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ticking in an 03 OB


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14 replies to this topic

#1 danz75

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:37 AM

I have an 03 OB and the engine ticks on cold mornings or when it hasn't been started for awhile. after it warms up, the ticking goes away. I took it to the dealer and he said that it was normal for this in Ohio. I had a 93 legacy before and it never did that. It this really normal for this engine model or should I pursue this matter with the dealer? I would appreciate any advice about this as the car is still under warranty and I would like to get it fixed if it is a problem.

thanks
danz75

#2 99obw

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:32 AM

What engine do you have? What kind of oil filter are you using? What brand and viscosity of oil?

#3 danz75

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:35 AM

I have the 4 cyl and I'm currently using castrol 5w30 and the stock filters. I am debating whether to switch over to syn after reading the posts about the petroleum based oil vs synthetic oils.

#4 99obw

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:45 AM

That combination of oil and filter should be just fine. I would go to the dealer and listen to some other new H4's running when cold and decide if you think there is actually a problem. These engines do seem to develop piston slap over time. How many miles?

#5 danz75

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:58 AM

It's got about 14200 miles now. I did notice that it's worse in the winter and it does it pretty every cold morning. During the summer it's usually fine unless it hasn't been driven for a few days or so. What exactly is this piston slapping that you mentioned? Would it be the pistons contracting due to the cold temp? It vaguely sounds like a rotor cap I once heard on an old 85 van.

#6 WWSO

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 11:51 PM

Check out this web page. Does it sound like this??

http://www.butkus.or...piston_slap.htm

#7 danz75

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the tips. I listened to the file and it sounds somewhat like it except that it is not as loud. And it is usually at 30 below when it does that. I'm wondering if this is a problem that will get worse and if I should take it to the dealer to get it worked on. I've also read that some dealerships are terrible when it comes to repairs and that they can make the problem worse. Any advice on the dealers near columbus, Ohio? What causes the piston slaps and what will the damage be like in the long run if it is not treated?

danz75

#8 pulloff

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 01:36 PM

I’ve got a 03 OBW and it makes a similar noise, and only when the car is cold. The colder it is outside the worse the noise is. I've got 42,000 on the car already and now I am curious if the piston slap is doing any damage? Except for the slap and some wind noise from the windows the car is great (I still prefer our 99 OWB though). I never really gave the noise a second thought until today. I’m wondering if I should get the problem solved or if it’s just one of the cars quirks. I hate to have it torn down if I don't have too but I would rather do it while it's still under the extended warranty than foot the bill myself.

#9 WWSO

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:04 PM

I'm not sure how accurate the info is, but check out this web site.

http://resnet.uorego...subnoises.html.


Keep us informed on this issue. Thanks!

#10 WWSO

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:34 PM

More info on pistons:

http://www.subaru-gl...t/parts/01.html

#11 danz75

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 11:44 PM

The link at U of O doesn't seem to work.

I have to add that when I first got the car from the dealer, I didn't hear that noise at all, it was only about 2-4 months after that it became apparent. I did the recommended break-in even though I remember the dealer telling me specifically that there wasn't any need to do that.
Performed the 3000 mi oil change and filter. I was wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that I used the castrol 5w30. Anyone knows what oil comes with a new OB and if that will make any difference?

Apart from the noise, the car seems to be performing well.
I wish that the brakes were more effective though cause when I'm going fast down a slope, sometime it feels as if the car doesn't want to stop. I've tried engaging the AT to neutral to see if there is a difference and I usually get a shorter braking distance with that. Wonder why that is the case.

#12 adge_082

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:36 AM

Rather than go to neutral when you feel the need for more braking power, downshift.

#13 pulloff

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 10:46 AM

The link at U of O just needed the period removed from the end try this one:

http://resnet.uorego.../subnoises.html

I'm still worried about engine longevity. My wife and I put on a ton of miles every year so every mile counts. Our 99 Outback has 164,000 and our 03 Outback has 42,000. I want every mile I can get out of the motors.

#14 WWSO

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 10:34 PM

Jake,

Does your 99 outback tick? How reliable is the 99, any issues?
Is it a 2.5L?

#15 pulloff

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 03:34 PM

My 99 is as quiet as can be, it’s the 2.5 DOHC (I have heard that later 99 came with 2.5 SOHC). No ticking, and no wind noise which are both minor annoyance on our 03.

We have driven our 99 hard, and it has the miles to prove it. It has been an extremely reliable car with a few exceptions:

• We put a new transmission in at 140,000 miles (My fault, A towing mishap from Florida, the front up on a dolly and the rear on the ground, and no I didn’t disconnect the rear driveshaft. I’d like to say I was young and dumb but I was just dumb:>).
• When we got the new tranny we also put in a new clutch which we probably didn’t need but I fell for the service manager’s sales pitch on how our clutch didn’t have much life left. The dealer botched the clutch install and the new clutch was gone after only 8,000 miles (They replaced it).
• The head gasket blew last year at 140,000 miles. I took the thermostat out and continued driving the car for another 6,000 miles before we could find a reputable mechanic (didn’t want to go to the dealer) to fix it. The car never overheated without the thermostat, it just used a cup or so of antifreeze every week. I probably would have gone longer but winter in WNY and not much heat wasn’t fun. Heads were planed with new gaskets and the car has been good since.

Other than that just: new tires at 80k, new brake pads, new wiper blades and the usual maintenance, we haven’t even needed to put a new muffler on yet.

We have gone 4 wheeling all over with the 99 in the Southwest and here in NY. My wife and I loved taking logging roads and four-wheel-drive-only trails when we lived in Colorado. We have some great memories taking the car places that most people wouldn’t even take their trucks. We made some really, really dumb decisions on some muddy and snowy roads and luckily the car always got us through it. I hindsight I wish we had a digital camera to document all the amazing stuff that car went through (thank God for the underguards).

If I had to choose between a new 99 and a new 03, I would take the 99 ten times out of ten. The car just seems to have a little more getup and go and a little more torque. If I let the clutch out on the 99 on flat ground without my foot on the gas the car lugs down and moves forward without stalling. If I do the same thing on the 03 is stalls. Both cars idle at 500 rpm, the new one just doesn’t seem to have the torque.

Incase you haven’t notice I love the 99, my wife drives it now and I miss it… she won’t trade back.

Sorry to make a short story long.




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