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2005 Subaru Outback - Remote starter help

When it’s below zero, I will start the car with a remote starter. When I insert the key and put it into gear, the steering wheel is like it’s a manual transmission and almost impossible to turn. Have found that turning the engine off and back on, it clears the problem. Yesterday, however, I went a block and the steering again “froze” and I couldn’t turn the wheel. I finally got it into a parking spot in a parking lot and left it for a couple of hours. When I returned, I had a slight problem, but it eventually corrected itself after turning circles in the parking lot.

I do not understand the mention of manual transmission when trying to describe turning, but the first place I would look is under the hood- verify that you have power steering fluid and that the belt(s) are tight.

I have power steering, automatic transmission with the problem of stiff steering in cold weather. This happened before I got the remote starter, so cannot be a problem from that

Change your heading to something like ( Stiff Steering when cold ) . You don’t have a remote starter problem . My thought is that you need to check the fluid level unless you have electric steering. Check the belt for looseness or just not any good because it is old. After that then you may have a worn steering rack.

This car has no belt tensioner, so one has to get a 12mm wrench and tighten it periodically.
A couple of weeks back I had to do exactly that for my former coworker’s wife on her Forrester with 115K miles on it.
She complained that steering wheel is stiff until car warms up, it also made a noise like if power steering pump was about to fail.
Nop, got her belt tightened a little bit and it worked like a champ again: silent and did not have stiffness from the cold start anymore.