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2000 Subaru Outback Limited, Manual Transmission
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713 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was told this could be "typical piston slap" (which sounds like a horrible thing). The car is a 2002 with 178,000 miles and I noticed the engine has been replaced. But it had a knocking type sound that came on after it was warmed up. When driving it, the sound only seemed to be there when off the accelerator.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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1,971 Posts
Proper piston slap should occur before the car warms up, and go away as it gets warmer. Piston slap is not going to kill your engine, but a knocking rod or stuck lifter would cause issues. You could also have a bad timing belt tensioner, which would be bad if it fully failed.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,696 Posts
Proper piston slap should occur before the car warms up, and go away as it gets warmer. Piston slap is not going to kill your engine, but a knocking rod or stuck lifter would cause issues. You could also have a bad timing belt tensioner, which would be bad if it fully failed.
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What he said. Piston slap occurs when the piston skirt has collapsed slightly, and it will be noisiest on cold start. When it warms up, the skirt expands, and the noise diminishes or might even go away completely.

Rod or main bearing knocks get louder as the engine warms up and the oil thins out. There are ways to tell which it is (Rod or main) but that does not matter, because you should only be interested if the price of this car is low enough to allow engine replacement. Good luck.
 

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3 2001 Outbacks, 2 AT, 1 MT. 1 2006 Outback AT, 2000 Outback AT, 2008 Outback Sport MT
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93 Posts
It sounds like a rod bearing issue to me (been there, done that, got a lovely crankshaft paperweight out of the deal). When running, the engine was somewhat quiet under the least load. But if accelerating or decelerating, the noise was most prominent. It ran reasonably well for probably 5,000 miles or more, but when it finally gave up, it happened in seconds.

JP
 

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3 2001 Outbacks, 2 AT, 1 MT. 1 2006 Outback AT, 2000 Outback AT, 2008 Outback Sport MT
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93 Posts
It looks nice, but $4000 and a potential engine problem is a bit high to me. FWIW, I paid $1800 for an '01 Outback with 151k on it. The car has problems, mostly from substandard repair work by a local garage, and sitting for the past year. I'm working through the problems and I'll end up putting at least$1,000 into it with brakes, suspension work, odds and ends. This car isn't my primary transportation, so I can work on it at a leisurely pace.

JP
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
Yeah, I think I'll skip that car then.

I loved it otherwise.

2002 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon 4D
Wow! That's too bad. That's not an easy one to find - a Limited with a 5-speed...

Is that at a buy here pay here place? I think someone came on here asking about a couple Subies they had a while back. If I remember correctly, there were problems of one sort or another with both of them.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Limited, Manual Transmission
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713 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I was originally looking at the older generations, but after comparing prices and seeing how much nicer the newer ones are I wanted one of those. Then I saw the dual moon roofs and wanted that too. haha. It took a while to find a car that'd work out.
 
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