How to Fix the Engine Noise in Your Subaru

Your Subaru is a valuable commodity; it takes you where you need to go, it (hopefully) gets you some decent gas mileage, and it probably has a name. But cars break down and need to be fixed all the time. But you can catch it before it breaks down if you know what to look for. When your Subaru engine starts to make noise, start looking for the problem so you don’t have to deal with it later.

Discern Where the Noise Originates

Since car engines have multiple elements to them, a problem with the engine might mean any number of things. It could be that one liquid or another is low, or it could be a problem with the transmission, or it could be a problem with the belt. In any case, try to find out first where the noise is coming from and go from there. Knowing what the problem is will help you determine whether to fix something or replace it, and this will save you hundreds of dollars at the mechanic’s.

Check the Belt Tensioner

If your car is loud (i.e., screeching or thumping) after a night in the cold, you may want to check your belt tensioner. After time, the belts tend to get loose and in the cold will thump against the timing belt cover. Look to where your belt tensioner is and see if it looks worn down at all. This could be frayed edges or a slick, shiny surface. You can either try to replace it yourself or have it checked out by your mechanic.

Tighten Up the Heat Shield

If you are encountering a clicking noise, there may be an issue with your heat shield, located between the firewall and the transmission. The clicking comes from the heat shield being too loose and rattling around in its perch within the engine. Tighten it up and you should no longer hear the clicking noise that accompanies a loose heat shield. Be careful to catch this before it is too late because it may do some real damage to the underside of your car before coming off, and once its off you car has the potential to set fires in the dry season (mainly if you park over grass or are driving through tall weeds).

Look to the Knock Sensor

This piece of machinery is particularly prone to cracking in Subarus, so if you encounter a knocking sound within the engine but no alarming lights are showing up on your dashboard, look to see if this is the culprit. You will find that if this is cracked, your check engine light and other warning lights aren’t working. You may have to replace the sensor in order to see what is going on in each particular part of your car.

Check for Faulty Wiring

Similarly to the knock sensor, if the engine is pinging or knocking during acceleration and the sensor is not cracked, look for a fault in the wiring between the sensor harness and the Engine Control Module (EMC) connector. In the same way as the knock sensor, this wiring relays to the car what is wrong and in which part, but if it is faulty the information will not reach the lights on your dashboard. Replace the wiring if necessary and proceed from there.

Repair the Big End Bearing

If you car is experiencing a large amount of knocking noise at a higher rev (around 2000 rpms or so), the big end bearing may be the issue. The big end bearing is the connecting piece between the connecting rod and the crankshaft. See your technician about repairing this piece, but be advised that he might tell you that the entire engine needs replacing. This is not always the case, however, so research up on the type of damage done to your car before committing to the investment of a whole new engine.

Check the Pistons

The drastic fix will probably have to happen at this point, with the pistons. If they are loud enough to hear, they are probably causing damage to your engine and odds are that you will have to replace the engine. When the pistons have run low on oil or if they get some kind of foreign contamination (sand, small rocks, etc.), they will fail to do their job as efficiently and will eventually wear down and damage your engine. The moment you suspect that something is wrong with your car’s pistons, check them and see if they need more lubrication or any kind of cleaning. If they are too far gone you will likely have to replace the entire engine.

A running car is a happy car, and a happy car is one that is well taken care of. You can now take care of the engine noise problem in your Subaru with these tips. Hopefully in the process you can save a pretty penny as well by doing it yourself. The noise in your Subaru’s engine is almost always covered by these categories, so if you follow these tips, you should be good to go.