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Subaru Legacy/Outback Unusual Clunks and Noises

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Comments

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Definitely sounds like a wheel bearing in your case Alex. I'd have it re-checked at a different dealer/shop.

    -mike
  • rodin1rodin1 Posts: 2
    I have noticed a loud ticking or flapping (like the sound those old rubber-bladed fans that we grew up with used to make when you stuck something in the blades at slow speed!) in my 98 Impreza Outback. It's intermitten, of course, so mechanic never hears anything, has looked under the hood & not seen anything obvious. It comes & goes but when it comes, it is primarily upon slowing down as for a stoplight. Once stopped & idling, the noise idles down too & stops! It seems to be coming from the left side of the engine up close to the driver compartment.

    Any ideas,

    Frustrated
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Does it stop as soon as you stop? In other words is it relative to your speed? or relative to engine speed?

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • rodin1rodin1 Posts: 2
    No, it doesn't stop as soon as I stop. As the engine speed slows, like in coming up to a stoplight, the noise slows. And when I am stopped at the light, for example, the noise slows down & stops. And it's not constant. A few days ago, I drove from town to home, making several stops along the way. It started on the first leg of my trip home, was silent for the next leg, started up again on the third leg, was silent on the last leg!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Just to eliminate them as possibles, check the plastic covers in the engine bay, especially the timing belt cover, which extends across the whole front of the engine. It may be that one is rubbing a moving part intermittently. If so, and it is on the outside or under a lip of said cover, you should be able to notice - either by sight or touch - wear marks on a point where it comes close to a moving part.

    If it is a "dull" noise rather than a metallic ticking, then it is likely plastic.

    You might also check to see if there is something small and flexible wedged through the radiator and protruding into the space where the dual cooling fans spin. The fans might be sucking it in occasionally, while other times it flops down and sticks to the radiator.

    Just brainstorming here.... :D
  • cjtechcjtech Posts: 3
    I bought a Subaru Legacy 2008 2.5i several months ago and have questions about engine noise.

    When I turn the car off after driving, the engine continues to make a clicking sound for a while. It almost sounds like a faucet dripping (but there is no leak on the ground) or clicking sound which continues for a minute or two. Someone told me that this is the sound of the exhaust system cooling down. Is this true? I hear the same sound if I stop the car and put it in park but leave the engine on.... I don't hear it when just idling at a light (not in park).

    Also, when I do I a cold start of the engine, it is very loud at first. The noise goes down significantly as the car warms up. After fully warm, the car is very quiet. Just wondering whether is normal or not and what other people's experiences were with both types of engine noise.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    The clicking sounds are normal and tend to be louder when vehicles are new. It is just metal contracting as it cools. Sort of a slow, quiet symphony of *tink* *pop* *tink* *click* *click* *tink*. You hear the noises in park? Perhaps transmission components cooling, but yes, the majority of the sounds typically come from the exhaust and associated heat shielding once the engine is shut off.

    As for noise on start-up, what sort of noise is it and at what temperatures do you hear it?
  • cjtechcjtech Posts: 3
    Thanks for the information on the clicking sounds.

    The noise at start-up is not really an unusual sound... regular engine start-up sound but it is a lot louder than other cars I've had in the past... mostly Hondas. Once the car warms up, the engine sound is ok. Is this just typical of boxer engines?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    The boxer engine is a noisier engine in general, but it should not sound... harsh. In sub-zero temperatures, the engine on my 08 Outback only exhibits the extra start-up noise for 15-60 seconds, depending on temperatures. The most notable noises when it is extremely cold (about -20 and lower) are belt and accessory complaints. I do not really blame them. :D

    Some folks have reported PZEV engines running very rough upon cold start. I noticed on Subaru's website a few days ago that there is a TSB related to this, though I have not looked at it.
  • I have a torn boot on the driver side of my 93 Legacy. How do you replace it? I am new to Subaru, so this is a first time? Thanks.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    the TSB talks about the PZEV engine being tuned specifically for CA gas blends so if you are in another state with some different blend you may have some issues with rough starting etc. I have not had any problems with my 08 OB over 6k now and despite the recent few spells of subzero temps in IL. Maybe our gas blend is the same as CA. - or maybe I've been so used to my old 98 Legacy, even a non functioning 08 sounds good to me :-)!!
    There is also a TSB about a noise from the exhaust during startup which is normal and related to the lean burning also.
    It seems people in the NW and New England are complaining most about the PZEVs. Is there gas there different from CA and the midwest??
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    They sell the CV+Axle Assembly as a whole unit. Cost is about $75 and takes about 2hrs to replace. It's not that bad a job.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Where can I read the TSBs? Is there a public site where the TSBs are posted?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    No, not really, but I did find this site. Subaru's web site allows you to see the bulletin numbers and titles, but requires payment to download them. I take the TSB from the Subaru site and run a search on it. That is how I found the site linked above.
  • My husband and I just inherited a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback (standard transmission) from a friend. It has 264K miles on it and is in great shape - they kept it garaged and were very good with maintenance.

    We've had it less than 2 months and haven't driven it any real distance - just around town, to and from work, etc. About a week ago, it started making "chattering" noises - the best way to describe it is that it sounds like it's a diesel engine when it's not. It's not driving any differently or acting "funny" at all. It's about 200 miles overdue for an oil change, though.

    My husband had a mechanic friend take a look and listen and he said something about the "cams" in such an old car not being able to hold enough oil and how that's usually remedied by adding something that will allow the valve to close to hold oil? I just called a mechanic in town and he said to check to make sure the oil isn't low.

    Any ideas from any of you out there?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    So, it is just making a clacking noise while the engine is running? If so, I would recommend that you do check the oil. My '96 Outback would make a similar clacking noise if the oil was more than a quart low; yes, it was the valve lifters. With the oil topped off, the lifters would quiet right down.

    This is a car with more than a quarter million miles - make a habit of checking the oil with every fueling.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup, I agree with Wes. Also you may want to go to a slightly heavier weight oil such as a 10-30 or 10-40 even.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
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