Engine idling issues/noise - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2008, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Engine idling issues/noise

I have a '99 OBW with a 2.5L DOHC/5-speed. Cars got about 140k now. It's got a couple of issues, that I didn't really notice until I spent a bit of time over the past holiday in another '99 OBW 2.5/automatic with about 72k.

1). I've got a really high idle. It idles whether warm or not at around 1500rpm. It used to run just under 1000. The other '99 runs less than 1000 or even less. I don't have a CEL, but I'm wondering if there is anything that I should look for? Does the TPS have to be adjusted? I can't hear if there is a vacuum leak.

2). It has a clicking noise, sounds like a lifter ticking. I'm running 10W-40 now, would anything like lucas oil help with that ticking.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 10:08 PM
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Re: Engine idling issues/noise

Quote:
Originally posted by evanejp1980
I have a '99 OBW with a 2.5L DOHC/5-speed. Cars got about 140k now. It's got a couple of issues, that I didn't really notice until I spent a bit of time over the past holiday in another '99 OBW 2.5/automatic with about 72k.

1). I've got a really high idle. It idles whether warm or not at around 1500rpm. It used to run just under 1000. The other '99 runs less than 1000 or even less. I don't have a CEL, but I'm wondering if there is anything that I should look for? Does the TPS have to be adjusted? I can't hear if there is a vacuum leak.

2). It has a clicking noise, sounds like a lifter ticking. I'm running 10W-40 now, would anything like lucas oil help with that ticking.
hey fellow subaru'er
but you may want to check your IAC valve (idle air control) valve. take a small hammer and tap the top of the IAC valve see if theres any effect

but as far as your CEL when you turn the key to ACC or on, when you do this all the lights will come on calls a bulb check and you should see your "check engine" light come on for 3 secs and go off or sometimes it will stay on but if that doesnt happen the mechanic may have pulled out hte light to so called fix the problem. but doa bulb check and get back to me

but as far as your ticking your not alone im trying to find my ticking but i think i have more serious problems but i have tried lucas oil no luck but i have used 5-30 and i have read that thiner oil helps bec it flows faster, all i know is that for toyotas we use 10-30 (man i cant wait to move to subaru tho ) but does your ticking ever go away? does it sound like its coming from the left bank( side directions are looked from as if your sitting in the drivers seat)

best of luck let me know how you make out
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 11:13 AM
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Have the valves ever been adjusted on this car? Check the maintenance schedule and it will state the valve adjustment needs to be checked and adjusted as needed at, I think, 100k miles. I own this same model with 172k miles, and the engine, over time time, developed a tick that was resolved when the valves were adjusted.

As already stated, the idle is controlled by the IAC, and should never be adjusted unless it has just been replaced. Check for a signal at the IAC from the computer. If the signal is arriving at the IAC, the IAC may be bad.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 09:41 PM
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Today I was under the hood changing out my air filter and I noticed that I have a ticking noise as well. Almost sounds like a valve that is being tapped somewhere. Standing in front of the car while facing it, the ticking is coming from the left side of the car and I can hear it very well when I put my ear close to the camshaft pulleys.

I remember I called a dealer once about doing a valve adjustment and he made it sound like I was nuts. Said something to the affect of... "You know I have to pull the heads off the motor right?"... while laughing as if I was crazy.

OP... have you done anything to resolve this issue?

What would a valve adjustment cost for a 1998?... anyone know?

Andre

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 02:35 PM
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It wasn't necessary for my mechanic to pull the heads for the valve adjustment. Consider calling another shop. As far as the cost, what is a reliable wrench worth to you? Poor quality work at a good price does not equal value.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:00 PM
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To adjust the valve clearance on the dohc shim style without removing the engine or heads the special tool is required. That could be why some shops don't want to do it.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Today I was under the hood changing out my air filter and I noticed that I have a ticking noise as well. Almost sounds like a valve that is being tapped somewhere. Standing in front of the car while facing it, the ticking is coming from the left side of the car and I can hear it very well when I put my ear close to the camshaft pulleys.

I remember I called a dealer once about doing a valve adjustment and he made it sound like I was nuts. Said something to the affect of... "You know I have to pull the heads off the motor right?"... while laughing as if I was crazy.
In addition to valve lifters, a ticking sound that seems to be coming from the side of the engine could originate with a fuel injector.

Another possibility is a spark plug wire extension that is not fully seated on the spark plug (or has backed off). There could be a small gap inside the spark plug extension boot causing a spark each time that cylinder is fired, and this will resonate in the spark plug tube and sound like a mechanical tick. (This was mentioned here quite some time ago, and might have originated in an Endwrench article.)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by westone
It wasn't necessary for my mechanic to pull the heads for the valve adjustment. Consider calling another shop. As far as the cost, what is a reliable wrench worth to you? Poor quality work at a good price does not equal value.
That is understood, but I figured going to a Subaru mechanic would be the best bet as far as getting work done to a Subaru.

How did your mechanic do the adjustment without pulling the heads?

I know that the 2000+ Outbacks just need a special tool to adjust them but the 1st generation does not have such a thing (or at least as far as I know).

Andre

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by plain OM


In addition to valve lifters, a ticking sound that seems to be coming from the side of the engine could originate with a fuel injector.

Another possibility is a spark plug wire extension that is not fully seated on the spark plug (or has backed off). There could be a small gap inside the spark plug extension boot causing a spark each time that cylinder is fired, and this will resonate in the spark plug tube and sound like a mechanical tick. (This was mentioned here quite some time ago, and might have originated in an Endwrench article.)
I'll try pushing down on them to make sure that they are fully pushed in and making complete contact with the spark plug.

As far as the "special tool" that is needed to make the adjustment without removing the heads... is there a special name for this special tool so that I can ask the Subaru dealer mechanic without having to ask him if he has THE "Special Tool"? lol.

Andre

2006 Honda S2000 (Good Weather Warrior)
1998 Subaru Legacy Outback (Extreme Weather Warrior)
2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium (Wifey's Ride)
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:55 PM
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2000 Outback actually needs no special tool to adjust the valve clearance. It has the set screw type, just need the right size wrench and a screwdriver.

The special tool for the 2.5L dohc's that use the bucket/shim style is 498187200 ref: http://subaru.spx.com/Detail.aspx?id=593
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