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Old 10-12-2003, 11:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tigard, OR
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default Rough idle and high-pitched whine at high RPMs

Lately, after cold starting my 97 Legacy GT, the engine has a low, rough idle and lacks power at ~1k - ~3k RPMs... Once the engine warms up, it runs as great as it always has. I have 110k miles on it, but have been running synthetic oil on it from the dealer.

I installed a Rallitek intake this summer and am just starting to get cold weather since I installed it... Could this have something to do with the low idle? Besides that, the engine is totally stock. Any suggestions on things to check out?

I have also recently noticed that at high RPMs under WOT, there is a whine coming from the engine compartment. It happens in gear and in neutral. Revving the engine with the hood open, I can't seem to hear it very much.
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Old 10-12-2003, 11:45 PM   #2
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04 Forester

Default Re: Rough idle and high-pitched whine at high RPMs

Originally posted by fastenova

I have also recently noticed that at high RPMs under WOT, there is a whine coming from the engine compartment. It happens in gear and in neutral. Revving the engine with the hood open, I can't seem to hear it very much.
I have the same problem...my one friend told me to check the belts b/c it got colder out but i have yet to check them..im proabibly goin to tomarrow...but i dont know y else it would be making that squeal/whine

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Old 10-13-2003, 12:41 AM   #3
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1992 Legacy L

Default noise

hopfully its not the trans pump?
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Old 10-13-2003, 03:12 AM   #4
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The Aggressive (tm)
You don't know about it..


Mine will occasionally do that, and I am bone stock.

Belts are fine on my car. So I don't know what the hell it is. If it does it, I usually stop and let her warm up or just drive really easily until I am up to OPP. Temp.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:32 PM   #5
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Location: Honolulu
2005 Legacy 2.5GT
Satin White Pearl


Could your water pump be on it's last leg? I see you have 110K miles on the car. Water pumps can make whining sounds at certain RPMs when they are about to die, and the sounds are difficult to pinpoint in the engine bay. I doubt this would cause your rough idle though.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:55 AM   #6
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Four Count 'em


I'd recommend checking all of your vacuum lines to your intake and any of the other vac. lines in proximity to the installed intake. One that fit well "enough" while the weather was warm could very easily have contracted "back" now that it's colder and is causing a vac. leak.

Beyond that, it could be a bad coil pack, plug wire, plug itself, dirty/failing/failed idle air control valve, dirty throttle body, plugged Positive Crankcase Vent (PCV) valve, bad 02 sensor, fouled injector(s), plugged catalytic converter, bad gasoline, bad engine knock sensor and even a bad ground. At that age/mileage, any of these could be causal factors but I'd start with the vacuum lines and then move to the 1) ignition, 2) intake, 3) fuel delivery, 4) electronics, 5) exhaust in that order.

WRT the whine at WOT, could be the same vacuum leak, the belts and/or the water pump. If it's a vacuum leak and you locate/fix that, then you'll know whether that eliminated the noise or not. For the belts, try a little belt dressing (available at any auto store) just be very judicious and follow the directions so you don't over "wet" the belt(s). Check for coolant weep around the bottom of your bottom hose connector... could be the pump starting to go.

Alternatively, it could be your alternator bearing going as well. If the belts were too tight to start with, that would put undue load on the bearings and they could be failing, while the belt could now be slipping too.

Just a couple of quick thoughts.

Br, Dale
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:47 PM   #7
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2005 Legacy GT Sedan


I also have a MY97 Leg GT, it has just started to intermittently whine in the 2000-5000rpm range (can't hear it above that.) It doesn't do it all the time, just generally more so in the morning or after it reaches normal temp for a few min after. It sounds like it's coming from the intake track as the harmonic/vibration generally, not always, goes away when I let off throttle, when I get back on throttle, generally it comes back. I have the STi tranny mount, so all NVH is more noticeable.

She's only got 76k on her but some rough miles and over the last 1-2 years, lots of city driving. I may just stop in at the dealer before I head out for the weekend, I have to stop in and talk to someone about something other than my car anyways. Those guys must hate me, ever since I had a shift fork replaced (yeah, don't ask), I've been in for this or that to make sure everything is on-par., hate to stop in again, but since I'm putting some 500+ miles on this weekend, probably a good idea. It's only been happening for the last two weeks, hopefully it'll last a little longer.

All input is appreciated and as I see, not alone on the NVH issues.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:21 PM   #8
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2007 BMW 335XI
Saphire Black


So anyone else get any answers... I just recently installed a BoMz intake, if anyone read about me having to get a T connector because I had only to bungs to the intake... Anway I have 2 sounds going on.

1 for fact I know are the brakes that I need to replace

second is a kinda girgle chatter (as if radio was on slightly in background, but its off). was wondering if it was vacuum or any of the 2 hoses I connected to the 2 connector (the 2 hoses that goes to the OEM manifold).

Oh and I to SOMETIMES hear a bit of a whine at like 1,000-1,500 RPM


Last edited by TheLegacy; 11-18-2003 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:32 AM   #9
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2002 Silver
double you are ecks wagon


Originally posted by Subietonic
Beyond that, it could be a bad coil pack, plug wire, plug itself,
That's what I would check also!
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Old 11-20-2003, 02:18 PM   #10
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2004 WRX Wagon


Are you sure the whine isn't just the intake? I installed a Rallitek intake and it was obscenely loud at high rpm's, but not when I rev the engine in neutral.
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Old 11-21-2003, 02:50 PM   #11
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2005 LGT Wagon
Regal Blue Pearl


It might be ice collecting inside the skorkel(silencer0

And the low pozer might be the moisture in the air when your car isnt warm.
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