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2012 Forester X Auto
2,764 Posts
It's difficult to pin down any problem based on a noise description, but typically a grinding sound on startup (assuming the noise stops once the starter is no longer engaged) is an issue with the starter gear engaging the teeth of the flywheel. I could be because the starter gear itself does not fully extend and/or the teeth on the flywheel are worn.

You should get it checked out regardless, because anything "grinding" means something may be being ground down (worn down).

Subaru starters aren't cheap, but if it is the starter, it will be a lot cheaper to replace it before your flywheel teeth are ruined.
If the symptom is consistent, it should be easier to diagnose.
Good Luck.
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