Last post on Jul 16, 2009 at 10:17 AM
You are in the Subaru Baja
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Subaru Baja, Engine, Truck
Feb 10, 2004 (5:23 pm)
This is a modified version of my original post. The post was removed by Edmonds sighting: Rights of Third Parties
You may not submit Postings that contain personally identifiable information about other people, such as their phone number, street address or email address, or information about other people that could result in an invasion of their privacy or their harassment.
The original post contained names, email address's and phone numbers.
The modified version, removing this information is listed below.
11-29-03 I purchased 2003 Subaru Baja. Purchased with 12 miles.
My Baja currently has less than 3,000 miles
Today's date: 01-29-04
Three weeks ago I noticed a different noise coming from the engine, when the engine is cold. The noise is very loud and apparent when the engine is cold, in drive, and when you accelerate. A constant clacking noise that sounds like your lawn mowers engine. The noise subsides when the engine is warm, but can be still heard. Currently I have to let the Baja warm up for 15 minutes before the noise is reduced.
On 01-21-04,I called the dealership that I purchased the Baja from for an appointment to have this noise checked out. I gave the dealership the details of the problem and made an appointment for 7:30 a.m. on 01-22-04. Later in the afternoon on 01-22-04, the mechanic from the dealership called me at work and informed me that the noise that I was hearing was normal for this size engine, to which in turn I strongly disagreed with him. If the noise were normal for this size engine, I would have heard it before. I did not hear it on the two times I took the vehicle for a test drive, and did not hear it all through the Month of December. When questioned on why the noise just had started, I was told that it may be "environmental". I did not buy this, but could see that there was no use arguing with him on the phone. I picked up the vehicle after 1:30p.m. That afternoon.
Service Ticket: 77815
CUST REPORTS CLACKING NOISE WHEN COLD FROM ENGINE WHEN IN MOTION. NOISE INCREASES WITH SPEED. NOISE GOES AWAY AFTER 20 MIN
NO PROBLEM FOUND
VERIFIED NOISE WHEN COLD NOISE WENT AWAY WHEN ENG WARMED UP THIS IS NORMAL PISTON NOISE ON A 2.5L ENGINE'S
Luckily for me I work for a company that is in the distribution business. We have our own mechanics that maintain a fleet of vehicles from cars, trucks, and vans to semi trucks. I requested that they listen to the noise, which they did. The consensus was the noise that we were all hearing was caused by the "lifters". This was their opinion only from hearing the noise, since they cannot work on the vehicle due to the warrantee.
I filed a complaint online at with Subaru the afternoon of 01-22-04 and received the following reply back:
Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site and for your message. We are sorry to learn of the circumstances that prompted your message. Your frustration is understandable. We will contact XXXX Subaru about your concerns. Once our research is completed we will contact you.
Again, thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. Should you have any questions regarding this reply please call us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX (1-800-XXX-XXXX). Refer to the case number 581029 when calling as this will help expedite your call.
I called the 1-800 number and requested to speak with this representative on 01-26-04. He was unavailable. I left a message with the representative detailing the problem, and was told that my complaint would be recorded.
I called the 1-800 number and requested to speak with this representative on 01-27-04. He was unavailable. The representative that I spoke with on the phone this day was not really willing to help me and stated that my case was assigned to XXXXXXXX. I reiterated my problem with the vehicle and requested that this be noted in the case.
Which brings us to today, 01-29-04. Feeling that I was not getting any correct answers and that my problems were not being addressed I decided to make an appointment with another Subaru Dealership. I call the dealership this afternoon and attempted to make another appointment for my Baja. Once connected to the service department I started to describe my problem and was cut short by the service department lady. I was informed that a new notice / memo was just issued by Subaru regarding this noise, and that I could make an appointment if I really wanted to, but there was nothing that they could do to help me, and that Subaru is stating that this noise is a normal noise due to the re-design of the engine and as long as it goes away after 20 min, when the vehicle is warmed up there is no problem.
So now I drive a vehicle that sounds like a lawn mower until the engine is warm enough that the noise subsides. I have not heard back from Subaru.
Original posting above.
Since this post, I have test driven 4 other Baja's, none of them make the noise as described above. I have contacted a lemon law lawyer and am aware of what steps need to be taken for this law and the reciprocity between the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and do not believe that I wish to pursue this path. It is to time consuming.
My point is that dealership number one said that there is no problem. Dealership number two didn't even want to help me. And I have received no more correspondence with Subaru when contacted via the internet. When calling the 1-800 number provided I received no assistance or help. Yes, I probably could try to make another appointment with another dealer and drive over two hours one way to have them look at it, but I shouldn't have to do that. I am very honest person, so much so, that I will return a pen to a supermarket if I mistakenly forget to return it after writing a check. I want nothing from anyone that I have not purchased, or worked for. All I wanted from Subaru, was to have the noise corrected. I was not concerned that started so soon after purchasing the vehicle, and I wanted nothing else from anyone. Nothing is perfect, but everything can be corrected. But all I received is resistance at every turn.
So that brings us to today. I cannot live with the noise from the engine, it absolutely drives me crazy. When accelerating it sounds like playing cards clothed pinned to fork of a bicycle that clack from the spokes in the wheel. Even if the noise goes away after 15 to 20 min., who has that much time to wait for a vehicle to warm up several times a day. When I was a young boy I was told to choose my battles wisely. Even now if the noise was corrected, how could I be assured that I would not have to go through this in the future with any other issues or problems. I took tomorrow off from work and an planning on trying to trade the Baja off. I feel it would be easier to eat a few thousand dollars than to feel frustrated, it may just be time to simply move on and learn from this lesson.
#10 of 62 Anthony Paul
Feb 10, 2004 (6:19 pm)
I'll look into your case first thing tomorrow.
#11 of 62 Tony - I did find your case - please hang
Feb 11, 2004 (3:31 pm)
in there. It has escalated and will get the appropriate level of attention. It will have to go back to the dealer though. I read that you've consulted with an attorney and I know that this is because of your frustration, but I believe that he/she will tell you the same thing. Give us a chance please?
Once again, I'm sorry about your frustration and the problem. We will do our best to try to help.
#12 of 62 Why You may NOT want to buy a 2005 Subaru Baja
Jul 21, 2005 (12:14 pm)
Well.... I must say I was one of those eager new buyers , excited to make the transition from a Honda to a more rugged, durable , well appointed Subaru and Selected the Baja Turbo with Leather interior . 7400 miles later, my short block is replaced because the engine mysteriously " threw a rod". 300 miles after that , back to the Subaru dealership because they apparently crimped a line between the engine and the turbo unit causing the car to vibrate /shake/hesitate at 65 mph and generally run too loud.
Am I disappointed .. YES. Has Subaru listened to my complaints YES .. have they done anything besides the standard " I feel your pain" routine .. NO. To add insult to injury , let me add that the dented the front quarter panel at the dealership while installing the new short block , failed to clean the car after the finished their repairs and left greasy hand prints on the door handles and post.
Its not as if I am surprised at the car being back at the dealership. It was the very concern i shared with Subaru in reporting the problem. Exactly how many times does a dealership have to replace a short block .. not many I'm guessing ( or at least hoping)... so what are the chances they are going to get everything exactly right ... slim ? Not really their fault . You wouldn't; ask a surgeon to replace a heart on his own without any practice or assistance , would you ?
Nightmare YES . So if any of you lovely representatives of Subaru are out there, I hope you read this . I hope you respond appropriately and give me a new car that has been properly assembled from the beginning .
Wait . One more insult. The car failed in the middle of my business day on the way back to my office from the closing on a $900K piece of property. Because another dealership was 17 miles closer in THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF MY HOME < OFFICE AND DEALERSHIP WHERE I PURCHASED THE VEHICLE< I HAD TO PAY $47 TO HAVE IT TOWED BACK TO WHERE I BOUGHT THEIR DEFECTIVE BEAST. I'll let you know if Subaru stand up to their reputation , but so far a BIG BIG BIG DISAPPOINTMENT
#13 of 62 Take a deep breath
Jul 22, 2005 (7:06 am)
There's no need to shout.
Yours is the very first major engine problem on the EJ257 engine at Edmunds, the first.
Your dealer was awful they deserve to hear it.
Call 800-SUBARU3 and be polite, see what they can do to remedy the situation.
Tip: do not shout. I used to work in a Help Desk and those people got nowhere fast. The polite ones get the best service.
#14 of 62 Re: Take a deep breath [ateixeira]
Jul 22, 2005 (11:35 am)
Thanks so much for the advice . In fact , I haven;t shouted at anyone... including the dealer ... yet. The dealer has even thanked me 4 times for remaining calm, through out this situation.
I don;t think the dealer is awful .. i don;t even think that subaru or their products are awful .
I do think that this should have popped up on their radar screen by now as i have spoken to the Subaru customer servcie 3 times, My dealer 4 times, the regional subaru rep once .....I don't think that being calm is getting anywhere .
As an update . I just got the call this afternoon ... yup .. thats right ... not getting the car back today . I am told that the part did not arrive , but everything , inlcuding the dent repair should be done by next wednesday ... so i have to arrange for a ride to the dealership to pick up a loaner ... sigh ... I wish i would have saved a little longer and bought a mercedes or lexus where the servcie department actually picks you up and/or deliver the loaner vehicle.
#15 of 62 Another one with engine noise
Apr 07, 2007 (4:52 am)
I don't have all the details in front of me as I have just found this site, but I also have a 2003 Subaru Baja with engine noise. The car was purchased new so I have been the only owner and I know how it has been maintained. I bought the car because suited my needs and because of Subaru's reputation. Loved them both but the car has become somewhat of a disappointment. Early in it's life the car aquired the noise spoken of in the other posts. A knock (if you will) when cold going away when the engine has warmed. But now the noise doesn't go away at all. It is very loud when cold and lessens when warmed but still loud and very noticeable. The car now has approx. 65,000 miles on it so it hasn't set still much. Love the car but knowing the maintenance that it has recieved I'm very disappointed in it's durability as most of the miles on this car is highway running as you might guess. After some searching online for answers I have found that I could have a waterpump recall but since I have never recieved any notice can only assume that the recall in question doesn't affect my car. BUT since I found out about the recall I will be contacting my dealer and seeing if by chance mine notice "slipped through the cracks". The noise that I'm hearing seems to be, I'm guessing, a piston "slap" and from what I can tell is worse on the rear two cylinders. At first when I heard the noise and it went away when warmed I considered it to be normal becuase of the engine configuration and such........have heard very similar noises on many other brands with the "flat" style engines. But then about 50,000 miless it very quickly stopped going away when warmed and is there at alllll times now and I realize now that there is a problem to be fixed. I am very familiar with automotive engines as I am a auto Tech. of almost 30 years and have experience with many different brands. I carry Master Tech ranking with BMW, Chrysler and ASE and was quite proud of my choice of the Subaru for my new purchase. I just hope that it remains a good choice for me.
#16 of 62 Re: Another one with engine noise [fritz9]
Apr 07, 2007 (10:44 am)
Has it created any problems running or is it just a noise issue? Still, that gets annoying.
My Miata will knock if I mistakenly lug the engine. Sounds painful.
#17 of 62 Re: Another one with engine noise [ateixeira]
Apr 07, 2007 (12:01 pm)
It hasn't created any issues other than the noise at the moment.....at least that I'm aware of. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the computer system is making "adjustments" for it. The knock sensors come to mind but there hasn't been any check engine warning lamps or poor performance issues that I have picked up on. The fuel economy is still over 20 mpg too. I have tried a number of different fuels and even tried disconnecting the battery to let it think about be'n bad if it was computer issue but no change. Yea this has gotten bad enough that people look at it and comment on the noise. Not a good showing for Subaru. I love the vehicle and would love to keep it for years to come but really don't want to have to deal with major repairs either. And to it's credit I never had even one warranty claim with it to this point. Has been a GREAT car to this point.
Apr 09, 2007 (8:45 am)
Hey folks, I have the knock also. Love the vehicle. Sounds corny but I switched to mid-grade fuel and synthetic oil. Warms up quickly and the noise is no-more. 65000 miles, still runs strong for a 4banger. Wish the 3.0 h6 was an option. Any questions just ask.