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Legacy pinking??

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Hi, and thanks for reading my post. I have a 2005 Legacy 3.0 BPE. It seems to be 'pinking' (sorry if my terminology is incorrect) and a couple of other things I notice about it:


  • Pinking when accelerating in rpm range idle -> 3000rpm
  • Engine sometimes smells hot (coolant is correct level and temp gauge is normal)
  • Engine seems to lack power below 3000rpm. When the engine rpm exceeds 3000, power is instantly greater.




In general this is a car in good condition. Regular services etc. No errors on an OBD II app.


Can anyone please advise me what I can look at to fix this?


Thanks in advance,






New Zealand.

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Sounds to me like you need to have a computer plugged into the OBDII port and drive the car and data log to get an idea what could be wrong.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


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I'd check that the injectors are OK, one might be failing.




Also check spark, coil packs and spark plugs.




Easiest thing to do is long for misfires with something like the torque android app and an obdii adapter.

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3.0L is designed for 91+ Octane, but can run for temporary periods on less than 91. 3.6L is designed for 87, though I run mine on non-ethanol 93.


The problem is that running the 3.0L on low octane increases the chances for burnt valves in these motors. Talked to at least two Subaru master techs, on two coasts who confirm this.


You could try some Sea Foam through the brake vacuum line to clear-up any valve fouling you might have. There's several YouTube vids on how to do this. A compression test should point to any internal issues. It's corrective/preventative but it would also help to concurrently check-out the areas mentioned above, especially if power is down significantly.

- Pro amore Dei et patriam et populum -
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My 3.0 also makes some noise that I would relate to an issue under the timing cover. I did the chain and tensioners and its still there. I'm thinking the noise might be the cam phasers, 230,000+ and its still running strong so I'm no longer too worried about it. It comes across as a very metallic pinging sound. If that's what you're hearing, at this point I'm calling it normal for the 3.0.
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