('09-'13) Cold start timing chain rattle 2011 DOHC - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Cold start timing chain rattle 2011 DOHC

Just curious how many 2011 owners with the new DOHC motor have a cold start rattle?
I took mine in and was told that there is a TSB(tech. service bullitin) in the works for the timing chain rattle that will include a fix.
If you look at the images here:

The All-New Subaru FB Engine

You can see the motor uses a pair of chain tensioners which I'd bet are tensioned by oil pressure. When my foz sits overnight, these must bleed down and there is a rattle for a second until oil pressure pumps up the tensioners. It's fine the rest of the day and makes no noise on start-up otherwise. I'm told that it will cause no harm and looking at the pics can understand why, but it's annoying none the less. Just an FYI. It wasn't a deal breaker for us, given the choice I would still take the 2011 over a 2010 SOHC model.
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post #2 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:18 PM
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I was actually waiting for some one to mention the rattle. my 1996 240sx had a chain and that thing was loud as hell. Great car otherwise, it most def was annoying so I know what your going through.

2010 Foz 5spd !!woot!!
Lets go STRIPER Fishing!!
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post #3 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 04:59 PM
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Mine has a rattle for about 1 second and goes away till next day. Has 1100 miles on it and started when it got cold out. I figured it was lifters or piston slap.
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post #4 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby j View Post
Mine has a rattle for about 1 second and goes away till next day. Has 1100 miles on it and started when it got cold out. I figured it was lifters or piston slap.
Ditto for me. It's nothing I'm worried about at all, but yeah, I have noticed it when it's below 30 or so outside. It's very minor for me and it goes away after a few seconds.

2014 Forester X Limited CVT - Ice Silver
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post #5 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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That's how mine is, I really don't know if it's better when warm because it's been 40* tops since I took delivery. It's about a second and it's gone.
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post #6 of 228 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 04:19 PM
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I'm new here on these forums. My wife and I just bought our first Forester 2 days ago.
I'll ask my wife about this rattling noise. I'm not sure she's been paying attention to this.
I have only driven the car once so far and things seemed pretty quiet under the hood (much quieter than my WRX).
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post #7 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 06:40 AM
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me too!

Bought our '11 about 4 days ago and we noticed the rattle right away .. our '05 Vibe (matrix) with 155K miles on it doesn;t do that at all.
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post #8 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 07:48 AM
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Bought our '11 about 4 days ago and we noticed the rattle right away .. our '05 Vibe (matrix) with 155K miles on it doesn;t do that at all.
Keep in mind that many of you are now dealing with an opposed 4 cylinder motor and they are going to have different characteristics than any of your previous engine configuration (in-lines, vees , etc.) experiences. Timing chain and timing belt placement requires associated parts to be located differently than you'd expect. I've owned two Subarus, a 99 with over 340,000 km (211,266mi) and still running and an 08 with approximately 54000km and I've gotten used to the peculiar engine noises associated with my generations of the Subaru boxer. Consider yourselves on a learning curve with a similar but new engine and enjoy driving it more.

2008 2.5XS 4EAT
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post #9 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rkcarguy View Post
Just curious how many 2011 owners with the new DOHC motor have a cold start rattle? I took mine in and was told that there is a TSB(tech. service bullitin) in the works for the timing chain rattle that will include a fix....
The rattle would be from drain-down of the hydraulic tensioner(s) when the engine is off. The TSB will probably be a modification to the check valve that keeps oil in the tensioner.
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post #10 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 06:18 PM
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could the sound be the timing chain guides?
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post #11 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by vtec_1994 View Post
could the sound be the timing chain guides?
Yes, the sound is that of chains with too little tension allowing them to rattle or slap against the guides. This condition would be caused by overnight drain-down of oil from the hydraulic devices that maintain pressure on the long guides to keep tension on the chains.
http://subarudrive.preprod.dcim.com/...ages/chain.jpg

It is a common complaint in early production models of engines with chain driven cams, and is usually quickly rectified by modifying or replacing the check valves that hold oil in the tensioners, which are little hydraulic cylinders.

I think it is a consumer issue, not a mechanical problem. The rattle is harmless and goes away in a few seconds as oil pressure is built. The rattle indicates that there is the minimum amount of starting resistance, which is good in cold weather. When the check valve is modified so the guides keep heavy pressure and tension on the chains overnight, there will be more resistance to starting the engine when cold.

Last edited by vintage42; 01-03-2011 at 04:13 AM. Reason: Added last para.
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post #12 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 04:13 PM
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Angry

I bought a 2011 Forester about 2 weeks ago. I have noticed the rattle and turned to google and that is how I ended up here.

I am quite disappointed. This is a brand new car and is supposed to be perfect at least at the beginning. It is embarrassing to build an engine so noisy that my old Altima looks like a more comfortable car now. And who knows how long we have to wait for a fix if any fix at all.
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post #13 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 04:29 PM
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I am quite disappointed. This is a brand new car and is supposed to be perfect at least at the beginning. l.
History tells us that first year anything will have more problems than something that's been around. Reason being that they can't possibly put the time and miles on an engine as 10's of thousands of people will who purchase the vehicle.

Welcome to the board.

Oh and as far as the Altima..if you have the 2.5 QR Engine its the worst engine Nissan ever built. :)

Be careful what you wish for.

Last edited by adc; 01-10-2011 at 04:34 PM.
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post #14 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 04:57 PM
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History tells us that first year anything will have more problems than something that's been around. Reason being that they can't possibly put the time and miles on an engine as 10's of thousands of people will who purchase the vehicle.

Welcome to the board.

It seems that Subaru keeps their TSB's on this web site:

techinfo.subaru.com/static/whatsNew.html

It is outrageous that people have to pay to view them though. And yes, they have a TSB for *Noise In Engine on Cold Start* issues on Jan 6.

Anyone has access to this TSB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Oh and as far as the Altima..if you have the 2.5 QR Engine its the worst engine Nissan ever built. :)
Might be though I have never had a single problem with it after 150K. My Forester has less than 1K!
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post #15 of 228 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 05:36 PM
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^^ This is all that is out there right now. The full TSB has not been posted to the net by any one yet.

Quote:
Service Bulletin # 02-113-11 Pages: 3
Bulletin Description: If you encounter a customer complaint that there is a knock type sound in the engine for about one second on initial start-up after the vehicle has been parked for an extended period of time, there is the possibility the left side timing chain tensioner is causing the sound. If the check ball within the tensioner doesn’t seat completely, it may cause the tensioner to leak down, decreasing the amount of pressure to the timing chain guide.

The sound is non-detrimental and has no effect on the reliability and durability of the engine.

While we do not recommend disassembling the front of the engine for replacement, the sound can be eliminated by exchanging the original left side tensioner with a modified one.

TSB are not recalls... TSBs are only there to aid techs in the diagnosis or repair of a condition. If you were a tech at a subaru dealership you would have access to them. Why should a manufacture provide information free of charge to the public that may take away from potential repair revenue in their service departments?

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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