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Subaru Ascent Won’t Start – Common Causes and Solution

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Subaru Ascent Won't Start

Subaru Ascent has always been a reliable choice for customers because of its plush ride and trouble-free experience. However, even a good car can have problems. Here’s what you might encounter with Subaru Ascent.

Are you facing the issue that your Subaru Ascent doesn’t start? This issue typically arises due to the reasons below. 

  • An issue with the battery
  • Starter motor malfunction
  • Ignition system Issues
  • Fuel delivery problem
  • Malfunctioning security system
  • Engine failure

However, there are still a few other problems. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t panic. This article will explore some of the common causes behind this problem and provide possible solutions to help you get your Subaru Ascent back on the road.

Causes And Solution of the Problem Subaru Ascent Won’t Start

Subaru Ascent Won't Start

The most frequent causes of the Subaru Ascent not starting are listed below. Some issues are so common that you have probably already encountered them. Some are a little unusual. However, we will try to assist in their repair as well.

1. A dead or failing battery

One of the most common reasons for a car not starting is a dead or weak battery. A lack of power is indicated if you turn the key in the ignition and hear a clicking sound or if the dashboard lights appear dim. 

The battery may have discharged due to long inactivity, extreme weather conditions, or simply reaching the end of its useful life.

Subaru Ascent failing battery


The first thing you should do is check whether your battery is dead or if it just doesn’t have power. If it has no power, then recharge it.

When a battery’s voltage drops below 12.6 volts, it is regarded as weak or dead. If the battery is dead, you have to replace it. You can change it at home, or you can take it to the service center.

If the battery is weak, jump-starting the vehicle can provide the necessary power to start the engine. Connect jumper cables to a working vehicle’s battery and the dead battery in the Subaru Ascent. By the way, this is a temporary solution for turning on the engine. 

However, changing the battery would cost anywhere from $100 to $300 or more.

2. Faulty Starter Motor

The starter motor is responsible for initiating the engine’s combustion process. If it malfunctions, it can prevent the engine from starting. A faulty starter motor might produce a grinding noise or no sound at all when you turn the key in the ignition.

Subaru Ascent Faulty Starter Motor


When starting a car, the starter motor may be broken if you hear a clicking sound or nothing at all. It is advised to fix or replace the motor in such circumstances. Here is a straightforward guide if you want to replace it rather than attempt to fix it yourself: 

  1. Find the starter motor in the engine compartment, disconnect the battery, and then turn it on.
  2. Detach the electrical connections carefully after removing the bolts or other fasteners holding the starter motor in place.
  3. Check the starter motor for any obvious damage or worn-out parts, and if necessary, replace the problematic components or the entire starter motor assembly.

The cost of changing the starter motor may range from $50 to $550, depending on where it is located and other factors)

3. Ignition System Issues

Difficulties starting the vehicle can also be caused by issues with the ignition system. A malfunctioning ignition switch, ignition coil, or set of spark plugs could stop the engine from igniting.


It is preferable to leave this to an expert if you do not have sufficient automotive knowledge. Replace any damaged ignition parts as soon as you notice them.

4. Fuel Delivery Problems

An engine’s inability to start may be due to a lack of fuel. Issues with the fuel pump may prevent fuel from being delivered. But it can also occur when the engine lacks the vital fuel-air mixture due to clogged fuel filters or an empty fuel tank.

Subaru Ascent Fuel Delivery Problems


When your engine does not start, follow these steps to address fuel-related issues. 

  • In the beginning, make sure there is enough fuel in the tank. 
  • Next, check fuel filters for obstructions and, if necessary, replace them. 
  • Finally, make sure the fuel pump is operating properly and seek professional assistance for any necessary repairs. 
  • Reestablishing fuel will help produce the required fuel-air mixture for a successful engine start.

5. Malfunctioning Security System

Security systems or anti theft systems (for example, ignition disabled devices or glass break sensors) are included in Subaru Ascent models to prevent theft. Even though it is not a widely supported cause, security systems or key fob issues could make it impossible to start the engine.


If you encounter issues starting the engine in your Subaru Ascent due to security system or key fob problems, follow these. 

  • First, check to see if the key fob battery is low and replace it if necessary. 
  • If the issue still exists, try resetting the security system for a short while by unplugging the vehicle’s battery. 
  • Reconnect the battery and try starting the car once more.

6. Engine Failure 

Even though it is a less common cause, the Subaru Ascent’s inability to start may also be caused by an engine failure. The engine may not crank and start due to mechanical problems like a seized engine or severe internal damage. 

Subaru Ascent Engine Failure


If engine failure is preventing your Subaru Ascent from starting, a DIY solution is not recommended. Seek professional assistance from a qualified mechanic to inspect and repair the engine. 

They can diagnose the specific issues causing the failure and provide the necessary expertise and tools to address the problem effectively.

However, you can identify the issue by paying attention to the engine’s unusual noise, the fluid level, or the error code.

What should you do to prevent unnecessary Subaru Ascent issues?

Prevent Unnecessary Subaru Ascent Issues

Follow these crucial steps to prevent unneeded problems with your Subaru Ascent vehicle:

  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule. This should include tire rotations, fluid checks, oil changes, and filter replacements.
  • Proper Driving Habits: Drive responsibly, avoiding excessive braking and aggressive acceleration.
  • Quality Fuel: Use high-quality fuel to ensure optimal engine performance and avoid fuel-related issues.
  • Timely Repairs: Address any warning signs or unusual sounds as soon as possible to prevent minor issues from becoming major ones. 
  • Safe Parking: Park in well-lit, secure areas to reduce the risk of theft or damage.
  • Routine Inspections: Visually inspect the vehicle on a regular basis, looking for leaks, tire pressure, and any visible signs of wear or damage.
If your Subaru Ascent won’t start and you’re grappling with this frustrating situation, you’re not alone in facing starting challenges. Similar issues could also affect other models, like the GMC Sierra, which might experience a no-start condition without any clicking noise. For GMC Sierra owners dealing with a no-start situation and no clicking noise, our article on GMC Sierra won’t start no click provides insights into diagnosing and resolving this specific issue. Moreover, if you’re having trouble with your GMC Sierra’s remote start functionality, our article on GMC Sierra remote start not working offers guidance for troubleshooting and resolving remote start problems. By exploring these resources, you’ll be better equipped to overcome starting and remote start-related challenges.


Here are a few key queries and their responses relating to the Subaru Ascent won’t start problem.

How much will it cost to repair a Subaru Ascent that will not start?

It is difficult to say specifically because the cost depends on how serious the problems are. For instance, repairing a dead battery will likely cost you between $100 and $200. You should budget $300 to $500 for a starter or $200 to $400 for an incognito system repair. The price will therefore vary according to how serious the issue is.

Can this car’s starting issue be resolved at home, or is a service center the best option?

It is best to bring your car to the mechanic because they can fix it without taking any risks there. But if you try to fix it yourself, a lot of problems will come up for which you have no idea how to proceed.  That might result in more problems, but if you believe you are knowledgeable enough about the car, try it out.

Are there any additional issues besides those already mentioned that crop up occasionally? 

There are a few more, to be honest. For instance, your car might have problems with a bad mass airflow sensor or a bad throttle position sensor. These do not frequently occur in vehicles. However, there are only a few instances where this issue has arisen and been discovered after inspection.

Final Words

Experiencing a Subaru Ascent won’t start can be frustrating, but with proper troubleshooting and diagnosis, it can be resolved. 

The mentioned issues, including a dead battery, engine failure, fuel delivery problems, or a faulty starter motor, are common and can often be resolved at a service facility. 

While a brief solution has been provided, attempting the fixes yourself is an option if you have prior knowledge. However, it is crucial to troubleshoot the vehicle first to accurately identify the specific problems before proceeding with any repairs.

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