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2004 Forester XS Premium
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, yesterday I bought a 2004 Forester XS from the same dealer I bought my new Impreza wagon from. Super nice condition in and out, 1 owner, all maintenance done at the dealer, and only 72k miles.

When I test drove it (we went for a nice long ride, around town and on the highway) it drove awesome - literally as well as my '07 Impreza 2.5i Wagon. The Forester was already warmed up, as it had just come back from another test drive.

Bought it, drove it home, parked it for the night. When I went out to start it this morning (it's pretty cold these days, about 10 degrees or so) it made a loud rattle or clacking sound until it warmed up - after 10 minutes or so. Doesn't have any metal-on-metal clang to it, and it doesn't sound like lifter tick (as a Mazda owner, I know what normal cold-startup lifter clatter sounds like.) Seems like it's a common issue for '04-'05 Foresters, and I found the TSB involving the timing belt tensioner and bracket.

I know better than to test drive a car that has already been warmed up, but I overlooked it as the car was so nice and relatively new. They gave me maintenance records and an extensive inspection sheet which included listening for unusual engine noises. I didn't opt for any of their extended warranty packages.

What are my chances that they'll fix it? If they don't, what's it going to cost? I'm pretty mechanically inclined - can I do it myself if they won't?

Bummer that this is my first post here.
 

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2010 Forester X Prem MT
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15 Posts
A lot of reputable dealers will give at least a partial warranty for 30 days or so on their used cars. If yours specifically stated "As-is, no warranty" on the window sticker you might be sunk. Regardless, you should take it back to their service department for diagnosis and plead your case as a repeat customer to see if they can cut you a break.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
Sounds like piston slap which is considered normal i think, gms vortec engines were know for it also. I think all subarus exhibit it to some extent when cold . Take it back and leave it over night for them to listen to it and see what they say .
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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702 Posts
I will just add: try to be there when the dealer cold starts the vehicle. That way, you're less likely to get the "we didn't hear anything unusual" response. Good luck,
Steve
09 2.5X AT
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
A lot of reputable dealers will give at least a partial warranty for 30 days or so on their used cars. If yours specifically stated "As-is, no warranty" on the window sticker you might be sunk. Regardless, you should take it back to their service department for diagnosis and plead your case as a repeat customer to see if they can cut you a break.
MN does have a state warranty law for "X" number of days "X" number of miles, I do not recall what it is however.

May I ask what dealer?

What city are you in?

If you are in the Coon Rapids(surrounding) area I would not mind taking a listen at a cold start to confirm.

The description sounds like piston slap, but internet descriptions can be very misleading.


EDIT here it is:
Minnesota (MN) Used Car Warranty Law - AUTOPEDIA® - The AUTOmotive encycloPEDIA

Subd. 2. Written warranty required. (a) Every used motor vehicle sold by a dealer is covered by an express warranty which the dealer shall provide to the consumer. At a minimum, the express warranty applies for the following terms:

(1) if the used motor vehicle has less than 36,000 miles, the warranty must remain in effect for at least 60 days or 2,500 miles, whichever comes first;

(2) if the used motor vehicle has 36,000 miles or more, but less than 75,000 miles, the warranty must remain in effect for at least 30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first.
 

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2009 Forester
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210 Posts
MN does have a state warranty law for "X" number of days "X" number of miles, I do not recall what it is however.

May I ask what dealer?

What city are you in?

If you are in the Coon Rapids(surrounding) area I would not mind taking a listen at a cold start to confirm.

The description sounds like piston slap, but internet descriptions can be very misleading.


EDIT here it is:
Minnesota (MN) Used Car Warranty Law - AUTOPEDIA® - The AUTOmotive encycloPEDIA
Thanks for the good info on MN warranties.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,168 Posts
I think you have 5 business days to terminate the deal...but maybe that's if delivery of vehicle isn't performed. Check and get your money back.
 

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2004 Forester XS Premium
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'm pretty sure this isn't piston slap - it's distinctly not a metal-on-metal sound, and it's coming from the front of the engine.

However, thanks for the good info about used car warranties. It's going back to the dealer this morning. Hopefully it can be fixed - it's in beautiful shape otherwise.
 

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2017 2.5i Touring
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42 Posts
Could be a heat shield rattle -- common to Subarus -- my '04 started around 75k miles.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
That's a piston slap alright... not as benign as some people think, as it (1) tends to burn oil, and (2) might eventually deteriorate to the point of failure (not very likely, AFAIKT). Force the dealership to repair this (~$1800) - fortunately, the local law is on your side.
 
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