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Subaru Baja Engine Issues

24

Comments

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would try a slightly thicker oil if you are having tapping issues. This is very common on Subarus, especially when cold.

    -mike
  • fritz9fritz9 Posts: 9
    This is much more than a "tapping" noise. I am and have used for 50,000 miles Mobil 1 Synthetic 10W30.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You do know that Subaru does not suggest that you use synthetic oil in them right? I believe it's right in the owners manual.

    -mike
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    C'mon Mike, you know that as long as the oil (synthetic or regular) is the proper grade and quality - and that it's changed regularly, that it's acceptable. In fact, I think one of the Subaru sponsored chats asked this question. I believe it was ok as long as change intervals were maintained.

    -Brian
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I know that, and you know that, however, my point and I was trying to help him out here, is to NOT tell them it's synthetic... Or at least don't make it a specific point to do so, because they'll look to get out of a warranty claim if there is or could be one.

    -mike
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Good point. Hopefully it'll be something "simple" like a tensioner and not a cylinder skirt or whatever they call 'em.

    -Brian
  • fritz9fritz9 Posts: 9
    Well at the time of purchase......in Sept. of 2003.....at least in a verbal form they had no opposition to synthetic, it was specifically asked at that time. They just suggested that it was no better than the dino oil and that in their eyes was a waste of money.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well at the time of purchase......in Sept. of 2003.....at least in a verbal form they had no opposition to synthetic, it was specifically asked at that time. They just suggested that it was no better than the dino oil and that in their eyes was a waste of money.

    Verbal is not written, I'm fairly certain that the manual will specify non-synthetic. Just giving you a heads up.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    As long as it meets minimum specifications and is changed on an appropriate schedule, there can be no grounds for warranty denial based strictly on the brand of oil used. But, I agree with Mike on this one - it is possible that they will balk because of the use of synthetic. So, keep it on a need-to-know basis, as they will certainly do the same with you.

    Seat of the pants, it sounds to me like piston slap (which is a battle in and of itself to get warranty coverage, just ask Larry!), but who knows at this point.

    I am the worst about divulging more information than necessary and I cannot even begin to relate how many times that honesty, that...... trait... has bit me in the rear. :sick:
  • dealer recommend synthetic oil at my 5000mile check up. Thanks for the info.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    dealer recommend synthetic oil at my 5000mile check up. Thanks for the info.

    They can tell you anything you want, but it's what's in the book that counts... :)

    -mike
  • fritz9fritz9 Posts: 9
    Made my appointment at the dealer for my engine noise. Took them no time at all to give their diagnosis. They agreed with what I had said in my very first letter here in the forum about it. It IS piston slap......and they did NOT say that it was normal. They said they would pass the information on to Subaru as I have a case number with them already on this concern. The odd thing about this is that they did NOT charge me ANY fees/diagnosis at all. Was a complete freebee even though the car is out of warranty. Have to wonder if they have seen this many time before and are considering the possibility of further work. Not sure what to make of the "free" diagnosis.
  • fritz9fritz9 Posts: 9
    Just checked my owners manual for oil specs. It specifically says that any oil is acceptable as long as it meets the specific classifications set in the manual. What I have used has met that from the beginning. :)
  • sdycus10sdycus10 Posts: 3
    I drove my 2006 Baja (5000 miles) on Trailridge road in Colorado (approx 12,ooo feet) over the weekend and the engine died a dozen times. It always dies when I am coasting at about 3500 rpms and I push the clutch in. At this point the rpms go right past idle and the engine dies. Its almost as if no fuel is making it the engine. It always started right away after the event. The dealership in Boulder (low altitude) said they couldn't reproduce the problem (no surprise there as they are only at 5000 feet). They said maybe the ECM needed more time to adjust the fuel/air ratio...blah blah blah. This is dealership speak for, "The computer didn't show any codes so therefore I can't do anything."

    Anyone have any ideas before I head back up into high altitude?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I'm assuming your Baja is not a turbo, correct? I think if it were a turbo, this would not have happened. From what I've read turbos (all turbos) are much better than non-turbos in high altitude areas.

    Are there any Subaru groups or clubs in the mountain states that you could contact? My guess is this is a fairly common problem in the Rockies. My understanding is because the air is so thin up there, that the air/fuel ratio gets all screwed up at high altitudes.

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also check your fuel filter if it's the type in the engine compartment. I'm not sure what year they switched it over to the in-tank style.

    -mike
  • sdycus10sdycus10 Posts: 3
    Bob and Mike,

    Thanks for the replies. My Baja actually is a turbo. I had the dealer check the fuel filter and it was clean. I was thinking mass air flow sensor or o2 sensor but they claim that if any of that was off the ECM would have shown a code. The ECM had no stored codes. I had also considered bad fuel but I only use name brand 91 octane fuel. Very confusing.

    Sean
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very strange.

    As far as octane goes, the thin air actually makes it less important. That's why gas stations sell lower octane gas in the mountains.

    I think you just got a bad batch of gas. I'm very surprised it didn't throw a code, though. If you see a fuel tanker at the gas station, get gas somewhere else. The process of filling up those old tanks kicks up all the debris that's normally at the bottom of the tank.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    :surprise:

    Must be quite a luxury to have pipe-fed fueling stations! If you ever come to Alaska, turn a blind eye to the tankers or you will run out of fuel long before you find a pipelined station. ;)
  • hi.... i've got a 2003 outback wagon with the 2.5l '4', now with 63k miles.... (which has been properly maintained ),earlier this year my primary service garage noticed an oil leak from one of the manifolds, and they alerted me to a known problem from subaru about gasket leakage...
    i brought the lead sled to the dealer, and they replaced the head gasket and replaced the timing belt for the price of the part only, very nice....since they had to take the old one out anyway to perform this work....
    now, the next morning, the car sounded like my college '62 beetle, a loud ticking noise which with increasing rpms, became less noticeable... quite obnoxious.....
    my primary garage listened and thought perhaps the valves needed to be adjusted, so i then contacted the dealer, spoke to the service folks, and was told in no uncertain terms that the work performed could not have impacted the valves, and i then asked them why the engine now makes a most unpleasant and still persistent ticking noise, when it did not exist in any way prior to this major engine work..
    what i got was nothing, no answer, they don't know why this is..... not quite a satisfactory reply.....
    the car is going to the dealer next week, and the owner will personally take the car home, and drive so as to hear the problem (which is worse at cold start up)....(because the service dept steadfastly states that there is nothing really wrong with the car, this noise is not uncommon or abnormal, yeah right !!!!!!!)
    i've read ad naueum about piston slap, valve adjustments, and wondering if this is a much more common problem than we all know....
    i do have an extended comprehensive warranty from a 3rd party purchased from the dealer when initially bought, thank god for this, i hope to get my monies worth...
    spending thousands of dollars for what is touted to be a quality product and now having to deal with this disquieting noise is unacceptable and insulting to all those who've purchased these subarus in good faith.
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