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2002 VDC Outback sedan
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Discussion Starter #1
lol, or see if you can, anyway.

I just replaced the bearings in the idler and tensioner pulleys yesterday. I know the idler was bad because I could see movement. However I thought it was also making the noise. But I guess not since I still have the noise. I don't see any other pulleys moving.

Is this noise familiar to anyone?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLcDO-wEuds
 

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2002 VDC Outback sedan
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Discussion Starter #4
I don't believe its the ac pulley, the noise seems to the left of the alternator.

However I noticed the ac clutch wont activate, and with a trip coming in two days I guess thats what ill be spending this afternoon on :(
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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Mine makes a similar noise, every time the belt vibrates and the tensioner must move even a tiny bit it makes a clicking/rattling noise.

With the engine off and the very front air intake removed, put a wrench on the pulley nut on the tensioner pulley and move the tensioner a little bit.

On mine the noise goes away when I rev it because the belt doesn't vibrate much above idle, so try revving it a little.

To rule out anything to do with the belt etc you could pull the belt and start the engine, the water pump will still be spinning but you'll be running off the battery.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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^^ Dito

It may be time for a tensioner assembly. Weak or broken spring.

Possible chain tensioner:

SOURCE: Subaru Tech Tips

TITLE: Engine Noise - All H6 Vehicles

APPLIES TO: All 6 cylinder vehicles except SVX

SERVICE TIP:

If you encounter an H6 engine with a noise coming from the front timing chain area and suspect it might be caused by the timing chain tensioner, please follow the instructions below. SOA has tried this procedure and found it to be an effective fix.

1) Start the Engine
2) Raise engine RPM's under cold condition, up to 5000rpm 3 to 4 times.
3) Confirm whether the noise is eliminated.
4) If the noise still exists, repeat above procedure again.

If you cannot eliminate the noise with above procedure, replace Chain Tensioner.
 

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2002 VDC Outback sedan
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Discussion Starter #7
Ill try that tip of taking the belt off. Thanks.

Also, my Outback was the victim of a bad o-ring on the compressor. It was bone dry. So, $10 for the o-ring, and $244 for refrigerant and labor later, it's working. That sucked. I've had the car 2 months :(

I hope I get to go a few months with no other surprises.

Tomorrow ill take the belt off and listen for the noise. If the noise is still there, then cam chain tensioner? And if the noise is gone, then likely serpentine belt tensioner?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Ill try that tip of taking the belt off. Thanks.

Also, my Outback was the victim of a bad o-ring on the compressor. It was bone dry. So, $10 for the o-ring, and $244 for refrigerant and labor later, it's working. That sucked. I've had the car 2 months :(
That's way too high for AC o-rings and labor. Where did you go?


Tomorrow ill take the belt off and listen for the noise. If the noise is still there, then cam chain tensioner? And if the noise is gone, then likely serpentine belt tensioner?
Exactly. One takes about 30-45 minutes depending on whether you drop the nut or not; the other a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's way too high for AC o-rings and labor. Where did you go?
The dealer I bought the car from. I had a free 'first service' coming, so while it was in for free oil change and tire rotation, I had them look into the AC.

They said they had to charge it to see if it leaked, and the machine that recovers old refrigerant and charges with new takes an hour and a half. All automatic.

Here's the receipt.

 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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They charged you a lot for electricity. It takes 30 minutes to evac and recharge (plenty of time for a good vacuum pull on a system that just leaked), plus refrigerant and the seals. Labor time calls for 1.4 hours to evac/recharge on all cars in the labor standards listings, but I don't pull that. Its a ridiculous amount of time to charge for pushing a button and walking away.

Give you another: They knew where the leak was. The system has dye in it from the factory and majority of the leaks are on the lines at the compressor.

Can you say "Gotcha". Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't know they had dye in at the factory. Is that all cars, American too?

Maybe it only takes 30 minutes, but their machine is programmed for the full hour and a half, I saw the timer on it. Which is a pretty depressing thing to know.

Thanks for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I put a socket on the tensioner while it was running and it quieted right down. So thanks for that tip.

I guess when I get back I get to put a new tensioner or on.

OR, can they be opened up and just replace the spring?
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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Machine time doesn't equal labor time. Also, unless they vac'd the sys into a bag, no haz waste charge should be applied (I'd say).
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I put a socket on the tensioner while it was running and it quieted right down. So thanks for that tip.

I guess when I get back I get to put a new tensioner or on.

OR, can they be opened up and just replace the spring?
Get a new tensioner. It will come with the pulley from Subaru. You'll have an extra if one of the pulleys goes out again. They are the same.


Machine time doesn't equal labor time. Also, unless they vac'd the sys into a bag, no haz waste charge should be applied (I'd say).
The machines recycle the refrigerant. What is pulled out of any system is filtered as its being pulled out and it goes in with the rest in the tank. So, another trick these shady guys use is to pull the refrigerant out and knowing it gets reused charge you for the full amount the system holds. Say the system holds 1.5 lbs. The system is recycled and the machine pulls 1 lb out. The leak is found, repaired and the system recharged. Now, you would think, since it is recycled, that you would only pay for the .5 lbs needed to add to the 1 lb pulled from the system to make it full. NO. They charge you for the full 1.5 lbs. You just helped drop the parts cost for the shop. And when R134A was $180 for a tank, several cars done this way will pay for the tank when the shops charge $25-40 per lb. Cost per pound is not on your invoice. Its like they gave it to you, But the labor is high.

The HAZ charge is another profit gig. My shop doesn't have it. At all. It could have been for the oil, maybe the 134A, either way it jacks your invoice. The oil drained from every car goes in to a storage tank. That tank is emptied by an oil recycler. The Recycler cuts payment to the shop for every pint that is pulled from the tank. So, you pay the HAZ fee then they get paid when its sucked from the tank. Didn't cost them a thing to have it hauled away. Companies bid to buy used oil all the time and there is not a state regulation, in Texas anyway, that requires the fee to be collected for state use.

And on the dye, The Japanese auto makers put dye in with the oil charge. Some of the American companies do this. I have had Subarus that had dye in the system and no one had it prior to me, so it had to come from assembly. It helps me find the leak faster. I don't have to charge it to locate it. Grab the light.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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I didn't know they had dye in at the factory. Is that all cars, American too?

Maybe it only takes 30 minutes, but their machine is programmed for the full hour and a half, I saw the timer on it. Which is a pretty depressing thing to know.

Thanks for the information.
My Saturn Vues have A/C oil dye in them from the factory. I won't get into what the dealer did (or didn't do) when I discovered some of it. It shows up great under a black light.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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Prior to my adding some R134, the only a/c work was the dealer implementing a recall on some AC part or another (when I bought the car used), I have a leaky hose that is covered in green spooge, so I really appreciate the dye! No doubt where the leak is...
 

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2002 VDC Outback sedan
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Discussion Starter #17
Wow thanks for all the info.

So is that illegal or just a scam to charge labor time while a machine is doing all the work?
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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They can charge you extra if a bird lands on the hood (2 mechanics) if they want, doesn't mean you can't poke them a bit for some money back or credit on future work.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Technicians that work "flag hours" get paid by listed labor times from Mitchell or AllData. What ever the time for a particular job, that's what they are paid whether it's quicker or longer. That's how a good experienced tech bills 100 hrs a week when it only took him 50. A lot of dealerships are charging flag rates, but pay a grunt $10.00 an hour. More $$$ for the dealer.
 
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