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2001 Forester L Manual 5 Spd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So I bought myself an '01 Forester L, love the thing, especially in the harsh Canadian winters. There's some rust to deal with, but that's easy stuff.

Lately, I've been noticing a clicking type noise. It is the most loud when the engine is really cold, but like really cold (-30 C), but its always there, and never goes away. It does, however, get much quieter when the car is running at normal operating temperature.

Its got 263,000 km (~163,000 miles) with regular maintenance. The timing belt was changed a little while ago by the previous owner. The head gaskets are starting to leak but I don't think that has anything to do with the noise.

Attached is a video about the noise I'm talking about.

2001 Forester L - Clicking Noise - YouTube

**Before I get attacked saying that I should have searched, I did, however seeing as it is my first car, I just want to be sure that it is nothing serious. From what i've read, its an inherent Subaru Boxer noise.

Thanks,
Ben
 

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2002 forester auto
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11 Posts
noise sources

It pays to start with the easy ones. Check the egr valve, pcv valve, injectors. For the valves you need to clean them anyway. The second step is to check the oil levels. At higher temps, oils expands and lubricates better. Check the transmission level, gear oil levels etc. The third step is open the timing belt cover. The hard part is to loosen the crankshaft pully as you need a special tool or make one yourself. The timing belt system has idlers, belt tensioner and water pump. All of these need replacement around 200k. Inspect if any thing is loose. The idlers and the tensioner can make some clicking noise.
If still none of the above, it could be the main shaft bearing or simething insude the transmission.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5 XPremium 4EAT
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863 Posts
Hi Ben

This vid gives a similar sound to your problem noise and it was the timing belt tensioner at fault in this case. Also shows home made crank pulley tool.


Another thing to check would the exhaust heat shields. They can produce a metallic sounding knock / rattle at varying temperatures and speeds.

Good luck, let us know if you find what was to blame!!
 

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1998 Forester S 4EAT
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574 Posts
My engine is making a similar noise too. I think my problem is the tensioner.
 

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2001 Forester L Manual 5 Spd
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I'll get to flushing my fluids out of the transmission this weekend, and figure I'll do the rear differential too (the front diff. oil is included with the transmission fluid, if I read correctly).

As for the timing belt, I'll try to have a look too. Hopefully I'll figure something out, although now that it's getting warmer (~ 5 degrees C), the noise is barely noticeable.... Hm, odd.

But I'll have a look and report back, the least I can do for this forum.
Thanks
 

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1998 Forester S 4EAT
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574 Posts
the front diff. oil is included with the transmission fluid, if I read correctly.
No it is not.they are separate. The AT dipstick si on the drivers side and the diff oil stick is on the passenger side.
 

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2002 forester auto
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For belt tensioner, sometimes the noise is due to over stretched timing belt. The results is that the maximum travel of the tensioner is reached hence. But the best option is to do the whole job if your car passed 200k.
 
G

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This sounds like valve train noise or valve lash to me. Pretty normal for a Subaru, and it is exaggerated in the cold weather. Mine does this when it's cold but goes away as the engine warms up and the materials expand.

Did they replace all the idlers and tensioners when doing the timing belt job? A new timing belt tensioner shouldn't wear out in 60K if the job was done at the prescribed time.
 
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