96 Subaru Legacy sometimes will not start unless brake pedal is pressed

Sometimes my 96 Subaru Legacy will not turnover unless the brake pedal is pressed. Other times starts without my foot on the pedal. It seems to need the brake pedal addition more often if it has sat a couple hours or more without being started. Any thoughts?

Some cars can be started when the gear shift is in park without brake epressed but need the brake pedal depressed when in neutral. Is that the difference ?

No, this is always when it is in park.

I always hold the brake when starting any vehicle. Try my method.

I agree with @misseleman: you always press the brake while starting a car. It likely stems from the day when most cars were stick and you had to press the clutch and the car could potentially roll. It is just good practice.

What I don’t quite understand is why pressing the brake pedal would cause the car to start:
If it is a stick, there is a switch on the clutch pedal that inhibits starting unless you have the clutch in.
If it is an automatic, the car has to be in park or neutral to have it start. The brake pedal has very little to do with that function, electrically.

If automatic, the only thing I can think of is that the brake pedal does drive a solenoid that disables it from getting out of park unless you press the brake pedal. Maybe pressing the pedal slightly moves something in the gear selector. The gear selector, in turn, could be in a weird in between position that stops the car from starting because it has an inhibitor switch that only lets you start in park and neutral. Maybe jostle the gear selector a bit before starting to see if that helps. If it is that inhibitor switch, it could at some point leave you stranded. Should that occur at one point, just switch it to neutral to see whether that helps.

I’d still start with your foot on the brake.

Here’s another vote for always applying the brake for safety reasons, in which case your issue is no longer an issue.