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1999 Outback... piston noise/using oil ?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 akm

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:24 PM

Son (out of state) has asked question about his 1999 Outback (4 cyl) with about 112k miles.

Seems that it is using oil and making some kind of noise that he has been told may be a piston (worn rings maybe ?) that clatters when the oil is low and/or when the engine is cold... which makes a certain amount of sense given heat = expansion and oil = lubrication/gap filler.

Does that sound reasonable and/or symptomatic for that year/make of Subaru and is there any great risk in driving it as long as keep oil in it and perhaps try an oil additive for such a condition ?

Thoughts/questions ?

Thanks much for the help.

#2 cookie

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:42 PM

Most of them slap when cold. If it does not go away when warm it may be a problem. Oil burning is relative. On that car if you add a quart to 1500 it may be on the high side of normal for an old car. Of course some will burn little oil but if he is running it low he will soon be damaging your checkbook.

#3 jon38iowa

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:47 PM

Son (out of state) has asked question about his 1999 Outback (4 cyl) with about 112k miles.

Seems that it is using oil and making some kind of noise that he has been told may be a piston (worn rings maybe ?) that clatters when the oil is low and/or when the engine is cold... which makes a certain amount of sense given heat = expansion and oil = lubrication/gap filler.

Does that sound reasonable and/or symptomatic for that year/make of Subaru and is there any great risk in driving it as long as keep oil in it and perhaps try an oil additive for such a condition ?

Thoughts/questions ?

Thanks much for the help.

Mine had this same problem for the last 25K. In my opinion it can run this way quite awhile before failure. Mine never did fail, but it was so loud I could no longer enjoy the stereo!
By the way I did a fair bit of research on these Boxer engines, and here is what I found out price wise:
A rebuilt motor around $3000. plus shipping
Used (salvage yard) minimal warranty $2000.- 3000.
Having yours rebuilt ( and all the work done) $4000.

#4 akm

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:57 PM

Mine had this same problem for the last 25K. In my opinion it can run this way quite awhile before failure. Mine never did fail, but it was so loud I could no longer enjoy the stereo!

Thanks for the info.
Will forward on to the son.
Hes also talking about buying another Subaru (maybe a Forester, for Plattsburgh PA weather), any thoughts/suggestions ?
Thanks again for the help !

#5 cookie

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:07 PM

Get at least a 99. The 98s had the same phase 1 engine he has now with a bit more chance of head gasket failure and much harder to work on. The phase 2 that starts at 99 in Forester and 2000 up in Legacies is a simpler single cam which is an improvement.
Oddly enough I have a 99 Forester for this reason. You can still have a head gasket leak but it tends to be an external one that can be cured by a sealer, or the early ones have an extended warranty on the head gaskets until about 100,000 miles if I recall correctly.
They still need to have the oil level ket up though.

#6 jon38iowa

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:15 PM

Thanks for the info.
Will forward on to the son.
Hes also talking about buying another Subaru (maybe a Forester, for Plattsburgh PA weather), any thoughts/suggestions ?
Thanks again for the help !

Mine is a '99 Forester, moreover, despite the high mileage engine problem, I Would buy anohter tomorrow! If he gets a '98-2002 year Forester I recomend going for the S model-All four disk brakes, heated seats etc,.
John

#7 cookie

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:36 PM

I agree with jon, I regret not buying an S model as those features are quite nice. the easy to work on rear brakes for me and the heated seats for my wife. She loves the heated seats in our BMW.

#8 Snowman

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:05 AM

For the oil burning, spend $12 and try replacing the PCV valve (with an OEM one from Subaru). I've seen sooooo many Subaru engines, EA and EJ series, that burned even large amounts of oil because of a bad PCV valve. These engines are usually really easy on rings and valve seals, so they don't normally burn oil from those places as they get older.

#9 ShawnW

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:44 AM

For the oil burning, spend $12 and try replacing the PCV valve (with an OEM one from Subaru). I've seen sooooo many Subaru engines, EA and EJ series, that burned even large amounts of oil because of a bad PCV valve. These engines are usually really easy on rings and valve seals, so they don't normally burn oil from those places as they get older.


What he said!!!

#10 ron917

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 06:38 AM

Is it burning oil or leaking it? These engines like to leak at the front crank seal, cam seals and/or the oil pump. None of the leaks are difficult or expensive to fix when the timing belt is changed. A glance at the engine from underneath will tell you if it's leaking.

#11 porcupine73

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 09:07 AM

perhaps try an oil additive for such a condition ?

If you're interested in trying an additive something like Schaeffer's Moly E.P. #132 might work, I've heard a lot of good things about this product and they make good stuff. I run it sometimes though I don't burn any oil so I can't say if it helps with that. It can be difficult to find retail but I bought it online.




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