clicking lifter

Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
2.5 L Subaru engine. 10500 miles on it. Change the oil three times in it's short life, don't abuse it, but, do run 85 mph for some trips through Florida (wow, some people really drive fast down there). Have Castrol 0-30 synthetic in it since 8500 miles. Suddenly, the past two days, I have a lifter that is very loud for the first 2-3 minutes after cold start-up. VERY different than this engine has ever done before. Car has been performing great, 30-32 mpg at highway speeds, 27-29 mpg in city. Only thing that is different is a magnet I put on the oil filter...that can't possibly be contributing this lifter tick. Just keep on driving it, or is this a problem that needs to be addressed?
 
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4,478
Location
Southern California
Unless someone can prove that oil has magnetic properties, scotch the notion that the magnet on the filter is contributing to the noise. Aren't these engines known for valvetrain noise? Anyway, take it in and see what the techs say.
 
Messages
1,203
Location
Oregon
This noise is it possible it is piston slap? Seems like Subaru has had some problems with that. It is usually at its worst for the 1st few minutes the motor is started from cold.
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
Thanks for the responses. Subaru engines aren't know for being quiet, but, this was a big sudden change...bad enough my 4-year old said, "Daddy, your car is making a funny noise." I had a Miata that did the same thing for 3-4 days back in the late 90's, then quit as suddenly as it started. Hopefully, that is what is going to happen with this Subaru engine. Maybe a piece of trash stuck in the oilway or some such quirk. Today, the third day since this first occured, it lasted only about a minute at startup. And, it was much colder last night...which I would think would make it worse if there were some real problem. If it doesn't resolve by tomorrow, I'll take it in to stay overnight so the mechanic can hear it in an AM start-up.
 
Messages
3,329
Location
Bolivia
My first guess is that something is holding the anti-drain valve open (or you put in a bad filter). Change oil filters and see if the problem goes away. If not, take it in. could be something came loose.
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
Yep, I wondered about the possibilty of a metal anti-drainback valve, but, I don't know the guts of the Subaru filter to know if this is a possibility. If it clicks bad again this am, I'll simply pry the magnet off and see if there is any difference. Doubtful, but, simple to check.
 
Messages
12
Location
Australia
I agree with widman and titan,maybe the anti drain back valve.Change the filter and see what happens.Its a cheap troubleshooting option. Ciao
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
I took off the magnet. I have a Honda filter on the shelf, and it has a metal spring that it near the end. Put the magnet on the end of the Honda filter and couldn't see it move at all. Maybe the Subaru filter system has something like this in it that the magnet is causing to malfunction. Anyway, I'll find out this am when I crank it up. If there is no noise, I'm going to put the magnet back on and see if the noise re-appears. Then I'll know it IS associated with the magnet. If there is noise, I'm taking it to the dealer...this car is under "free" maintenance for the first 24000 miles.
 
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1,811
Location
South Dakota
Funny, I just had the same problem develope with my 1983 Ford F-150 (300 IL 6 cylinder). I just started the Auto-Rx rinse cycle. I usually use Havoline 10W/30. For the rinse cycle, I went with Super Tech 10W/30 and a Super Tech filter. Loud tat-tat-tat sound on start up. Runs like a dream after warm up. My truck often sits several days in the cold without being started. I will put a different filter on and see if that helps. I thought about draining a quart of oil and adding a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. Good idea or not?
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
ZERO noise with magnet off. Now, I'll have to put the magnet back on and see if it comes back. If so, and if it disappears again when I take it off, it's obviously interfering with the anti-drainback mechanism.
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
Noise comes back with magnet after the car engine is off for several hours. Lesson: Don't put a computer hard-drive magnet on the end of a Subaru filter. At least, not my magnet on my current Subaru with it's current filter. Sure didn't see this problem being possible when I put in on the first time! BTW, the magnet is now on the drain plug. I'm not worrying about it falling off, that's one tough magnet. My motorcycle filter doesn't have a spring-loaded anti-drainback system, so I guess it's OK to leave that one on the filter. Thanks for your help, everyone.
 
Messages
7,077
Location
Ontario, Canada
Your engine most likely does not have hydraulic lifters. My subaru occasionally made a loud noise on very cold morning starts, and they replaced the timing belt tensioner. Now it only has piston slap.
 

Titan

Thread starter
Messages
2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
I know the WRX has solid lifters, at least they list that in the specs., I assume because it demonstrates the presence of something thought to be "better" for performance. The lack of mention of the lifters in the non-WRX doesn't mean they aren't solid, too. But, I wouldn't be surprised either way. Anyway, I found the problem was something I caused, and rectified it. I'm lucky that mine has no audible piston slap at this point.
 
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