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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • @gjksn963 said: The rattle sound is definitely not heat shields. I just had those tightened up recently. The sound I'm not describing well is not as loud as loose heat shields and is definitely linked to laying on/off the gas pedal at higher RPMs. Is there a bearing behind the clutch as described, and could the service manager's assessment be correct? Or does that just not make sense to anybody?

    I really do appreciate all the information and thank you.

    No, the service writer's explanation of the clutch throw-out bearing being the source of a high speed rattle is....well....a mistake. It could be a heat shield, or sometimes certain types of catalytics have internal ceramic "doughnuts" if you will, that hold a through-pipe. If that ceramic doughnut start to disintegrate, the catalytic will rattle. But in that case you'd hear it probably as you take off in first gear. Worth a look under there anyway.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269

    @gjksn963 said: Is there a bearing behind the clutch as described, and could the service manager's assessment be correct? Or does that just not make sense to anybody?

    Yes, it is called the throw-out bearing. It separates the fork that is actuated by your pressing the clutch pedal from the pressure plate that disengages the clutch plate. I have never experienced one rattle, so I can neither confirm nor deny the possibility! I have had the one on my old '69 Chevy C20 pickup, which is original with just a hair over 73,000 on the ticker, squeal from time to time. I figure that if/when I ever pull that engine for an overhaul, it will be the perfect time to replace the clutch assembly (including the throwout bearing).

    If you end up having the head gasket work done, that would be a perfect time for you to address the clutch as well. I hear that you can replace the HGs with the engine in the car, but that approach is madness (in terms of difficulty) compared to pulling the engine. I know this from experience, because I replaced the HGs in my 1996 Outback, which was the first year of the EJ25 (and the HG issue, though good luck getting Subaru to admit it!).

  • Hmm.. heat shields. Mine have apparently overcome their last re-anchoring & are vibrating merrily away... the shop mentioned removing them last time. We shall see. The '95 L sedan purrs merrily away... more than likely will see its first snow test tomorrow - 2 to 4 inches in the forecast.

  • I brought the car in to the dealership, but the factory rep hasn't responded yet. Apparently, you have to know what their deal is before doing the service. If you have the service performed before hearing whether or not there will be any factory goodwill, there won't be a deal. So, I'll have to wait a little longer to hear. The service guy said that if the factory says "no", the general manager of the dealership might do something. xwesx, I really appreciate your information. Thank you.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729

    Looks like you can't tell the actual date of a post, just a month? So I'm not sure that my comments bear any relevance to old discussions, but I'll throw in my thoughts anyway!

    Head gasket job pricing. I recently shopped around for doing my '02, which has been leaking again for a while. Yes, a simple gasket replacement can be had for as cheap as $1700, but if you want the head and possibly block resurfaced to ensure it won't go again, better be prepared to pony up more like $2500. My engine had gaskets done at 15k and 62k, and needs them now at 112k. I'm sure that if it received proper surface preparation on the first event, I wouldn't be looking at 3x.

    Subaru Coolant Conditioner (Holtz Radweld) isn't your typical leak stop. It doesn't just clog voids, it actually 'rebuilds'. It's main ingredient is Borax. I looked into the chemical properties some time ago of what happens when borax decahydrate is exposed to sufficient heat, and it becomes a rock hard borosilicate glass. Even at moderate temperatures found in the void space between the head and block of a failing gasket, it will dry into a hard crystal. That's probably enough to create an excellent conformal structural repair.

    I recently dumped my coolant, and with the refill added another bottle. The coolant loss has definitely slowed. I still have the oil leak nearby, but can live with that slow drip.

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195

    On my 2011 Outback, I have a vibration at highway speeds. Nothing at 55, slight at 60 noticeable at 65, and bad at 70. All new tires, dealer did a Road Force Balancing. Seems like the vibration is coming from the rear. Some times the vibration subsides for a couple a minutes then gets bad again. Anyone have any thoughts.

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647

    sure sounds like a tire or wheel, if it is that speed sensitive. Usually, any vibration that you can "drive into" and "drive out of" is a tire or wheel problem. Driveshaft vibrations happen early, and weird harmonics often occur from the first day the car is built.

    what happens if you shift into neutral at those speeds when vibration is worst?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269

    Phill, is this a recent thing? Do you have snow/ice in the area right now? That stuff can throw wheels way out of balance, but often doesn't manifest until a certain speed. On our Forester, we had it pitch fits at speeds over 50 earlier this winter (to the point it was giving us a serious massage at those speeds), but nothing at all under 50. I finally conned a friend into letting us use his garage for a few hours and, once everything had melted out, it was just fine.

  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 885

    "All new tires". Factory (Subaru) wheels? Subaru wheels are hub-centric. If they're non-factory or after-market wheels, if the center hub is too big or not centered properly, vibration will happen. I use plastic hub rings to align the center of the wheel & insure a snug fit.

  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113

    Thought I'd post my problem to see if anyone has had a similar one or a solution: the volume control on the left side of the steering wheel has stopped functioning on my 2010 Outback, which is otherwise giving sterling service. It started about a year ago, intermittently, when the volume control wouldn't increase the volume, though it did still decrease it. Now, it won't work in either direction. If it's dirty, like keyboards get, is there a way to "blow it out?"

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
    edited January 29

    You could try some aerosol electrical switch and contact cleaner. I had a sticky power window switch in my non-Subaru car and squirted that stuff in there.

    Didn't work, but didn't hurt anything either. My switch was really carboned up. :'(

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195

    xwesx - - This is a recent problem. It occurred after getting new tires. I had 85K on the original tires. Changed the fronts, then 800 miles later changed the back. Then that is when the problem became noticeable. It was 50 degrees (F) over the weekend so any frozen water buildup melted. I did some additional testing. After reaching 65 mph I accelerated to 80 mph (won't say where for legal reasons :)) The problem did not get progressively worst. Matter of fact it stayed constant and even subsided some. Steering was fine, it seemed to track left slightly. MrShift... suggested something (see his post above). I will try going into neutral. I have an automatic with CVT will I damage anything doing that?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269

    No, you won't damage anything by shifting to neutral. If you still have the problem, I definitely agree that it is a tire or wheel problem. And, if you have the same wheels as prior, I'd venture to guess that any "wheel problem" is actually a balancing problem.

    What tires did you buy? Maybe one of those rears is a dud.... ?

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195

    I don't understand if it is a balance problem. The dealer did a Road Force Balancing. Also shouldn't the vibration get worse the faster I go. I got up to 80 and put it in neutral vibration was still there. But at 80 it was not bone jarring. And at times it was not noticeable(still in the background though). P225/60R-17 Kumho Solus KR21 from

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647

    Not always. Often with a balance problem you can 'drive through' the worst vibration levels.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269

    Perhaps talk to that dealer and ask them to spin those tires for you again to check for vibration when they're off the car... ? If one of the tires is defective, the balancing isn't necessarily going to be able to make up for it (and, it wasn't necessarily an issue that manifested when they first balanced them).

    It's a head-scratcher, for sure. A professional will likely be able to run through the list of possibilities more efficiently and, perhaps, even start off their search on a goodwill basis if they installed them in the first place (we could always hope, anyway). :)

  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109

    You could rotate the tires from the front to the back. If the vibration persists in the rear then your tires are good. I had the same problem in a Honda Accord but in that case the problem was in the car, not the tires.

  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,553


    Sounds like it might be something else unsprung beside the tyres. It can be hard to find a specialist shop which can do four wheel on- car balancing. Usually there will only be one or two in a city of 1m+ people who can do all four wheels at once. It needs a four wheel rolling road and some specialist equipment.

    Try chatting with a Subaru Dealer because your local WRX owners probably have obsessed about getting their balance and alignment perfect.



  • Hi everyone - planning on doing maintenance on my 2002 OBS. Been checking lots of sites to figure out the best way to jack my car. First I was thinking Rhino Ramps, then thinking good jack stands. (Left my scissor jack on side of road somewhere so then I thought maybe just buy a hydraulic but thought that was overkill). It appears most of the jack stand discussion has dealt with where to place the stands. Any convictions please share - with as much specifics as you have time for - much appreciated. Pete

  • Your owner's manual should specify exactly where the "jacking points" are. Those are re-inforced areas that render the use of jackstands safe. That's where the jackstands need to be.

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