Engine noise on deceleration?

Asked by Dec 31, 2015 at 01:42 PM about the 2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I purchased a new 2016 Subaru Forester two months ago, and as
someone new to CVT engines, I learned that the engine can sound a little
different from conventional engines, with a little more whine. One thing that
I have noticed though is that there is a brief but pronounced whistle/whirling
noise when the car is decelerating between around 10 mph to a complete
stop. While it is brief, it is definitely audible and once I heard it I can’t stop
noticing it, even with the radio on. If I am slowly cruising around a parking
lot it is almost constant (along with a very light ticking sound). Is this normal
for a CVT engine?

I test drove a different Forester at the dealer (as I chose a different color)
and don’t remember hearing it, though it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The
sound seems to come from the engine and not the brakes.  I guess I can
live with the noise better if I knew it was by design rather than a fault. I
asked a service tech when I picked up my license plates but got a vague
response and while I will ask again when I bring it in for normal 6 month
service I just want to try to understand better now. Thank you!

8 Answers


The whine is probably normal but the ticking may be valve noise. If I were you I would seriously reconsider buying a new Subaru due to the oil consumption issue.

1 people found this helpful.

You're conflating the engine sound and the CVT sound, making a diagnosis from afar impossible. The motor is most probably ok, but I'd get a good Subie ear to listen to that CVT. Very LOW- pitched halting road sound is from the all-season tires, but high- pitched can be the CVT. Ticking at idle is just Subie's horizontally- opposed motor's large surface area to volume ratio allowing it to sound like a one-man band.

1 people found this helpful.

Same thing as mine if i do complete stop i heard some ticking sound just wondering if this is normal for cvt's?


Do you mean sounds when stopped and idling, oir just BEFORE coming to a stop? The former is probably just clicking injectors or timing chain (if FB motor); the latter sounds like a failing CVT.

Hi I own a 2011 Subaru Forester, I kept hearing a ticking sound every time I pressed on the gas and it would stop once I stopped by a light. I took it to two different mechanics and both claim I need an engine. Just by putting their ear in my hood. I was clueless to know about all the issues with Subaru engine problems and oil consumption. I added more oil and I drove it today for a couple of hours today no sound. But I was very careful. I am trying to get get subaru to check it but they want to charge me all this money that I do not have and I am still paying for the car. What a freaking headache. I am hoping it was just low on oil.


Have them explain exactly what they mean. How many miles on the engine? I would also get a third opinion from a Subaru mechanic.

108,000 miles I know the thing is I can't afford their prices, they are saying a few hundred dollars if they need to go into the ENGINE. I am trying for Subaru to wave the fees... It's so frustrating and I am still paying for the car:(


If you hear NO loud ticking when you have proper oil level then just drive normally and relax. Check oil level monthly. Use 10w30 instead of 0 or 5w to lessen consumption. Only if your motor is actually RAPPING (louder, deeper sound than simple top end ticking) have you done damage from oil starvation. Again, relax....

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