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Hi got this 2003 outback with 4 cylinder and we live in Canada and on cold mornings my wife says that this engine has what sounds like a knocking noise till the engine warms up. Car has 65,000 km and is services every 5000 km with new oil and filter. I do it myself cause dealer is 2 hours away.

Anyways I put smi-synthetic oil in her now.

Any thoughts would be great. Also were is the PVC valve located on this baby. Other than that car runs good.

Nish
 

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ok thanks bud, found it and changed it and the spark plugs.

Is the piston slap a problem cuase it is still under warranty till 100km

nish
 

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Thanks oneOSB

Talked to my dealer and he said they mostly lkely will work on the belt tensioner and then if it is still knocking then most likely it is piston #4 that is causing the problem. (They will put a new engine in if they have to he said. Just by chance my neighbour had the same thing and they put a new engine in his also.
 

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Piston Slapping when cold

Yes, it is a major problem with the 4 cylinder Outbacks.

Subaru knows all about this concern and has been quietly replacing
all 4 pistons and the rings in 2000-2004 Outbacks.

Our 2002 and 2004 have had there pistons all replaced with less than 15k on the odometers. The engines had hard dieseling slap on cold mornings. I know of at least 10 people who have had their pistons and rings replaced by Subaru.

Yes, warranty will cover it for you providing the Subaru DSM authorizes the work. Plan on being without the car for 3-4 weeks.
Subaru will do nothing for you besides replace the pistons.
I can give you names and E-mails at Subaru if you would like.
I sent several letters to key Subaru executives on the last deal.
When these cars are worn out, we will be 100% finished with this brand! Subaru customer loyalty/relations sucks!

Just my .02.

Deming
 

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did you have to bug the dealer, cause the one that I bought the car from has been very good. they said that if the belt tensioner does not fix it then they will replace the engine. this happened to my neighbours outback also but it took 6 months for them to get an engine and onlyn one week to fix. they gave them a loner also.

So tommorrow i am gonna call the dealer and tell them that it is still noisey.

i want this to be fixed sooner rather than later........

also i dont bring my outback into the dealer for all service, cause i am about 2 hours away from them. My wife like the AWD, so we will see what happens, if i need the addresses then i will ask ya,

thanks alot.

Also on the service end, my local mechanic does the service and i have receipts to show that service has been done for this car. dealer said no problem, will see, lol

nish
 

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Better bug your dealers, because the 2.5 litre 4 cylinder has a problem with excessive piston slap.

We have owned too many Subarus (2000-2004) and we are all too famaliar with this problem!

Hope you have a good dealership with a good service department!
 

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Yes the dealers keep saying "it's normal for these flat 4s". But it is NOT normal. This is not the 50s, a well designed engine doesn't produce that kind of noise.

If you insist a lot, they will eventually fix it.
 

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No warranty

I have the piston slap sound, haven't went to dealer yet. If my warranty is up, will subaru still replace the pistons and rings? Am I just screwed? I agree that a car made in 2001 with 28,000 miles should not sound like this, but I keep hearing that it is normal.
What should I do? I am afraid that the dealer will just give me the runaround.
 

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Knocking update

Well took it back into the dealer for the knocking noise and the dealer agreed that it needs pistons. But did not want to tackle it since the factory did not have any blocks(back ordered, wonder why?). Waited 4 weeks and kept on top of the dealer. He called me and I brought it in. Ther replaced the pistons and rings and I am now just waiting to put 1000km on her and bring back in for oil change. They want to see it.

Will wait till cold sets in this fall. All good so far. I have 82,000km on her and warranty to 100,000km.

Otherwise dealer in Sudbury, Ontario - Sudbury Fine Cars was great!!!!.
 

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I have a 2004 OBW with 20K miles on it! I bought it with 15K on it and it seems to be running fine with no noise. A few questions here:

1. Is this something that happens over time or is it something that would go wrong in the begining?

2. What is the problem caused from?

3. Does anyone know what percentages of cars have had this problem?

Thanks for any info!
 
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