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Old 11-29-2003, 12:05 PM   #1
orndog
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Default engine tapping/ticking

It's more of a ticking sound. I did a search, but haven't seen a thread for a new car doing this. It only has 9k miles on it, and I change the oil every 3k. It's been doing this for a while, mostly after being warmed up. I use 5w30, and never even take her to redline. Anybody know if this is normal? I don't recall my old Legacy ever making this noise, but it was a 90 model.
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Old 11-29-2003, 12:42 PM   #2
8Complex

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Is it a high-pitched ticking or a low-pitched tapping? If it's high-pitched, chances are it's just valve noise. If it's low-pitched, it could be piston slap (unlikely) or a timing belt tensioner (semi-unlikely, but not unheard of).
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:24 PM   #3
Tim Sanderson
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Are you sure it's the engine and not the heat shoelding on the header/exhaust? Check it out
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Old 11-30-2003, 09:24 AM   #4
orndog
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Sanderson
Are you sure it's the engine and not the heat shoelding on the header/exhaust? Check it out
I'll check that... as soon as it warms up a bit
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Old 11-30-2003, 12:21 PM   #5
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It's a ticking sound, coming from both sides of the engine. It's faint, but you can hear it with the hood closed at 15 paces.
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Old 11-30-2003, 07:43 PM   #6
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Try a side by side comparison with another EJ25. You might not notice much difference. I didn't notice any unusual sounds when I first bought my OBS, but I found that as time went on and I got more familiar with my car, I picked up on sounds that were always there.

I also had a rattling bent heatshield ticking sound once.
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Old 11-30-2003, 08:20 PM   #7
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Another EJ25... lol, here in BFE (that area between Memphis and Nashville, TN) I might as well be looking for an Enzo.
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Old 12-01-2003, 10:28 AM   #8
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i have the same ticking. I believe its a normal sound of the car. codger might be right though becuase I didn't notice it at first either. My other car was a noisy POS so the ej seemed like a whisper. after time i started to notice it.
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:04 PM   #9
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The noises I hear on my EJ25...

Piston slap when cold. It goes away just about the time the temp gauge starts to move. Normal.

Valve clatter. Louder when cold, always present to some degree. I can hear this outside the vehicle with the hood closed. Normal. A solid valvetrain (as the EJ25 is) will make ticking noises. I think this is what you're hearing.

Other engine noise only heard when the hood is open. Normal. Injectors ticking, belt whirring, etc.

I've heard pretty much all those noises since it was new. I'm at 45K miles now.

Noises I have NOT heard...

The infamous belt tensioner. From what I have gathered from others, this is a heavier noise. Not quite a knock, but heavier than piston slap. It also goes away as the enigne comes to temp.
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:13 PM   #10
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Hydraulic Lifters? Try switching to a heavier weighted oil and add a quart of Rislone or GUNK Oil Treatment in place of a quart of oil at next oil change...
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:34 PM   #11
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No, Subaru stopped putting hydraulic lifters in heads around 1997-1998.
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Old 12-01-2003, 03:06 PM   #12
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I knew I should've bought an RS...ahhhwell
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Old 12-01-2003, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrHorspwer
The noises I hear on my EJ25...

Piston slap when cold. It goes away just about the time the temp gauge starts to move. Normal.

Valve clatter. Louder when cold, always present to some degree. I can hear this outside the vehicle with the hood closed. Normal. A solid valvetrain (as the EJ25 is) will make ticking noises. I think this is what you're hearing.

Other engine noise only heard when the hood is open. Normal. Injectors ticking, belt whirring, etc.

I've heard pretty much all those noises since it was new. I'm at 45K miles now.

Noises I have NOT heard...

The infamous belt tensioner. From what I have gathered from others, this is a heavier noise. Not quite a knock, but heavier than piston slap. It also goes away as the enigne comes to temp.
Ditto, MrHorspwer. I have the same noises that occur in the exact same situations that you described. I have aboot 13k on my 4EAT. From what I know, what you've mentioned are normal suby sounds and are nothing to be concerned about.

I also have a little bit of extra whirring noises from the lightened crankshaft pulley I installed, but otherwise, no major problems...(I hope)
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Old 12-01-2003, 08:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8Complex
No, Subaru stopped putting hydraulic lifters in heads around 1997-1998.
I was thinking it sounded like the solid lifters on my 69 Camaro...
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:44 AM   #15
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I think that is pretty normal sounds. I just bought mine about 2 weeks ago, and now that I am getting used to it, I am starting to hear all the sounds that the engine makes, ticking, knocking. I had my friend listen to it, and he just said, sounds like a boxer to me. So, I am not going to worry about it, it only has 500 miles on it. It is just the fact that if any other engine sounded like a boxer, it would have 175,000 miles on it and be on its last leg. It is just hard sounds to get used to, especially on a new car.
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:20 PM   #16
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My 2000 RS does the same thing, almost like an exhaust leak, especially when it's cold. I noticed it this weekend (this is my first real winter with the car) and was a little concerned, but it seems to go away after about 15 minutes. After that, the motor is still on the noisy side, compared to honda and toyota motors, but some motor types/manufacturers make more noise than others. At least I'd say it's an *even* noise, it doesn't sound like it's struggling or leaking anything
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:22 PM   #17
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To my knowledge, all subarus do it. I have a 97 Obs and an 02 WRX.... they both do it. The WRX (48k miles) actually taps louder at idle than the OBS (150k miles), go figure.
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
It is just the fact that if any other engine sounded like a boxer, it would have 175,000 miles on it and be on its last leg. It is just hard sounds to get used to, especially on a new car.
Yeah, I bought an 83 Celica in 1985. It ran so quiet, that even with the hood up, people would ask if it was running. By the time I sold it 300,000 km later, it sounded more like a John Deere......or my Subaru.
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Old 12-03-2003, 08:15 AM   #19
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My 90 Legacy didn't, that's why I asked.
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Old 12-22-2003, 09:19 PM   #20
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Whew!!! These "normal" noises have always made me nervous since about 12K on my 02 OBS. I don't recall my 99 OBS making as much noise and it had more mileage before trade. My drivetrain warranty is just about up so I wondered if it was a good time to pick apart any last minute concerns I had about the engine with the dealership. Time to put those worries aside I guess.
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Old 12-23-2003, 12:52 AM   #21
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Default ticking

What about those things called injectors , they make a ticking noise constantly, and it is pretty loud, but its also possible that your car might need the valves to be adjusted, the t-belt tensionor is a low knocking and it is not a steady/constant knock, it can come and go and change in loudness, but to me it sounds like your probally hearing your injectors turning off and on? just a though, let me know what you come up with?
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Old 12-26-2003, 05:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: engine tapping/ticking

Quote:
Originally posted by orndog
It's more of a ticking sound. I did a search, but haven't seen a thread for a new car doing this. It only has 9k miles on it, and I change the oil every 3k. It's been doing this for a while, mostly after being warmed up. I use 5w30, and never even take her to redline. Anybody know if this is normal? I don't recall my old Legacy ever making this noise, but it was a 90 model.
I had the same concerns but realized that it was just because I had put a Borla header on... The shrouding of the stock exhaust manifold muffles the normal "clicking" of the valvetrain. The Borla (or any) header has thinner guage steel and no shroud, therefore emitting more noise. It immediately became apparent when I compared my car next to a stock TS.

This, of course, is if you have a header.
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Old 12-26-2003, 08:54 PM   #23
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No header... yet...
Thanks though
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:10 AM   #24
FLaBrit
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My 02 RS makes a ticking nosie that is almost to the point of irritating me enough to take it to the dealer but then I think of the 50 mile drive + wait and I turn the stereo up I don't remember my wifes Outback making the came nose but it had sound insulation under the hood etc. that may have made a difference, anyway, she hated it and made me buy a POS SUV for her so I can't compare the 2 directly.
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by orndog
It's a ticking sound, coming from both sides of the engine. It's faint, but you can hear it with the hood closed at 15 paces.
Hmm...

At 11k miles I had my dealer replace a timing belt tensioner on our '02 OBS. The car sounded like it was tapping, then eventually sounded like a diesel. It was very noticeable and came from the front of the motor.

Just a thought.
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