Car is a 91 subaru legacy 2wd

Several months ago I had a problem where my fuel pump went bad and I had it replaced, so I have some recollection of what that sounds like when it just doesn't turn over (if thats the proper term). Cranked but didn't start. That was a separate and resolved issue but just to say I at least know what that sounds like.

2 days ago I had a problem where I was trying to start it (after driving for about 10 minutes) and it would sound like it started but then stopped and then had a sound that was similar to when the fuel pump died but higher pitched, less chugging for the best way to describe it. As far as I remember in terms of sound it was quite a bit different (from when the fuel pump was dead) though, it didn't go into the repeating sound immediately and sounded like it started properly before going into a higher pitched sounding cranking. Was somewhat low on gas (at about 1/10th full I was about to go to the gas station) so I refueled it using a gascan to see if that would fix it. Still didn't start up properly even an hour after and had it towed. Today I went to actually record the sound, and it started normally. Any idea what would sometimes stop it from starting and sometimes not? I hadn't driven it very much so it wasn't hot and it sat for about an hour and a half and still wouldn't start. More fuel didn't help either. And like I said it sat for about 36 hours then started up seemingly with no issues though I didn't trust driving it anywhere.

Any tips/ideas or things I can test? Will try recording audio if it happens again.

Before posting just gave it another try, 2 hours after it was working before. Seemed to start up normally and I put the gas down a bit and everything seemed fine. Only change would have been there was more fuel added (even if this didn't help it at first) and it sat for 36 hours.


  • More details on what you notice when: 1) The car starts up, and 2) The car doesn't start up, would be very helpful. It may or may not be related to the fuel system, so only providing those details doesn't give us much to work with. – Hari Ganti Mar 21 '17 at 1:56
  • The car seems to be starting up fine now but I'm not confident enough to drive it anywhere. When it wasn't it was it's hard to describe but I detailed the previous fuel incident to sort of help describe it. When the fuel pump was totally dead it made a distinctly different sound. What it did now was sound like it started up normally [up to about 3/4 seconds here] (youtube.com/watch?v=UXVODDCkMUQ) and then would start making a cranking sound higher pitched then the fuel pump was totally dead. – Kevin McKinnley Mar 21 '17 at 2:55
  • Doing some more research it may have been I didn't let the fuel injector build up pressure before testing it. Do you think that seems reasonable or is there something else more serious it might be. – Kevin McKinnley Mar 21 '17 at 3:00
  • As I've said, your laser-focus on a fuel system problem is hindering our ability to diagnose anything. The problem may not be in the fuel system at all. It's possible that you have an electrical system problem, but you aren't providing any other information. Reformatting your post as I've suggested should help us help you. – Hari Ganti Mar 21 '17 at 18:02

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