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2006 2.5i Limited Manual
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've recently noticed that my engine sounds louder, and I can't tell if it's actually getting louder or if I'm going crazy. I notice it most when I'm driving on the highway at ~70-80 MPH with the engine sitting around 3500-4000 RPM, and when I'm just standing next to the car with the engine running. I know it's not wheel bearings or anything south of the engine because if I'm cruising at 75 and I take it out of gear and let the RPM settle it gets noticeably quieter. It's especially loud under load, but that isn't exactly surprising. It doesn't sound like an exhaust leak either. Anyone have any ideas?
 

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2006 Subaru XT Limited
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16 Posts
I have noticed the same with my engine too. I have 140k on the clock and it just seems louder at idle after a drive. After a few minutes idling it seems to settle a little and quiet down. I though I was crazy when I heard it as I saw no one else having this issue.

Have you checked your oil level? Sometimes even a half quart low it can cause a noisy engine.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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873 Posts
I have noticed the same with my engine too. I have 140k on the clock and it just seems louder at idle after a drive. After a few minutes idling it seems to settle a little and quiet down. I though I was crazy when I heard it as I saw no one else having this issue.

Have you checked your oil level? Sometimes even a half quart low it can cause a noisy engine.
Could be needing a valve adjustment. Or if its hydraulic lifter could be sticking cold, which isn't un common or usually a problem at all.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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683 Posts
Remember the car is 15 years old. Road noise is going to get louder.

Start the engine, open the hood and listen to all the sounds. As long as you don't here a knocking sound, you should be fine.

The injectors are a clicking sound, valves are a tapping sound.

On the highway in my 2005 GT wagon with 295,000 miles, I have learned to turn up the radio volume. LOL

Yes I do drive it with the radio turned off from time to time to just take a sound check.
 

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2006 2.5i Limited Manual
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've also noticed that I get a humming tone for just a second when I turn the steering wheel to pull out of a spot right after I start the car up after it's been sitting. After the first or second turn of the wheel it's gone for the rest of the drive. Could this be an aging power steering pump?
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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683 Posts
I've also noticed that I get a humming tone for just a second when I turn the steering wheel to pull out of a spot right after I start the car up after it's been sitting. After the first or second turn of the wheel it's gone for the rest of the drive. Could this be an aging power steering pump?
Could be, just keep an eye on the fluid level, hot and cold.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Auto
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416 Posts
I've also noticed that I get a humming tone for just a second when I turn the steering wheel to pull out of a spot right after I start the car up after it's been sitting. After the first or second turn of the wheel it's gone for the rest of the drive. Could this be an aging power steering pump?
It could be the O-ring on the power steering pump inlet starting to leak air, which is a common problem. If it's worse on cold mornings, then check for foam in the fluid reservoir. If it is, it's a hardware store O-ring cost fix, so likely under a dollar.
 

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When I traded my 16 in last month the dealer tech said my cat converter was going bad, which is why I may have noticed the engine louder than before. It was a gradual increase in sound over a couple years but looking back I can definitely tell it had more of a growl at 100k than new. Just another thing to consider.
 

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When I traded my 16 in last month the dealer tech said my cat converter was going bad, which is why I may have noticed the engine louder than before. It was a gradual increase in sound over a couple years but looking back I can definitely tell it had more of a growl at 100k than new. Just another thing to consider.
I would question a dealer saying a cat was going bad after only 4 years - could they be saying that as a tactic to reduce your trade-in price? Cats do go bad but not usually that quickly!
 

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Long story short, the dealer asked SOA to cover the $2k cost. It was approved and my highwater trade in number was hit. It was definitely not a tactic to lower my trade.

I guess there was a service bulletin earlier on a run of VINs up to 100K miles. Mine was just outside of that VIN range and I was at 102k so they asked for leniency and got it.
 
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