initial thought was maybe the battery. Luckily, there was an autozone a few seconds away. I go over and the guy that worked there brought out a jump pack to try and jump start the car. He attaches it, same thing. No go. It would attempt to turn over and just die. Next he brought out a battery tester and tested the battery. The battery tested good on his machine. At this point I am starting to freak out. Called my insurance and started a roll back to get the car. About an hour later the tow truck arrives. He tried his much more powerful jump pack and at this point (about an hour and half after the car shut off and with everything cooled down) the car didn't even attempt to turn over. I couldn't even hear the starter try to crank the engine. The pulley's would jump a little and the lights would dim and nothing.

Now, at this point I am assuming the worst. But, the tow truck driver says he has seen this before, and although rare, he thinks its the starter. My first thoughts were that it was in no way the starter, as it has shown no signs of being bad ever. And the chances the starter caused the car to die while running does not add up. Still he (tow truck driver) insisted that it was the starter. Claiming that he has seen starter malfunction and some electrical with it kills the car and the end result being what happened to me. Now I am not saying I believe or disbelieve the driver, but it all seems like BS to me.

With no other option and me at my wits end, I opt out just to have the car towed home and deal with it when I have time. Once the car made its way home and back safely in my driveway I tried starting it a couple more times. Here are a couple things I have ruled out. 1) I am getting fuel from the pump as I can hear it prime loudly and normally when turning the ignition to "on". So it is not the fuel pump. And 2) I do not think its the battery as all lights, windows, headlights, radio, etc work when the ignition is in the "on" position. However, now when I try to start it, everything lights up as normal, but when attempting to start, the lights flicker a few times with a couple clicking sounds and them dim away.

I think my next course of action is to remove the starter and have it bench tested at my local auto parts store. I am praying that the engine is not seized up. This option seems highly unlikely. As I check my oil regularly and just changed the oil about 2-3 weeks ago. I did check the dip stick and there is plenty of oil with no metal shavings or anything unordinary on the dip stick.

I am just lost right now on possible outcomes and where to start if it is not the starter. If the starter does indeed check off as being OK, I will drain the oil next and look for metal in the oil. And if there is, it will be rebuild time.
 

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Don't get too worried to start off with, it's not worth the missing hair. My girlfriend's car did something similar not too long ago. No signs before, but all of a sudden wouldn't start. We were thinking either starter relay or starter. Got a new relay, that wasn't it. We took in the starter to get it tested, they said it was fine, we put it back in and it wasn't. Ended up throwing in a new starter and it worked perfectly. So! Don't think seized motor just yet.
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah man, I hope that's all it is. Just weird how it shut off while running. Not like I went out in the morning after it sat all night and it wouldn't start. Also forgot to mention that I tried hand cranking it and couldn't get it to move. Granted I was only using a 1/2 inch ratchet with no breaker bar. So maybe I didn't have enough leverage to spin it without a breaker bar. But if I cant get it to spin by hand, then the only way its the starter is if the motor is engaged and stuck to the flywheel.
 

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Water.....sometimes waves
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Everything you describe sounds like battery. Or a connection on the battery or other end of the batt cables (starter or ground)
 

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Yeah man, I hope that's all it is. Just weird how it shut off while running. Not like I went out in the morning after it sat all night and it wouldn't start. Also forgot to mention that I tried hand cranking it and couldn't get it to move. Granted I was only using a 1/2 inch ratchet with no breaker bar. So maybe I didn't have enough leverage to spin it without a breaker bar. But if I cant get it to spin by hand, then the only way its the starter is if the motor is engaged and stuck to the flywheel.
I guess when reading I thought you said you were both at the gas station... meaning the car was turned off. That's really odd.. it seems like she would've been able to tell if something went wrong with the engine.. Did she say she killed it and wouldn't start again? Cause if that happened, I could see starter, but otherwise I agree with rqjoe.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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We all ar every well aware electrical issues are not my strong suit, but let me bounce some thoughts around for you.

Check the ECU and its wiring harness, if its loose who knows what it can do.

Check any aftermarket security/remote start/radar/stereo system. I have seen a similar issue with a coworkers maxima and his bajilliondy wats of thump. It smoked the alternator and ensuing battery issues followed.

Take the battery to other places to verify its not shot. I've got zero trust in autozone.

Put a breaker bar on the crank pulley and twist, if it moves it should be fine. Should being the key word. May not be ideal, but if it moves it may be worth draining the oil just in case before you fire it up to make sure there is no bearing material in it.

I don't think its the starter personally. Plug the AP in and make sure the clutch switch works. I have absolutely seen those fail, and on vehicles that wont let you crank with out the clutch disengaged it wont start. I've actually seen this often in jeeps, luckily you can crank it over in 4-low without disengaging the clutch so you can getto push start the jeep.
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I don't know fella's. I will check everything you guys have mentioned. Its just odd. Not like I have ever waited 10k+ miles between oil changes. The engine has never been starved of oil. I have always changed it between 3-3.5k miles, and with motul since my tune. I mean hell, back in April (which wasn't too long ago) the compression of the engine was perfect, 153 on cylinder 1 and 151 on 2,3, and 4. If the engine is seize up I am completely mind blown. I know you pay to play and all that. But not like I was pushing crazy power with a big turbo on a stock block.

I just thank God that this happened on the very day I bought another car, or I would be royally screwed. Someone above was looking out for me there.
 

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BooSTIng
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2,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Worse comes to worse Ill be pulling the motor this winter, sending the heads to IAG to be resurfaced, ported and polished, bigger cams, and better valves and valve springs. Rip everything off of the stock motor that is reusable, and ordering a stage 2 block from IAG at tax time. Had every intention of doing all of that anyway. Just not this soon. Praying its not the engine. FML. :blowup:
 

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I honestly don’t think it’s the engine. You would hear the starter engage and grind. I think it’s electrical
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I thought about that. I don't see why I couldn't. A battery is a battery right? Take the battery right out of the equation.

And yeah XJ, I hope not too. But I am preparing for the worst, hoping for the best at this point. Just everything about it seems odd. Like no noises or signs of any of this happening. I drove the car all the way up to get the Honda and had zero issues. Drove like a dream. No CEL's. All electronics working as normal. Just try to crank it and everything dies off. Kind of like an alternator being bad. But alternators don't just die all at once. You should have dimming headlights, windows going up/down slower, etc. Ill start digging into it this week. Thanks for the words of encouragement fellas. As my one friend has said seized motor to me about 50 times. lol
 

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Honestly my first thought was battery or alternator . . . and I have had alternators crap out without warning. That said, I am nowhere near being mechanically inclined.
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alternator is also an option. I will check it as well. It is on the check off list.
 

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Probably could have a subie shop diagnose in an hour. Probably worth your time to just take it to a professional and at least find the root cause. Doesn't sound like motor blown up. Usually they stay knocking and stuff far before they seize entirely
 

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Water.....sometimes waves
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I am still betting on the battery; click click clicking of relay was the clue.

Oh, and don't just "jump" your battery to try to start it. If it is an internal battery fault, jumping does no good. Any battery of sufficient amp-hours will work.
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Havent even had a chance to look at the car yet. Every opportunity I have had it has been raining. Ugh. I think I am going to check the obvious stuff; battery, alternator, starter, and drain the oil to check for metal if none of the previous was the issue. If no answers arise, Im going to trailer it to Subaru.
 

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BooSTIng
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am still betting on the battery; click click clicking of relay was the clue.

Oh, and don't just "jump" your battery to try to start it. If it is an internal battery fault, jumping does no good. Any battery of sufficient amp-hours will work.
Not to question your intelligence rq, but can someone confirm this? I always thought that no matter what jumping a car using another car/good battery should work regardless of the issue with the battery in your car.
 

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Not to question your intelligence rq, but can someone confirm this? I always thought that no matter what jumping a car using another car/good battery should work regardless of the issue with the battery in your car.
On a modern car I’m genuinely not sure. I wasn’t able to jump my old ladies 2012 legacy even from my dual battery truck. I had to buy a new one
 

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WRX-maniac said:
Not to question your intelligence rq, but can someone confirm this? I always thought that no matter what jumping a car using another car/good battery should work regardless of the issue with the battery in your car.
I've had a situation where jumping a vehicle didn't work, as well. Replaced the battery, and was fine for years.

I didn't pay to have any diagnostics done (it wasn't a young battery), so I have no scientific proof; I chalked it up to an internal issue with the battery where it wasn't allowing transfer of energy (think of a dam on a waterway), so it didn't matter that I had a steady supply of energy on the other end of the jumper cables, since it was all being lost internally of my battery.
 
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