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05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So with the recent cold weather (around 10 when I left for work at 0600) I'm noticing my 05xt has more mechanical noises than when the ambient temp is warmer (over 30). Is this normal? Or is something going to break? It seems to run fine, pulls like normal after it warms up of course and seems nice and smooth. I just worry about extra noises w these engines and their storied failures. Also, I'm doing a long drive Friday and don't want to take off w the car if there's an issue. Thanks
 

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2005 Outback 2.5XT & 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis
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52 Posts
It's hard to say with your description. What do these mechanical noises sound like? Is it a tapping? Whirling? Speed or rpm dependent? etc.
 

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05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It almost sounds like noisy lifters. It doesn't sound like bad rod or main bearings. It does get a little louder w increased rpm and engine load. Once the cars been running for 20 min or more, it is quieter.
 

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It has been in the single digits here almost all week and I have definitely noticed more engine noise in the mornings. I have heard the louder lifter sound, almost clanky like and a starter that voices its opinion about the cold. I guess its normal as this is my first winter with this car.
 

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05 Outback Limited
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15 Posts
I too, am in the single digits and I notice some differences when running/ starting the car in the cold. First off the starter definitely seems pissed. Also when I accelerate I hear the same described noise, almost like a clicking. At first I thought it was a universal joint or something because the first time I noticed it was around a turn. I just bought the car 2 months ago so I don't really know what to expect in the cold. I was a little relieved to see someone else was having the same problem in the cold. Sometimes it's so cold I can't even shift into reverse.
 

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The past few days it's been in the low single digits here. We have a 2003 OB with 180000 and a 2008 OB with 42000. Both of them didn't sound very good for the first ten minutes. The 03 has a block and battery heater. When I kept it plugged in all night it started and sounded normal in the morning.
 

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32 Posts
Different metals expand/contract at different rates. Completely normal. Just take it easy until everything comes completely up to temp. Idling in the driveway doesn't count because then everything else will still be at -2F (or whatever) including trans fluid.
 

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2007 OBW
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44 Posts
My 07 has what I can only guess to be piston slap when it is cold and not warmed up. I didn't look where you guys are from, but I'm in North Dakota, so cold means cold. Wind chills here have been ranging -30 to -40 all week at night and low -20s in the day. My slap sound goes away when it is warmer, above I'd say 30 to 40; as well as once the car is warmed up.

The only sound I haven't figured out yet is in the very cold when I turn a corner and give it even moderate gas I get a very rapid clicking. This now occurs during left and right turns, and it isn't to steering lock either. Maybe 50% lock.

In the cold though, things will sound a little different until things are warmed up. I had one car that the tires would need to warm up in order to roll smoothly. Properly aired and all. They just 'froze' flat spots on them until they warmed up.

You can expect the engine to race when started, strange whirrs and whines, transmission jerking when going in and out of gear (park to drive to reverse and such). This will all go away once the car warms up.

A block heater helps greatly. If you don't have one and don't want to put one in, a shop light left on under the hood will help too. That is if you can still find an incandescent bulb anymore.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
It is cold. If you sat outside in single digits all night then someone insisted upon you running a 30yd dish your going to make noise too.

I am going with this is normal as it is cold. Oil is thick. Metal is a bit brittle.

When it is that cold you take it easy on the car untill things warm up a bit, and a few miles for the suspension to warm up too.
 
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