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Discussion Starter #1
My 2000 Subaru Outback started having this issue a few weeks ago. I have linked two videos. One video you can hear the issue when I try to start it. The second video is after I get it started ...it will repeatedly start fine. The photo is the flywheel when I took the original starter off.

I will post videos in reply.

Initially I thought it was the starter going out, but after replacing with a new starter the issue persisted. The new starter was tested so I know it works and is not a dud. Then I thought it was the battery, but all voltages check including the voltage from the ignition to the coil. 12V from the battery and 11.43v from the ignition cable when you turn the key.

Looking at the photo of the flywheel you can see fresh wear on the face of the teeth. It looks like the starter is popping out and spinning against the edge of the flywheel, but not engaging into the flywheel. We had the full clutch system replaced late last year. Could something be wrong with the flywheel that would cause this to happen? I am looking for any ideas or thoughts on this. Thanks.
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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read of people here having issues with the starter and the ring gear from a failing engine or transmission mount.
 

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you may have a spot or 2 on your ring gear of worn or broken teeth. when it lands on those locations, its gonna slip or not engage. you will have to remove inspection cover and rotate engine by hand and check every inch of ring gear to verify. Also, just for future reference. volts do NOT equal amps. battery can totally show 12 volts but lack amperage, run down quickly on long cranks , etc. always have battery load tested if ever thinking battery issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After a long conversation with my Subaru mechanic (solo ...not dealer) we decided the only thing it could be is another bad starter. I got another one from Autozone today and installed it. This one looked different from the other two. So far so good with this one. What an ordeal this has been.

Thank you all for your comments.
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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After a long conversation with my Subaru mechanic (solo ...not dealer) we decided the only thing it could be is another bad starter. I got another one from Autozone today and installed it. This one looked different from the other two. So far so good with this one. What an ordeal this has been.

Thank you all for your comments.
subaru used the starters for automatics longer then the ones for manuals.

handy to go to a subaru dealer site and see what they sell by year / model and then compare that to what the parts stores are selling.

and a starter is one thing I am willing to nab at a pick and pull. few people report swapping them.

(my own 2002 H4 automatic has one from a 1996 legacy sitting in a field to rot,...one day the original factory one I had died 112k miles, never a bad start before, and no tapping helped either).
 
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