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(updated with the answer) Symptoms: The transmission on my 5 speed 2000 Legacy GT (AWD) sounds like an angle grinder or go-cart (grinding/buzzing/putting noise). Started making noise overnight, in every gear and in neutral, sounds like something rotating/grinding and is proportional to the car's speed. When the car isn't moving there isn't any noise. Another interesting thing is that in 5th gear (possibly others, but most noticeable in 5th) it makes noise with 0 throttle, less noise with 1/8th throttle, and then more noise again if you go past that. What more knowledgeable friends have said: A trusted mechanic said it's probably a bearing in the transmission, but he doesn't work on them so I'm not confident he knows the exact issue. A good friend said he had a similar issue on his 2000s era Forester, and it was the center differential, but I've heard that if the differential is the issue, the symptoms will get worse while making tight turns, and I haven't experienced that, at least at low speeds. Possibly relevant info: I had a rear tire replaced this past summer, they didn't shave it down. I measured them and it was essentially the same size. Maybe a small difference in diameter caused an issue? ANSWER: I'm transcribing from the mechanic so this may not be 100% accurate: The transfer gear was split, which damaged/destroyed center differential (and the back clip came off). The transfer case damaged as well. The mechanic said it was just normal wear and tear, so I'm not sure if this had anything to do with one of the tires being replaced.
Guys! there's so much info on here about this notorious tod. but i guess i'm curious because the videos i've seen to listen to the sound are all very persistent with a steady tick. i'm reading up on it because... well, i have it. i've had it for a few k's now. it is getting louder. it stops abruptly, then fades in. and sometimes, it doesn't happen at all, but does usually more and more so now. doesn't tick on the highway. the idle jumps up from 700 to 1200 and back down to 700 over and over. not always. it used to always, but i found a small hose disconnected from the charcoal filter with a mosquito clogging the end of it. removed the mosquito, replugged the hose, and the idle returned to normal. that was about 9k ago. now, it's doing it again, but the hose is still connected. i'm a little baffled. do these sound like TOD symptoms? i've read it might be a small exhaust leak? oh yes, also, it makes a delicate rattling sound from under the hood whenever i'm using lots of gas. for example: climbing a hill at a low rpm. as an after thought, my mechanic told me that this particular tick might not be the tick of death and could be something internal with the engine, in which case, paying to fix the TOD would render futile. although, he did not hear the tick, it's only been described to him as i have to you. i recently replaced the oil i use synthetic 10w-30 and used a little seafoam to see if it might help clean things up. but to no avail. anyways, i'd really appreciate some advice before i fork over the $500 to get the oil pump replaced. thanks dudes!