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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1998 Legacy Outback Manual Transmission. Just yesterday, my car started making a cunking/slamming sound when I started it up. It would start, but when I released the key, it would thunk pretty hard (the kind of sound that makes you think twice about even driving it). I gave the starter a few taps with a hammer and extension, and it didn't fix the problem, so I figured the starter was out. Replaced it with a reman and the sound is still there, but it has evolved slightly. Now, while starting, it will make several thunks/clicks/slams/ while starting. It has always started, I just worry about what could be wrong and if it's too hard on it to keep starting. I'm open to suggestions, I have no idea what this could be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I recorded a video of it, but you can't tell that it's making that noise. It's more subtle than it was, but now it's evolved again.

When I turn the key to start the engine, the starter clunks (I can feel it), then just doesn't move. I turn the key back to off, turn the key to ignition again, and it goes just fine (still makes the clunking/thunking noise when it finally does start).

I looked at the old starter, and there doesn't seem to be any damage to the teeth. Could it be maybe that the clutch isn't disengaging consistently?

Any ideas? I'm really hoping it's not the flywheel.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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It continues after the engine is running? Does it change with application of the clutch after it starts? Have you driven it since it started this noise? If so, does it shift smooth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply.

It only happens when starting. Other than that, the car runs fine. Shifts smoothly. This is the pattern that it follows every time I try to start the car since I replaced the starter.

1. Turn key to start engine, starter engages and sort of "slams" into something. It clunks very loudly, and I can easily feel this thud just sitting in the car. No whirring, so I know it's not just spinning freely. It feels almost like the starter has engaged the flywheel, but for whatever reason the flywheel is stuck. Engine will not turn over.

2. Turn key back to off, then start again, and the car starts right up, although it seems that once the engine "catches", it makes a less severe thudding/clunking as the starter disengages.


It was doing #2 every time I tried to start it, which is what led me to believe the starter was out in the first place. I replaced the starter, the problem was unchanged, and now this is where we are currently.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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Is the starter bolted down tight?

Possibilities are broken teeth on the flywheel, broken flywheel but then again if the flywheel was cracked it would make noise cruising; weak battery or bad ground - enough to kick it out, not enough to spin.

I would have to hear it. Maybe try to record it again with someone holding the phone or recorder under the hood near the starter while you start it.
 
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