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Discussion Starter #1
Strange noises coming from under the hood when placing key in the ignition. Under cold conditions, with doors shut, seat belt fasten, and key placed into the ignition. Noise happens without turning the key. The sound is originating in close proximity to the car battery. Local Subaru dealer has no idea what the cause is or how to remedy. Anyone else experience this?
 

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That’s a weird one. Nothing happens under the hood until the key is turned to the ignition setting, even if the starter is not engaged. The system starts to build pressure in the fuel pump, the ignition system and fuel injectors are made ready and components like the lights, fan and defrosters get current.

That said, because the engine isn’t turning, most grindable parts aren’t even engaged yet however, one ignition system component with the capability to grind is engaged, the throttle body.

Sometimes it’s hard to pin point nose in an engine bay. Here’s how to to get at the throttle body so maybe you can have a better look. Subaru Crosstrek Service Manual - Removal - Throttle body

I may be wrong but it’s the only one that makes sense to me without seein, hearing and further research.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response. This looks expensive to run down! We were thinking a solenoid, starter, ignition system, or the battery. We went a head a replaced the battery last night. No effect. Subaru did the recall work and also reset the ignition, (the key was sticking). They say that both are unrelated, but it only started after they did this work.
 

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It's impossible for us to know what the problem is without hearing it so a video would be very helpful.The only thing that happens when the key is inserted or removed is a relay is activated that turns the headlights off when the key is removed.You said the key was sticking.A couple weeks ago,I left my lights on on my '16 and when I removed the key,they didn't turn off.I put the key back in and pulled it back out and they turned off as they should.I heard no sounds though.Perhaps your switch is sticking at a point right on the edge of being on or off which is making the relay quickly switch on and off,causing a buzzing/grinding noise.I think we both need some lubrication in the lock.It just might work and it won't break the bank if it doesn't.If it doesn't work then perhaps it's the relay that's bad.I haven't been inside the box but there should be another identical relay in there.Insert that relay in place of the HL relay and insert the key.If you no longer hear the sound then that's your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Willing to try anything at this point. I'll attach a sound bit later today. We have made recordings for the Subaru dealership to help them diagnose. They had the car for 10 days and couldn't come up with any answers.
 
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