2001 Subaru Outback Lmtd 2.5 automatic won't start

My car wouldn’t start until I moved the shift lever (automatic) to right. Before I did that, when I’d turn the key, the accessories worked fine but when I turned the key to the Start position, all power was lost, and when I pulled the key out, I could see the clock reset to 1pm and the CD changer making noise as power was returned. I noticed a click when I moved the shifter arm from left to right in the Park position, so thought I’d try holding the shifter in the right side of the Park gate.

After I successfully started the car by holding the shift lever to the right, the problem seemed to go away. I restarted the car a few times and it seemed fine.

Could it have maybe been some ice shorting the Neutral Safety Switch and now it’s ok, or is this just the start of needing to replace the switch?

Also, I’ve seen different switches for this model- one for $11, the other for $70.

Are there two different switches that could cause this?

This sounds a lot like a short. I can understand a failed switch preventing start up, but there should be no interuption of battery power to your accessories as a result.

The clock reset means you lost battery power, either because your battery is failing or because you have a bad connection, at either end of either of the battery cables.

Begin by cleaning and tightening the cables.