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1999 Forester S
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am the proud owner of a 1999 Forester with 60,000 original one owner miles on it and new to the forum. The car was taken to a dealer here in CT for all of it's service and I have a complete record of what was done to the car. After a three month search I am happy with the vehicle. I probably paid to much for it but I got what I wanted.

The problem: Both head gaskets have been replaced. The timing belt has not. I took the car on it's first long trip down to the OBX, stopped to pick up some gin for a friend, started the car and noticed a slight knocking noise coming from the engine compartment. It wasn't really loud and it went away after starting and stopping about half a dozen times to listen to it with the window down.

The knocking noise seems to come and go without and pattern. Sometimes it's there for a half mile upon start-up, sometimes it's after I run the vehicle for a while and stop/restart it after an errand, sometimes it's at one stoplight but not the next. The knock is not really loud but you can hear it with the window up.

When I bought the vehicle the dealer replaced the second head gasket. On the list of the cars repairs over the years, the last one says that the customer choose not to have the repair done and she traded it in on a new Forester. I assumed that the reason was the age of the vehicle and the need for the head gasket.

Any ideas? This is my first Subaru and I'm aware from reading some of the other threads that it can be a noisy car.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've checked the heat shields and they all seem to be intact. The exhaust looks original but in good shape.

Could it be the dreaded "main bearings" that I've been reading about in this forum? The oil was changed by the previous owner on a 3k to 5k schedule during it's 60k life.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
Before jumping the gun to crank and rod bearing I would be changing the oil to some fresh stuff to see if it has any impact on the noise. I would also be looking for any signs of the oil being contaminated with fuel or coolant and possibly run the oil through a coffee filter to look for signs of shavings.

As for the timing belt it's going on 11/12 years old, I would be replacing it soon. The hydrolic tensioner for the T-belt is also known to cause a rod/main bearing like knock when they go bad.
 

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99 Forester
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205 Posts
+1 for changing the timing belt and tensioner.


If you paid a lot for the car it will totally ruin your day to have to replace the valves. I would have thought they would put a new belt on at the gasket change though they may not have changed the tensioner.
 

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Registered
1999 Forester S
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As close as I can see from the documentation they gave me the timing belt has not been changed. They did not do it when I bought it and they changed the one head gasket.

I'll check into it and get back with a post of the outcome. Maybe I'll even post a profile picture of the Sube! I paid $7500 for the vehicle, I thought it was worth it for the miles and the "dealer premium" that I hope pays for some good will on their part.

Thank's for your input!!
 

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Registered
2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
I am the proud owner of a 1999 Forester with 60,000 original one owner miles on it and new to the forum. The car was taken to a dealer here in CT for all of it's service and I have a complete record of what was done to the car. After a three month search I am happy with the vehicle. I probably paid to much for it but I got what I wanted.

The problem: Both head gaskets have been replaced. The timing belt has not. I took the car on it's first long trip down to the OBX, stopped to pick up some gin for a friend, started the car and noticed a slight knocking noise coming from the engine compartment. It wasn't really loud and it went away after starting and stopping about half a dozen times to listen to it with the window down.

The knocking noise seems to come and go without and pattern. Sometimes it's there for a half mile upon start-up, sometimes it's after I run the vehicle for a while and stop/restart it after an errand, sometimes it's at one stoplight but not the next. The knock is not really loud but you can hear it with the window up.

When I bought the vehicle the dealer replaced the second head gasket. On the list of the cars repairs over the years, the last one says that the customer choose not to have the repair done and she traded it in on a new Forester. I assumed that the reason was the age of the vehicle and the need for the head gasket.

Any ideas? This is my first Subaru and I'm aware from reading some of the other threads that it can be a noisy car.
Some of the 99 Foresters had a bad belt tensioner.. It would knock for a while when started and most of the time at an idle.. I bought one some time back that had a good knock.. Sounded like a main bearing at an idle but I was hoping it was the tensioner.. I replaced the tensioner and that ended the knock.. Checked the number on the old one and it was one of the bad tensioners.. They would leak some oil out so would knock but the spring inside would hold the tension so timing was OK.. Perhaps thats what you hear??? They showed up over time but I do not think they were recalled..

Snowdance

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