('09-'13) Engine is sounding very rough (video inside) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Engine is sounding very rough (video inside)

Hello all.

I have a 2012 Forester manual, and I'm the original owner. The engine is sounding very rough as you can see in the video. It appears to be coming mostly from the "right side" (when looking under the hood). It used to make this sound only at idle until it warmed up, and would then subside, but it has gotten progressively worse.

Video of the engine at idle: https://goo.gl/photos/dFAJNye4r3UXEreX6

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Philip


Last edited by Lipoly; 02-16-2017 at 11:29 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 01:58 PM
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rod knock or piston slap, maybe spun bearing

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...baru+rod+knock



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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rod knock or piston slap maybe
Thanks for the reply. I should've pointed out that the check engine light is not on, if that changes anything.

Any suggestions for servicing it myself? If seen information around with people suggesting there are "engine cleaning" type additives that can be added to the oil to help clear this up w/o taking it into the shop.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:56 PM
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How is your oil consumption?

Volkswagens make a very similar noise at startup and idle. They get progressively worse until they sound like a real old diesel tractor all the time when idling. The problem is usually the intake camshaft control valve assembly - it's linked to the Variable Valve Timing parts on their petrol (Gasoline) 4 cylinder TSI engines.

I would expect rod knock to sound a deeper "thud" noise typically from the ones I've heard. It doesn't sound like injector tick which can be common on subarus. Is it possible to check valve clearances on your engine without removing it ?
How did your engine oil look when it was last changed? Changing the engine oil might give clues as to if it's bearing/block related or not by what comes out the sump.

Hopefully the problem is in the head as spltting the block is a really big job :(

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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How is your oil consumption?
Dang, it was extremely low..like not registering on the dipstick low. I changed the oil and I figure it only had a quart or a bit more...so that isn't good obviously. After I changed the oil, everything sounds fine, but I don't know how much damage was done to it.

Would a compression test be the first thing to try to see if the damage is major?

Also, I guess Subarus are known to use oil even if they are in good working order? I'm pretty sure it isn't leaking any.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:25 AM
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I would try running the engine for 1,000 miles or perhaps less, then change the oil again and note what the drained oil is like. If it's just oil, that's a great sign, if it's "bitty" or signs of metal in the draining oil, then you might well have bearing damage.

A compression test will only tell you the shape of the valves and piston and piston ring sealing, it wont tell you what sort of shape the bearings are in unfortunately. With a boxer engine there really isn't a way to know how the bearings are until you've stripped the engine down, some might argue you could remove the oil pan and look but it's not so simple on a boxer.

That's great news the noises have died down. Did the engine oil light ever come on ? Since the noises have quietened down, hopefully you avoided bearing damage and it was simply a lack of oil pressure/quantity in the variable timing/camshaft assembly causing the noises. Time will tell but I'd expect within the next 1000 miles to give an indicator if there's more damage.

I think it was the 2012 that are known to consume some oil. I think there was a Technical Service Bulletin about it - Hopefully someone can chime in about it.
I would try monitoring your engine oil consumption, checking every other tank of fuel to get an idea how it is doing.

Edit: You might this thread interesting: 2011+ Excessive Oil Consumption? (ARCHIVED)
The manuals I believe were occassionally known to consume slightly more oil than their auto counterparts - I'm not sure if it was ever found out why

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:26 AM
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If the sound went away with fresh full oil change then it could have been starving the AVCS (the Subaru version of variable valve timing as TMX alluded to). I had a very similar sound in my engine when I had a low-ish oil level and the car sat for a long time. Priming the engine & then letting it run & the sound disappeared. However I also had a CEL for error in the AVCS system before I got any oil light or noise.

I would suggest an oil analysis would tell you if there is any damage. I see a lot of positive info on Blackstone labs but have not used the service myself.

Oil consumption is a common enough issue on Subaru engines, though there are also a myriad number of places the engine could have a leak.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:39 AM
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Subaru?s Oil Consumption Lawsuit Awards Some Owners New Redesigned Engines - Torque News
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great info guys. The oil/check engine light never came on. It does look like my car had a "service bulletin" about this: https://www.cars.com/articles/2011-1...1420683845519/

I am a bit confused if the car still needs to be under warranty to get the fix though. I will contact the dealership I got it from to get more information.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Holy cow! I bought my car new, I wonder why I was not contacted?

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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I just called the Subaru dealership and it looks like Subaru extended the warranty to 100k miles, so my vehicle is barely still covered. I'm going to bring it in for some tests and hopefully get it all sorted out. It sounds like a huge job (possibly new engine block).

Thank you all so much for the information...I'm at 95k miles now, so just under the extended warranty threshold...I really hope they take care of the issue.
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