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Old 07-11-2005, 10:38 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 59918
Join Date: Apr 2004
Default 02 OUTBACK engine hollow knocking sound when warm. replaced pistons+tensioner already

I have read a few discussions on Subaru engine noise in this forum and I am hoping someone can help. I also have a noise problem in my 02 outback that I can't live with. I have only 26K miles on it and have been to the dealer 3 times already. The noise is a hollow knocking sound that is quite subtle (but is slowly turning my brain into jelly) and only occurs when the car is ***fully warmed up*** and under light load (like around 2500 to 3000 rpm with foot just barely on accelerator -- almost coasting) Sounds like something is loose and floating/knocking. Subaru already replace the timing belt tensioner and bracket, and just last week they replace two of the pistons (#2 and #4) with special pistons designed to not slap. This had no effect at all on the noise. As I suspected, it was not piston slap in the first place. What a waste of Subaru's money to replace these unnecessarily under warranty. What can I do now? Is this engine supposed to sound this way? I have a manual trans which dealer says may exagerate the noises.

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Old 07-11-2005, 01:08 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 4800
Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston, Tx
1990 Legacy & 97 OBS


Have you driven another subaru to see if it's your specific car or just a subaru thing?

Are you absolutely sure it's an engine noise, and not something else on the chassis vibrating/rattling?
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:26 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 66640
Join Date: Jul 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Rochester, NY
1997 Legacy Outback
Glacier White


I have a fuel injector that gets really loud when the engine's warm. I thought it was a valve for the longest time. Maybe you have something similar? Get a long screwdriver out and stick it to different parts of the engine with your ear against the handle. The old skool Mechanic's Stethescope. It should allow you to at least get an idea as to where the noise is coming from. Though I'm surprised the Subaru techs didn't find it, there are instances when they can be titanically stupid. This goes for any professional techs, actually, especially dealer techs, who seem to be the bottom feeders.

Nothing against the good dealer techs out there, and there are lots, but I'm just saying that my experience dictates that dealer techs miss more and cut more corners on average than others.

Last edited by Al_Smokemcrack; 07-11-2005 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:10 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 59918
Join Date: Apr 2004

If I disconnect the injectors one at a time would this be a way to see if it is cylinder specific?
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