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#6403 of 19283 Re: piston slap redux [fibber2]
Mar 20, 2006 (1:40 pm)
There is alot bad information regarding the piston slap problem. Here are the facts of my experience.
My 2003 Legacy developed the piston slap when the weather started turning cold (below 30 degrees F). If the ambient temperature was above 30 degrees, no slap. Under 30 degrees, it took at least 10 minutes before the noise went away.
I brought the car in to my local Subaru Service shop along with printouts from some of the Edmunds posts proving it was a common problem. With no arguments, my dealer replaced two pistons under warranty. The engine had to be removed, the crankcase split, and two pistons replaced. The replacement pistons looked very similar to the originals. No machine work (honing or boring) was required.
When the re-assembly and re installation was completed there was no more piston slap. (But there was a vibration I could feel through the accelerator pedal - as if the cable was misrouted and rubbing against the engine).
The service department was not able to fix the vibration, so I traded the 2003 in on a 2005 Legacy Sedan. The new Legacy had no piston slap problem at any temperature. I have driven a 2005 Outback in cold weather. It had no piston slap noise. So maybe Subaru has fixed the problem permanently.
I know many people with GM autos with a 3.1 litre V6 engine who have driven the slapping engines for 100,000 + with no failures related to the piston slap. So, I don't think it affects longevity.
Bottom line, the piston slap sounds cheap, but probably won't hurt longevity.
#6404 of 19283 Re: piston slap redux [scirocco22]
Mar 20, 2006 (8:28 pm)
Thank you all so much for the information so far! It answers some of my questions.
Like I say, I'm going to be trying to sell the car and it really sounds awful with that clattering for the first 15 minutes after startup. I know I wouldn't buy a used car with that kind of racket going on. No amount of convincing coming from the seller that it doesn't effect longevity or the sound it perfectly "normal" according to Subaru would prompt me to buy such a car.
Now, can anybody address my second question? Are there any reports of this identical problem happening on the MY2006 engines? I like Subarus and would consider buying another one but maybe not if this problems still exists on their new cars. Has anyone heard of piston slap or any loud racket going on when the engine is cold on the new 2006 vehicles?
#6405 of 19283 Re: piston slap redux [scirocco22]
Mar 21, 2006 (7:31 am)
In the process of buying a 2005 Legacy OB I asked the mechanic that did the pre-purchase inspection about the dreaded piston slap. I forget the exact details of his explanation but essentially it is the same one that a previous poster gave you: the condition does still exist in all current model lines (but not in all cars). If an individual car developes the condition it is the degree --or severity-- that determines whether it is a "problem" or not.
In layman's terms if you think of piston slap as a kind of year round "cold weather start" then a couple of minutes or so of that kind of start while the vehicle is "warming up" probably isn't a big deal. The 15 minutes or so you describe is obviously a problem.
You take your chances when you buy any vehicle. Even though I have had the problem in the past (with my 1997 OB Sport) and even though the pre-purchase inspection doesn't rule out the problem developing over a period of years (as it did with the OB Sport) I still went ahead with the purchase of the 2005 Legacy OB. However, given the amount of warranty work my OB Sport required I would never buy another Subaru without getting the Mfr's extended warranty. This time around I got the 7 year / 100K, $0.00 Ded, Gold Plus "Subaru Assurance Plan". (I paid about 45% off of MSRP, only because the dealer beat the 40% discount I found elsewhere).
I am pretty confident that if I do the service necessary to maintain the warranty and consistently go to the same dealer so they have the perception that I take good care of the vehicle that ultimately the dealership &/or Subaru of America will take care of any problems. This was my experience with the OB Sport. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a $1,350.00 short engine block replacement (excluding labor) about 4 months or so before my 6 yr / 60K warranty ran out. That was back in the Spring of 2003.
Let me know if you would like the details on where to get a good deal on a Subaru warranty. Also, according to another Subaru owner on a different board (Prices Paid and Buying Experience) you may also be entitled to a $200.00 loyalty rebate on the warranty. I haven't looked into that for myself yet.
#6407 of 19283 Re: piston slap redux [scirocco22]
Mar 21, 2006 (8:57 am)
And FWIW I personally have not heard of a single piston slap issue on the H6 engine, only the H4's.
#6408 of 19283 Re: piston slap redux [scirocco22]
Mar 21, 2006 (11:42 am)
I had piston slap on my 98 Forester and I had the pistons replaced under warranty. In my case, the noise did not go away completely after warm up.
When I had my pistons replaced, the district tech manager told me that the replacement pistons had longer skirts to stabilize piston travel. However, that was back in 98 when Subaru had just switched to "skirtless" pistons in an effort to maximize engine output. The repair completely fixed the noise.
Even then, it was not a common occurence. I also believe that Subaru did add more of a "skirt" in subsequent years so I would imagine that Phase II (introduced in MY99) and later engines would have a lower tendency to exhibit this behavior.
Mar 21, 2006 (1:57 pm)
hi hosts, has Edmunds relaxed its policy on competitor forum redirects?
#6411 of 19283 Re: forum redirects.. [once_for_all]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Mar 21, 2006 (3:12 pm)
yes and no...you can't "invite" people to other forums or tout those forums but you can reference them for a *specific* issue currently being discussed.
#6412 of 19283 Re: forum redirects.. [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 22, 2006 (8:27 am)
Thank you for the clarification. It didn't even occur to me that it might be an issue since the link --although it was "dead"-- was included in an article referenced in a previous post. These forums are great and it wasn't my intention to lure anyone away but rather to simply give a fellow sufferer an alternate source of info that I found helpful in fixing my problem.
Hope I didn't step on any toes.