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Subaru Impreza Suspension/Steering Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,963
edited September 2014 in Subaru
Discuss Impreza suspension/steering issues here.

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  • I was wondering if anyone had this problem, when you turn the steering wheel, it makes this short vibrating noise, almost like a humming but it last like half a second, and then if you continue to turn the steering wheel, it'll hum every 1-2 turns. It makes this noise even with the engine off. Any Ideas?
  • It may just be the normal whirring while turning the steering wheel. You may hear it sometimes, other times it'll be silent. I just got into a 2008 Impreza 2.5i, I hear it occasionally. Apparently, the power steering is louder in the Impreza compared to other imports. But who knows, I can be wrong.

    Any other ideas?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,149
    Does it make this noise with the wheels spinning or at a stop? If at a stop (such as the engine off!), it takes quite a bit of effort to turn those tires - the noise may simply be built-up stress relieving in the system. If the the wheels are spinning, I would not expect it to be normal because I have never heard this noise before on a Subaru. Why would they suddenly make this a "feature" of the '08 Impreza? ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    IIRC doesn't the new impreza use a hydro-electric steering pump?

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    In Japan, but not here I don't think.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ah ha, I remembered you mentioning it, that's where I picked it up from. Haven't been under the hood of an 08 yet.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • jagoujagou Posts: 2
    Has anyone else noticed that the new 08 impreza suspension is softer than the last version? Lovely little car, but I swear it's softer than the model I tested at the dealership.

    Can anyone suggest some easy fix to put a little stiffness in the cornering? I'm happy, but could be happier..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The only real way to change roll stiffness is to swap out the springs.

    You can increase the tire pressure slightly, and maybe add a thicker sway bar to lessen body roll.

    That won't change the spring rate, though.
  • alkmaaralkmaar Posts: 4
    Hello to all! I just became a member and look forward to participating in the great discussions I followed for a few years now. It is partly because of you guys that I became a Subaru enthusiast and purchased an Outback Sport for my wife last month. Great car. Well, here’s my first question:

    As it sat in my garage I noticed that the driver's side body is lower than the passenger side by roughly 1/4" to 3/8". So I brought it back to the dealer and I got the opinion that it was something unusual so they contacted Subaru for advice. Later that afternoon they explained that this difference in height of the body is within tolerance. I asked for a copy of the document that they looked at and it is numbered FS-7 and has the title “Wheel Alignment.” The measurement they do at the dealership is from the center of the wheel to the inside of the wheel arch measured at its highest point. The measurement should be 15.4”. The tolerance is +0.47”/-0.94”. Although the measurements done on my Impreza are within tolerance, I was not offered an explanation of why there is a difference in height between the two sides of the car. In addition, these tolerances seem too high.

    Does anyone have knowledge or experience with this phenomenon and know about a solution?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, first off.

    Someone had the same issue with an Outback a while ago, like 5-6 years ago. It was pretty funny, because he was a bit OCD about it. It never caused a serious problem, though, AFAIK.
  • alkmaaralkmaar Posts: 4
    Thanks! We're quite happy with the car.

    I figured that it wasn't something to worry about. Probably a matter of variation in springs within tolerance. However, I chuckled when I read your reply. I must suffer from OCD as well for noticing the delta between the left and right height of the car ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case, I say, welcome to the OCD Club. I'm a card-carrying member since 1998. And yes, I wax my alloy wheels. Bi-annually. :D

    Lemme guess on the color you chose - black? That shows dirt the quickest so you have to clean it constantly.
  • alkmaaralkmaar Posts: 4
    Thanks again. I may consider a card as well. The reason being, that we may purchase a second Subaru, as I'm now getting hooked on the Impreza.

    The color? Well, indeed, I wanted a black one, which I thought was well done with the dark grey lower part. The wife wanted the two tone silver (which we then obviously got), which at first looked a bit awkward, but now it is growing on me. With the dark interior, it is nice. I certainly like the all red illumination and the new dash styling. All in all a great package. And yes, this color combination does not show the dirt much. And let me tell you that with two young kidsit is great if you can safe time by not having to wash cars! As my wife's driving world is determined by radius around our house of about a 2 miles (within which radius she has the stores, work and schools), I fully expect her to drive an average of 2,000 mile per year, as she did with her 13 year old Geo (now sold with 32,000 miles on it. Oil changes only...). ;)
  • suez2suez2 Posts: 4
    I have a 2008 impreza sedan I noticed a vibration in the steering wheel going 60 65mph. Took it in and they told me the 2 front rims where bent i didn't hit anything anyone else have a problem with rims
  • I have a 2006 STI and when I drive slow or back up the left rear side starts to click when the wheels turn. I called Subaru and they said that happens to all wheel drive cars after awhile and it is no longer covered under warrenty because it happens to often. What is the noise and what can I do.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Could be any number of things.

    Could be the clips on the rear calipers that are spring-loaded so the brakes aren't retracting fully.
    Could be a wheel bearing starting to go bad.
    Could be the clunky rear suspension that is common on the STi but SHOULD be warrantied. They don't just stop warrantying items because they all do it.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Does anyone think an off-center steering wheel is worth trying to get fixed under warranty? Mine has been off-center to the left since new, not a ton, but just enough for me to notice and be OCD'ing it.

    I had an alignment done under warranty soon after I got the car, thinking that would fix it, but even though it was out of alignment the problem was not corrected once the alignment was done. In fact, the situation had not improved at all.

    In about a year the B2B warranty will expire, so there is time yet, but I'm not even sure how they would approach this problem, or if the warranty would cover anything in this realm beyond the alignment I already got for free.

    Apart from that, I am liking my OBS ('09 5-speed) even more than the '97 I had many years ago, and will definitely be keeping it for the long haul. And I could live with this, but I do wish the wheel were straight....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    Aligning the steering wheel should be part of getting an alignment.. Even without it, it should be under warranty..

    It should be a fairly simple adjustment..

    That said.. my '08 Impreza was always slightly off... lol

    Seems like my Subaru dealer said something once about "adjustments" only being covered for the first year... didn't really ask them about it, as I only had the car on a 24


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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd bring it up - even if only to document the issue existing while still under warranty.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Aligning the steering wheel should be part of getting an alignment

    But alas, it never is. This isn't the first car I have had delivered with an off-center steering wheel, and they can never do anything more than align them usually. I don't even know what the next step would be - remove the steering wheel and reinstall it straight? That brings up airbag issues and would be very expensive, I'm sure, if the dealership would even be willing to do it.

    I will probably bring it up when it gets its 30K service, just so it is documented while under warranty like juice mentioned, but I'm sure the folks at the useless dealer near me will just shake their heads sadly and say there is nothing they can do....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    If your dealer can't (or won't) help, stop by your local big box tire retailer, and ask them if they align the steering wheel, when they do an alignment.

    I'm guessing that it is very simple, and doesn't require removing the wheel... and the airbag won't be an issue..


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