Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Gents. Posting this as I am not sure what to do. My 2018 forester xt is experiencing a cold start chain rattle. Essentially the chain tensioner is leaking oil over night, which causes chain to loosen up. Every morning it slaps for about 3-5 seconds. I reached out to few dealers, one told me he couldn't hear the slap, another stated it's normal for these engines. I am concerned since I do lots of mileage and the car will be out of warranty by the end of the year. I reached out to Subaru Canada and their response is if the dealer states it's normal, they won't get involved. What options do I have here? Subarus website specifically lists that chain tensioner is covered by powertrain warranty.
 

·
Registered
2003 EJ20K Forester
Joined
·
360 Posts
Most cars with a hydraulic over spring tensioner have the same issue, and most of them go on without issue. Can you post a video so we can hear it?
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
If it is truly slap ,and lasting for as long as you say, it is Not normal.


Get good audio of the chain slap , then drop off your car at the dealer, presenting him with the proof.
Then they can do a cold start on it the next morning.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
The design of the oil filter all but ensures the tensioner will not have pressure for a short period of time.

I've tried several different oil filters to avoid drain back and they've all lost pressure after an extended duration. Amsoil is my next attempt.

Amsoil SS 5w30 helps keep the noise down and I trust it's avoiding the wear the best so I haven't given it too much additional thought.

FWIW even with the noise there are no alarming wear metals in the oil, which you'd think you'd see if it were truly wearing the chain excessively.

I would consider it normal.
 

·
Registered
non-subaru
Joined
·
911 Posts
Not sure whether you've tried K&N filters, but they are said to have very good anti drainback valves.
I've been using them on all our vehicles for years now.
 

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will record video tomorrow. Tried few filters. Original subaru, original wrx filter and purolator. All sound same, been using pennzoil ultra platinum oil.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I will record video tomorrow. Tried few filters. Original subaru, original wrx filter and purolator. All sound same, been using pennzoil ultra platinum oil.
While PUP is a good oil, it's not a good oil for our engines per the LSPI guidelines and requirements set forth in new standards for SN Plus and Dexos 1 Gen 2. Not that this would have anything to do with your concerns, but I would strongly advise switching oils for the sake of your ringlands.

edit: Disregard, it seems PUP was reformulated this year and is now SN Plus certified.
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
I have no slap at all @ 70,000 miles on my 2.5i.... would the XT engine be much different than my NA 2.5?

I use Amsoil Signature 0w20 and their Ea oil filters(have to buy in bulk lot of 12 filters) fwiw.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I suppose it comes down to how the noise is described.

It's a muted startup tick that lasts a few seconds and then goes away as oil pressure builds. I've had two other vehicles that had failed tensioners that developed these symptoms 20-30k miles into ownership.

This FA20 has done it from day 1...but it doesn't sound like the others did.

It very well could be that it's not normal, but seeing as my oil samples have showed no concerns with wear metals tapering down as expected with breakin and it did it from day 1 with this oil filter design, I'm inclined to believe that it's normal.
 

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
See attached video. I find PUP doesn't shear as much as dexos oils. Dexos classification seems to make oil thinner.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
UOA's have shown the reformulated PUP shears worse than PP for some reason.

I'm using Amsoil SS 5w30 after project farm's tests.

That slapping noise is definitely not what I was describing and may be a problem with the tensioner. I'll see if I can do a cold start tomorrow to illustrate what I would consider normal oil pressure delay noise.
 

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hm just wondering what to do here. Maybe submit a report by 3rd party mechanic to Subaru?
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I captured a video and will upload when it finishes processing so you can demonstrate the difference between ours.

 

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah yours sounds normal. Boxer rumble. I'm thinking I'll upload another one when it gets colder. It starts choking as well. Then send both to Subaru in case chain gets loose later down the road...
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
107 Posts
I do not thing that sounds normal. There is definitely a knock for a fraction of a second as soon as it fires... I had a similar knock at start up on my 05 Outback XT. Checked my timing belt tensioner and it was fine so I never bothered worrying further. A couple of months after the noise started I got a trouble code for a failing AVCS actuator. I took them out and cleaned them and the noise went away, might be worth it to clean them just for poops and giggles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Hi Gents. Posting this as I am not sure what to do. My 2018 forester xt is experiencing a cold start chain rattle. Essentially the chain tensioner is leaking oil over night, which causes chain to loosen up. Every morning it slaps for about 3-5 seconds. I reached out to few dealers, one told me he couldn't hear the slap, another stated it's normal for these engines. I am concerned since I do lots of mileage and the car will be out of warranty by the end of the year. I reached out to Subaru Canada and their response is if the dealer states it's normal, they won't get involved. What options do I have here? Subarus website specifically lists that chain tensioner is covered by powertrain warranty.
stop using the subaru 0w20 oil and their fram made filters, use 5w30 synthetic of any kind and a more full flow filter, [ wix xp or napa platinum or fram ultra only or puralator boss, all made for full flow synthetic oil . this will let more oil to the tension-er faster ..................... all oil presssure based tensioners have this problem and the system is needed for the ocv valve change from oil pressure subaru engines tend o be very noisy as the valve chain/train system is so long and for 2 heads and 2 cams on each
 

·
Registered
2016 XT
Joined
·
283 Posts
Alex, my XT does the same as yours, it sounds like a tensioner that's drained down slightly overnight or one of the tensioners is in between teeth on the ratchet and pawl. I'm not to bothered about it atm as its not like its rattling its nuts off yet.
 

·
Registered
2018 Forester XT
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So i ended up speaking to few guys at the gym. Wrx owner tells me his chain does this too. Related to the oil flow. A way around this is to lightly tap the gas pedal before the key is fully turned in. Seems to solve the issue. He explained it primes the engine. Im no mechanic, but is this safe to do?
 

·
Premium Member
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
So i ended up speaking to few guys at the gym. Wrx owner tells me his chain does this too. Related to the oil flow. A way around this is to lightly tap the gas pedal before the key is fully turned in. Seems to solve the issue. He explained it primes the engine. Im no mechanic, but is this safe to do?
WRX owner is chock full of doo doo.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top