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05 LGT - No crank/no start after rain - warm negative terminal?

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Hey guys! New to the forum, recently picked up an 05 GT 5spd wagon and am having a blast with it thus far, until today.


We had some serious rain (and a bit of hail today) and when I went to move the subie, it cranked right up and I was able to move it a bit closer to the house for protection in case we got additional severe weather. Turned it off, got out, and realized I could back up a bit more. Got back in and noticed the lights are about dim. Got to crank it and everything turns off. Scratching my head I head inside and grab my multimeter and check the battery, 12.5+ volts.


As I'm poking around the engine bay I notice quite a bit of water around the battery and the battery terminal pad on the negative side is soaked. Connections are good and tight. As I'm checking to see how wet I noticed the negative terminal is warm (body temp maybe) to the touch and I can hear a faint hum from the pass side area of the engine bay (this is with the key in the on position).


Hop back in and try again but no dice. Since it started raining again (with some lightning) I decided to wrap it up until things blow over.


Haven't had a chance to check fuses or relays but am perplexed as to why I have a warm negative but not positive (thinking it would be a short issue with the battery).



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Not sure about the warm negative terminal thing, but if this is the humming sound you hear, it's normal.



*Poor negative battery connection? My negative terminal had some kind of black plastic spacer in it from the factory, that limited how tight you could get the negative terminal. I had to remove that after switching to an aftermarket battery in order to get the negative terminal to fit tightly.

Edited by apexi
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Heat on the battery terminal is caused by the fact that you probably just used the starter a couple of times (this places the largest amount of load on the battery at any point of its use) and a resistance of flow.


Clean the terminal connections and you’ll be fine. There’s probably some corrosion or powder forming on them.

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Battery looks fairly new (hard to tell as I just purchased the vehicle from a small dealer so no records unfortunately). They are free of corrosion and the terminals are tight.


Been doing a (bit) of reading and could just be a toasted starter. Going to give it a tap tonight with a hammer and see if that gets it moving. If that's the case, anyone know the kit for a starter rebuild? Looks like the manual start is different than the auto version.


Will update when I get off work.

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Went out when I got home and it started right up, figures! Even brought out the old maglight to give it a wack but wasn't needed.


Going to take apart the starter this weekend and lube/clean what I can and keep looking for a part number for those darn contacts.


Thanks for all the tips guys!

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305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

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