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1998 subaru starter won't stop starting

My subaru wasn’t starting. When I turn the ignition the starter would make a bunch of click but if I moved the automatic shifter just right it would start. Yesterday I went through this process and the car started but the starter wouldn’t stop trying to start the car even after I pulled the key out of the ignition. I had to remove the battery leads to stop the starter. Should I just replace the starter? There is no started relay on this car that I can find.

No you should not just replace the starter, it isn’t likely the bad part. Take it to a shop so they can find the problem and you will save money.

The trouble you have could only happen two ways. Either the starter solenoid didn’t release when the key went to the RUN position or the ignition switch contacts stayed in the START position. I rather doubt the ignition switch is the trouble especially if other things shut off in the OFF position. The starter solenoid is mounted with the starter motor so replacing it should solve the trouble with the starter running.

Since you have to move the shifter around to get the starter to work it means you also have a problem with the inhibit switch, or safety switch as it is also called. I think it is mounted on the transmission. You might be able to clean the contacts to correct that trouble.

Possibly a faulty ignition switch and I’m in agreement that the problem is not likely the starter itself. Subaru starter motors hold up very very well and seldom fail.

I’m inclined to agree with the ignition switch itself. There’s no way the starter could continue to turn the engine over with the key turned to “off” and removed unless the circuit energizing the starter relay was still enabled, and that happens in the key cylinder. With the key removed there should be absolutely no power to the starter assembly.

Ok so I replaced the starter and it starter great and ran a few close trips. Probably started 5 or 6 times fine but I just clicks again. The click sounds a little weaker but that could be the different starter. I can get an ingintion switch for $50 should I do that or the inhibit switch??? Thanks for all your comments

Many cars also have a starter relay between the ignition switch and the starter. This could be going bad on your car.

There’s no way the starter could continue to turn the engine

Well, I am an old guy, it is possible the solenoid, to stick. It seems rare today however.