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· Registered
2013 Outback 2.5 Premium 6mt
187 Posts
When all else fails, consult your owner's manual. Page 7-23 of the 2012 owner's manual states:
Right after the engine has been started
and before it has warmed up, you may
hear a noise coming from areas adjacent
to the power steering pump which
is located at the right-front area of the
engine compartment. This noise is
normal. It does not indicate power
steering system trouble.
Power steering pump noise is very common during cold temperature starts to almost all vehicles. You can reduce the noise by changing the power steering fluid but it will still make noise if it gets cold enough.

Also, I'm trying to do the math. You say that this is your third winter with your 2012 Subie. Three years ago would be the winter of 2009/2010. Was your car sold to you by Doc Brown with a flux capacitor option and a power source for 1.21 gigawatts?
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