Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Forester X
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've got an '06 NA Foz w/ 142,000mi.

A couple months back, a squealing/whining noise developed from the engine bay. It's only audible at idle, and is especially audible at idle on a cold start. My thought was that this is likely one of the pulleys on the accessory belt, but I haven't done much investigation.

Now just in the last couple weeks, a strong burning smell also developed. I checked and I haven't been losing any fluids, so I don't think I have a significant leak somewhere. I thought I might have accumulated spilled oil and ATF (just did a drain and fill a couple weeks back and I hate the placement of that dipstick), and/or misc. crud that could have reached a breaking point and could be causing the burning smell, so I pulled the battery, covered the alternator and distributor, and sprayed the whole engine bay in degreaser and rinsed it down well. No change to the burning smell.

We did the timing belt kit and water pump a bit over two years ago at about 107k. We replaced the accessory belt at that time, but none of the accessory belt pulleys. Head gaskets were done by a prior owner (unsure when). She burns a bit of oil, but not too bad-- maybe 0.5 qt per 1,500mi depending on season and type of driving.

So, any ideas? Am I totally in left field on the accessory belt idea? How would you diagnose the accessory belt, pull it off and compare? Test individual pulleys by seeing how freely they spin without the belt?

Greatly appreciate any advice.
 

·
Registered
2013 crosstrek, Forester+
Joined
·
150 Posts
I use a 4 foot length of rubber fuel line (3/8" works well) to put one end in my ear and use the other end to listen around in the engine and locate the sound. BE CAREFUL of sticking the hose or your fingers into spinning fans, belts or pulleys.
 

·
Super Moderator
2001 Forester S, 4EAT
Joined
·
2,942 Posts
The idler pulley is the most common thing to go, this pulley is on the belt that drives the AC Compressor. Most likely the bearing on it has seized and the pulley has stopped spinning and therefore causing the squealing and burnt smell.
 

·
Registered
2006 Forester X
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone.

One thing I did not mention in my first post was that in addition to the squealing on idle, there is also a squealing when accelerating with the RPM over about 3500 or so. I forgot to mention it above because it's not so common and the idea squeal was on my mind.

Anyways, I got into it today and sure enough, the idler pulley on the AC belt was totally trashed. Picked up a Gates replacement and put that on with new a pair of replacement belts. This DID take care of the squealing at idle, but not under at high RPMs under hard acceleration.

Could it be possible that there's a variety of crud on the pulleys-- residue from burning rubber from previously slipping belt, 14 years of accumulated oil, grease, dust, etc. that could be causing the belt to continue to slip at high RPMs? I'm thinking of trying to clean the pulleys tomorrow, take the cover off and spray them down as best I can with a gentle degreaser, let them soak a bit, spray a bit more while idling? Any other ideas?
 

·
Registered
2006 Forester X
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For anyone who's curious, I ended up taking it in to a shop and the oil pressure switches were leaking badly. They replaced those and it made a world of difference. They also informed me that the head gaskets are starting to go as well... we'll see how long it takes until they really need to be addressed and what our route forward ends up being at that time...
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
40,899 Posts
@MN_Drew thank you for updating your thread with the solution! I'll change the "Updated!" to "SOLVED!" :wink:

As to your head gaskets. If you don't have the Subaru coolant conditioner added to the coolant, adding it could give you a bit more time before you need to address the head gaskets. We have that in both our Foresters.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
  • Like
Reactions: MN_Drew

·
Registered
2006 Forester X
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Bobby. I believe that currently I only have an external head leak-- that is oil leaking out. I don't believe there is a leak between the coolant and the oil... yet.
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
40,899 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: NinoS

·
Registered
2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
Thanks for the advice everyone.

One thing I did not mention in my first post was that in addition to the squealing on idle, there is also a squealing when accelerating with the RPM over about 3500 or so. I forgot to mention it above because it's not so common and the idea squeal was on my mind.

Anyways, I got into it today and sure enough, the idler pulley on the AC belt was totally trashed. Picked up a Gates replacement and put that on with new a pair of replacement belts. This DID take care of the squealing at idle, but not under at high RPMs under hard acceleration.

Could it be possible that there's a variety of crud on the pulleys-- residue from burning rubber from previously slipping belt, 14 years of accumulated oil, grease, dust, etc. that could be causing the belt to continue to slip at high RPMs? I'm thinking of trying to clean the pulleys tomorrow, take the cover off and spray them down as best I can with a gentle degreaser, let them soak a bit, spray a bit more while idling? Any other ideas?
When my AC tensioner blew up just like yours, i recall spending alot of time cleaning off one of the pulleys (crank pulley? can't recall) that had all kinds of melted belt in it. It was bad, surely would have caused issues had i not gotten most of that out.

edit: also, I 2nd what Bobby mentioned about head gaskets. My 03X was externally leaking oil for 10's of thousands of miles before I finally decided to have an independent mechanic do the job along with some other items like a valve job. It was nice to know it was done but the car still drinks oil like a big dog, must be rings, no matter though the car is still serving our family well.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
... ended up taking it in to a shop... They also informed me that the head gaskets are starting to go as well... we'll see how long it takes until they really need to be addressed and what our route forward ends up being at that time...
I picked a time, shop and place to preemptively replace my head gaskets. It had to be a very experienced shop that used multi-layer steel gaskets. I ended up having AWD Auto in Seattle doing while I vacationed around PNW region. But I almost had it done the year before at Wray in Buffalo MN near you, while vacationing at Christmas Lake.
Mike Wray has done over a hundred EJ25 head gasket jobs.
https://davidwrayautomotive.com
 

·
Registered
2006 Forester X
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info. Glad to hear about the experiences with the HG seep going quite a while before complete failure. The tech who looked at it told me it could be 4,000mi or 40,000mi before a complete failure, and that the failures generally happen in the winter. Just dropped about $150 on new plugs, wires, filters, etc. and going to need new tires this fall. Going to ride out the HG for now.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top