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Subaru Forester Suspension/Steering Questions



  • I bought a 2002 Forester a few months ago and have driven it about 8,000 miles. A couple of days ago an extreme vibration started that feels as though it is coming from the front drivers side wheel. It wobbles/vibrates at 30 + mph mostly while giving it gas and to a more violent extent around 50 + mph . The tires were in pretty bad shape and i have bought new tires , new brakes, and got the car aligned at a Firestone tire place. They did not notice any problems other than a bad battery and a slight miss. It is still as bad as ever and the new items did not help at all . Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Educated guess: wheel bearing.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I assume re-balanced the tires?

    I'd also move the tires around to see if it moves, that would indicate a problem with the rim or tire. If you move the tires and the problem is on the same wheel then it's either bearing or axle or both.

  • Hi Gagecalman, did you ever get this fixed? My 04 Forester is making the same noise whenever I go over a bump, especially a full-width speed bump. The noise used to come from all across the front of the car. The dealer replaced all the suspension bushes and for about 6 months the noise went away. It then began again, but this time just coming from the nearside. This time the dealer replaced the nearside shock absorber, for about a week the noise went away. It then started again, just from the nearside. The dealer has written to Subaru Head Office to get further advice, because they are at a loss as to what's making the noise.
  • Hi did you find out what the problem was with your forester(I've got a similar vibration at low speed-in car parks etc)
    Thanks Roy
  • Mine was/is not a vibration but rather a click/crack noise and it appears the problem is not with the suspension but rather the brakes. I have been told the axle nut became loose and caused excess play in rotor which caused the pads to creak and make all kinds of crazy noises when going over bumps, backing up and when applying the brakes. The dealer has been able to reduce the noise but its still present after many months. Hopefully this will be resolved next week as i have one more appointment. They are going to take the caliper apart and inspect the pads and replace if they have any unusual wear. I have been told that its normal for Subaru's brakes to make noises in similar situations and I think not otherwise these forums would be filled with peoples complaints like mine.
  • skarnes1skarnes1 Posts: 7
    Gagecalman did you ever get this problem fixed and what was it?
  • 2001 Forester L, 59+++mi., I had a passenger side front inner CV boot go bad and sling grease all over back and underside of engine and area. Especially on the catalitic converter and heat sheild. It smells real bad when warmed up. How and with what do I get underneath and clean it up? Regards, TimothyFC, Fort Walton Beach, Fl. 03/21/2008
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm good question, usually I just let it burn off over time.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You could pressure wash the underside, but avoid any rubber or plastic.

    You could engine de-gunk, but again, cover any electrical wires, rubbers, plastics. That may be hard.

    Do no use a steam-cleaner - that will get warmth and water on the electrical contacts, which is exactly what you do not want.

    It will burn off over time.
  • The dealer is f----ing you out of money, the axle nut has nothing to do with your brake rotors. The lug nuts are what keep the rotor tight.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You are funny, because the axle nut being loose could cause that issue. We had this problem on our race car and thought it was a bad bearing. We tightened up the axle-nut and fixed the problem.

  • skarnes1skarnes1 Posts: 7
    well replacement/re torque did not work but for a few days and a mechanic I took the car to did not think the problem is in the brakes but said he would need to take the front end apart to find the problem so not good. He has been fixing Subaru's for 20 years and hasn't heard one like this before. i had a Subaru sales person drive with me in the car and she thinks the noise is coming for a loose bolt or one of the many rivetts that line the wheel well and surrounding area. She thinks every time I hit the brakes or driving or uneven pavement or over bumps the cars suspension gets tugged in such a way that the bad screw makes the noise. she said to get some silicon spray and hit every screw until I find the bad one but so far no luck. Many of the rivets are sealed so there is no way to get the lube in there. Anyway going back to dealership management to see if they can help sort this out. The saga continues...I hate the idea of getting rid of the car via trade in but that may be my best recourse other than the legal avenue via Lemon Law or other but I'm at my witts end with this problem.

    for a complete discussion of the problem you can find it on the page below with a subject line of #17737 of 17762 Subaru Forester suspension noise or what?
  • I have a 2003 Outback Wagon with the exact same symptoms; I assume the suspension is almost the same. I received the same information from the dealer this fitting is a bushing only. I could find no obvious sign of tracking from a fluid leak (breaks, transmission, oil, coolant). All the CV joints look good. I suspect maybe a strut is leaking fluid and it is somehow tracking out of sight to the bushing and dripping out. I plan to inspect the strut to see if this is the cause. I will reply again if I find the cause. Did you find an answer?
  • I have a 1998 Forester. When starting from a stop up until about 15 mph there is a rumble when turning. There is no noise or vibration when going straight at low speed.

    Any ideas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My bet is it's the wheel bearings. Inspect those first.

    If not, check the axle boots, make sure they're not torn, maybe re-grease those.
  • Thanks. I was thinking wheel bearing. Subaru dealer told me today that it sounds like I need a transmission replacement (since repair would cost about the same $3K). They didn't see the car, just discussed over the phone.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sure hope not, a bearing only costs a few hundred to replace.
  • simba7simba7 Posts: 1
    Given that the tires were in bad shape, it could have done in the viscous coupling, from what I have read on the forums!
    If it has, changing the tires won't fix the coupling which would have to be replaced!
This discussion has been closed.