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2005 Outback idles like a VW diesel


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10 replies to this topic

#1 90legacywagon

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:51 PM

Does anyone else have a Subaru with an the 4 cyl. EJ25 engine and thinks it idles loud? Sometimes I feel like I'm back in my Volkswagen TDI, because at idle my car sounds a little bit like a diesel. Are Subarus of this model known for loud injectors or something?

Is this normal Subaru behavior or do I need a tune-up or worse? It only has 42000 miles on it, I just bought it from CARMAX and I love it. I noticed in the manual the plugs should be changed at 36000 miles. I kind of doubt that whoever got rid of this car about the same mileage time would bother to change the plugs. Maybe I should change the plugs. What do y'all think?

#2 ericem

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 12:03 AM

Check the oil lately?? Maybe it's time for a oil change. Although new spark plugs do not hurt at all!!

#3 90legacywagon

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 12:14 PM

The oil looks fine. It is still under their 30 day warranty so I am going to take it in to see if they'll give it a tune-up. The "diesel" sound is not really audible from outside the car, it is only when I am in the car that I hear a low, knocking sound like a diesel. However, outside the car, the engine noise just seems to be quite a bit louder than a car of this age should have.

By the way I was next to a 2002ish Subaru Baja the other day at the gas station and it also sounded really loud at idle. Not like loud exhaust, but loud ENGINE noise. Could this be a Subaru characteristic?

If you just bought this car it is time for a full tuneup. a 2005 should not sound like a diesel unless it was run low on oil.

Plugs can normally go 100K, but if its running poorly it should have a full tune up and oil change.

Please tell me you had a mechanic check out this car before you bought it.


nipper



#4 grossgary

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 01:45 PM

oil change, tune up and some inspections are in order. i would be surprised if that cures it entirely though. i'd want it figured out, to at least know exactly what it is witihin 2-3 weeks, well before the 30 day warranty.

i'm not over familiar with newer EJ25's but many of the older ones can develop piston slap. search this forum or the internet for piston slap and see if that's what yours sounds like. at one point subaru even had a different piston to install on vehicles they repaired with this. again, not sure if this applies to yours though.

#5 Bmm001

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:02 PM

Subarus aren't terribly quiet or smooth at idle in my opinion, compared to say a Camry or Accord.

That being said, I agree that at this age and mileage it's about due for a tuneup anyway. Perhaps get a second opinion from someone familiar with Subarus? See if they think it sounds unusual other than just being in need of new plugs, etc.

You didn't mention whether it revs and drives smoothly. Is it simply a lumpy, noisy idle, or does it run poorly overall?

Brian M.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:07 PM

Subarus aren't terribly quiet or smooth at idle in my opinion, compared to say a Camry or Accord.

that's a good point, they wouldn't win any competitions on the matter for sure.

so how does a "new soob owner" determine if it's nothing or something?

#7 Bmm001

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:22 PM

I had also meant to ask whether this rough idle condition was present or noticed at the time of purchase?

Also, does it always idle roughly or just when cold or hot? Is it a clatter, a click, or a knocking sound? Clatter or rattle could be loose exhaust heat shields.

I'd take it to a trusted mechanic for a "listen" and a drive. I'm not as familiar with the maintenance intervals on the newer soobs, but I'd probably start with plugs and fuel filter (if they're 30,000 mile plugs--or at least check their gap & condition) and an oil change. A new PVC Valve and air filter might be a good idea too.

I just reread the second post... am I reading correctly that the sound is noticeable inside the car but not outside?

I also go back to asking does it simply idle roughly or does it rev and drive poorly as well?

This thread brings up a good point: When buying a used car, what types of maintenance are good "insurance" to perform soon after purchase, unless you know they've been done? When I bought my '95 I asked for an itemized list of what services and repairs were done before they sold me the car, so that gave me a good starting point.

I'm thinking oil change, ATF / manual trans fluid, coolant/T-stat, new air filter, for starters? Mileage (if it's approaching a 30, 60 or 90K interval) would dictate additional things like plugs/wires, fuel filter, etc. in my book, unless I experience a problem like 90legacywagon is describing in his initial post.

Brian

#8 90legacywagon

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 09:19 PM

I didn't notice it on my test drives. Of course, I am used to older cars with problems and this newer car is like a dream-ride compared to anything else I've driven in a while. I'm starting to think this car is just LOUD at idle. It performs very well and smooth at high RPMs.

It does seem to idle at low RPM's for a 4 cylinder though..idles at about 500 RPMs, sometimes less with the a/c kicks on. Like I said, that 2002ish baja sounded just like my car. The weird diesel-ish knock occurs at any time, whether the car is cold or not. From what I have read, the piston slap subaru problem should not be an issue with this year model. The "knock" is not so loud that it would be easily noticeable at first. That's why I didn't notice it before I bought the car.

Overall though, the car perform like new.



I had also meant to ask whether this rough idle condition was present or noticed at the time of purchase?

Also, does it always idle roughly or just when cold or hot? Is it a clatter, a click, or a knocking sound? Clatter or rattle could be loose exhaust heat shields.

I'd take it to a trusted mechanic for a "listen" and a drive. I'm not as familiar with the maintenance intervals on the newer soobs, but I'd probably start with plugs and fuel filter (if they're 30,000 mile plugs--or at least check their gap & condition) and an oil change. A new PVC Valve and air filter might be a good idea too.

I just reread the second post... am I reading correctly that the sound is noticeable inside the car but not outside?

I also go back to asking does it simply idle roughly or does it rev and drive poorly as well?

This thread brings up a good point: When buying a used car, what types of maintenance are good "insurance" to perform soon after purchase, unless you know they've been done? When I bought my '95 I asked for an itemized list of what services and repairs were done before they sold me the car, so that gave me a good starting point.

I'm thinking oil change, ATF / manual trans fluid, coolant/T-stat, new air filter, for starters? Mileage (if it's approaching a 30, 60 or 90K interval) would dictate additional things like plugs/wires, fuel filter, etc. in my book, unless I experience a problem like 90legacywagon is describing in his initial post.

Brian



#9 Bmm001

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 06:50 AM

500 RPM sounds on the low side for idle speed to me. Hopefully others who know more than me will chime in with some ideas but it sounds like something to get checked out before your warranty period expires.

Brian

#10 brus brother

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:45 PM

When first started, my 05 OB has all of the grace and charm of an outboard motor. It quiets down after a minute. I complained when the car was new but was advised this was "normal".

#11 bigjim5551212

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:30 PM

if it is only really 500 rpm idle, then it could be low oil pressure into the valve train




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