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 of 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 of 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....

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Forester in your area?

CarGurus has 35,459 nationwide Forester listings starting at $1,295.


Subaru Forester Experts

  • #1
    Nick Eidemiller
  • #2
    Chris W
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Outback
272 Great Deals out of 38,283 listings starting at $899
Used Honda CR-V
541 Great Deals out of 67,089 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota RAV4
483 Great Deals out of 67,002 listings starting at $1,995
Used Subaru Crosstrek
53 Great Deals out of 15,403 listings starting at $16,999
Used Subaru Impreza
167 Great Deals out of 20,849 listings starting at $1,333
Used Subaru Legacy
155 Great Deals out of 13,699 listings starting at $1,900
Used Toyota 4Runner
299 Great Deals out of 30,520 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota Highlander
443 Great Deals out of 44,503 listings starting at $1,750
Used Ford Escape
913 Great Deals out of 105,387 listings starting at $550
Used Mazda CX-5
174 Great Deals out of 25,648 listings starting at $7,995
Used Subaru XV Crosstrek
43 Great Deals out of 1,724 listings starting at $9,000
Used Nissan Rogue
578 Great Deals out of 77,256 listings starting at $2,999
Used Toyota Tacoma
431 Great Deals out of 40,775 listings starting at $2,600
Used Honda Pilot
452 Great Deals out of 39,064 listings starting at $999

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 11,389 listings starting at $22,610
2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium For Sale
20 Great Deals out of 745 listings starting at $18,900
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium For Sale
19 Great Deals out of 590 listings starting at $13,997
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium For Sale
31 Great Deals out of 1,114 listings starting at $10,999
2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium For Sale
14 Great Deals out of 268 listings starting at $8,000

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.