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Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Random car maintenance question

My subaru has started making a rhythmic rattling sound from the engine when I am at highway speeds cruising on a flat stretch of highway. If I give it a little more gas or let up on the gas, it goes away. I heard the same thing from my old escort. What is this? STP (stuff in the red bottle)seemed to help with this in the escort.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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Re: Random car maintenance question

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
My subaru has started making a rhythmic rattling sound from the engine when I am at highway speeds cruising on a flat stretch of highway.* If I give it a little more gas or let up on the gas, it goes away.* I heard the same thing from my old escort.* What is this?* STP (stuff in the red bottle)seemed to help with this in the escort.
Dirty gas. Have you been using 87 octane?
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: Random car maintenance question

Yup, I use the regular stuff. Doesn't seem to make a difference whether I use name brand stuff or noname.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: Random car maintenance question

Sounds like timing. If the ignition in the cyclinders takes place at the wrong time in the compression cycle it can cause a sound like someone tapping very lightly with a hammer on the engine.

When you speed up or slow down, the timing will either advance or retard and that will stop the pinging.

PS: One question is when at steady throttle does the car seem to surge/slow just slightly. A worn timing belt can cause that.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 10:28 AM   #5
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Re: Random car maintenance question

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Sounds like timing. If the ignition in the cyclinders takes place at the wrong time in the compression cycle it can cause a sound like someone tapping very lightly with a hammer on the engine.

When you speed up or slow down, the timing will either advance or retard and that will stop the pinging.

PS: One question is when at steady throttle does the car seem to surge/slow just slightly.* A worn timing belt can cause that.

NNo surging or slowing at idle. Engine seems perfectly normal except for when I am at light load cruising. Its only got 44k, so I can't imagine the timing belt would be worn yet.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: Random car maintenance question

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
My subaru has started making a rhythmic rattling sound from the engine when I am at highway speeds cruising on a flat stretch of highway.* If I give it a little more gas or let up on the gas, it goes away.* I heard the same thing from my old escort.* What is this?* STP (stuff in the red bottle)seemed to help with this in the escort.
Last I heard Click and Clack were not FIRE. Try calling them, you'll get a laugh if not a solution.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-04-2005, 11:40 AM   #7
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Re: Random car maintenance question

I would normally avoid higher octane gas but in this case I suggest trying a couple tankfulls. As cars add miles they can build up a carbon deposit and require a bit more octane. So its a cheap thing to try, although what is usually noticed is at acceleration rather than cruising. Checking the timing is a good idea too. I have a new car 05 Ford Focus and I can tell slight power shifts when I do not expect them. In this case I think it is the emmisions computer making adjustments. Something I just have to live with.
It depends on how many miles you have too. Things like oxygen sensors flake out. But try the cheap stuff first.
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Re: Random car maintenance question
Old 11-07-2005, 11:10 AM   #8
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Re: Random car maintenance question

That would be my suggestion also- call Car Talk on NPR. They are on Saturdays at 10:00. I do not know anything about cars and don't really want to know anything about fixing cars, but the Tap It brothers make me laugh!!! There laughter is contagious!

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