Subaru RV Wont Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to Most Common Problems

Intro

As a trained car mechanic with over 20 years of hands on experience, I’ve helped plenty of people struggling when their Subaru RV Won’t Start. And I’ll be straight with you, not being able to start your car when you need to drive straight up sucks.

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place, no need to keep googling searches like “reasons Subarus won’t start“, I got you covered. My name’s Robby, a certified auto mechanic with over two decades of experience, and in this guide, I’ll outline the usual explanations for why your RV refuses to start. I’ll detail all the routine suspects so you can identify what’s causing issues, plus what to do to fix each particular problem. Drawing on my two decades of personal experience, I’ll provide actionable diagnostic pointers to get your Subaru RV up and moving as soon as possible!

Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.

An online mechanic can help you solve the issue much faster, and save money doing it.

They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

Why Won’t My a Subaru Start?

Subaru RV wont start

Before we tackle the laundry list of possible faults and fixes, it’s key to first gain an understanding of the central issue. When you hop in your Subaru RV and realize “it won’t start!”, there could be multiple components causing the troubles. Maybe the engine doesn’t turn over whatsoever, or maybe it’s turning over partially yet not igniting. Or you might notice clicking sounds when you try to start it, but ultimately nothing happens. All these situations can indicate various problems under the hood.

Common Reasons Why Your Subaru RV Won’t Start

There are numerous culprits as to why your RV won’t start. Typical causes include a dead or weak battery, faulty alternator, starter motor failures, fuel system snags, plus electrical or wiring defects. Every one of these concerns can present differently, requiring specific methods of diagnosis and repair to get you driving again ASAP. All of which, we’ll delve into.

Symptoms of a Subaru RV That Won’t Start

Identifying these red flags will lead you to the underlying mechanical problem. For instance, when you turn the key and you hear it turning over yet no start up, it often indicates a fuel or ignition issue.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Subaru RV Won’t Start

The initial move in solving the no-start hassle is identifying the exact origin of the issue. So let’s examine the most common explanations for the RV struggling to start when you turn the key.

Battery Issues in a Subaru RV

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

In the vast majority of situations, the most common reason a Subaru RV won’t start comes down to battery troubles. Specifically, a weak or dead battery prevents the engine from cranking. The car’s battery delivers the necessary electrical juice to ignite the engine and energize all your vehicle’s electrical components. Signals of a failing battery entail labored or difficult cranking, dim headlights, or a warning light illuminated on the dash. A battery charger can recharge a dead battery if you don’t have the help of another vehicle to jump start it, but do have an electrical socket nearby like at home.  And a portable jump starter lets you charge p the battery without another vehicle, and by the roadside without the need for an electrical socket, so you are never stuck.

Alternator Problems in a Subaru RV

car wont start alternator

The Alternator keeps the battery charged by using engine power while driving. A worn out alternator can easily prevent your Subaru RV from starting since it fails to recharge the battery, draining it fully so that one day you climb into your wheels and it simply can’t start. Symptoms of a problematic alternator can be an illuminated battery or alternator caution light on its dashboard, faint headlights while idling, or a grinding noise from the engine while running.

Starter Motor Failures in a Subaru RV

car wont start wont turn over

The starter motor is key to cranking the engine when you attempt to start your Subaru. In the event of starter problems, the engine may fail to crank, preventing your RV from starting. Listen out for clicking noises when you turn the key or grinding while trying to start, potentially signaling starter troubles.

Fuel System Issues in a Subaru RV

car wont start fuel filter

We’re not talking about running out of gas like a silly goose. Instead, it’s issues with the fuel system itself potentially leaving your RV unable to start. Your Subaru RV uses fuel to mix with air and runs the engine. So problems here like a clogged fuel filter or damaged fuel pump relay can result in the engine is unable to get the fuel it requires for ignition. Fuel injectors can also get clogged over time, so try a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line to clean them out and improve starting.

Electrical System or Wiring Problems in a Subaru RV

car wont start electrical issue
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

Ok, well yes that image is a joke, but I want to emphasize today’s cars depend greatly on electronics, increasing the number of things that can go wrong. With older cars, common culprits include blown fuses, ignition problems, faulty ignition switches, or non-working sensors. Electrical issues and electronics like these can all prevent your vehicle from starting. Watch for intermittent starting, dashboard alerts, or failure to crank as indicators pointing to an underlying electrical issue. Diagnosing and repairing these typically requires a knowledgeable mechanic near you.

Solutions: Let’s Get Your Subaru RV Starting Again!

If you think you might know what the issue may be, it’s time to figure out the reason behind your car’s failure to start, and then the logical next move is to attempt to fix the issue. Here are some tips for common problems we’ve covered thus far:

How to Identify and Fix Battery Issues in a Subaru RV

car not starting but battery is fine

The first step if a battery problem is suspected for the no start is to check the battery terminals. Verify they are corrosion-free, tight, and properly connected. If the terminals are in fact dirty, try cleaning them with a baking soda and water solution.

Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:

If the battery charges fully and performs as expected, the issue may be resolved. However, replacing the battery will be required if it is aged, dead or lacks capacity. Otherwise, even sufficiently charging it to start your RV may only provide temporary relief before it likely runs out of power again soon. Using a multimeter or OB2 scanner to evaluate the battery’s condition can determine if it’s worth preserving or requires swapping out. Suitable replacement batteries for your specific Subaru can be found on Amazon here by entering your vehicle details to filter for the right fit and choosing a highly-rated seller.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

If charging your RV’s battery fails to solve ongoing issues like frequent draining and recharging even after installing a new battery, an underlying problem likely causes the excessive drain. Professional diagnostic services would then be needed to inspect and identify the root cause. You can also consult a mechanic online through us or obtain an instant quote from a mobile mechanic.

How to Identify and Fix Alternator Problems in a Subaru RV

Car wont start replace alternator needed

If you think the alternator is the reason your vehicle won’t start, a test can confirm. If you can temporarily get the auto running (you may need a jump start), with the engine on, disconnect the positive battery terminal. It’s probably the alternator if the motor conks out soon after disconnecting the positive lead. Keep in mind though this test can be risky and damage delicate electronics in your ride, so it’s best to consult with an experienced mechanic in your town or online first since this test risks harming the delicate electronics in your car.

If you figure out that the alternator is the problem, it’s a case of having it replaced. I recommend consulting an online or local mechanic as they will advise you on how difficult the repair is for your specific model, and you can work out if you want to try it yourself, or with the advice of an online mechanic

If you do want to try it yourself or take it to a local garage, you can often buy the replacement parts yourself cheaper than at the garage, but you need to know what to get for your model of Subaru RV. You find all the information you need about your specific vehicle by searching online for something like “run Subaru vin“, which is a purchasable report, that will give the specs for your vehicle and which parts are compatible, and then you can go get the alternator parts you need. However, an easier option is, Amazon probably has the alternator you need online, at a cheaper price, and their site easily shows which ones will go in your specific car model. Check the Amazon alternator page here

How to Identify and Fix Starter Motor Problems in a Subaru RV

starter motor issues in a ford

If you question if the starter motor is the root cause for your RV refusing to start, listen for a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key. If heard, but the engine does not turn over, the starter motor likely requires replacement. You can take it to a local garage and have them repair it, or repair it yourself with the help and advice from an online mechanic guiding you. 

If you need it, one of the cheapest and easiest places to get a new starter motor, for your exact vehicle model is on the Amazon here.

How to Identify and Solve Fuel System Problems in a Subaru RV

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you think a fuel system issue might be causing the no-start, tune your ears for the fuel pump noise when you turn the key to “on” before trying to turn over the car. The pump should emit a quiet humming for a few seconds. If such a noise is not heard, the fuel pump could be defective. Difficult starting, stalling, or lagging acceleration may also result from a problematic or clogged fuel filter. Filter and pump issues usually require a skilled mechanic to diagnose and fix them properly, often involving fuel pressure testing and specialized diagnostic gear. Later in this article, I detail the best ways to get help from a local Subaru mechanic near you. 

How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Problems in a Subaru RV

fuses to check when car wont start

If you suspect it’s an electrical circuitry issue, first check the fuses for the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your RV starts after this, it was a successful, cheap fix! However, if it still won’t start, even sometimes, the ignition switch itself could be faulty. Warning lights on the dashboard could additionally mean a damaged sensor. These can be intricate problems needing a professional mechanic to identify and properly repair (see below advice on local mechanics).

How to Prevent Starting Issues in a Subaru RV

As grandad used to say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Here’s how to avoid future troubles starting your RV:

Routine Maintenance of Your Subaru RV

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine maintenance is critical to avoiding issues, including oil changes, battery checks, cleaning terminals, replacing the fuel filter as needed, and having a mechanic inspect the vehicle regularly. If unsure about maintenance for your model, consult a mechanic locally or online for guidance.

Drive Your RV Frequently

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If your Subaru RV happens to sit parked in your garage or front yard for too long without being driven, the battery can reduce as it is not being recharged by the engine running, through the alternator. Try your best to use your car regularly to keep a charged battery. If you remember you haven’t driven your car in a while, take it for a short spin around town to ensure there is still a charge left.

Note: Letting the battery entirely drain is also bad for its longevity, so try to avoid that.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you notice any weird things like unusual noises, changes in driving and performance, or warning lights lit up on the dashboard, do not ignore them. These are often early signs of an issue that should be addressed ASAP before they escalate into larger problems later on. Consult with a mechanic locally or online about these problems and get advice on if they require attention.

When to Ask a Subaru Mechanic Online

If your schedule is packed, or despite putting in real effort on your own, you still can’t get your car to start, consider consulting a Subaru mechanic online. It delivers quick professional advice from the comfort of home, and is far less expensive than a tow and diagnosis at the local garage.

Benefits of an Online Subaru Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online Subaru mechanics can review your symptoms, past repair history, and circumstances to provide troubleshooting steps tailored to your situation. With so many Subaru mechanics available they can help fix nearly any problem, it doesn’t if matter it’s your RV that’s having issues or a Subaru Gravel Express won’t start, the online mechanics can help sort anything in no time. And with many household budgets tighter these days, the convenience and affordability of online mechanics help, keep your wallet happy too.

You can describe the issues you’re having, ask Subaru mechanics endless questions, and even submit photos and videos so you can show the mechanic what you mean. You can chat with them via instant messenger or phone call, whatever you like. The Subaru mechanic will diagnose the problem, advise the best fix for your particular situation, and even walk you through simple repairs step-by-step.

Whether you want an expert second opinion or are simply short on time, online repairs assistance is there when you need it. Give it a try to see firsthand how convenient fixing problems can be.

So feel free to try out our live chat Subaru dealership service and see for yourself!

When and How to Get a Local Subaru Mechanics Help

automobile mobile mechanic

When your Subaru RV won’t start, and you are unable to repair it yourself, thinking about how to get your vehicle to the garage can be a nightmare. There are options like roadside services, that come to you and can provide simple fixes to get your car moving enough again, so you can get it to a mechanic garage for proper repairs. You can also use a towing service, but these can be costly, easily into the hundreds of dollars. A much better option is the use of a mobile mechanic, who will come to you at your home, place of work, or by the roadside, and carry out repairs there and then for you, so you can get your RV started again ASAP.

So if you think a mobile mechanic is the best solution for you, instead of searching on Google something like  “home mechanic near me“, the best in the USA that also covers most towns is YourMechanicI have personally recommended them to countless people across the country and they always have a great experience.

Reasons I recommend them:

  • They use experienced ASE-certified mechanics
  • They come to you, which is super convenient
  • You see the price upfront, no surprises or hidden fees
  • Low Cost compared to regular garages

If you would like to know more, the process to use them is this.

  1. Visit their official website here: YourMechanic
  2. Get an instant free quote for what you need
  3. Book a time and place for the mechanic to come to you
  4. The mechanic will arrive in a fully stocked repair van and repair it right in front of you
  5. Pay when the job is completed.

Super easy, super reliable, super convenient, and highly recommended.

Conclusion

In short, when your Subaru RV won’t start, it can be a total bummer. However, grasping what might be causing the issues, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what actions are required in each case, and where to find help if needed, will be a huge help. Keep in mind that routine maintenance is vital to avoiding most car problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) When a Subaru RV Won’t Start

Subaru RV won’t start but lights turn on?

If your Subaru RV‘s lights illuminate but it still won’t start, the issue may not be related to the battery. It’s highly possible there is a problem with the engine starter. Check to see if you hear any clicking sounds when trying to turn the key. If so, the starter motor is attempting to activate but failing. Have a mechanic examine the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Subaru RV won’t start but has power?

When your Subaru RV has power (lights, radio etc work) but does not start up, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could prevent fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, have a mechanic check the fuel system.

Subaru RV won’t start but battery is good?

If your Subaru RV‘s battery tests fine and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Possible issues include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can accurately identify the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Subaru RV won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine doesn’t crank, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid attempting to activate the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to crank the engine. As the starter motor needs physical fixing or swapping out, seek help from a reliable mechanic to get your Subaru RV running again.

What if my Subaru RV won’t start up?

First things first, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Check for any odd noises, flashing lights, or changes in how it runs that could point to the issue. Most likely the culprit is one of the common problems we’ll talk about here. If you still can’t locate the exact issue, you’ll have to consult a trusted Subaru mechanic locally or online.

Determine if my Subaru RV won’t start because of the battery?

Signs that your Subaru’s battery is the issue include, a slow cranking engine, dim headlights, and battery alerts lighting up on the dash. Also make sure the battery terminals are clean, corrosion-free, and tightly fastened. If your battery is older it’s probably best to just replace it entirely.

How to prevent my Subaru RV from failing to start in the future?

To prevent this nuisance from repeating, regular upkeep is crucial. This includes oil changes, checking the battery and cleaning its terminals, replacing the fuel filter when needed, and getting your Subaru RV inspected by a mechanic frequently. Also, be diligent about drive the car often so the battery stays charged.

Can I consult an online mechanic if my Subaru RV fails to start up?

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can offer immediate professional Subaru mechanic help and suggestions, without you having to leave your home. If your vehicle fails to start and is stuck in the parking area, this is particularly beneficial.

In what ways can platforms like MechanicAnswer.com provide assistance if my Subaru RV fails to start?

We link you with qualified Subaru mechanics who can offer proposals particular to your exact situation. You can update them about your vehicle troubles, ask unlimited questions as needed, upload videos or pictures so you can fully detail the problem. The specialist auto mechanic will be able to help, identify the problem, and propose the best solution and guide you through it.

Interesting Subaru RV Facts

Did you know that the Subaru RV, also known as the Subaru Rex, was a compact car that was produced by Subaru from 1972 to 1992? It was known for its unique design and compact size, making it a popular choice for urban drivers. The RV was also one of the first cars to feature a turbocharged engine, giving it an extra boost of power and performance. And get this – the RV was available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, making it a versatile option for all types of drivers. Plus, with its quirky and retro styling, the Subaru RV has become a cult classic among car enthusiasts. So if you’re lucky enough to own one of these rare and unique vehicles, you’re definitely in for a treat!

Choose Your Mechanic

1. Chat with A.I. Mechanic (Robot Robby)
  • Free 7-day trial
  • A.I. Mechanic that is trained by our human mechanic writers. As helpful as a human mechanic for expert advice, troubleshooting, and repair guidance.
2. Chat with a Human Mechanic Online
  • Join for just $5, and $39/month. Cancel anytime
  • Real human ASE-certified mechanics available 24/7

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Choose Your Mechanic

1. Chat with A.I. Mechanic (Robot Robby)
  • Free 7-day trial
  • A.I. Mechanic that is trained by our human mechanic writers. As helpful as a human mechanic for expert advice, troubleshooting, and repair guidance.
2. Chat with a Human Mechanic Online
  • Join for just $5, and $39/month. Cancel anytime
  • Real human ASE-certified mechanics available 24/7

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle