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I'm noticing a clicking noise in the dash area/steering column of my 2011 Outback. It has gotten progressively louder but does not seem related to air, wipers, or tempo of engine. Also, when I shut the engine off, I intermittently hear some clicking noise, like something is trying to shut off.

What are these noises and are they related?
 

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Subaru Outback 2011 Limited 2.5
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My 2011 Outback has the same clicking noise. Other posts suggest it is the Window Master Switch. The driver side window does not roll down. I took out the master switch and cleaned it with QD Electronic Cleaner I got at WalMart. The noise went away for a few days but now it is back. I am in the process of replacing the master window switch. The cheapest I found was $104 at Subaru Part Plus. Google WINDOW SWITCH - SUBARU (83071AJ020) to find the part.
 

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Clicking and bubbling dash noises (especially after the engine is shut off) usually are caused by the HVAC blend door motors "hunting" for the system's pre-set temperature positions. Sometimes lubing the motors will silence them, and sometimes they must be replaced in order to shut them up. Typically, some of the vent panels and dash panels must be removed in order to get to the motors, so be very careful if you go after them because those plastic vent covers can be easy to break. The appropriate dashboard schematic is always helpful for this particular job.

In most cases these dash noises are nothing more than a nuisance. We have owned vehicles that made these noises for years while their HVAC systems continued to function perfectly.
 
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I hear a similar ticking sound on my 2011 3.6R, sounds just like a clock, except interval seems shorter than second. It seems to be coming from the dashboard, but only when engine is ON. I hear it most of the time even when the car is stationary, and revving the engine does seem to have any effect on it. When I open the hood I can only hear the engine and no such ticking sound.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Limited
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I have the same problem! Clicking noise coming from the dash while the car is running, and also less aggressively after the car is turned off and the key pulled from the ignition. It has a similar kind of semi-irregular rhythm as, say, a recurring muscle spasm or something like that. My sense is that it has something to do with HVAC, but I have absolutely no clue how these things work....sadly. I'd actually like to prep the car for sale which is why I'd really like to get this fixed. Potential buyers don't like odd noises, even if they are just a "nuisance". I'm done with Subaru, too many annoying design flaws, too many issues. And I'm starting to get the sense that their CVT transmissions are rather weak, no?
 

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I have the same problem! Clicking noise coming from the dash while the car is running, and also less aggressively after the car is turned off and the key pulled from the ignition. It has a similar kind of semi-irregular rhythm as, say, a recurring muscle spasm or something like that. My sense is that it has something to do with HVAC, but I have absolutely no clue how these things work....sadly. I'd actually like to prep the car for sale which is why I'd really like to get this fixed. Potential buyers don't like odd noises, even if they are just a "nuisance". I'm done with Subaru, too many annoying design flaws, too many issues. And I'm starting to get the sense that their CVT transmissions are rather weak, no?
2012 is not a great year,...although you got the last of the great EJ253 engines, it does have a problem CVT.

keep this in mind:
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forum.../429481-cvt-warranty-extension-2010-15-a.html

I hope you are getting CVT fluid swaps to ward off catastrophe like any other automatic trans.

if looking for different vehicles of a similar year: Nissan also had CVT problems. ford and VW had automatic trans problems.

and if you live right around washington, you maybe out looking for a hybrid or something that is economical in crawling traffic.
such come with CVTs,.... maybe a toyota highlander hybrid,...

or a full on electric car.

2016 and newer subarus are not part of the problem years. before the year is out subaru should sell a new hybrid crosstrek with toyota synergy drive stuff in it. crosstreks have like zero hatch space with the rear seats up. ...so subaru should expand the hybrid offerings into outback etc in short order.
 

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2012 is not a great year,...although you got the last of the great EJ253 engines, it does have a problem CVT.

keep this in mind:


I hope you are getting CVT fluid swaps to ward off catastrophe like any other automatic trans.

if looking for different vehicles of a similar year: Nissan also had CVT problems. ford and VW had automatic trans problems.

and if you live right around washington, you maybe out looking for a hybrid or something that is economical in crawling traffic.
such come with CVTs,.... maybe a toyota highlander hybrid,...

or a full on electric car.

2016 and newer subarus are not part of the problem years. before the year is out subaru should sell a new hybrid crosstrek with toyota synergy drive stuff in it. crosstreks have like zero hatch space with the rear seats up. ...so subaru should expand the hybrid offerings into outback etc in short order.
That warranty extension has come and gone for me unfortunately. I'm not really having issues with the trans yet, but given all of the anecdotal evidence it sounds like I probably will eventually. I'm right at 100k now. So I'm just trying to get the car in sale-ready condition and get rid of it before I get caught with my pants down. Hence, the concern about the clicking noise.

Not interested hybrid cars. Most of the late-aught Toyota Highlander Hybrids that are for sale need new hybrid batteries. Seems like they have about a 10-year lifespan. Not sure how expensive they are, but I'm assuming they're somewhere in the 1.5-2k range.

The car I'm most interested in based on my research of reliability/durability is, yes, a Toyota Highlander, but in a 4-cylinder FWD configuration. Probably a late 2000s model. Maybe I've been watching too much of the Scotty Kilmer channel, but if you take him at his word he makes it sound like Toyota is currently the only company that knows how to build auto transmissions that'll last.
 

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That warranty extension has come and gone for me unfortunately. I'm not really having issues with the trans yet, but given all of the anecdotal evidence it sounds like I probably will eventually. I'm right at 100k now. So I'm just trying to get the car in sale-ready condition and get rid of it before I get caught with my pants down. Hence, the concern about the clicking noise.

Not interested hybrid cars. Most of the late-aught Toyota Highlander Hybrids that are for sale need new hybrid batteries. Seems like they have about a 10-year lifespan. Not sure how expensive they are, but I'm assuming they're somewhere in the 1.5-2k range.

The car I'm most interested in based on my research of reliability/durability is, yes, a Toyota Highlander, but in a 4-cylinder FWD configuration. Probably a late 2000s model. Maybe I've been watching too much of the Scotty Kilmer channel, but if you take him at his word he makes it sound like Toyota is currently the only company that knows how to build auto transmissions that'll last.

it seems that the taxi companies running toyota hybrids get 250,000 on them, and then replace the gas engine and keep going.

a while back consumer reports found a 2002 era first edition prius and tested the battery for efficiency,
and it had only lost about 5 %, (over 10 years,...and 100,000 miles of LA city traffic,...owned by the same family under dealer maint...which was minor stuff ).

but. ...if you like Scotty, we have a new thread in his honor here.

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forum...r-internet-expert-idiot.html?highlight=scotty
 

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it seems that the taxi companies running toyota hybrids get 250,000 on them, and then replace the gas engine and keep going.

a while back consumer reports found a 2002 era first edition prius and tested the battery for efficiency,
and it had only lost about 5 %, (over 10 years,...and 100,000 miles of LA city traffic,...owned by the same family under dealer maint...which was minor stuff ).

but. ...if you like Scotty, we have a new thread in his honor here.


Perhaps he's been wrong or mistaken about a lot of other things, I don't know. I've only just recently become a "car guy". But it would seem that he's right about the Subaru CVTs, no?
 

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Perhaps he's been wrong or mistaken about a lot of other things, I don't know. I've only just recently become a "car guy". But it would seem that he's right about the Subaru CVTs, no?
seems more like his has a conspiracy theorist ax to grind getting more and more people to watch him rant about things he knows nothing about. (and makes money per view).

vs. riding up a sand hill with @Brucey in his CVT.

if Brucey would let him in the car.]

see the outback unpaved section for videos of newish CVT cars.
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/96-outback-unpaved/
 

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seems more like his has a conspiracy theorist ax to grind getting more and more people to watch him rant about things he knows nothing about. (and makes money per view).

vs. riding up a sand hill with @Brucey in his CVT.

if Brucey would let him in the car.]

see the outback unpaved section for videos of newish CVT cars.
Fair enough. Like I said, I haven't had issues with my CVT yet. I'm just a little concerned based on the stories because my 2012 w/ 100k miles is primarily a city car. What kind of interval would you recommend for CVT fluid flush? I think mine had its first and only flush at 70k...
 

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Fair enough. Like I said, I haven't had issues with my CVT yet. I'm just a little concerned based on the stories because my 2012 w/ 100k miles is primarily a city car. What kind of interval would you recommend for CVT fluid flush? I think mine had its first and only flush at 70k...

a drain and fill will give you a half load change,....vs. the more expensive sucking machine that tries to get 100% out

I have recently read of someone here trying to do drain and fills at 30,000 mile intervals on them.

____

but I am with you,.
...just ditch this thing if its out of warranty, and you don't want to get another 3rd party warranty if you don't love the car enough to want to keep it.

but I would also be interested in a 2016-present outback with eyesight if buying something that new to replace it.

or a 2011-14 3.6 limited, with the last of the 5 speed auto transmissions, if it were to not be stuck in city traffic.
(as great as 6 cylinders are....a guzzler in the stop and go).

or maybe sit in multiple things looking for what seat I like,....around DC, a Rav4 or a CRV may work...for many but not be great for everyone's individual bod.
 

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seems more like his has a conspiracy theorist ax to grind getting more and more people to watch him rant about things he knows nothing about. (and makes money per view).

vs. riding up a sand hill with @Brucey in his CVT.

if Brucey would let him in the car.]

see the outback unpaved section for videos of newish CVT cars.
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/96-outback-unpaved/
I would happily take him up. I don't hate the guy just don't agree with the CVT hate.

There is an active thread here about a CVT with 250k on factory fluid just starting to fail but still driving.

That's pretty acceptable to me. Do a CVT fluid flush every 50k to hopefully prolong the life. But something making it past the moon distance wise is acceptable in my mind.
 

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We are having a clicking sound in the dashboard of our 2008 Outback. It sounds like a click from an indicator but jus one click. It happened more as we are on the highway. The slower we go, the less often we hear the click. Nothin is lite up on the dashboard everything else is fine but this clicking. Any ideas and is this the right forum to ask this question for the age of Subaru Outback?
 
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