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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 2009 WRX with 168,000 miles COBB stage 2
Recently have had head gaskets and seal kit service + rebuilt transmission after some gears chipped. So after those two top five highest price repairs I am hoping I don't have a third !

While driving one day I noticed my engine making more noise than usual and thought maybe it was the heat shield everyone talks about as the most common rattling noise since driving through a few miles of dirt roads every day. A few days later my oil light flickers on and I immediately put oil in, probably 3qts

I found this strange since I shouldn't be losing oil that quickly.

So now I have a rattling noise that's more pronounced than before, it may be getting worse slowly when I accelerate even in neutral. It was suggested I get my valve timing checked and looking at videos it seems like the same knocking from say, a bad spark plug with improper spacing.

When i accelerate hard the noise is not louder than my car sucking air or my turbo spooling it's hardly noticeable but I don get a smell after accelerating hard. The noise seems to be coming from under the center of my engine compartment.

What would the cheapest options be for your suggestions ? One person quoted me $3500 for replacing pistons but new shortblocks seem around the same price with labor.

Thanks in advance !
 

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If you were 3 quarts low there is a likely hood you have a dead bearing. Timing belt tensioners will also rattle but are localized to the front of the engine.

A sudden loss of 3 quarts of oil is a major loss. I would have compression tests done to make sure you haven't fried a piston. Check exhaust for oily smoke, and make sure you double check the oil level

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My mechanic and the local tuner said that it's bottom end rod knock, time for a IAG 1.5 shortblock I guess :-/

I just had my head gaskets and timing belt done, what a waste of $$$$

I was 3qt low probably after 2000-3000 miles



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That won't stop rod knock. With your build being a stage 2 I would just opt for another factory short block. They run about 2k. Burning a quart of oil every 1k to 1500 miles is normal. So you didn't have excessive use you had lack of proper care. It doesn't matter if you have a "stage 200" block, if you don't take care of it it won't last

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you sure ? I don't understand your logic - buying IAG shortblock won't solve my rod knock but buying OEM will?

Manley 99.75mm Platinum Series Pistons, Ringset, Tool Steel Pins and Clips (w/ Coated Skirts and Offset Wrist Pin)
New FHI Subaru Case Halves at 99.75mm
New FHI Subaru Early STI (Stronger Style) Connecting Rods
New FHI Subaru Heat Treated 2012+ STI Crankshaft
ACL Rod Bearings
ACL Main Bearings
New FHI Main Case Bolts
IAG Spec Blueprint Sheet

I have had plenty of care to get to 168,000 miles from 40,000. I haven't just purchased it. I know it goes a at per 1000-1200 miles and I have kept up with it, this time it was faster than expected. Unfortunately I have had 3 of the most expensive repairs back to back to back within 3 months. (Head gaskets, Transmission rebuild, and now this ...) I know stock motors run $1000 cheaper than a IAG BUT I am trying to improve the car when I replace things rather than risk another problem down the road as I drive this car 30,000 miles a year for work. I would really like to get something that will last, I haven't seen any posts about IAG blocks reliability and that's all I am worried about right now. I was told buying another Subaru engine I would risk the same problems as I have now and might as well upgrade for a stronger build.
Maybe 4 cyl engines aren't my thing I mean I blew 2 Toyota engines with Technical bulletins out OFC they weren't recalls since it was past most customers warranty periods because of consuming more than the regular oil
https://www.automd.com/tsb/bulletin_b492017/

So I have been paranoid since then getting this car .


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Yeah, your failure was oil starvation from lack of maintenance. It doesn't matter what you put in that block, the same thing will kill it just as fast.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought this was going to be a helpful thread but so far I've only got one guy being a ****.

So basically after asking for advice for the noise hoping there were other things that could make a rattling noise- #1 being heat shields you turn this around to oh your car didn't have a problem with oil your just negligent because cars don't ever burn excessive oil right ? I check my car oil every Monday before work and then do about 1000 miles and check again next Monday morning . This time was unfortunately lower after a week and it damaged the engine. I think it would be safe to say that I would be in the minority of ppl who even check their oil between services at all. You must check yours every day to be so critical you sound like a nazi.


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My mechanic and the local tuner said that it's bottom end rod knock, time for a IAG 1.5 shortblock I guess :-/

I just had my head gaskets and timing belt done, what a waste of $$$$

I was 3qt low probably after 2000-3000 miles



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This is what you said. This statement said you were 3 quarts low when you checked at 2k. There is no mention there of frequent checks for oil level. You should be checking your oil weekly, or at minimum every fill up.

The statement I'm making is true about a built block. It will not prevent this failure in the future they also tend to fall short on longevity compared to factory stock blocks. They are geared around handling higher than factory power levels, not living a long life. Forged stock replacement pistons are a fair option but the larger ptw clearences can lead to an even higher rate of oil consumption that is something you don't need.

If your oil went from full to 3 quarts low in a few hundred miles then you had a larger issue than a spun bearing, but that's hardly a concern now. Your options are new short block or rebuilt engine, and a new short block is the way to go, but I would avoid going further than necessary on it. Considering you just dumped a bunch of money into the car I would opt for the least expensive longest lasting option. That is a factory built short block.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can you recommend any vehicles that has minimal oil consumption ? I really would like to not have to worry about blown engines in the future daily driver. This will just be temporary until then when my mortgage contingencies go through. My 5.0 Ford never had low oil and it ran till it wouldn't pass inspection anymore from holes in it ( I know your thinking this is my fault too ...first car and used ).
From my understanding a rebuilt is used and less reliable than a new aftermarket so why wouldn't I want the new one even for longevity, isn't it just an improved cast of the original?


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You are correct about the rebuilt, that is why I would suggest a factory short block.

Most vehicles use oil to some extent. 1 quart per 1k miles is usually the industry quoted norm. Even among the same vehicle you'll have some that burn oil and some that don't. It's why you should be diligent about checking it's level.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My engine finally showed me what the mechanic described as marbles in a tin can sounds like. RIP.
I topped off the oil before it happened too
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