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#9348 of 19283 "Rattle/Rumble" on light acceleration with AT
May 30, 2001 (8:13 am)
Bought a used 98 I in April with 28K. I now have 35,500. Like car very much - BUT - I have one very irritating symptom, which concerns me all the more since the transmission was overkilled when I took delivery from the Saturn dealer. AT low PM's, mainly in the top two gears of the AT, I get a noise upon light acceleration (and maintaining speed up a gradual hill). It almost sounds like the kind of rumble you'd expect from an exhaust hitting something, but I have checked all bushings and clearances carefully. Ground speed of car does not matter, so it's not wind.
I am concerned that this is actually a transmission/differential noise and doesn't bode well for the long haul. Since I drive 30,000 miles per year, I reach the long haul (and the end of a warranty window) quickly. Besides the original overfill, I often can smell the sweet smell of AT fluid when the windows are down and I have been driving a while (particularly up hill to my house in the hills). There are no visible leaks. The windows are down either because I am a) too hot or I) too sick of listening to the rumble noise as compared to window noise.
It seems to be worse with four passengers than one or two, but it is always there. If I accelerate more rapidly, it goes away. If I back off on the throttle completely, it goes away. Could it be something inside the exhaust (I wiggled all the external shields)? Or is it really in the drive train?
I have learned to ignore the noises rubies "always" make (I and/or my wife have had 5 of them from AL to Legacy to Outback Sport - transmission whine, rear gate rattles, rear door pillar rattles, and in the Forester only, engine rattle when cold (even if it's 85 degrees when you fire her up). In the end, I couldn't stand the terrible clutch in the 2000 Outback Sport (an otherwise FUN car), and traded it with only 16 I after being told by the dealers that it was "normal". This is my first automatic in 300,000 miles of driving standards (since the 90 Legacy LS). Why does Subaru always come SO close to the perfect car, only to blow it on one major item or another (early exhausts/radiators, early AS computers, rust, Impreza clutch)?
The Forester (my daughter has a 2001L too) seems the best yet, But this noise has me waiting for the shoe to fall - partly because nobody else seems to have it and I have a history of getting dealers to say "bee we never saw that before - or since".
I have two dealer choices on this - one nearby with only 2 years experience and high service turnover or another I like a lot that is 45 miles away. So I turn to you. Any ideas?
Thanks for your help - many minds make better decisions!
May 30, 2001 (8:46 am)
You may want to get the ATF flushed and refilled, even if it's not due.
The rattling could be a heat shield near the exhaust that works itself loose when the engine gets warm.
Just my 2 cents' worth.
May 30, 2001 (9:15 am)
Your symptoms could be describing light pinging under load, especially since it is worse with increased weight (passengers) and increased load (hill). I would try the next higher octane gas and see if it disappears.
#9351 of 19283 Subaru Team re post 1948 brake squeal...
May 30, 2001 (9:26 am)
As per your suggestion to have the glaze removed on the pads and rotor, this has been done numerous times by the dealer, almost everytime that it goes in for service and the results are the same the squeal and growl sound return. Wether its day or night, rainy or sunny, morning or afternoon. I think they are just tired to see us come in with our Forester with the same complaints all the time. Last time it was in to check the brakes, embarrassing for this dealer,I marked a couple of lug nuts to the wheel on each wheel with a marker and as we thought they never even removed the wheels to service but said as usual that they did and all Foresters do it.
May 30, 2001 (9:38 am)
Hugo- The brakes on my 01 Forester have never ever squeaked. Why does it seem that every service dept's first line of defense is to say that "they all do that"?
#9353 of 19283 All dealers do that
May 30, 2001 (9:42 am)
I very rarely find a dealer at least none of the Isuzu, and subaru dealers I've encountered that doesn't claim a problem to be normal if it is not easily explainable or fixable. It's weird but they all say everything is normal or that they can't find the problem. Things like "Customer claims" and "According to customer"
May 30, 2001 (10:16 am)
Mine also never once squeeked. Knock on wood.
May 30, 2001 (10:53 am)
So far, 11 months +, my Forester's brakes have been abnormally quiet.
May 30, 2001 (10:59 am)
So I finally got to talk to someone intelligent regarding the SK torque wrench. It was a person at the company that designs the wrenchs for SK. He immediately saw the problem and concluded it was an assembly issue and hoped it was only this particular wrench. When I pointed out to him that the instruction manual and SK catalog both showed the same miss match of parts he was just slightly freaked. Don't you think I deserve a free wrench? Odd no one else has realized this until now.
May 30, 2001 (11:14 am)
Interestingly, my Impreza's brake pads squealed a fair bit about six to eight thousand miles ago. I brake conservatively on the street, but I thought then that they were near the end of the pad because of autocross use.
Nope-- still have plenty of pad at 32k miles and many autocrosses. And they don't squeal at all, haven't for a while. Pretty weird.