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#7344 of 19336 2003 Forester with a new Buzz
Feb 05, 2007 (5:46 pm)
My wife and I just bought a 2003 Forester with only 19K miles on it. Not having owned a Subaru before, we're slowly getting used to the quirks and noises. As for the "diesel truck" sound that another poster described when starting cold--we've had two dealers tell us it was "a normal operating condition" caused by changes to the engine from 2002 to 2005 or so. Sounded fishy to me, but other owners have reported the same experience (with their cars, and at their dealers.)
Our biq question now: the car has developed a loud buzz when accelerating. You can somtimes hear it when turning and first starting it in the morning as well. But its loudest when hitting the gas. Sounds metallic, like a heat shield vibrating.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
#7345 of 19336 Re: 2003 Forester with a new Buzz [scrappy44]
Feb 05, 2007 (6:20 pm)
Follow your instincts and look for something loose that might be vibrating. You can probably poke around the engine bay and under the car to see if any of the exhaust shielding is loose, or pressing against something else. Often, you can bend it out of the way or snug it down. Good luck!
#7346 of 19336 Re: 2003 Forester with a new Buzz [scrappy44]
Feb 05, 2007 (8:53 pm)
Believe me, engine sounds like this made me question everything I was told as well. '02 OBW, now 5.5 yrs old, with 45k miles. Should have heard it start up tonight (10'F) at work! Clack clack clack as I drove away! Quiet as can be 5 minutes later.
#7347 of 19336 Re: Gas Smell [fibber2]
Feb 05, 2007 (9:03 pm)
Funny when you find yourself with the same problem that you helped diagnose only two weeks earlier.
For the first time, I had the smell of gasoline shortly after getting underway tonight. Coldest outside start this winter, around 10'F or so. Popped the hood when I got home and sniffed around. Clean around the fuel filter area, but strong around the lines that drop down to the drivers side fuel injectors, and a trace on the passengers side. Guess I am going to have to get in there and try tightening up the clamps.
#7348 of 19336 Re: Gas Smell [fibber2]
Feb 06, 2007 (7:11 am)
You know sometimes you are asking for trouble with all that expertise built up!
#7349 of 19336 Re: 2003 Forester with a new Buzz [c_hunter]
Feb 06, 2007 (10:02 am)
Certainly does sound like a heat shield. The good news is that it causes no performance issues for the car, but the source of the "buzz" can sometimes be rather problematic to locate and quiet.
#7350 of 19336 Re: 2003 Forester with a new Buzz [xwesx]
Feb 06, 2007 (11:42 am)
And the good news there is if you can isolate it to the heat shield, its a tack-weld job to fix. I have to do the same thing, someday soon.
#7351 of 19336 Re: Rod Knock [sixtystacks]
Feb 07, 2007 (4:37 am)
Well yesterday Am I had the appt with a local Florida Subaru dealer. When I started the car there was that 'diesel' sound that I had become accustomed to but after I drove about a mile and stopped at the light it was much more muted. Now the previous afternoon when I was at a similar light it was 'banging' pretty good. So as I got to the dealer I felt like the guy going to the dentist who no longer had the toothache. Anyway I explained that a local mechanic that I trusted felt that the sound may be a bad rod bearing and that he others had agreed and that I had taken a case number out with SOA just in case it was serious. The manager was a young guy seemed pretty sharp - said they would take a look; he did say if they had to start dismantling things I would have to pay the time - I said fine. About an hour later the verdict was in and said that they did agree about the engine - he said for sure the heat shield needed to be 'tucked' in - which they did - which I had just paid Subaru in Minnesota to fix before coming down - but he said his only thought was that maybe I had 'stuck lifters' that worked themselves out. It sounds much better all of a sudden. I will call SOA and update the case but am still a bit unsettled about the whole thing - although in this case ignorance reverted to bliss if I'm not looking at a block replacement.
Is his 'lifter' scenario likely - the car is quieter - at least it was yesterday....
Thanx all for your input...
#7352 of 19336 Re: Rod Knock [sixtystacks]
Feb 07, 2007 (4:40 am)
not quite awake yet... the above should have read...
""About an hour later the verdict was in and said that they did not agree about the engine -""
#7353 of 19336 Re: Rod Knock [sixtystacks]
Feb 07, 2007 (5:31 am)
I'm surprised all Subaru dealers aren't spouting the same party line on this yet, as it seems to be a very common, well-known problem to them. Half the people in my town own Subarus--and half of those that I meet with about 2000 to 2005 cars report the same issue. My dealer now has a stack of service bulletins copied about the cold start "diesel engine" sound that they just hand out to customers who complain--though they will check over the cars to make sure it isn't something else--like a bad timing belt tensioner. The bulletin says a combination of engine changes, from short-skirt pistons to different valve lifters, combine to make the sound, and it won't effect the life of the engine. If you tell them their answer is unacceptable, the response is that they have tried replacing the entire block on some cars, and the sound just returns after a few thousand miles. Case closed..next customer.
My take on the whole issue is this. Its a design flaw in the engine--probably causing piston slap. It may shorten the life of the engine in the end, but it probably won't pose a real problem until you're sick of the car and the warranty is looonng passed. That being said, Subaru would rather just say "Ooops!, its just a Subaru quirk, enjoy your car" rather than admit they sent out thousands upon thousands of questionable engines that may need new blocks. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I'm not impressed with the quality control in my wife's new car at all. (A parting note: a Subarau dealer the next town over has actually hung a sign in their service area saying: "Warning: Subaru's are noisy!")