Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dutchess County, NY USA
Car: '14 Subi OBW, '02 Subi OBW, '08 Toyota Sienna
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Front end shimmy - all the time? Only above a certain speed? Does it go away if you go considerably faster (in other words is there a speed band where it is worse)? Or only when braking?
There are a number of reasons why you might have pinging, but if you are hearing it then performance is most likely suffering. If the knock sensor were to hear the pinging every time you attempt to accelerate, it will retard the timing, and that can be felt as a stumble or hesitation if it is abrupt enough. A temporary switch to premium to help get some relief and a data point on the possible triggers is a wise idea. There could be carbon buildup on valve stems or on piston crowns, there could be an issue with the knock sensor itself, etc. A treatment of Techron (or Seafoam) fuel system cleaner might also be wise along with the better grade of fuel.
I run Mobil 1 in my Outback (H4) because *I think* it makes a difference on cold starts in NY winters, and seems to reduce piston slap a little bit, but it could just as likely be my imagination and a waste of money. My annual mileage is also low (about 8-9k per year) and I only change oil every 6 months, so synthetics may offer a little better protection given these conditions. Any idea what the former Vermont owner ran?
2002 OBW base model with automatic. Added: CD player, Security System, tweeters & subwoofer, trailer hitch, lighting mods, cabin filters, hood deflector, drivers lumbar mods, winter tires.
2014 OBW Premium, CVT & Moonroof. Added: trailer hitch, lighting mods, upgraded horn, winter tire/wheel/TPMS package.