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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Got a new to me 2007 Outback 2.5i last august and it’s been great so far. It came with the timing belt replaced at 90k mi and the HGs replaced at 105k mi, so I felt pretty good about getting it.

However, I’ve been trigger-happy with repairs (took it in because there’s a creak/clunk when engaging the throttle at low speed and ended up w a new throttle body that didn’t resolve the noise!). Whatever, I’m young and naive, but now I want to know how much I should plan on spending in the future.

My mechanic told me the timing cover is leaking at a 3/10 and to keep an eye on it. How much would that job cost? And furthermore, what’s your strategy for fixing up the car and preventative maintenance without wasting too much money? Thanks in advance!
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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creak/clunk, is normally sway bar end links, these cars are known for that issue. Moog makes greaseable replacements for around $30.00

Find a different repair shop.

The timing cover is not leaking oil, most likely it one of the cam seals.

Keep a close eye on your oil level, top it off as needed, a little over full is not a concern

Timing belt kit, is around $249. just ask google what it cost. The Gates belt is not recommended as they changed some of the parts to cheap Chinese junk. OEM or Aisin is the belt kit to use.

Labor can be around $500. Use Prestone anti-freeze don't worry about the "conditioner" Both my cars have been on Prestone for some 10+ years.

You come to the right place to ask your questions, we're here to help.
 
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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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Hi all,
Got a new to me 2007 Outback 2.5i last august and it’s been great so far. It came with the timing belt replaced at 90k mi and the HGs replaced at 105k mi, so I felt pretty good about getting it.

However, I’ve been trigger-happy with repairs (took it in because there’s a creak/clunk when engaging the throttle at low speed and ended up w a new throttle body that didn’t resolve the noise!). Whatever, I’m young and naive, but now I want to know how much I should plan on spending in the future.

My mechanic told me the timing cover is leaking at a 3/10 and to keep an eye on it. How much would that job cost? And furthermore, what’s your strategy for fixing up the car and preventative maintenance without wasting too much money? Thanks in advance!
Just like @Max Capacity said - low speed creak/clunk could be end links. Does it do it when you go slowly over small bumps? It is relatively easy (especially if you are not in the rust belt area) and inexpensive fix. While working on that I would recommend new sway bar bushings as well - by now they are probably trashed/craked/missing chunks and don't hold sway bar in place like they supposed to. I would also recommend to take a look at rear endlinks as well.

@traildogck provides nice alternatives for OEM bushings, bushings straps etc. Here is his info: CKE Performance Products information at [email protected]

And here is a look at his product. Rear bushings + reinforced strap (silver part) + bracket reinforcement (red metal piece):
508445


508446
 

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🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
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I super like that post.

Thanks for the props and the head shots. Hey, @Marcinho take those apart and add more grease. Both the bar and the strap and the bushing against the bracket, even the installation slit itself. Anything that squeezes out can be wiped off. But the more lube the better and sometimes once they get dry the start to squeak. Then they get prone to it.

Sorry for the hijack, I just want to make sure folks get the best performance and not the annoyance. These photos are a great visual for all to see.

BTW, that's a modified Ascent bracket. (I do that) and a 2015-2019 modified FSBB fitting a WL 20mm bar. I run the same on my own car. See Subarus are like legos, if you know how to modify the legos
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Max Capacity I have to check the invoice from them again because the cam seal rings a bell. I could be remembering it wrong. If the cam seals are the issue does that necessitate changing the timing belt?

I trust the mechanic reasonably well because they were honest about other repairs that didn't need to be done immediately. And they're the local independent Subaru mechanic.

@Marcinho thanks for the suggestion! I've seen sway bar end links mentioned a lot in other suspension threads and I'll definitely keep this route in mind.

However, I don't think that the creak/bump noise is the rear suspension. Here's what I've noticed about it so far:
It's one single noise
  • It doesn't happen over bumps
  • It happens when the engine is going from 800/1000 rpm to applying torque to the wheels
  • It definitely comes from the engine bay. Actually right under the throttle body so I can understand why they thought it is that. What else is under/near the throttle body?
  • It happens when stopped and in neutral.
  • To get it to happen I have to hit the gas at least a little firmly. Like, "starting from a red light on a busy street".
  • It doesn't happen when cruising in third and above. But that could just be because it's drowned out by road noise.
It doesn't seem like a common problem on this forum. If I don't idly figure it out I'll mention to the mechanic that it's still not fixed the next time I take it in
 

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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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@Max Capacity I have to check the invoice from them again because the cam seal rings a bell. I could be remembering it wrong. If the cam seals are the issue does that necessitate changing the timing belt?

I trust the mechanic reasonably well because they were honest about other repairs that didn't need to be done immediately. And they're the local independent Subaru mechanic.

@Marcinho thanks for the suggestion! I've seen sway bar end links mentioned a lot in other suspension threads and I'll definitely keep this route in mind.

However, I don't think that the creak/bump noise is the rear suspension. Here's what I've noticed about it so far:
It's one single noise
  • It doesn't happen over bumps
  • It happens when the engine is going from 800/1000 rpm to applying torque to the wheels
  • It definitely comes from the engine bay. Actually right under the throttle body so I can understand why they thought it is that. What else is under/near the throttle body?
  • It happens when stopped and in neutral.
  • To get it to happen I have to hit the gas at least a little firmly. Like, "starting from a red light on a busy street".
  • It doesn't happen when cruising in third and above. But that could just be because it's drowned out by road noise.
It doesn't seem like a common problem on this forum. If I don't idly figure it out I'll mention to the mechanic that it's still not fixed the next time I take it in
Rear end links was just a general suggestion to check them out because if they are original ones they eventually will need attention.
And as far as front - yeah all I can say end links and front sway bushing - only because that is what I needed to replace to fix noise from my front end. That said my “symptoms” were different as I could hear noises while going over small bumps at small speeds - like my uneven gravel driveway. Either way, I do hope you will figure it out and get it fixed!
 

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2009 Outback Limited 2.5i Pearl White Metallic
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As per the original question:
The valve cover gaskets can be easy... or they can require pulling the engine. If the valve cover bolts are not seized in the cover, they can be removed and the gaskets/spark plug tube seals changed without much issue.
My 2009 was MINT when I bought it last year with 109k miles on it. Zero rust anywhere, and looked like new. I changed the spark plugs, and a couple of the tubes were full of oil.... so I decided to change the gaskets and tube seals. The problem was, getting to the bolts was an issue. (mine has 6 bolts around the perimeter) Some of the bolts were seized to the valve cover and would NOT come off in the limited space there was to work with. They are a steel bolt with a long shank (approx 1") that rides inside the aluminum valve cover. Galvanic corrosion freezes the bolt to the cover, and they can be a BEAR to remove. This was NOT happening with the engine in the car. It was due for a timing belt and the head gaskets were also on their way out, so I pulled the engine and did it all at once. I had to order 3-4 new timing cover bolts, as a couple were corroded and mangled from removing them.

Good Luck!
 

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slugssube " If the cam seals are the issue does that necessitate changing the timing belt? "

Yes because the belt has to be removed to pull the gears off the cam to replace the seal behind it. Might as well put a new belt on, then your good 105,000 miles.
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5i
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Hey just a thought, did you check the "Pitch Stop" under the air box? It's like an upper motor mount that attaches the engine to the firewall. If I recall correctly it's made of plastic and might be the source of your clunk if it's worn or broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven’t checked that yet. I see where it is and maybe I’ll check it while the engine is running. Thanks for the suggestion! My other thought is that maybe the transmission fluid is low and I was going to check that too
 
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