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Old 11-09-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
Haelan
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Member#: 151045
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NW Indiana
Vehicle:
2013 Subaru STI
CBP

Default Bad Timing Belt Tensioner

I've noticed some ticking / knocking sound coming from my engine bay on cold start. Never noticed it before, but it has gotten much cooler outside near Chicago. The sound disappears after a few minutes when the engine temperature normalizes.

I'm almost positive it is the timing belt tensioner.

Question #1: how hard is this to replace myself? I haven't dug around in that area of the engine or removed the timing belt covers yet.

Question #2: What's the cost on the tensioner?

I welcome any help.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
ride5000
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how do you know it's not piston slap?

much more likely to go away with operating temp than a t-belt tensioner.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
Haelan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ride5000 View Post
how do you know it's not piston slap?

much more likely to go away with operating temp than a t-belt tensioner.
I thought of that, but is that common on a 2004 with < 35k miles? Oil levels have been OK as far as I've owned it. Only noticed the problem since it's gotten colder.

I'm going to see if I can pinpoint the source of the noise after work.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:21 PM   #4
ride5000
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it's common on a subie boxer engine when it gets cold out.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
Haelan
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Default

I must've read about 60 posts on the cold piston slap issue in the last couple days--it definitely does sound common, but I didn't see much info about the later models (2004+).

I guess deep down I'm hoping it's the tensioner so I can make the noise go away . At about 2k RPM during cold idle I hear the noise maybe 2-3 times a second. Piston slap would be a bit faster than that, no?

Either way, I'll post my results this weekend if I can pinpoint the source of the noise. Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:32 AM   #6
dinosmash
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Default dont worry

just let your car get to operating temp in the morning.stay off boost for for first few mins of driving.youll be fine.mine does it when its cold too.i would worry if it doesnt go away when warmed up.btw my car did this all last year and runs 12 sec quarter mile.im right at 40+ k

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haelan View Post
I must've read about 60 posts on the cold piston slap issue in the last couple days--it definitely does sound common, but I didn't see much info about the later models (2004+).

I guess deep down I'm hoping it's the tensioner so I can make the noise go away . At about 2k RPM during cold idle I hear the noise maybe 2-3 times a second. Piston slap would be a bit faster than that, no?

Either way, I'll post my results this weekend if I can pinpoint the source of the noise. Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:04 AM   #7
dexterous
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2014 WRX - Silver

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You can test this without taking everything apart. Just remove the radiator and the accessory belts. Take off the left and right timing covers but do not touch the center cover. Start the car for 20 seconds or so and see if the belt is thrashing around. It will be very obvious if you have an issue. Just dont run the car to long because you will have no cooling system and no coolant going through your turbo. Trust me, it will be fine for 20 seconds or so. I do this often while looking for timing issues.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:22 PM   #8
djoye
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My AC compressor would make a scratchy noise for a little bit while the car was cool and once I got driving around and the car warmed up the noise would go away. I figured out it was the AC by cutting the AC belt. I know it's not the tensioner. Damn that compressor is expensive.
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:14 PM   #9
ozzy370
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i say piston slap
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