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Subaru Forester Cold Engine Noise

Q. Dear Sir; My question is this: My 1999 Subaru Forester has 126,000 mostly trouble free miles. However for the past several months I have noticed a rather loud metallic noise coming from the engine when it is first started from cold. My mechanic told me a few months ago, ''That's just how Subarus are".

Subaru Forester Cold Engine Noise

Most disturbing to me is the fact it is getting louder; I put my good ear to the engine and it is definitely coming from the engine itself, as opposed to the water pump or elsewhere. After I drive 10 miles the noise quiets down, though it is still louder then normal. The car uses absolutely no fluids, it does not overheat, and otherwise runs perfectly.

Any advice before I go back to the shop would be greatly appreciated.

A. Subaru has issued a Technical Service Bulletins on this noise that I think applies here.

SOURCE: Subaru Tech Tips
TITLE: Engine Noise When Cold
APPLIES TO: 99-00 Impreza/Legacy/Forester 2.2/2.5

SERVICE TIP:
Subaru has received several reports from the field of an engine noise that could be mistaken for an internal engine noise.

This noise is heard after a cold start and will gradually go away as the engine warms up. It may therefore be difficult to reproduce unless the vehicle is left overnight. The noise sounds like it comes from the front of the engine and could be mistaken for failed bearings.

It has been found that the timing belt tensioner on these vehicles may be weak allowing the timing belt to move and hit the inside of the timing belt cover. The bearing itself could also be at fault.

Please make sure you listen to the actual noise before reaching a diagnosis.

If you suspect the belt tensioner, remove the front cover and look for evidence of rubbing or chafing.

Note that once removed, the timing belt tensioner feels fine.

When you go to have this noise checked out, print this TSB and bring it with you so your mechanic knows what to check for first.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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