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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Been trying to hunt down a rattle that appears around 1300-1400 RPM. I thought it was a heat shield issue, but when I ramp the Outback and push on them, I can't seem to make the sound go away (with my wife applying gentle throttle to keep it around 1300-1400 to duplicate the issue). Nothing seems to be loose, though the bolts are certainly rusted.

What other things can I check out? Everything else seems to be in decent shape, except when I'm driving away (especially when cold), I absolutely get a loud vibration until I'm above 1500.

Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the rattle coming from the front or rear of the car? If it's the rear, it could be a loose baffle inside the muffler.
Would you mind giving me some guidance on how to check for that? I was pushing on the shields using a screwdriver and my hand to try to mute the vibration. How far back are we talking?
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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check the brake dust guards also. ...similar shape,...similar noise.
 

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I don't know how many miles you have on your car, but I recently replaced the motor, trans, and torque mounts(@50k) that took a number of vibrations/noises out of the car. Also recently switch from the dealer standard oil to Mobil 1 10w-30 full synthetic oil which not only drastically smoothed the car out, many of the engine noises and rattles went away.
Our mounts were shot at 50k. The static height difference in the motor mounts were about 1/3-1/2 inch. The torque mount was broken about 90% of the way through. You might consider checking those at a minimum. Best of luck with it, I know having those types of issues can be frustrating to say the least.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know how many miles you have on your car, but I recently replaced the motor, trans, and torque mounts(@50k) that took a number of vibrations/noises out of the car. Also recently switch from the dealer standard oil to Mobil 1 10w-30 full synthetic oil which not only drastically smoothed the car out, many of the engine noises and rattles went away.
Our mounts were shot at 50k. The static height difference in the motor mounts were about 1/3-1/2 inch. The torque mount was broken about 90% of the way through. You might consider checking those at a minimum. Best of luck with it, I know having those types of issues can be frustrating to say the least.
Regards
Is that something I can visibly check from above or below the car? What does a broken one look like?
 

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Is that something I can visibly check from above or below the car? What does a broken one look like?
It's tough, without having them both out and comparing them. The torque mount in front you can see some of the cracking, but rest is very evident once it is out. In ours, it felt like the driveline was moving around when you would brake(IE slop). Lots of vibrations from the trans and engine. We're particular on our cars and want them running correctly. The mounts and syn oil really brought back the feel and refinement it had when new.
The motor and trans mounts were gone in our Porsche's at similar mileage, so I was not surprised too much. You might check your torque mount with a mirror which might help some. It's reasonably tight in there. Our car gets a lot of city type driving, so that might contribute to the mounts demise.
Regards
 

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Our OB has had a heat shield rattle..had it fixed...it’s come back...now I just don’t care about it anymore...it’s only there at idle and slightly above. If they fix it for free, fine, if not...puh...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's another development:

The car did not make the vibration when just started and idled down slowly from around 1800 (cold start) all the way to 1000. Normally I'd hear that vibration from 1300-1400ish. Could this point more towards another part, rather than the shields? How do I check the brake dust guards?
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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could you post a link to a recording, someone may recognize the noise.

sometimes heat shields are reported as buzzing. Could your noise be more like a knocking sound? thumping? ticking?

does it seem to track with changes in rpm? sound the same in Park, N or while in gear (foot on brakes and driving?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
could you post a link to a recording, someone may recognize the noise.

sometimes heat shields are reported as buzzing. Could your noise be more like a knocking sound? thumping? ticking?

does it seem to track with changes in rpm? sound the same in Park, N or while in gear (foot on brakes and driving?)
Sure I’ll try it on my lunch break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No luck getting a recording that (in my opinion) accurately shows the rattle.

Seems like it happens stationary also around the 1200-1400 range. I’ll try again later.

Thinking it might also be the cat heat shield but also thinking it sounds too far towards the front. We’ll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay!

Okay, here's what I think could be the problem, hopefully someone can chime in.

I pushed on the heat shields along the exhaust and didn't happen upon anything that muted or dulled the sound before it dropped out of the main RPM range.

I did however, find this "crack" in the exhaust, and I'm wondering if that is what's doing it.

How can I fix this? Can I do it myself, or do I need to find a shop?

I have no idea what the parts are here, but the last shot has some type of part number on it. When I search for "ELSAPMAJ2", I get no returns on Google...

Thanks!
 

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Exhaust cracks can indeed cause a number of unusual erratic sounds.

Another possibility is a failing catalytic converter. As their interiors age and break down, they typically rattle like a couple of marbles bouncing around in an empty metal trash can. One of the best ways to check for this is to drive slowly close to a building (such as a bank drive-through lane or a fast-food drive-through lane) with your drivers window down while listening for that telltale rattling sound to increase dramatically as it bounces against the wall and echoes back to your ears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Exhaust cracks can indeed cause a number of unusual erratic sounds.

Another possibility is a failing catalytic converter. As their interiors age and break down, they typically rattle like a couple of marbles bouncing around in an empty metal trash can. One of the best ways to check for this is to drive slowly close to a building (such as a bank drive-through lane or a fast-food drive-through lane) with your drivers window down while listening for that telltale rattling sound to increase dramatically as it bounces against the wall and echoes back to your ears.
Alright. This is very similar to the heat shield rattle I had in my 09 Legacy. How do I tell it’s the cat or not? I think the cat is covered under my PZEV warranty.
 

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Exhaust cracks can indeed cause a number of unusual erratic sounds.

Another possibility is a failing catalytic converter. As their interiors age and break down, they typically rattle like a couple of marbles bouncing around in an empty metal trash can. One of the best ways to check for this is to drive slowly close to a building (such as a bank drive-through lane or a fast-food drive-through lane) with your drivers window down while listening for that telltale rattling sound to increase dramatically as it bounces against the wall and echoes back to your ears.
Get a good quality hose clamp (or 2) from a muffler shop that will fit around the cats. Install it on each of the cats, making sure to put some good tension on the heat shields when you tighten it. If the noise still exists, then the only way to check to see if the cat material has come loose inside with out damaging it, is to get the car up on ramps, drop the exhaust and manually shake the exhaust system to check for something rattling inside the cat.

Otherwise, get a c-clamp on the cat and tighten slowly to see if the noise goes away.
 
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