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2002 Impreza OBS Engine Rattle

Impreza engine_rattle

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11 replies to this topic

#1 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:26 PM

I've searched the forums for this question but didn't find exactly what I hoped to find.

 

Not a mechanic, don't know a thing about cars. Love my '02 Impreza OBS bugeye, despite having had the head gaskets replaced (almost stalled at 75 mph on I-75 in 12 lanes of traffic in Atlanta--impressive indeed!), catalytic converter replaced--both from local, reliable mechanics, not Subaru dealership parts--all before the 70K mark.

 

I'm having an average of $1300 repairs per year (always in the Summer, somehow) on this car, which I really do love, but it is getting expensive to love this car.

It has ~82K miles, mostly local driving, automatic.

 

Trouble now (it's summer, so here we go!) is an engine rattle upon acceleration. Took it to the local chain auto repair who have done my oil changes, tire rotation, etc., maintenance (not the big jobs above), and they said oil was really, really low (was due for 3K oil change in the next month or two--not right on it) and that was causing the engine to rattle. They did an oil change, told me to drive it around for a couple weeks, check the oil once a week. NO leaks, no drips, no spills obvious anywhere. The mechanic said the engine should stop rattling once I drove it around a bit.

 

Didn't. Still rattles upon acceleration.

 

Called the mechanic who replaced the head gaskets (he's known here as a good Subaru mechanic, used to work for the dealer before they closed) :-(   and I'm taking it to him tomorrow, but I'd sure appreciate any opinions from this panel of Subi experts. 

 

Also wondering, despite the major Subi love I have for this car, if it isn't time to think of getting a more reliable used vehicle. Hate to think of parting with this car, but the wallet's feeling really squeezed.

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 rverdoold

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:32 PM

I would check the exhaust heat shield they really tend to rattle all the way at certain revs. Start at the front of the exhaust and check all the heat shields with a screwdriver pushing them If any of them moves it rattles while driving. 

You can use hose clamps to make them shut up.



#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 06:02 PM

If the noise seems internal, the overheating episode may have damaged some bearings. Wonder where the oil went recently?

 

Sending an oil sample to Blackstone labs might help. However, I'm betting an experienced soob mechanic will be able to tell you as well.

 

fluids are the life-blood of your car, some moreso than others but, they need regular attention and occasional changing. Having a rattle tell you to check the oil is not good.



#4 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:12 PM

If the noise seems internal, the overheating episode may have damaged some bearings. Wonder where the oil went recently?

 

Sending an oil sample to Blackstone labs might help. However, I'm betting an experienced soob mechanic will be able to tell you as well.

 

fluids are the life-blood of your car, some moreso than others but, they need regular attention and occasional changing. Having a rattle tell you to check the oil is not good.

 

Just for the record, I do religiously get the oil changed every 3K, and since I don't know anything about cars, I take it in at the slightest perceived problem--others will laugh, perhaps--but that's the price of being car-ignorant, I realize. It wasn't due up yet for the oil change when the rattle started. But thanks for the cautionary reminder.



#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

No ofense intended but, we get the entire range of car owners here and I do sometimes risk offending people by asking about basic stuff.

 

If you check the oil regularly, then it wasn't underfilled at the last service. Recently, there have been threads where folks discovered the service guys had under or overfilled the crankcase during an oil change.

 

Hmm, maybe some odd kind of PCV valve problem. They can get gummed-up and lead to some increased oil usage. Might need cleaning/changing. Inexpensive.



#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:27 PM

So it doesn't make any noise when the engine is idling in drive, or when it's just sitting in park? Suppose I should ask, is it an automagic or manual transmission?
Does it make the noise if you quickly rev the engine in neutral?

$1300 a year is a lot of money for such low mileage, but the age of the car is why all of these things are having to be repaired. A car that sees only a few thousand miles a year in 11-12 years will show its age just as a car that is driven a lot of miles would in the same time period, but for different reasons.
Sitting in traffic, making short trips every day, are much harder on an engine than driving 30-40 miles one way on the highway to work every day.

You're overdue for a timing belt on the time schedule, and you could have an idler bearing or belt tensioner failing. Other knocks related to oil level would be a rod bearing, but I would blame that failure more on the overheating it experienced before the head gaskets were replaced. When an engine overheats to the point that it nearly shuts off, there is serious damage being done due to the expansion of the components and thinning of the oil due to heat.

#7 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:29 PM

No ofense intended but, we get the entire range of car owners here and I do sometimes risk offending people by asking about basic stuff.

 

If you check the oil regularly, then it wasn't underfilled at the last service. Recently, there have been threads where folks discovered the service guys had under or overfilled the crankcase during an oil change.

 

Hmm, maybe some odd kind of PCV valve problem. They can get gummed-up and lead to some increased oil usage. Might need cleaning/changing. Inexpensive.

 

I can certainly appreciate that you get all sorts of owners who post here! 

I found out that when the auto repair chain store changed my oil earlier this week they definitely overfilled it, b/c the mechanic who works on local Subarus and looked at it later this week told me the oil was overfilled.

 

The Subi mechanic said a splash guard and a heat shield were loose, so he repaired those. The engine rattle is gone, but the car does rattle when I make a right turn (only right turns), something I've had a for a while, but he hasn't located yet. 

 

So far, running fine, and I am relieved this wasn't a big fix$.

 

Thank you for your suggestions and recommendations!



#8 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:38 PM

So it doesn't make any noise when the engine is idling in drive, or when it's just sitting in park? Suppose I should ask, is it an automagic or manual transmission?
Does it make the noise if you quickly rev the engine in neutral?

 

>>>>That is correct. It was only upon acceleration that the rattling happened. See also my reply above--splash guard and heat shield were loose, fixed, rattle in front of car has stopped. I've had a rattle on right turns only in the rear of the car, which the local Subi mechanic hasn't been able to find yet.

It's an automatic.



$1300 a year is a lot of money for such low mileage, but the age of the car is why all of these things are having to be repaired. A car that sees only a few thousand miles a year in 11-12 years will show its age just as a car that is driven a lot of miles would in the same time period, but for different reasons.
Sitting in traffic, making short trips every day, are much harder on an engine than driving 30-40 miles one way on the highway to work every day.

 

>>>>>That is what I suspected--I do mostly local driving, which I know is much harder on a car.

You're overdue for a timing belt on the time schedule, and you could have an idler bearing or belt tensioner failing. Other knocks related to oil level would be a rod bearing, but I would blame that failure more on the overheating it experienced before the head gaskets were replaced. When an engine overheats to the point that it nearly shuts off, there is serious damage being done due to the expansion of the components and thinning of the oil due to heat.

>>>>I thought the Subi mechanic said the timing belt was changed with the head gaskets? Can't remember. I'll ask him. I've been diligent about taking the car in for any little thing that sounds or feels wrong, and I had NO warning at all before the exciting episode on I-75 a few years ago. No check engine light, the temperature gauge didn't swing up into overheating, nothing. And I'd had an oil check and pre-trip check up the day before I went to Atlanta, 'cause I'm really neurotic about this car! I just acclerated to pass another car, and the Subi just said, "Um, nope, don't feel like doin' that today." I wound up at a Subaru dealer in Kennesaw, Georgia, for 4 hours, while they did whatever they did. The head gasket replacement was a year or so after that pricey episode.

 

>>>>Still, I really enjoy driving this car. I just wish I didn't have these expen$ive surprises with it.

 

>>>>Thanks for your help and explanations, I appreciate it.


Edited by rmsimpreza2002, 27 July 2013 - 03:42 PM.


#9 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:41 PM

I would check the exhaust heat shield they really tend to rattle all the way at certain revs. Start at the front of the exhaust and check all the heat shields with a screwdriver pushing them If any of them moves it rattles while driving. 

You can use hose clamps to make them shut up.

 

>>>I think that was it (I hope!). That was the only thing the local Subi mechanic could see, a loose splash guard and heat shield. He fixed them. I've got a left rear rattle when I make a right turn, but the mechanic hasn't been able to find that cause yet. So far, so good. After this recent, and thankfully inexpensive repair, she's runnin' good!

>>>>Thank you for the advice!



#10 rmsimpreza2002

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:45 PM

Just want to say thanks to all of you who replied. So far, so good--heat shield and splash guard tightened up and front rattle stopped. Wasn't expensive to fix, so i was very relieved!

Still have a left rear rattle when I make a right turn, but mechanic hasn't found the cause of that yet. 

So far, little Subi's doing much better and so am I!

Thanks, y'all! Appreciate the advice and suggestions very much!



#11 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:02 PM

noises are tricky over the internet, is it a grinding sound or thumping or ???

 

I'm gonna suggest your mechanic take a look at the anti-sway bar and it's end links but, if you can create the noise with your mechanic in the car on a test drive, that would probably help a lot.



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:55 AM



I'm gonna suggest your mechanic take a look at the anti-sway bar and it's end links but, if you can create the noise with your mechanic in the car on a test drive, that would probably help a lot.


Same thoughts here. Probably sway bar end links.

Glad the rattle was an easy fix. Good to hear it wasnt a major problem.




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