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Loud ticking from gas tank area on startup 1994 legacy sedan

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Hi all,


1994 legacy sedan 2wd 5speed 190k miles.  This is my 5th or 6th Subaru.


I've been driving this car for 3 or 4 years (and liking it) and the last couple of days, sometimes when I start it, there's a noticeable ticking or clicking noise coming from the gas tank area. It starts and runs fine, and ticking goes away after a minute or so.  I'm not smelling gas, but I haven't crawled under it to look for leaks.


Is my fuel pump going out? Filter clogged? Any ideas? I'd like to fix it before it quits on me, and in a month or so I'd like to take in on a couple of thousand mile trip. Thanks for any advice, short of get another car...



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What happens if you turn the key to ON, but don't start the engine? Still hear the clicking?

If so, try removing the fuse for the fuel-pump. Still hear the clicking?

Edited by forester2002s

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That's a good question,  it hasn't lasted more than a minute or so.


It's intermittent, I just tried it, and it's not ticking now . When the key is in the ON position, I can hear (barely) the fuel pump start for a second or so, then shut off.  It's not doing it (rapid clicking/ticking) every time I start it, and it's the first time I've heard this sound in any of my cars or motorcycles with pump in tank.  I have in tank pumps fail and they didn't always do it all at once. This sounds like a relay chattering, but I don't  know of any in back of the car.


When I first heard it, I thought it was one of the seat belt motors, but there aren't any of them back there. So far it hasn't lasted long enough to pick through the fuse box to see what it is, or even get out and look under the car to see if there's some exhaust system part knocking on the body.  The car does not have electric door locks, so it's not a lock actuator.


I am pretty good at trouble shooting, I spent a few years debugging code, and have been working with stuff with engines since the 70s.  I was hoping that someone had heard something like this and knew what it was.


I'll check rockauto to see if they have the pump access plate gasket or seal or whatever it is, and get one and a pump.  There are no subaru parts here, and it there was one in a junk yard, they would want twice of what a new one is.

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