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2009 Forester
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I've got a 2009 Forester with 22k miles. We just bought it in November, so this is our first winter with the car. It's getting seriously cold in Minnesota these days (-15 as I write this).

I'm noticing that when it gets below zero or so and I first start the car, it makes a sort of high-pitched whining noise coming from near the engine that isn't present when its warmer. The noise changes pitch with engine RPM. It's loud enough that it drowns out most of the other engine noise inside the car. Also I can easily hear it from the doorway when the car is sitting on the street warming up. After maybe 15 minutes or so of running the noise gets quieter and eventually goes away when the car gets warm enough. I'm wondering if it might be the power steering pump, because moving the wheel makes the noise change pitch a bit.

I'm a bit concerned because it's relatively loud and other cars we've had in the same temperatures don't do this. Has anybody else experienced this? Do Foresters "just do this," or is this abnormal? Thanks.
 

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2010 2.5 XT Limited
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I've got a 2009 Forester with 22k miles. We just bought it in November, so this is our first winter with the car. It's getting seriously cold in Minnesota these days (-15 as I write this).

I'm noticing that when it gets below zero or so and I first start the car, it makes a sort of high-pitched whining noise coming from near the engine that isn't present when its warmer. The noise changes pitch with engine RPM. It's loud enough that it drowns out most of the other engine noise inside the car. Also I can easily hear it from the doorway when the car is sitting on the street warming up. After maybe 15 minutes or so of running the noise gets quieter and eventually goes away when the car gets warm enough. I'm wondering if it might be the power steering pump, because moving the wheel makes the noise change pitch a bit.

I'm a bit concerned because it's relatively loud and other cars we've had in the same temperatures don't do this. Has anybody else experienced this? Do Foresters "just do this," or is this abnormal? Thanks.
I have a 10 FXT, It make the same sound when it's extremely cold. I think it's normal since my old Taurus did the same thing when it's extremely cold.
 

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2000 Impreza, 2003 Bugeye Sport, 2010 Base, 2014 Base, 2015 Premium, 2017 Limited, 2020 Touring
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I've got a 2009 Forester with 22k miles. We just bought it in November, so this is our first winter with the car. It's getting seriously cold in Minnesota these days (-15 as I write this).

I'm noticing that when it gets below zero or so and I first start the car, it makes a sort of high-pitched whining noise coming from near the engine that isn't present when its warmer. The noise changes pitch with engine RPM. It's loud enough that it drowns out most of the other engine noise inside the car. Also I can easily hear it from the doorway when the car is sitting on the street warming up. After maybe 15 minutes or so of running the noise gets quieter and eventually goes away when the car gets warm enough. I'm wondering if it might be the power steering pump, because moving the wheel makes the noise change pitch a bit.

I'm a bit concerned because it's relatively loud and other cars we've had in the same temperatures don't do this. Has anybody else experienced this? Do Foresters "just do this," or is this abnormal? Thanks.
Probably the power steering pump, have someone start it for you while you have the hood open to listen. (be careful not to get tangled up in the pulleys or belts, etc.) I just clunked a Jeep last summer that would literally howl for however long it took for the power steeing fluid to warm up.
It is disconcerting, but once you know what it is, it's not so bad, plus everyone in the cold climes is dealing with it. It's my first winter my my Foz, so I am in a learning curve with the idiosycrosies, whereas I had the Jeep all sorted out.
 

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09 Forester TE
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Hi

I have an '09 forester in Edmonton, and I have the same issue. I posted an audio file of the noise a few months ago. Do a search on the following term

"Horrendous startup noise makes 09 forester unusable in winter" or by my username JonathanGregory and you can listen to it. Is yours making the same noise?

The general concensus is that it's the power steering pump. Mine only makes the noise at less than approx -10C, and if it's less than -25C then the noise is really bad. It helps a lot if I use the block heater for a couple of hours ( the noise will only last 20 seconds then, rather than 2 or 3 minutes). I guess the pump is working real hard with the viscosity of the PS fluid at that temp.

Dealer says it's normal of course.

Hope that helps.
Jonathan.
 

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That's ridiculous. I have never had a car make that noise before - and my '09 does the same thing. I started up my big block El Camino yesterday and its 40 year old power steering pump didn't make a peep. I just calm myself with the thought that it's new and under warranty. For a car that's touted as a cold-weather master, it sure doesn't like cold weather!!! Is there some type of special power steering fluid you can use? Kind of like synthetic oil? I've also noticed that my transmission doesn't engage into gear as quickly when it's under 10 below as it has been for the last few days. Not to mention the gaggle of squeaks, rattles and groans when it's cold. Don't they get cold winters in Japan?
 
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