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2014 Outback 2.5
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7 Posts
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Quick question. My Subi with 203K on it lately doing the 1-2 second screeching after (cold) starting. Assuming that is the old lubricants etc preventing the plunger from pulling away from flywheel in timely fashion. Will replacing the starter likely solve this problem. If I decide to go this route, do all necessary parts come with a starter motor “assembly “ to do the job?
TIA
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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1,872 Posts
Yes. You can do it in the parking lot at the parts store, and return core
 

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2022 Onyx XT Abyss blue pearl
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506 Posts
In the old days they sold shims specifically for starters. Not sure they still do or if this is even an option on a Subie. LOT cheaper than a new starter if it is.

A swap HAS to be easier than my wife's old Northstar engine. The starter was under the intake manifold! :mad:
 

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Yes. You can do it in the parking lot at the parts store, and return core
Thanks! I replaced mine yesterday. I started it three times yesterday, perfectly, no noises. This morning, my teenage son started it to go to school, and reported "a noise worse than before" WTH!!!! What could be the problem?? These don't need shimming, do they?? What else could it be? TIA!!
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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Thanks! I replaced mine yesterday. I started it three times yesterday, perfectly, no noises. This morning, my teenage son started it to go to school, and reported "a noise worse than before" WTH!!!! What could be the problem?? These don't need shimming, do they?? What else could it be? TIA!!
There's a possibility that the serpentine belt may be squealing on start-up (alternator will be demanding max load on the belt). You might check the belt and see if it needs replacing.
 
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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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4,904 Posts
Thanks! I replaced mine yesterday. I started it three times yesterday, perfectly, no noises. This morning, my teenage son started it to go to school, and reported "a noise worse than before" WTH!!!! What could be the problem?? These don't need shimming, do they?? What else could it be? TIA!!
Did you use cheep, autoparts store, reman unit? If so... those and known to fail early and often. Fortunately, they have warantee and can be returned and replaced at no cost.
NOTE: The real cost in autoparts-store starters/alternators is YOUR TIME AND EFFORT to R&R the silly things... it often takes multiple replacements until you find one that is somewhat reliable.

It is ALWAYS better to simply clean and lube the factory-original starter... it will outlive the vehicle.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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1,511 Posts
I am a firm believer in keeping my original alternators and starters after having them refurbished with the proper kits.
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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708 Posts
Cleaning and re-lubricating the bendix drive is really only a band-aid. Yes, the grease becomes thick when cold, and dirty, dried out grease becomes thicker and lubricating, however, the momentary zing, buzz, or squeal, in most cases, is primarily a result of the return spring loosing tension. The less than eager spring, combined with the reduced lubrication of the tried/thick grease, results in a slow disengagement.

I opted for replacing my OEM starter with a brand new unit from DB Electrical, and comparing the spring on the several year old OEM unit to that on the new starter make the difference very obvious. The new one returned back with gusto, the OEM unit, not so much. (I could barely push the new gear into the engagement position with my thumb, whereas the OEM unit was super easy, and obviously slower to return when released.

The change when cranking was also very evident, the OEM (same battery mind you) cranked extremely slow in cold weather, the DB Electric unit cranked significantly faster, and with more gusto, sort of like listening to a 2.0 vs the 3.6 when accelerating, just deeper sounding, with more authority. The lower priced rebuilt units only replace the worn components, you're still using the original coils, magnets, and gears in many cases, which may not be up to performing like new after years of service. - Just my $0.02 cents, as well as my brother's, who's holds several master-tech certifications.

BTW, replacement on the Outback is super EASY, the starter is at the top of the trans housing, right behind the air intake. Disconnect the batter, remove the electrical connector, and two bolts, and it lifts right out. No jack, no crawling under the vehicle, just plenty of access to get at the bolts. - You do need to follow the throttle/idle relearn BEFORE starting the frist time, or it will be difficult to start, with prolonged cranking.
 

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2022 Onyx XT Abyss blue pearl
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506 Posts
Was there a cat under the hood?? Just kidding, we love cats.
Most likely the belt. I've used 'belt dressing' to isolate noises like that.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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1,511 Posts
Or you can just spray some tap water mist on the belt. If the squeal disappears for a few seconds at engine start-up after the belt has been misted, your problem is a worn-out belt.
 
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