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Y: 2005 M: Outback 2.5i LTD T: 4spd Automatic electronic SportShift E: 4 cyl. 2.5L SOHC (EJ253)
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I'm back again, trying to diagnose another random sound. Everyone has been a huge help on this site, and I hope to return the favor one day. I looked back and I tend to not update with my diagnosis and fixes, so I'll try to go back and do that soon. I have tons of photos from my driveshaft mishap, and my radiator exploding, and so on.

ANYWAYS, yeah, so I have an 2005 Outback, and it is doing something so strange and driving me nuts, I can't diagnose it for the life of me.
There is a metal on metal clanging (best word I can use to describe it) or banging, it is intermittent, and completely random, definitely coming from the rear of the car and from underneath. It sounds like a tiny hammer hitting a metal drum. Sometimes it bangs 10 times in a row (bang bang bang bang etc) and sometimes just once loudly. Never at the same time interval. It seems to most often occur at high speeds, when I'm going about 70 on the highway. It really sounds like it is high winds knocking something into something else, but it isn't consistent at all, even though the wind would be consistent going fast on the highway. But the closest I've gotten is it does seem to be preceded by a gust perhaps.?
Um, let's see what else...It first started about a week and a half ago, just three loud clangs when my car approached 80mph. My friend and I thought it was just a rock that hopped up on the road. Then a couple days later it did several bangs again, but only once during my 45 minute commute. Over the last several days, it seems to be happening just as randomly, but more often. I started driving slower, but the banging keeps occurring. Now it happens even if I'm driving about 40mph, but it isn't present if I drive slower than that (for now). A FEW more things I know: It DOES NOT happen when I go over bumps at all. And I did have a broken heat shield (the weird curved one in the middle of the car that protects the driveshaft from the exhaust), that definitely was rattling and I thought was the culprit. Removed it, and banging is still there.
Um, I've have my rear struts, bushings, and control arms replaced about 3 weeks ago. Then the front axle replaced 2 weeks ago. That's the only work that's been done this past year.
NEXT I'll try to get a recording, but it seriously is SO random, that I haven't been able to catch it (Like it'll bang 10 times in a row softly, then silence for 30 minutes, then bang twice loudly, then silence for 5 minutes, then bang really fast like 20 times, then silence, then 4 really loud bangs, etc, etc)
And NEXT I'm going to check the Sway Bar Links, as in my scouring the forums I've heard those can come lose and bang into the exhaust. But that's all I got.
Yeah it really sounds like something hitting a hollow drum, so I'm thinking exhaust somewhere, but I'm going crazy at this point trying to find it.
Much help would be appreciated. Sorry for the novel, I'm desperate, I'll take any suggestions.
Thanks.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,627 Posts
any jerking of the car when this happens?

exhaust hanger could be broken I guess....

Is your parking brake working OK?

a device like Chassis Ears might help locate the area of the sound.
 

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Registered
Y: 2005 M: Outback 2.5i LTD T: 4spd Automatic electronic SportShift E: 4 cyl. 2.5L SOHC (EJ253)
Joined
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
any jerking of the car when this happens?

exhaust hanger could be broken I guess....

Is your parking brake working OK?

a device like Chassis Ears might help locate the area of the sound.
Thank you so much!
I don't notice any jerking of the car whatsoever, but I will try to be more vigilante and see if I notice anything, but if it is, it's crazy subtle.

I'd love to get more info on the Exhaust Hanger, not sure what that is. Nothing underneath the car looks visibly out of place, and I've banged around on several pipes and pieces I can see and nothing is rattling, but I need to try around more.

I don't normally use my parking brake, but I will test it. Last time it was engaged it seemed fine. What is the thinking there?

And I'm not sure about Chassis Ears either. What's that? I'll certainly look into it.
 

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Registered
Y: 2005 M: Outback 2.5i LTD T: 4spd Automatic electronic SportShift E: 4 cyl. 2.5L SOHC (EJ253)
Joined
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
OK I looked into the exhaust hangers, and it sounds possible that those could maybe be the culprit. I'll have to locate them on the car and see if they are split or ruined or what though.
It just really really sounds like something clanking on the exhaust, but I of course could be wrong. Especially since I just can't seem to find what is loose!
 
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