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2004 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #1
hello all,

gotta 2004 suby outback wago- has 13K. Was in an accident and sat for several months before being put back together and driven again. No structural damage, however, the motor sounds like it's pinging. any suggestions? Just changed the air filter, oil looks good. all other fluids are aok. Also, i did just put in an additive to get rid of any condensation in the tank...
best, paul.
 

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MY99 3rd Gen Outback GX, 2004 Lexus RX330 Sport Luxury
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242 Posts
What octane of fuel are you using ?
 

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'04 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport H-4 4EAT Platinum Silver Metallic
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Hmmmmmm. I'm still dealing with that pinging, myself.

My '04 was bought new mid-August 2004 yet was built 2/2003 according to the door plate. (stop me if you know my story already) Was 228 on the odometer, not enough to run out a single full tank of gas in all that time.

What I found in the Owners Manual surprised me a bit, because says 'some knocking is normal'. What I keep wondering now is if Subaru thinks knocking and pinging is the same thing. If so, they are saying detonation can be okay. Something very peculiar, I'd think, since that can ruin a piston.

Anyway... I have also used fuel system cleaner, twice now these past two months. And I should point out mine's 87 octane but I have tried 93 twice, too. I really don't want to use a higher octane. Something else from the owners manual I read says not to use MTBE of more than 5% (a kind of alcohol gas mix), warning against other such gasolines if more than a certain percentage too. I seldom ever see labels on gas pumps anymore but I'm going to start looking.

Thing is, the gas tank in these cars is what Subaru calls saddle-shaped, straddled over the drivetrain under the back seat area. Uses a 'jet pump' to transfer fuel from one side to the other, with the actual fuel pump being on the filler hose side.

I drained about a pint of gas from both sides. Afterward, I thought it seemed fine, no pinging noticed during the next tank of gas. Now, about the third fillup later I am hearing it easily again. Really makes me wonder whether it all comes down to the quality of gasoline or what it might mean besides. I also notice less performance during acceleration when the tank gets around the warning light level.

Googled up a web page of Canadian's talking about the subject of pinging, with a little more insight into the problem(?):
http://www.canadiandriver.com/discuss/messages/1496/13858.html?1097225007
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
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5,122 Posts
Losiho said:
What octane of fuel are you using ?
Yup thats most likely what it is, or at least thats usually the cause... using low octane fuel. 91 octane is the recommended minimum folks and you have pinging/knocking after that, well thats when you know you have a real problem ;)
 

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2004 Outback 2.5L
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Update for Pinging sound

Just got back from the dealer. They performed 15000 mile check up. Apparently, the mechanic said that the sound is normal. Are these motors kinda noisy? Also, i'm missing the material on the underside of the hood-you know that fire resistant stuff- i suspect that this may help to muffle the sound of the motor while driving.

best, paul.
 

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2004 Outback 2.5L
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update for Pinging sound

Just got back from the dealer. They performed 15000 mile check up. Apparently, the mechanic said that the sound is normal. Are these motors kinda noisy? Also, i'm missing the material on the underside of the hood-you know that fire resistant stuff- i suspect that this may help to muffle the sound of the motor while driving.

best, paul.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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91 octane is the recommended minimum folks
funny, i use reglr 87i think octane in my 02 OBS and have never heard ANY pinging, even on 100 degree days at low rpm and high engine load (worst-case scenario for detonation).

Paul, yeah, any alum block engine will inherently be noisier than an iron block one cus the iron helps muffle noise. but even after that, these things do have a weird growly grumbly vibration that's just inherent....this was the source of the "vaguely agricultural" descrip C&D used to apply to sound. if you're used to Camrys, Accords, and the like, it will seem rough and noisy.
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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Anyone remember the sound the old VW Beetle used to make? Rather a rattly engine for sure, the 4cyl Subie's all have that same characteristic sound still, although rather more refined and muffled of course due to water cooling and technical advances. (It was rumoured that Subaru copied the VW horizontal 4 engine design but I have no idea if that's true). In comparison the horizontal 6's are very smooth, I guess it's a more balanced firing sequence.
 

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2004 Outback 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for your insight guys. I do remember how one of the consumer reports described the engine as gruff and noisy.
 
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