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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Outback owners,
I purchased a used 1998 Subaru legacy OB and it just stated knocking. It doesn't sound like its coming from the engine, but then again I'm not a mechanic. Long story short I took it to the mechanic to get the timing belt and water pump done and the mechanic said I needed a new engine. I thought it was a noisy pully. I have 168k on the car, the engine seems to run just fine, is there a solution to the knocking that I can fix. I feel like I'm driving a ticking time bomb and the engine is going to go any minute. The engine doent seem to lose any power, it just idles high when the engine is cold and levels out once it warms up. Help anyone.
 

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i take it you don't completely trust the mechanic. second opinions are always good. but it is going to be really hard to diagnose this with out hearing it .

there are several things it could be, rod knock is one. here's a link that may help.

Engine Noise Diagnosis 101

does it get quieter after the engine warms up, that could be piston slap. not dangerous, just a noisy pain.

or it could be your timing belt tensioner. the one they started using in 98 can start to slap around when it gets old and sound like rod knock. if it, or the belt or any idler pulley fails you will have bent valves and an expensive repair, $$$$.

i would get a mechanic's stethoscope from a parts store ($10) or harbor freight ($5) and try and locate the noise. if it is on the front of the engine behind the timing cover it could be the tensioner.

when was the timing belt done last?

was the tensioner replaced?

Mechanic's Stethoscope

but if the car has been over heated, usually caused by bad head gaskets, it could easily be rod knock.

has the car been over heated?
have the head gaskets been replaced? when?

let us know what you find.
 

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#1 piston slap. louder when first started, decreases when car is warm. this is benign, just ignore it, car can run 100,000 miles like this, it's just annoying.
#2 timing belt tensioner - you can pull the timing cover (passengers side) and watch it while the car is running. if it's bouncing up and down, that's likely the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks you all for the speedy responses. Canubaru the car is not showing signs of overheating nor has the car overheated on me yet. I was taking the car in to change the timing belt, water pump, pully's, and all the belts. A major tune up for lack of better words. This mechanic is all around mechanic, and he doen't specialize in just one type of vehicle. So his solution was to rebuild or replace the engine. I guess I'll have to do the work myself. I'll check all the recommendation and hopefully it's the timing belt issue is the culprit, I can deal with a little noise.
 

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i'll say this again, i would get a mechanic's stethoscope and try and isolate the noise. this will tell you more than almost anything else.

if you know what is making the noise, you are WAY WAY ahead of the game. this is critical.
 
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