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#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.
#6413 of 19283 Piston slap redux
Mar 22, 2006 (8:46 am)
I posted about 4 months ago about this . I had Subaru replace my #4and #2 pistons with the so called countermeasure piston . I have a 02 outback 2.5 4eat it had at the time of surgery 39k miles on it . I have had the slap since 6 k miles . My slap got so bad that it was always there even when the engine was fully warmed up . It never used any oil and it always ran like a top , but the slap was so bad It sounded like the engine was going to throw a rod . I have put 4500 miles on it and it has not been back to the dealer since . I was able to see my old pistons b/4 they sent them back to SOA for analysis. There was wear on both pistons around the wrist pin area's, but it was only the moly coating that was worn away. I also saw my cylinder walls and they looked fine no wear at all . You could still see the hone marks clearly. I asked why no wear on the walls and the mechanic said that SOA uses a very hard iron cylinder sleeve in the aluminum block .SOA is not swapping blocks anymore they are installing the pistons instead . The mechanic said that the new pistons are alittle more barrel shaped then the old ones meaning they are a little wider.
My outback now has 64k miles on it and the slap is back . It is about 50%of the noise it was before the piston replacement. It still knocks at start up but goes away in about 10mins. To this day I don't add any oil between oil changes. I do now use dino castrol because it seems to quiet the noise. I send my oil to blackstone labs every other oil change and all limits are normal or below normal.I have learned to live with it .
#6414 of 19283 Re: Piston slap redux [mrk610]
Mar 22, 2006 (9:43 am)
Have you considered requesting the piston replacement again? Or don't you have any (extended) warranty left?
I have read here and elsewhere that the problem is actually relatively rare. Are you just having a run of bad luck or is there something about some engines that contributes to the problem (as opposed to the pistons themselves being the only cause of the problem)? In which case perhaps you should consider requesting the short engine block replacement.
When did they supposedly stop "swapping blocks". I had mine replaced back in the Spring of 2003.