Subaru Piston Slap
Below is a AVI file that shows the noise from my '01 Subaru Outback 2.5L engine with 51K. The tapping is piston slap as it is called. This was recorded at 40 degrees. At 30 or below it is a bit louder and even more pronounced. Right click and save the file rather than running it from the site. Works a lot better. Running from the site plays it too fast.
Click here for piston slap noise (after timing belt tensioner was replaced)
I had my Outback taken in for a transmission problem (AT hot light was blinking) and asked my dealer to listen to the Tapping Noise it makes since it was going to be cold when they started it to move the car. He stated that they do make some noise from piston slap and it is normal and goes away after a few seconds. They fixed the trans problem (AT lock servo, under warranty) The dealer said they determined, after starting the car in the cold, the timing belt tensioner was bad and that was replaced under the power train warranty. They also asked if I wanted the timing belt and other two belts replaced for some $86. Sure! Got a new belts and free installation. After starting it, they said the noise was still present and said I should come back and get four new pistons to eliminate the noise under the power train warranty. Was going to do that during the Christmas holidays but figured with only 8K left on my powertrain warranty I should get it now and if problems happened in 3-4K I would still have my power train to fall back on.
I brought it in on Wed morning (got a free loaner too, power windows and remote locks) It took till Friday afternoon to get things together. I picked it up and it is QUIET... I mean QUIET. It currently only has 41 miles on the new pistons (11-15-03). 240 miles (11-21-03)