Squealing forester at start up


#1

I have a 2003 Subaru forester w/ 148k and manual transmission.
Recently I have notice two new symptoms, but am not sure if they are connected.
First is some bluish exhaust just at startup.
Second is a wining sound out of the front of the engine. It fluctuates in time with the rpm. When I pop the hood it sounds like it may by coming from the generator or AC unit which has a wired red powdery substance on it. The wining seem worse for the first 1/2 hr of driving.
Any ideas??


#2

Squealing or whining? A squeal would be a loose belt that probably needs replacing. Whining is probably a bad bearing about to let go. Either on a 10 yo car is possible.


#3

It’s also possible that a failing component bearing is loading down the belt and causing it to slip.
Perhaps with a mechanic’s stethoscope (dirt-cheap at any parts store) you can determine which component is failing (if it is a failing component). Of course, if this is the original serpentine belt it’s overdue for replacement anyway.

Re: the puff of bluish smoke on startup: that’s from worn vale stem seals. Oil seeps past them while the car sits overnight, sits on the back of the valves and in the ports (this being a boxer engine), and gets burned on startup. It isn’t serious, but long term it can poison the catalyst, so you might want to see how much it’ll cost to get them replaced. This being a horizontally opposed engine, you might find the cost unacceptable and just live with it.


#4

Thanks for the replies!
I’m pretty sure it’s not a belt. They’ve been replaced andduring normal servicing and look ok. More of a wine than squel. Almost sounds electrical. Would the weird red duct come from a bearing that got fried?
On an engine this old, 148k, how much oil consumption should I tolerate before getting it fixed? I’m adding at least 2 quarrts between 4-5k oil changes, w/ 100% synthetic.


#5

Your oil usage is perfectly acceptable for an engine this age, good even. It’s half of what manufacturers consider acceptable on brand new cars. I wouldn’t mess with it.

Can’t guess on the red dust. Can you post a photo?


#6

Can you loosen the belt(s)? Then use your fingers to rotate each component, including any idler pulley, driven by that belt. Any roughness/grittiness/wobbliness indicates a problem with that component.


#7

Could the red dust be debris from a disintegrating compressor clutch?


#8

My concern would be greater over the red powder rather than the oil consumption. That red powder could be rust from a dry and disentegrating bearing in some accessory on the front of the engine.

That can be something which can go downhill quickly and leave you stranded at any time. With a little investigation it should not be difficult to determine exactly where the fault lies.