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09 Forester TE
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dear All

What to do about this noise ?? (See attached file 09Foresternoise.zip)

I have an 09 Forester (N/A Auto) bought new and now with 22000 miles. (completely pampered, running Amsoil from 10K miles). Right from day 1 the car makes a horrendous noise if it's cold outside for perhaps the first 3-4 minutes. This only happens in at below 20 F, and my wife refuses to drive the car in winter and instead takes the bus to work. (maddening because that's why I bought the damn thing) Listen to the noise and you'll see why, it wakes the neighbours.

I discussed it with the dealers service supervisor, now I'm no mechanic but I know his answer of "It's a boxer engine and so it takes oil longer to reach the heads, that's the rattle of unlubricated valvetrain and it is normal" is utter b******t.

I recorded this audio file with my digital camera.
The first couple of seconds you can hear the key turning the ignition.
2-4 seconds is the starter
At approx 4 seconds the car starts and you hear a slight startup rattle.
At 5 or 6 seconds, the damn noise starts.
I then get out the car
At 13 seconds I'm opening the hood
At 18 seconds you can hear the noise with the hood open.

You'll see it is totally drowning out the engine noise, and it means my wife will put the car away over the winter (need to keep friendly neighbours).

I don't trust the dealer at all based on his last comment and really can't be bothered with multiple trips to the dealer, we're planning to get a winter beater instead.

Any ideas ??

From a thoroughly dissatisfied 09 Forester owner.

Regards
Jonathan.
 

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2008 Forester 2.5X Prem
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308 Posts
....I would call Subaru, send them the audio clip and have them arrange an appointment with the dealer so you can have it fixed. ....or if you have another dealer near you, I would go them (but still call Subaru and complain about the other). That noise is not normal.
 

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2006 Forester XT
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658 Posts
Bad secondary air pump.

This piece of crap puts pressurized air into the cat to aid light-off.

Yours is broken, it sounds like a cheap vacuum cleaner, and its NOT normal.

(Subaru City, right?)

S
 

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09 Forester
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6 Posts
Power Steering Pump?

Was unable to open file but may be the power steering pump and the thick fluid or lack of when the vehicle is stone cold.

Mine does the same thing 2009 Bean NA.

Helps if you plug it in for at least 2-3 hours on the cold mornings.

Was concerned at the beginning, but the plug in made a big difference.

Noise intensity will increase if you turn the wheel side to side, while the noise is present, if you have not plugged the car in.

Hope that helps?
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
Didnt hear the clip, but the engine disables cyls to pump air into the cats. They all make a horrendous "cold diesel" racket. Its a PZEV cold start mode. Mine does it. If you tap the gas as if you are going to drive it (like kicking open a choke on a carb) it will instantly go back into 4 cyl mode and stop air pumping and go to normal high idle with no racket. Mine does it - NORMAL operation for PZEV. I hear the reflash also kills this option due to multiple customer complaints. I'll let you know when i get mine re-flashed. You dumb tech's explaination was complete BS.

- Update: Just listened to clip - sounds like your PS pump is going - may be bad PS oil getting too thick for some reason. Get it fixed. My PS pump is noisy cold (like a shot ford unit) but not THAT bad.
 

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2010 Subaru Forester
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114 Posts
Isn't that a jet plane crashing in your driveway? Call Subaru. My 2010 makes noise on start up, but sounds fine after about 30 seconds. Even when it's noisy its NOTHING like this sound. I don't blame your wife for not driving it. Good luck and update your post when you know something from Subaru.
 

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516 Posts
Holy crap! Did your dealer actually listen to the noise or just listen to you tell him about it? If he heard that actual noise and said it was normal, then Subaru ought to yank his dealership from him. What an idiot.
 

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2009 Forester X 4 A/T
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308 Posts
Wow- did the dealership have deaf service technicians?

I agree with the others who feel it is a power steering pump issue that needs immediate attention. If my dealership told me a noise like that was normal, they would hear some REAL NOISE from ME. :evilatyou:
 

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Premium Member
12 Premium 5-speed
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4,733 Posts
Mine makes the same noise but I'm having trouble deciding between that air pump and power steering. If I blip the throttle it changes tone a bit, but it also changes tone when I turn the steering wheel. Guess I need to do some better investigating when it gets cold enough here. FWIW, it's been happening for at least a couple years, periodically, yet seems to run fine otherwise.
 

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none none
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9,011 Posts
That actually sounds a lot like what my A/C tensioner sounded like when it went. Its almost definitely something with the belts, so PS pump, alternator or A/C or a tensioner. Is the ps fluid reservoir at the correct level?
 

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Premium Member
2015 OutBack Ltd
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3,123 Posts
Holy cr-p!

Amazing that anyone would think this "normal"............what is wrong with the dealer and the techs?

Tell them to clean the wax outa their ears at least twice a year...maybe more!

Contact Subaru yesterday.......whatever it is would make me think twice about buying a Subie if I was a bystander.

Good luck,

Steve
 

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2008 Forester 2.5X
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51 Posts
I'd guess its the secondary air pump too. There is a really slight pause after the engine starts, before the offensive noise starts.When my ps groans in winter, there is no delay. I can't imagine the ps fluid being thick and black on a 2009 with only 22k miles either. I'd call a different dealer and demand a tech witness the cold start, not the service writer.

Let us know how this gets resolved please.
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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226 Posts
Didnt hear the clip, but the engine disables cyls to pump air into the cats. They all make a horrendous "cold diesel" racket. Its a PZEV cold start mode. Mine does it. If you tap the gas as if you are going to drive it (like kicking open a choke on a carb) it will instantly go back into 4 cyl mode and stop air pumping and go to normal high idle with no racket. Mine does it - NORMAL operation for PZEV. I hear the reflash also kills this option due to multiple customer complaints. I'll let you know when i get mine re-flashed. You dumb tech's explaination was complete BS.

- Update: Just listened to clip - sounds like your PS pump is going - may be bad PS oil getting too thick for some reason. Get it fixed. My PS pump is noisy cold (like a shot ford unit) but not THAT bad.
Mine does not make that noise, and I leave near Fairbanks, Alaska where it gets real cold.
 

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09 Forester TE
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the input and moral support.

I expect the noise to reappear in a few weeks time when we start getting the real cold weather here in Edmonton. I'll certainly take it back to the dealer and leave it overnight for a cold start demo the next morning. I did suggest to the service dept when I took it in for a service that it might be the PS pump, and I have the service record with that comment to prove it, but I guess they didn't do anything.

And yes, as somebody suggested it's Subaru City in Edmonton.

I'll keep you all updated.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,212 Posts
They all make a horrendous "cold diesel" racket. Its a PZEV cold start mode. Mine does it. If you tap the gas as if you are going to drive it (like kicking open a choke on a carb) it will instantly go back into 4 cyl mode and stop air pumping and go to normal high idle with no racket. Mine does it - NORMAL operation for PZEV.
Mine doesn't make any noise. (Its a PZEV)
 

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03X MT
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847 Posts
These dealer people need to honor the warranty work they are supposed to provide the owners of the cars they sell.

Taking time off work and having to return to the dealer multiple times to get a problem resolved is a PITA.

If you write Subaru with your comments about the Dealer you are going to and the problem(s) you are having you might get some help. Keep records.

Keep us posted.
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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943 Posts
Is your engine by any chance a table saw?

No?
Yea rsay777 is right, they are not honoring the warrenty and have that fixed. I don't care what they say, that is not a nomal sound unless your are a wood worker or an airline pilot.
 
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