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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Manual
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I own a 2012 Subaru outback. It's been through a lot over the years...

Anyway, a month ago or so it started making a clicking noise when flooring it, and when engine was under load it made a very deep sound, much louder and "deeper" than normal (I don't know how to describe it).
Here is a video of the clicking: https://photos.app.goo.gl/P88gF8636mE3T8vv6

That sound went away on its own after a few days. Fast forward to four days ago, when I changed the motor oil. I used Royal Purple HPS with Synerlec (there was no need and I hadn't used it before, but I was like hey what the heck). It was the correct viscosity. Also got a royal purple filter. I forgot to fill the filter with oil before putting it in so I got a short grinding sound for a second.
I don't even know if this is relevant at all, but I'm trying to disclose everything I can.

Yesterday I was messing with the AC/refrigerant. After I did that was when I noticed the following issue, but I don't see at all how it could be related.

When starting the car it would stutter and make a horrible, weird sound. Here's a video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5GtLWpcru1dq4veQ8

It got worse over time. I had the alternator, battery, etc tested at an auto parts store and no problems were found. Oil at full mark. Problem also occurred irregardless of whether AC was on or not before cranking.

Then, it started making this horrible grinding sound at high RPMs. It didn't grow louder as the revs increased, it's more like either there or not. Here's a video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kEgScBVHKcfYfLGUA

I could replicate it sometimes revving in neutral. Possibly related, that initial clicking sound came back for a bit today but then went away again.

So... What's going on? And is it unsafe to drive?
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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The fact that you can cause it to happen in neutral, and also the fact that it comes and goes so suddenly, suggests to me that it's not in the engine or drivetrain. I suspect an accessory, specifically the A/C compressor clutch, power steering pump, or perhaps an accessory drive belt idler bearing. Safe to drive? Maybe not - if it fails and breaks the accessory belt(s), you could lose your power steering. I would have someone else look at it.
 

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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Manual
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fact that you can cause it to happen in neutral, and also the fact that it comes and goes so suddenly, suggests to me that it's not in the engine or drivetrain. I suspect an accessory, specifically the A/C compressor clutch, power steering pump, or perhaps an accessory drive belt idler bearing. Safe to drive? Maybe not - if it fails and breaks the accessory belt(s), you could lose your power steering. I would have someone else look at it.
I actually had the alternator belt break recently while I was driving and in the middle of a sharp turn. Went to an auto parts store (without power steering), got a new belt. Put the belt on, kept flying off. Turns out belt idler was broken out of shape. Had to replace.

Sometime later I was replacing my alternator with a remanufactured one. While turning belt tensioner, the tensioner broke. Drove 80 miles to get the replacement.
 

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Registered
1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Manual
Joined
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually had the alternator belt break recently while I was driving and in the middle of a sharp turn. Went to an auto parts store (without power steering), got a new belt. Put the belt on, kept flying off. Turns out belt idler was broken out of shape. Had to replace.

Sometime later I was replacing my alternator with a remanufactured one. While turning belt tensioner, the tensioner broke. Drove 80 miles to get the replacement.
I'd like to add, turning the AC on doesn't cause it so the clutch seems fine.
 
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