About Your Noisy Subaru: Where’s the Noise Coming From?

gears of a car

Cars make different noises, and Subaru is no exception. But where do they come from, and do they mean something is wrong with the vehicle?

Make sure your Subaru car gets the prompt attention it needs. Understand the various sounds and noises it could produce and know what causes them. Here’s a list.

1. Cranking Noise

Cranking noises can come from different sources, but if you’re driving a Subaru, there’s a good chance it’s from the engine.

Subaru units use boxer engines, which are also known as flatter engines because of their configuration. However, the most recent models are also interference engines. This means the valves open really wide up to the area where the pistons enter.

Many cars use this technology because it provides a higher compression ratio. It also promotes better fuel economy without compromising power and performance.

The problem can occur on the timing belt or chain (newer models use chains since they’re more durable). This one connects the crankshaft and the camshaft.

But for interference engines, these components also ensure precision in the opening and closing of the valves. If the belt or chain gets damaged, your vehicle will produce cranking noises and eventually stop working.

Usually, timing belts malfunction or become broken due to wear and tear. A regular Subaru timing belt service is therefore essential. Because of the way the engine is laid out, it’s best if an expert maintains it.

mechanic inspecting the car

2. Rumble

Subaru is popular (or perhaps notorious) for its rumbling sound. Although it’s nowhere near a thunderclap, it can still be annoying to some. For sports car fans, it may make them feel they’re driving a fast car.

The good news is usually this so-called Subaru rumble is nothing to be worried about. It is genetic to the vehicle owing to the design of the engine.

As mentioned, this vehicle uses a boxer-type engine, which looks like it’s flat. The pistons move in punching motions. The purpose is to reduce vibrations, but in return, it produces the “strange” sound. Further, the headers used by the cylinders are of different lengths.

3. Squeaking

A Subaru may also squeal or squeak, and it could be because of a problem in the wheel bearing transmission or the brake pads.

Wheel bearing, which helps maintain the wheels by reducing the friction, can develop issues when fluids and contaminants get into contact with it. These can then damage the surface of the bearing.

Meanwhile, the issue may also be on the brake pads. Although they’re soft to touch by the foot, they feature metal parts. These could rub against each other when the pads are already significantly worn out.

But how do you distinguish the origin of the squeal or squeak? If the issue is the wheel bearing, the noise may be uneven. For instance, you may hear it only at certain speeds.

Subarus are popular because of their design, performance, and excellent control, especially in off-road conditions. But they’re not immune to problems. Fortunately, if you listen closely, you may catch the issues before they become worse.

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