Heat pump heat exchanger outside doesn't start sometimes....

It tries to start, makes a noise while turning somewhat, turns on and off a few times, and then gives up. Then after around 10 minutes it leaps into action and works perfectly.
What's happening? Its clear from debris and leaves. The inside furnace is new (2004), but the outside one unit is older than that, but it doesn't look all that old. Do these units need to be oiled or serviced?
Thanks for any help,
Dean
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