Hey everybody... Can I get some insight on a noise issue?
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This is a discussion on Hey everybody... Can I get some insight on a noise issue? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I have a 2003 wrx with 63,000 miles on it. I've owned it for about two months now. I've ...

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    Hey everybody... Can I get some insight on a noise issue?

    So I have a 2003 wrx with 63,000 miles on it. I've owned it for about two months now. I've started to notice a noise coming from the engine that is kind of like a knock/fluttering kind of noise. It seems to only happen when I give the car gas. I parked next to a wall (facing the drivers side, window down) where it would amplify the sound, and when I gave it gas it sounded like the pistons were rubbing or something... Again, kind of like they're fluttering. The noise becomes noticeable at 2000 RPM and dies off as the RPM's drop.

    This guy looked like he had a similar problem but never got an answer:
    fluttering noise in front left area 02 WRX

    My car is bone stock. The only thing I have done recently was I tried the Rotella T6 5W40 oil and Bosch oil filter about 750 miles ago. The sound was not there before I did the oil change. I'm a little suspicious that maybe the Rotella T6 isn't agreeing with my car, but it don't really wanna blame the oil. I'm wondering if it might be the infamous waste gate flutter that I've read about. If that is the case, can anybody explain how I can diagnose that it's the waste gate?

    I apologize that I'm kind of beating a dead horse with a stick over this "noise" problem, but a lot of info out there is pretty dated.
    Thanks guys! P.S. this is not the lifter ticking kind of noise.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I don't know if waste gate flutter can occur under no load (that is, while revving a parked car). BUMP for an answer to that from anyone please?

    I sincerely doubt it's the oil.

    Check the belts for wear and rubbing carefully. If they've not been changed do so with authentic belts; while they ate off check the rollers.

    Your car is over 105 months old, correct? If so it's time for a timing belt service even though the miles are very low. That'll give you a chance to check under the front cover - same idea; friction.

    With the car stone cold check all heat shields and mounts.

    With the car in neutral and the brake applied rev the engine while standing to the side of the nose with the hood up. Can you locate the source?
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
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    Wait, is your noise front left for sure? The waste gate is on the US passenger side rear of the engine bay -- the opposite side.

    Localize the noise. If front left suspect external belts and external tensioner (see A/C pulley roller for example). Consider tensioner under the front cover (timing belt tensioner) if you hear a clacking and have excluded everything else.

    If/when I'm awake and have an idea (I've not had one in decades...) I'll post back. Meanwhile let us know.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Thanks for the info man, that was very helpful. I looked at the heat shields before I left for work this morning and none seem to be loose. I can hear the noise coming out of the drivers side, I tried listening through the side but it's not as loud since I wasn't sitting on that side. Hopefully on my lunch break I can pop open the hood and listen to it and try to localize the sound. I don't know why I didn't think of doing that in the first place... I think finals week is getting to me.

    And you're right, I don't think its the oil either. I've only owned the car for 2 months so I can't tell you the exact age, although I think the recommended interval for a timing belt change is >100k miles? The car only had one previous owner, and he was military so it didn't get driven around to often.

    I'll try to localize the noise and get back to you. I could possibly try and record it also.
    Besides the noise though the car is running well. My friend also suggested that I might need to change my transmission fluid (it's a manual btw) but the noise is present while it's in neutral.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dljackson907 View Post
    I think the recommended interval for a timing belt change is >100k miles?
    Double check, but I believe the interval is 105k miles or 105 months, whichever comes first. I think you've passed the 105 months.

    My friend also suggested that I might need to change my transmission fluid (it's a manual btw)
    That interval is 30k miles.

    See if this describes your symptoms:
    04 WRX whine, squeal, chirp noise (Water Pump?)
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Well, I'm not sure if you're still following this SD_GR. Sorry I haven't replied to this post in a while, I have been extremely busy with final exams. School is over now though for the summer so I have some time to work on the car.

    My brother was in town and told me the noise I was hearing was just the valves. I guess I should of known that, but they didn't seem as loud when I first got the car, maybe I just didn't notice. But there still is something odd going on that we couldn't quite figure out.

    So sometimes when I start the car, usually when it's all warmed up, the engine will turn over, but the rpm's just drop and the car nearly dies. In fact, the car did die a couple of times after I started it; I had to give it some gas in order to keep it alive. I'm thinking maybe that might be bad ignition or spark plugs?

    Conversely, when i'm in stop-and-go traffic or if I'm stopped for a bit, I have a high idle of about 1500 rpm's. A couple of revs usually makes it go down.

    I checked the air filter and its basically brand new, so I don't think the engine is starved of air or anything...
    Any thoughts?

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