View Full Version : 2000 Legacy Wagon - intermittent cranking and power lock issues

05-21-2009, 08:36 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am new here, and trying to help my friend who has crashed her wagon. The car had the rad pushed into the engine in a collision with a dump truck.

I replaced the rad and have had it running, but there are a couple of issues.

The starter won't crank. I replaced the battery, and with the aid of jump start from another car, the turning the key will enable cranking over, but not right away. With another car jumping it, after a few minutes of trying it will all of a sudden crank over with the key and run just fine. With out the jump start, I have not been able to do this.

I tested the starter with a wire from the + side of the battery to the solenoid and it cranks no problem. I put a test lite on the solenoid power wire and turned the key and there does not seem to be any juice there.

So that is obviously the problem. But what to do now? I need help with this.


The other thing that is up since the accident, is that the power locks don't seem to be keeping fully activated. What happens is that the drivers door lock won't stay fully unlocked by itself. If one is not turning the key in the lock outside and lifting the handle at the same time, the ds door cannot be opened. If I flick all the locks on and off from inside, and open the door instantly, I can get it open without the key, but in a moment later, it will only open part way or not at all.

I suspect a small leak in the air pressure system for the locks. When the power locks are flipped on or off from inside, I can see the system pushing the locks closed or open, but then it relaxes after a moment. I think that if it could maintain pressure it would stay unlocked, but it is losing pressure. Is it normal for it to relax back like that? I think I can hear something toward the pass side rear of the car when activating the locks. Is there an accumulator there?

ANY help would be really appreciated. I have never worked on Subarus before. but only on a few dozen Jettas.

Thanks in advance.


05-23-2009, 04:02 PM
Thanks for your reply rutech! Much appreciated.

The car was hit dead center in the front. Headlights and fenders untouched. It hit the trailer hitch or something and just punched a fist size pushed the rad into the pulleys quite hard.

Wiring harness looks okay. Was untouched. I pulled some connectors apart thinking there might be some corrosion, but they are all clean as a whistle.

I guess I could pull the column apart and see if theres juice at the ignition switch...

Thanks for the info about the locks. All 3 other doors work fine. Just the drivers side. I will pull apart and check the rods. Probably that will be it...

If you have any other ideas feel free...! thanks again!


05-23-2009, 04:08 PM
another question... when i pulled out the old rad, there are lines from the auto trans to the bottom of the rad. Over a litre of red fluid came out of those lines. I have not refilled yet, have reconnected the lines and had it running for 5 minutes.

There looks to be the dip/filler for the trans by the firewall on the passenger side/center of the car. I had to pull the air cleaner off to get to it. That seemed strange to me, but stranger still when I pulled the dipstick out, the fluid was not red but almost clear!

Is that the place to refill the trans?

many thx

05-24-2009, 02:30 AM
Thanks a lot rutech! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond to my questions! I'll let you know what happens.


05-24-2009, 03:15 PM
Hooray!!! The starting problem was because of a security system interrupting pwr between the ignition switch and the starting motor. The security system module is now in my garbage can and the car starts on command!


Can't see that atf filler though. No sign of it by the brake fluid reservoir. I must be blind.

I'm thinking you are right about the lock actuator. Can I swap pass side door to drivers ya think?

05-24-2009, 03:34 PM
nevermind! I see it now. right there by the booster as you said. thanks