engine noise at startup
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2

This is a discussion on engine noise at startup within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Did a search and couldn't find any info on this topic. If my car sits for a couple of days ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    north texas

    Question engine noise at startup

    Did a search and couldn't find any info on this topic. If my car sits for a couple of days without use there are loud clicking and thumping noises from the engine for about 3-4 seconds after a cold startup. It sounds familiar to lifter noise and rod knock at the same time. Engine has no mods and I've been using Mobil 1 5/30 with factory filter changed every 3K. Car has 24K on it now. I know the oil goes to the pan so there's no lube in the motor, but shouldn't there be enough residual lube on the mechanicals to keep this from happening? I hear this noise 1 out 4 times when the above situation occurs. Have I got bad internals, or is this a normal occurance? Sure does seem like this would have the potential to severly shorten the life of the motor.
    '03 blaze yellow wagon-stock for now

    Always interviewing for a Victoria's Secret fitting room attendant, but never getting hired.

  2. Remove Advertisements

  3. #2
    Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy) SD_GR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    CA, US
    I Support ClubWRX
    From my reply to this thread:
    Piston Slap?

    "Piston slap and/or wrist pin noise upon startup is not new at all on the Subaru EJ motor family. A properly maintained motor should have a life span of ~300,000+ km; one with pronounced noise like that might have a few tens of thousands less IMO, but I am just guessing.

    The turbo 1998 cars got piston slap at 20,000 miles or even earlier in cold climates (a knocking noise like you describe). It's much more audible when the engine is cold, but (theoretically) it's there all the time, just to a lesser extent and below the audible threshold from inside the cabin. (For proof, CAREFULLY slide under the car with the motor running and listen with your head just under the sump - I did this two nights ago after changing oil and it upset my stomach, yet none of the noise is audible inside the car, I live in a hot climate and use a relatively thin oil with excellent pumping qualities! To this day I get the runs thinking about the noises I heard under that motor).

    The tappet noise is also common on all Impreza engines, but is unrelated.

    In the past Subaru have been resolving the problems with earlier turbo Impreza motors by fitting a completely new block, crank, and piston assembly (full). My look into that story showed me that the new short blocks cured the problem completely, except when they didn't (!) or when the problem just came back after a while. Babying the car won't make any difference in either case.

    The URL for the Impreza FAQ is
    and that is where the original info came from, but the web is full of stories like this.

    The UK FAQ doesn't say anyone's motor blew apart, just that they had a noise beyond the nornal tappet stuff going on. A Canadian article also mentions the noise, and again says it's part of life.

    The KurleeDaddeeWRX thread here on this board covers the issue also. Local coverage of this can be found at


    You might also search Scoobynet for more recent info on new age EJ turbo cars."

    I think I was pretty sober when I wrote that, but run a search for knock and morning and so on and you'll see quite a few threads along the same lines. It's an interesting read and what you do, if anything, depends on your particular car/noise.

    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself. We strongly suggest that you stay away from using aol, yahoo, msn, and hotmail accounts. Sometimes the mail server blocks the emails from our server. As a result you will not receive any notifications including the confirmation email.

Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts