2009 Subaru Forester - Starting issues

stick shift. Original owners. No problems until 171,000. February 2020 started to have starting problems. Took it into our trusted automotive center and when they had it they had no starting problems. Battery was replaced and we eventually told them to put in a new starter. No luck. This is the middle of June. Same thing happens, when we have it at home does not start most of the time. The repair center had it for a month and they continued to have no problems. Back home, same starter problems. When trying to start it either have nothing, or some times a little noise, not like it is trying. If it starts it is immediately.

Are you pushing the clutch pedal all the way to the floor when trying to start?

As in trying to push it through the floor.

New floor mats ?

Since this depends so much on where it is parked, I’ll ask if you park on a hill. The good news is that your problem is so repeatable. Try to get someone to diagnose this at your house. It sounds like a simple electrical problem, like a starter solenoid ground.

No hill. They have come to my house and it started right up!!

Definitely, have driven it since 2009.

How many people drive this car? I ask because I wonder if a single person is doing something consistently; There are a couple of switches that you might not know about that keep the car from starting when it shouldn’t. One of these would be set so that it is required to start the car in Park. If there is a little wear, or the driver doesn’t push hard enough, the switch might prevent starting. Hold the key in the Start position and jiggle the shift lever. Another switch is probably on the brake pedal. That may require a hard push while turning the key to start. A stick shift car will have a similar switch on the clutch also. Another switch is the actual ignition switch, where you put the key. That might be flaky, and take more force.

I’d suggest the start relay is failing. Should be in a fuse box underhood. The key just issues a command to the engine computer and it does the rest with the relay to the starter. Swap with a simar one nearby. If that fixes the problem replace the relay.

Could be a faulty clutch pedal safety switch. Easy enough to check and replace and much cheaper (15 bucks or so) than a battery and starter motor being replaced on a hunch.

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Thank you. Putting that on my list.

Thank you. It use to be two drivers and now just me, but I have been doing it for years. It does start sometimes for me. Is at the shop now, but I have written down your advice.

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