'98 Outback Legacy Electrical - the car stops dead! - problem.

M

Michael Hudson

Hello there. I've a '98 Outback Legacy with 200+ G's on it in total,
about 70 G's on the present engine. When we bought the car about six
months ago (from friends, for two-grand) the Check Engine light had
been on and the car went through oil like it was going out of style.
Which it is. In any event, our friends allowed as how the CE light had
been on since they put the new(er) engine in and the guy who put it in
said not to worry about it, it had to do with the engine being
slightly bigger than the original. Or something. The car ran well
until about a month ago when it died on the highway while, naturally,
my wife was driving it. We got it to a Subaru dealership who
diagnosed the problem as as a bad alternator. We changed the
alternator (and the CE light went out, interestingly) which was groovy
for about two weeks, when the car commenced to not starting. Took it
to our guy who kept it for about four days and could find nothing
wrong. Started and ran fine for him. Back to us this Friday last.
Took it fishing Saturday AM, no problem. When it was time to get the
car to load the canoe, however, she's a no go. No cranking, no dash
lights, no dome light when you open the door, no radio display. Pushed
it backwards, nothing. Pushed it a bit further backwards and then
forwards again to attempt a jump start. Nada, zip, zilch, bupkis.
Left the car at the boat landing while friends and family rescued us
and went back to the landing about four hours later and it started up
just fine. It died completely, however, after driving it about a
mile. Our mechanic says that it's probably a problem in the wiring
harness and, short of checking each and every wire, he's at a loss as
to what to do.

Does anybody have a thought on this, aside from checking each and
every wire?

Thanks in advance,

Michael Hudson
 
Yeah, some advice.

Post the name of the retard that told you a CEL light is "normal" after an
engine replacement so the rest of us can avoid him.

If it stops dead, then starts later electrical wiring is probably the
culprit.

Take it to someone who knows Subarus and knows what they are doing, not
Bubba's bait and car repair shop.
 
Yeah, some advice.

Post the name of the retard that told you a CEL light is "normal" after an
engine replacement so the rest of us can avoid him.

If it stops dead, then starts later electrical wiring is probably the
culprit.

Take it to someone who knows Subarus and knows what they are doing, not
Bubba's bait and car repair shop.

The Subaru dealership said it was the alternator, which it wasn't.
Hence my predicament.

M
 
The Subaru dealership said it was the alternator, which it wasn't.
Hence my predicament.

It probably *was* the alternator at first. If it was putting out bad
voltages, that would explain some of the wires elsewhere in the system
burning out.

That happened to me, years ago. The alternator went bad, and when I
replaced it, the right headlight and the tail lights stopped working
(I ran a line directly to the bulbs from the cigarette lighter to fix
that one) -- and you had to leave the blower fan on all the time,
because if it died suddenly, it meant you also had no brake lights and
had to kick the fusebox until it came back on.
 
Michael Hudson said:
Hello there. I've a '98 Outback Legacy with 200+ G's on it in total,
about 70 G's on the present engine. When we bought the car about six
months ago (from friends, for two-grand) the Check Engine light had
been on and the car went through oil like it was going out of style.
Which it is. In any event, our friends allowed as how the CE light had
been on since they put the new(er) engine in and the guy who put it in
said not to worry about it, it had to do with the engine being
slightly bigger than the original. Or something. The car ran well
until about a month ago when it died on the highway while, naturally,
my wife was driving it. We got it to a Subaru dealership who
diagnosed the problem as as a bad alternator. We changed the
alternator (and the CE light went out, interestingly) which was groovy
for about two weeks, when the car commenced to not starting.

Seems like you should be within a limited warranty on that alternator
work?

What is the CEL code?
 
Seems like you should be within a limited warranty on that alternator
work?

What is the CEL code?

I've no idea what the code is/was, Todd. Like I said, the light had
been on, apparently, for many thousands of miles before I bought it.
And the new alternator checks out as fine, I'm told (If y'all haven't
sussed it out yet, I'm a moron when it comes to car repair. Not
unlike Blanche Dubois, I rely on the kindness of strangers.). And the
car's been to three places so far... an award-winning auto-tech
instructor (who said that the alternator was putting out ever-so-
slightly fewer volts or amps or whatever it is that they put out and
therefore didn't think that was the immediate culprit... he voted for
a wiring issue that he didn't have time to look for), a Subaru
dealership who said it was the alternator, and a third, independent
but well established mechanic in the Subaru realm (you can't swing a
cat around here without hitting a Subaru).

M
 
I'm thinking the electrical problem is not that much of a problem. You
could always start diagnosing the problem when nothing seems to work.
Good time to test the battery. If the battery checks out good then
eliminate it and the alternator. Since those 2 components are good, move
on down the cicuit. Do you have current flow in and out of the
fuse/circuit breaker panel? Check for voltage at the ignition switch.

Or just for jollys really inspect both the battery terminals and cables.
Check both the + and _ cables. Seems to me since nothing inside the car
works then the problem is probably with the battery cables.

This car also has a bunch of grounding straps all over it. Engine
recently replaced? Good chance one or more were overlooked.
 
I'm thinking the electrical problem is not that much of a problem. You
could always start diagnosing the problem when nothing seems to work.
Good time to test the battery. If the battery checks out good then
eliminate it and the alternator. Since those 2 components are good, move
on down the cicuit. Do you have current flow in and out of the
fuse/circuit breaker panel? Check for voltage at the ignition switch.

Or just for jollys really inspect both the battery terminals and cables.
Check both the + and _ cables. Seems to me since nothing inside the car
works then the problem is probably with the battery cables.

This car also has a bunch of grounding straps all over it. Engine
recently replaced? Good chance one or more were overlooked.

Thanks, John. I'ma print this out and give it to My Guy.

M
 
Michael said:
The Subaru dealership said it was the alternator, which it wasn't.
Hence my predicament.

M

Post your location. Most of us regulars have found or know of good
independent local shops specializing in Subarus. There's also huge
differences in dealerships as well.
 
Post your location. Most of us regulars have found or know of good
independent local shops specializing in Subarus. There's also huge
differences in dealerships as well.

Hey! My Guy seems to have found a fuseable link, whatever that is,
that was loose and an unattached something or other in the wiring
harness that he thinks may have been overlooked when the alternator
was changed. In any event, it's running now like it did before, which
is to say that it runs. And oddly enough, the CEL is back on. Ah,
well.

Thanks for the two cents worth, everybody. It was appreciated.

And since Nobody asked, I'm in southeastern Vermont.

Happy Motoring,

M
 
Just a high current fuse.


Good. Yeah, a loose fusible link would cause some problems--it's
basically the "master" fuse for the entire electrical system.


Get the code read, and write it down for your next post. :)


Subaru country!

I'll do just that, Todd, and thanks. I'm sure I'll be posting again
about this chariot before long!

M
 
Michael Hudson said:
Hey! My Guy seems to have found a fuseable link, whatever that is,

Just a high current fuse.
that was loose and an unattached something or other in the wiring
harness that he thinks may have been overlooked when the alternator
was changed. In any event, it's running now like it did before, which
is to say that it runs.

Good. Yeah, a loose fusible link would cause some problems--it's
basically the "master" fuse for the entire electrical system.
And oddly enough, the CEL is back on. Ah, well.

Get the code read, and write it down for your next post. :)
Thanks for the two cents worth, everybody. It was appreciated.
And since Nobody asked, I'm in southeastern Vermont.

Subaru country!
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
13,962
Messages
67,556
Members
7,446
Latest member
tmp1k

Latest Threads

Back
Top