New Noises Lead to Dealership Visit for Long-Term Subaru BRZ

We recently noticed that our long-term Subaru BRZ had developed some new noises — or maybe we were able to hear them more now that it's getting warm in Chicago and we're driving with the windows down.

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We could hear a ticking sound and a squeaky whirring noise coming from the engine bay at idle once the four-cylinder had reached operating temperature, so we decided to take it to our dealership's service department.

We scheduled an appointment over the phone and were told to double-check the engine oil level before bringing it in. (We did and it was satisfactory.) When we brought the car into the service area, we described the two noises again to the adviser before taking a seat in the lounge. About an hour later our service adviser returned with the news: The ticking sound is normal for the BRZ's engine, but they wanted to replace the fuel pump, which is under warranty, to address the squeaky noise. It appears we aren't the only ones who've heard this sound, as Subaru has issued a technical service bulletin for a "high-pitched chirp, squeak or cricket sound from the engine," as the bulletin describes it.

We'll be heading back to the dealership for the repair when the replacement parts arrive, but until then we'll be driving the BRZ, sounding like a futuristic hovercraft.

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That sounds like a problem that I had on my 05 GTO when I first got it. GM had issued a TSB on that too. It turned out that the spacing between some of the belt pullies was off and so there was just a little bit too much slack in one of the belts causing the chirping noise. So what the mechanics had to do was basically wedge something, somewhere (I'm not a mechanic, lol) in order to tighten things up. It sounded like a crude fix to me at the time but tt's been 6 years/about 30,000 miles and the sound has never returned.

Robert Anderson

While at the store I was walking past a newer Subaru and heard a ticking sound and thought it sounded like a valve train problem. It seem now to be a design issue.

franklin Johson

What I have been told is after the engine heats up it switches to direct injection for idle. The Direct injection has a much harsher and erratic idle. Hence the tick tick sound. When cold it uses the much smoother fuel injection. 1300 rpm for a few moments then down to a 900 rpm peeer.


How many MX-5 Miata have this problem? Zero. In fact, the 2012 Miata is one of the few vehicles that has no TSBs at all.


I see 35 TSBs for the 2012 Miata.

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