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Piston slap-what does it sound like?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 dresch

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 09:18 AM

I've seen quite a few posts here refer to piston slap. What exactly is piston slap? What does it sound like? Please excuse my ignorance...

Also, I just had my HG replaced on my 02 OBW. I've noticed a burning rubber smell lately. I notice it when the car idles while warming in the morning. (Only warm it when below 20 degrees and for less than 5 minutes total) I also smell it when I park the car after driving from point A to point B. Any clues?

Thanks!

#2 friendly_jacek

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 09:34 AM

I've seen quite a few posts here refer to piston slap. What exactly is piston slap? What does it sound like? Please excuse my ignorance...

Also, I just had my HG replaced on my 02 OBW. I've noticed a burning rubber smell lately. I notice it when the car idles while warming in the morning. (Only warm it when below 20 degrees and for less than 5 minutes total) I also smell it when I park the car after driving from point A to point B. Any clues?

Thanks!


There are lots of posts on piston slap, if you scroll down the page, you will see the following Similar Threads: Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Piston slap and 6 cyl engines? stevemeeters New Generation of Subarus 5 02-10-2005 01:23 PM The Dreaded PISTON SLAP Setright New Generation of Subarus 14 11-26-2004 08:26 AM 2004 piston slap? or only older models? DMc-DE New Generation of Subarus 12 05-06-2004 01:19 PM Piston Slap blitz New Generation of Subarus 26 02-02-2004 03:54 PM piston slap on 98 Outback winterblazer New Generation of Subarus 8 10-24-2003 08:00 PM.

Also, google search will give more than you can read in a day.

As for the burning oil smell, read this recent topic:
[font="]http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=30381

Some people on the board may find annoying answering the same questions over and over again..

Happy Valentines!
[/font]

#3 blitz

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 09:50 AM

It's a clattering noise similar to the sound of a diesel. Distinctly different than a valvetrain click or the hollow knock of a rod or main.

#4 dresch

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 10:13 AM

Thanks Blitz. That was what I was looking for!

It's a clattering noise similar to the sound of a diesel. Distinctly different than a valvetrain click or the hollow knock of a rod or main.



#5 bearbalu

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 12:44 PM

Check following for a sound recording.

http://www.pistonslap.com/photos.htm

#6 mtsmiths

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 01:01 PM

I see that the site for the piston slap recording is related to GM ... that mus' be their 20% contribution to FHI.

#7 dresch

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 03:14 PM

Thank you for posting that link!!!!

Check following for a sound recording.


http://www.pistonslap.com/photos.htm



#8 northguy

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 06:05 PM

It's a sick sound of hundreds of dollars flying out of your wallet.:)

#9 SlipSquad

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 12:46 AM

It's a sick sound of hundreds of dollars flying out of your wallet.:)


I'm a new Subby owner.. and you guys are starting to make me seriously think of going back to my HONDAS.. and stay there.

#10 friendly_jacek

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 12:09 PM

Ha, ha, ha.



When I bought Subaru in 2000 I was brainwashed by CR and I thought they were reliable cars. Well, after I had a few repairs at 50000 miles, several recalls and the HG and center diff issues to look forward to, I’m not so sure.



However, my friend has 2 new Hondas and had his share of recalls, too. He also pays $400 for 15,000 miles and $600 for 30,000 miles services. While Subaru is maintenance intensive, I pay $300 for my 30,000 service at my local dealer.



I recently bought new Toyota and can tell you there were many annoying issues too, but rather minor.

[font="]Toyota beats Subaru on maintenance big time, though: oil/filter every 5,000 miles, air filter and coolant every 30,000 miles and ATF and spark plugs (iridium from factory on corolla) every 120,000 miles (yes!). That’s it.[/font]

#11 Gnuman

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 12:18 PM

Check following for a sound recording.

http://www.pistonslap.com/photos.htm


Thanks for that. now I know that my '92 does not have it (yet).

#12 The Dude

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 04:31 PM

The recording of piston slap in a GM vehicle doesn't sound a thing like piston slap in a Subaru boxer engine. Not even remotely close. At it's worst, on a very cold morning, piston slap in a Subaru may sound like a bad crankshaft bearing. Usually, it's a rattle or tapping sound. It usually gets less noticable as the engine warms up. With some wear on the engine, I have 175,000 miles on my 99 Forester, you can hear the piston slap in the background all the time. I am not a die hard fan of Subaru, and I will have to say that on a warmed up engine the piston slap is bearly noticable. Subaru claims that piston slap doesn't effect engine life. Based on my experience, I would have to say that is probably true. However, there have been a number of Subaru engines with extremely bad piston slap. It would seem that in those extreme cases Subaru has replaced the pistons, or otherwise repaired the engine under warranty.

#13 Subaru X

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 06:10 PM

I'm a new Subby owner.. and you guys are starting to make me seriously think of going back to my HONDAS.. and stay there.


I hear that! I'm a Honda nut myself. But I'm sticking with my soob. My hondas couldn't stand up to my driving. electrical and plumbing is sound on hondas. But I have never had a subaru boxer engine smoke, and I run my cars a little hard from time to time. But my current subaru I'm actually taking care of :) It's a toss up really in my opinion. They both in the end seem to come up about equal.

#14 slo5oh

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:13 PM

Bob Hagin/Syndicated Columnist/ Seattle Times disagrees with GM’s rational on piston slap:

Bob Hagin is the guy that owns Hagan Automotive (in Martinez, Ca) and used to teach autoshop at College Park Highschool. :) I went there!!
He used to (still does?) write for Contra Costa Times.

Knew I should have taken autoshop. :(

Thank you for posting that link!!!!



#15 Spazz698

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 03:01 AM

I hear that! I'm a Honda nut myself. But I'm sticking with my soob. My hondas couldn't stand up to my driving. electrical and plumbing is sound on hondas. But I have never had a subaru boxer engine smoke, and I run my cars a little hard from time to time. But my current subaru I'm actually taking care of :) It's a toss up really in my opinion. They both in the end seem to come up about equal.


Hell I run my Sube hard all the time, not a thing has broken since I bought it almost 2 mo ago. Had my bf's civic before it was his (he bought it from a good friend of mine, he got a DUI, so I ended up with his car til he got his license stuff figured out) man the biggest POS ever. Well compared to every other car I've driven that is, first the pass. side halfshart starts clicking (still hasnt gotten fixed, this was a yr ago too) tranny went, motor went with the timing chain shortly after, clutch is almost always crap (tho that's more or less driver error, I never had a problem with the clutch even when it was slipping, bf seems to go thru them about 1x a month lol) I know, I just KNOW if I try to run the civic as hard as I run my Sube, that thing would be in pieces. Love hondas, but they just cant take the crap I am more than willing to expose them to and I really dont have the money to fix it all the time.

#16 bearbalu

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 12:30 PM

The recording of piston slap in a GM vehicle doesn't sound a thing like piston slap in a Subaru boxer engine. Not even remotely close. At it's worst, on a very cold morning, piston slap in a Subaru may sound like a bad crankshaft bearing. Usually, it's a rattle or tapping sound. It usually gets less noticable as the engine warms up. With some wear on the engine, I have 175,000 miles on my 99 Forester, you can hear the piston slap in the background all the time. I am not a die hard fan of Subaru, and I will have to say that on a warmed up engine the piston slap is bearly noticable. Subaru claims that piston slap doesn't effect engine life. Based on my experience, I would have to say that is probably true. However, there have been a number of Subaru engines with extremely bad piston slap. It would seem that in those extreme cases Subaru has replaced the pistons, or otherwise repaired the engine under warranty.


Does anyone have a recording for a Subaru? I am surprised they sound so different...Can someone else with bad piston slap validate it it as well?

#17 vic/se

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 01:22 PM

The recording of piston slap in a GM vehicle doesn't sound a thing like piston slap in a Subaru boxer engine. Not even remotely close. At it's worst, on a very cold morning, piston slap in a Subaru may sound like a bad crankshaft bearing. Usually, it's a rattle or tapping sound. It usually gets less noticable as the engine warms up. With some wear on the engine, I have 175,000 miles on my 99 Forester, you can hear the piston slap in the background all the time. I am not a die hard fan of Subaru, and I will have to say that on a warmed up engine the piston slap is bearly noticable. Subaru claims that piston slap doesn't effect engine life. Based on my experience, I would have to say that is probably true. However, there have been a number of Subaru engines with extremely bad piston slap. It would seem that in those extreme cases Subaru has replaced the pistons, or otherwise repaired the engine under warranty.

I believe this is how a subaru sounds!!

#18 SlipSquad

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 12:25 AM

I hear that! I'm a Honda nut myself. But I'm sticking with my soob. My hondas couldn't stand up to my driving. electrical and plumbing is sound on hondas. But I have never had a subaru boxer engine smoke, and I run my cars a little hard from time to time. But my current subaru I'm actually taking care of :) It's a toss up really in my opinion. They both in the end seem to come up about equal.



X..

Being a Honda owner.. you could imagine how I felt the next morning after buying this car and starting it after its been parked out in -10 weather then starting it!

HOLY @!#$%^&*!!!! I almost freak the *bleep* out when I heard this thing turn DIESEL on me.. then I read up on Piston Slap.. then she warmed and stopped!

She sounded like a B16 with really bad valve problems. Or even a bad bearing.. I'll keep her tho.. I like a challenge!!

I LOVE MY HONDA! and my SUBARU's not too bad either!




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