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It seems like there is something with the timing chain tensioner that might be causing this issue.
Many folks applauded when Subaru switched from timing-belt to timing-chain. It seems they beleived that a chain lasts the life of the vehicle. The REALITY is that those plastic guides/tensioners get brittle and can be a problem.

At least with timing-belt, ALL the moving parts get changed on a regular basis.
 

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2019 Base CVT + Eyesight + Fogs
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711 Posts
Great video demonstrating the noise

 

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2018 Sport Hatch 5-Speed Manual
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I have been noticing this off and on for a while and decided to try a tank of 93. It solved the issue so I'm going to try 89 next. If that keeps the pinging down I'll probably just stick with that.
 

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2020 Subaru Impreza cvt base sedan w//ES
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I'll have to check my daughter's 2020. She just passed 20k miles (yep, she's had it less than a year. no school, no job, but she sure does drive!). She usually gets gas at Meijers. I know GetGo (another supermarket) gas is crap around us. I only get Shell 93 since my car requires it (well, it requires 91 but no one around sells 91).

I'll take her car to work tonight and see if I hear it. I do toss in a can of Techron in our cars every other month (probably overkill). There's usually a buy one get one sale. I just bought two yesterday at Advanced Auto for $10 when I went to clean them out of $0.95 Lucas Gun Oil and $1.15 Lucas Extreme Gun Oil. :ROFLMAO:
 

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2020 Manual 4-door Base
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I'm at my wits ends with this issue. I've been to 5 dealerships. Ran all kinds of tests, cleaning engine carbon, services, etc. Nothing seems to fix this. Only temporary band aid is using higher octane like others suggested.

I seriously need some guidance or advice from you guys. This my first car. I dont have a garage to work on anything and all I can really do is oil changes and small things like that.

This problem started happening around 20 to 30,000 km on my car which I bought brand new. Latest thing done was a cleanup of carbon buildup in my engine. The dealership took car for a couple days and ran all lind of tests and sent freeze frame data to subaru to figure out we should do the clean up. I doubt they found the sound as it's so random and can happen very irregularly.

Is this someone I should be concerned about damaging my engine long term? Or do I need to just live with the noise because it's basically a design flaw?

I'm seriously depressed and feel like crap, I have 3 years left to pay off this car and this issue is making me very worried.
 

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2019 Base CVT + Eyesight + Fogs
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I'm at my wits ends with this issue. I've been to 5 dealerships. Ran all kinds of tests, cleaning engine carbon, services, etc. Nothing seems to fix this. Only temporary band aid is using higher octane like others suggested.

I seriously need some guidance or advice from you guys. This my first car. I dont have a garage to work on anything and all I can really do is oil changes and small things like that.

This problem started happening around 20 to 30,000 km on my car which I bought brand new. Latest thing done was a cleanup of carbon buildup in my engine. The dealership took car for a couple days and ran all lind of tests and sent freeze frame data to subaru to figure out we should do the clean up. I doubt they found the sound as it's so random and can happen very irregularly.

Is this someone I should be concerned about damaging my engine long term? Or do I need to just live with the noise because it's basically a design flaw?

I'm seriously depressed and feel like crap, I have 3 years left to pay off this car and this issue is making me very worried.
I'm livid about it, too. I called and emailed subaru customer advocacy about it a few days ago. I don't care if they have to replace the engine at this point, its getting fixed or I'm taking them to small claims court for $10,000 for false advertising as it is clearly not meant to run on 87 octane and for not honoring their warranty.

I've went through extensive work to resolve this issue. My oil changes have surpassed all specifications. My fuel is always top tier. I've used a number of techron and berryman treatments. I've seafoamed my intake multiple times. All for the dealer to tell me they can't reproduce something I hear within 1 minute of leaving my driveway every day. Once I run this tank dry I'm going in for the fuel pump recall and negotiations come to an end if they do not fix this rattle. There will be $10,000 in my pocket and I'll keep the car.
 
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Following multiple ordeals worthy of their own discussions that I will not pollute the thread with I've finally made progress on this matter. You may read the attached image for specifics. In short, subaru engine cleaner was applied multiple times in accordance with 09-74-21R alongside oil/filter changes until "roughness" was below a "tolerable" threshold.

The end result is that a spot where I can no longer consistently reproduce the sounds, though it still occurs.

I checked the manual: https://cdn.subarunet.com/stis/doc/ownerManual/MSA5M1901A_STIS.pdf pg 276

Do not be concerned if your vehicle sometimes knock slightly when you drive up a hill or when you accelerate. Contact your SUBARU dealer if you use a fuel with the specified octane rating and your vehicle knocks heavily or persistently.
Anyway, here's what it said:

Font Paper Screenshot Paper product Monochrome


TSB states: If a fourth attempt is required and the result is still unsuccessful, CHANGE THE ENGINE OIL AGAIN (no filter change) and follow the SOA Escalation Process for additional support.

Work performed states that it took 5 attempts to bring the roughness to 34, and I still have pinging.

Albeit, the pinging is relieved and I had it on the initial drive home but significantly quieter but then I tried to reproduce it twice more and couldn't.
 
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I went back to the dealership and brought forward my concerns about the matter not being escalated to SOA. Here's the details of my findings.
  • The dealer ran 5 clean cycles to get engine within vibration spec
  • They also walnut blasted my engine
  • The dealer did escalate to SOA
  • SOA engineer told dealership foreman that I should use higher octane
Following what I believe to be an honest conversation with the foreman it is the conclusion that this is a design flaw of the engine and/or false advertising of 87 octane spec. I intend to hold Subaru accountable for misleading advertisement of 87 octane for this engine. The current stage of my struggle against this issue is to strategize an statement with which to approach Subaru and a foundation of facts for civil case in case negotiations falter.

I'm a newbie at cars so my understanding of these issues is not inherent. Any insight from the knowledged is appreciated.
 

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'17, O.Z. Ultraleggera, K&N filter, tints, LED lights, cup phone holder
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I went back to the dealership and brought forward my concerns about the matter not being escalated to SOA. Here's the details of my findings.
  • The dealer ran 5 clean cycles to get engine within vibration spec
  • They also walnut blasted my engine
  • The dealer did escalate to SOA
  • SOA engineer told dealership foreman that I should use higher octane
Following what I believe to be an honest conversation with the foreman it is the conclusion that this is a design flaw of the engine and/or false advertising of 87 octane spec. I intend to hold Subaru accountable for misleading advertisement of 87 octane for this engine. The current stage of my struggle against this issue is to strategize an statement with which to approach Subaru and a foundation of facts for civil case in case negotiations falter.

I'm a newbie at cars so my understanding of these issues is not inherent. Any insight from the knowledged is appreciated.
After using Shell Gold for a few weeks, my rattle noise went away as well! I can't even use silver (89) nevermind 87.
 

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More and more, it seems like Premium fuel should have been specified for these cars. I'll admit that the frequency of pinging was relatively low and probably wouldn't be noticed by the average owner. Knowing this, I could see SOA getting the OK from the engineers that this was an acceptable threshold in order to recommend regular fuel over premium. Just my theory.
 

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More and more, it seems like Premium fuel should have been specified for these cars. I'll admit that the frequency of pinging was relatively low and probably wouldn't be noticed by the average owner. Knowing this, I could see SOA getting the OK from the engineers that this was an acceptable threshold in order to recommend regular fuel over premium. Just my theory.
In the summer months my pinging could be pretty loud, even if brief sometime, that there's no way anyone wouldn't hear it, unless they had music absolutely blasting.

I've had the same experience with the dealership as Subarik, they ran clean cycles and just told me to try higher octane, disappointing.

What I want to ask you guys- if I keep running 87 and let it keep pinging, is that going to be detrimental or harmful to my engine in the long run?
 

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In the summer months my pinging could be pretty loud, even if brief sometime, that there's no way anyone wouldn't hear it, unless they had music absolutely blasting.

I've had the same experience with the dealership as Subarik, they ran clean cycles and just told me to try higher octane, disappointing.

What I want to ask you guys- if I keep running 87 and let it keep pinging, is that going to be detrimental or harmful to my engine in the long run?
The pinging I have experienced personally haven't been particularly loud so I'm just going off of my experience. I also know how oblivious non-car people can be when it comes to strange noises cars make.
To answer your question, I really can't say. I would lean towards it wouldn't be detrimental or harmful, but that isn't an excuse to let it go or ignore it either.
 

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edit: I "blackmailed" another dealership into doing their job and giving an accurate pro-consumer second opinion of the issue, as directed by SoA. The issue has been confirmed as something that shouldn't happen. Also test drove another car with the same engine and similar mileage and had zero pinging. Will post any development as it comes...
 

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Wow, I'm fing pissed. My emails to SoA have been ignored since I got the second opinion that Kristen Weaver of the Customer Advocacy Department of Subaru of America, Inc. asked me for.

Since my emails were ignored I finally called in to SoA hotline. I called first time from my main phone# that's on file, was hung up on after 8 minutes of hold. Called again, used the option for callback, no callback for over 1 hour. Called again from a different number, received callback after 20 minutes. Talk to SoA dude and he says my case is marked closed. Opened a new case for me, says he'll get back to me tomorrow. I doubt it, but I make every effort to resolve this Subaru's way so when I drop a small claims on their ass there's no wiggle room.
 

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Wow, I'm fing pissed. My emails to SoA have been ignored since I got the second opinion that Kristen Weaver of the Customer Advocacy Department of Subaru of America, Inc. asked me for.

Since my emails were ignored I finally called in to SoA hotline. I called first time from my main phone# that's on file, was hung up on after 8 minutes of hold. Called again, used the option for callback, no callback for over 1 hour. Called again from a different number, received callback after 20 minutes. Talk to SoA dude and he says my case is marked closed. Opened a new case for me, says he'll get back to me tomorrow. I doubt it, but I make every effort to resolve this Subaru's way so when I drop a small claims on their ass there's no wiggle room.
Update on this ?
 

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I've had a similar issue, however it is VERY hard to describe a sound using only words.

Sound Location: Seems like the dead center of the car almost under the gearshift
Sound Type: Like a rattling/shaking, not quite a can of marble. Almost like a loose heatshield but inside the transmission/engine (yes I've checked my shields)
Sound RPM: Varies, but usually around 1-3k RPM
When it happens: It happens when I am cruising and then cut to a different RPM ('changing gears' in a CVT) usually when slowing or switching the car into L (mine doesn't have paddles, only PRND and L.

I have tried adding higher octane and it did help for a while. Took it to the dealer (I trust them since I have a friend who works there) and then couldn't find anything HOWEVER they were able to replicate the sound. Thought it might be the torque converter but that wouldn't explain the higher octane reducing/eliminating the sound. Has not gotten worse since I first heard it.
 

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I’ve found my people 😞 fellow Subaru victims with the same exact issues. This is my YouTube shirt link : Engine noise.
Yep, that's exaclty it. Dislike youtube "shorts", offer nothing vs regular youtube but remove seek bar and other features and call it progress. Here's a fixed link:

This is clearly an issue but there's no way to proceed. A lawsuit is in order but what "damage" can be proven to ask for recompense?
 
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I've had this same issue since purchasing the car. Have been thinking about taking it to the dealer lately but seeing from this thread it wouldn't help. Commenting so save this thread in case there's ever a update.

I have also found my people
 
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