2001 Subaru Forester "grinding" noise at 2000 RPM

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester with around 116,000 miles on it. Recently (the last 6000 miles or so… but most of that was on a cross-country road trip), it has been making a kind of grinding noise when the engine accelerates from around 1500-2000 RPM. I’ve never heard the noise above 2500 RPM. It doesn’t matter what gear I’m in (it’s a stick shift), and I can even hear the noise when I rev the engine with the car stopped. It sounds to me like it’s coming from somewhere around the backside of the engine/clutch area, but I can’t tell for sure. This is still the original clutch, so I was thinking it might just be related to the clutch wearing out, but I haven’t noticed any slipping or anything.

Any ideas?



Since this noise occurs whether the car is moving or is standing still, I strongly suspect that it is coming from a loose heat shield. Heat shields, which are merely thin pieces of sheet metal designed to shield some parts of the car from the intense heat of the exhaust, do have a way of loosening as a car ages.

Don’t let anyone talk you into removing the offending heat shield(s), as they are there for a specific purpose. Instead, have it/them secured with screw clamps or some other method of reattaching them properly.