"Helicopter" sound, which subaru techs cant diagnose.
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This is a discussion on "Helicopter" sound, which subaru techs cant diagnose. within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; It was all fun and games test driving the WRX in the rain, all I could hear was water noise ...

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    Registered User WRX-Rated's Avatar
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    "Helicopter" sound, which subaru techs cant diagnose.

    It was all fun and games test driving the WRX in the rain, all I could hear was water noise under the car, and the radio playing silently in the background as I tested the AWD system in boost on wet pavement. After the test drive, and not slipping one time, my girlfriend and I decided we were purchasing the car.

    We purchased the 04 WRX the next day and on the drive home noticed a rotating choppy sound coming from what seems like the drivers side of the vehicle. I figured taking it back to the dealership, at least they could give me and idea or two about the noise and we could have it taken care of.

    Last wednesday, the vehicle went in, and had the tires looked at, and the brakes. No issues were found, not chopped, no aparent tire damage they are all at 7/32'nds or better, and the rotors are in good shape so they said. No problem, I am hearing things the tech says and we schedule another apointment at this dealership.

    Last night we go in, and 4 techs, plus the head of the shop go look over the vehicle, they all decide there IS a noise, a problem.. and not 1 of them can find it. Stethescopes on head, they can't hear anything because it only happens when the vehicle is driving, on the ground which leads me to belive it's a tire related issue. After waiting for 2 hours (which I do not mind.. I like looking at the other vehicles.) We get our keys handed back to us, and told "Happy holidays."

    I said.. wait a second, the head mechanic just told me theres a noise and he heard it... but you hand me my keys and tell me to leave.. whats wrong with our car? The guy tells me they can't figure it out, and to have a nice night.

    Uhh... Ok so we left, and I may be young, but I'm not stupid. When you take your car in for service, normally you take it there because you belive the dealership of all places has trained professionals, and they will most likely be able to diagnose a simple driving sound.

    Sorry for the long post, I was just trying to be thorough, does anybody know what our next step should be in trying to figure out why the car is making such a noise while driving? Should I contact the District manager, or call SOA and complain? I really hate to be a whiner, but when 5 trained pros cant tell me what is wrong with a car I purchased it's a little dissapointing.

    Any help or suggestions appreciated. Thanks - Brett
    04 platinum silver metallic WRX 4EAT, 04/05 STi coming soon as well.

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    My first guess...heater fan.?
    '02 WRX 4EAT, 311,000KMs/194,500Miles, Sold. Best car I ever had. '09 STi stage 1, hope this one will be good too...

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    Registered User adam3482p's Avatar
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    Sorry but the whole time I was reading this I was thinking it was a joke about the boxer engine exhaust rumble........or is it
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    Registered User WRX-Rated's Avatar
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    Haha, naa I would be dissapointed in anybody, (including non-scooby) enthusiasts, who thought the exhaust note, was a problem.

    It really sounds like defective tires would sound, although I purchase quality tires, I couldn't tell you what tires with bad belts sound like.

    My real question is, who to contact about the "professionals" at the dealership, not even offering me the slightest bit of information on what it "might" be.

    I don't think it was a very professional way of handeling business. I myself am an entry level mechanic, and even I at least take a stab at the problem if I can not figure something out. I have yet to come across this type of sound before though, and if anybody lives near me in phillipsburg NJ or whitehall PA I'd be glad to take you out for a ride to have a listen for yourself. I'm sure the more people that hear it, the more likely it is that somebody will have heard this before, and be able to offer a suggestion?
    04 platinum silver metallic WRX 4EAT, 04/05 STi coming soon as well.

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    Registered User Micah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WRX-Rated View Post
    Haha, naa I would be dissapointed in anybody, (including non-scooby) enthusiasts, who thought the exhaust note, was a problem.

    It really sounds like defective tires would sound, although I purchase quality tires, I couldn't tell you what tires with bad belts sound like.

    My real question is, who to contact about the "professionals" at the dealership, not even offering me the slightest bit of information on what it "might" be.

    I don't think it was a very professional way of handeling business. I myself am an entry level mechanic, and even I at least take a stab at the problem if I can not figure something out. I have yet to come across this type of sound before though, and if anybody lives near me in phillipsburg NJ or whitehall PA I'd be glad to take you out for a ride to have a listen for yourself. I'm sure the more people that hear it, the more likely it is that somebody will have heard this before, and be able to offer a suggestion?

    If you think it's a tire issue, ask the dealership to swap over 4 tires from another WRX on the lot, or pick up a set of winter rubber on steelies.
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    Peachypumpkincheeks

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    What a perplexing problem! And I would be pissed at the dealership...you seem to be handling it much better!

    Contacting SOA is a good idea, but be advised that it may take them a loooong time to get back to you, and it's questionable whether they'd do anything at all. People have had really good experiences with SOA, and people have had really bad experiences with them. I would go the route of calling SOA first, not neccessarily to b.tch about the dealership but moreso to get advise: you have a problem, they've acknowledged you have a problem, but no one can find it. What's the next step?

    I'm guessing you took it to the subie dealership because it's still under warranty? If you are under warranty, you should take it to another Subaru dealership. If they still can't figure it out, I would suggest getting the dealership/SOA to authorize you taking it to another specialized auto shop with them footing the bill. If you're not under warranty, take it to an accredited shop.

    The most important thing is to be persistant without being annoying, be direct without coping an attitude, and be determined to get this fixed. Everyone has a compromise point, you should be able to find theirs.

    Good luck!
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    Peachypumpkincheeks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah View Post
    If you think it's a tire issue, ask the dealership to swap over 4 tires from another WRX on the lot, or pick up a set of winter rubber on steelies.
    +1
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    Do you have a smooth ride even though you hear the sound?
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    First things first. I love your avatar! That's close to the color I'm thinking about painting my Bugeye.

    Second, you left out critical info. How many miles? Any mods you know of? What kind of tires are on it?

    My first suspicion would not be tires, as a sound like that would usually come with some kind of a clue in the way the car feels, such as pulling to one side or the steering wheel vibrating.

    My first though, depending on miles, would be a bad half shaft.

    On the other hand, the dealership should be willing to swap a set of tires from another car that's on the lot to check if that solves the problem. If it does, you should insist on some new shoes for your new baby!
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    A few questions, was this done under warranty work or did they charge you? If the car still has a Subaru warranty still on it try another dealership. If not I'd contact SOA and the poor service. The number is posted on this site I think it's 1800-3subaru or Subaru3 either way.

    If the car has NO warranty then dont waste your time calling Subaru of America. They are not concerned with the service dept. of a dealership most of the time.

    You should be able to run your hands over the tire (center part) and feel if the belt is broke. There also might be a bulge on the sidewall of the tire. I'm sure a tech. would notice a belt broken as the tire would more then likely have a visable issue.

    Does this sound happen all the time or just when boosting? Possible it's waste gate flutter.
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    Registered User WRX-Rated's Avatar
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    2004 WRX automatic

    91,300 miles (yes, i know plenty of love there... ha. we purchased it with 90,700 or so.) guy used the car to commute from NC to NJ every other weekend for 2 years, to visit his elderly mother.

    All records of service were in the vehicle, receipt for tires says cooper tires, $508.00 for 4 new tires. (Yeah, probably a bad brand huh?)

    Warranty on powertrain only, 3K or 3mos.. but we purchased a 30K powertrain warranty for an extra fee. (Still doesnt cover tires though if it is them.)

    The salesman, told us he would push for new tires on the car, if he could pull it off I would be happy to at least eliminate this factor.

    Car is 100% stock, minus the air intake resonator, I removed that a couple days ago, but the noise was from day 1 100% bone stock.

    All serviced were performed up to this point in time, 15K 30K 60K 90K I goess? They said the next one were due for is timing and such at 105K mile service.

    The avitar was a photochop I did back in 02 when I was drooling over the STI concept I belive that was lol. (Back when it was not in the USDM market future yet haha.. scary!)

    I don't know if it due to road crown or what, but sometimes I swear it pulls to the right. The wheels appear to be straight, but the steering wheel is a few degress at most to the left, when you are going straight. Tha strange part is, the tires, do not indicate misalignment wear due to the toe being in or out on either of the fronts.

    I tried to handle myself well at the dealership, normally to be honest I get irritated quickly, but I guess I figure I can get some new tires out of the deal if I keep my cool, so I am trying my best to deal with them.

    Oh.. last answer, yes the dealership we just purchased the car from used, is the same dealer we took it to who agreed to look at it, and inspect for problems free of charge.

    Thanks for the tip of calling SOA, and asking them how to advance the process of getting a diagnoses, that sounds like my best bet if the dealer doesn't want to try on some different wheels/tires and see if that doesn't cure it.

    As far as half shaft goes, I myself, and the techs both checked out the axles, and drive shaft, and there wasn't any noticible problem while the vehicle was in the air. I'm bummed that I cant find a simple noise, I feel like an idiot. I guess experience comes with time?
    04 platinum silver metallic WRX 4EAT, 04/05 STi coming soon as well.

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    Registered User WRX-Rated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-merlin View Post
    First things first. I love your avatar! That's close to the color I'm thinking about painting my Bugeye
    I found a slightly larger pic of my ghetto photochop for you, lol enjoy - Brett

    Last edited by WRX-Rated; 11-23-2006 at 09:07 AM.
    04 platinum silver metallic WRX 4EAT, 04/05 STi coming soon as well.

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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Shifted belt in the tire.

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    I would definately change those tires and while your at it get a alignment.

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    Registered User WRX-Rated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex View Post
    Shifted belt in the tire.
    I hope you are correct, I suggested that to them but they claimed they did a road force test, and it showed the tires are "ok". They checked the wheel balance, and that came out zero'd out also.. How?I don't know but I swear thats what it sounds like.
    04 platinum silver metallic WRX 4EAT, 04/05 STi coming soon as well.

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