Tribeca Chassis Vibration

kartmasterkartmaster Member Posts: 2
edited May 2014 in Subaru
2006 Tribeca with a chassis vibration! Can Anyone Help?


  • occkingoccking Member Posts: 346
    Now haved 32k on my Tribeca, no chassis vibration, but a wicked, wicket rough ride. Any kind of uneven surface lots of front end noises. Bringing it in for 30k "physical" next week & hope they can correct the problem. Count it be struts, motor mounts,??? Worse car I have had in many years with this problem. Otherwise, very please with car. Gas mileage averaging a little over 20 mpg. Tires holding up real well so far, looks like they may get 50k on them.
  • bgunit68bgunit68 Member Posts: 18
    Ok, First, I have 54,000 miles on my Tribeca. Other than a few things here or there. Great. I expected it wit the first year model. Now, at about 25,000 miles we started getting a clunking from the front end and it occurred on uneven surfaces. They replaced the struts the tie rod and a few other things. Still did it. The service manager took parts off a new Tribeca and replaced the Tie rod bushings. That did it. But we just hit 54,000 and the clunking is back. This time he's going to order the parts. Also we just changed the brakes and we now need new tires. I've never had a set of brake pads or tires last over 50k before. But we had all our work done by the dealer along with the recommended tire rotation. When you need to replace the tires shop around. When we first got it we hit a curb and cut the side wall. It was 250 at a discount tire store to replace. I just went on Tire rack and found the same tire for 130. All in all, I love my Tribeca and my dealer (Goldstein, Albany NY)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'll assume you already checked the tire pressures.

    Probably a bad strut or a broken/damaged spring.

    At one point Subaru had a recall for the Outback for springs that could rust under certain conditions, but your Tribeca is new so that's doubtful.
  • bgunit68bgunit68 Member Posts: 18
    yeah, With the sensors going off under 30% I check them often. We had the same thing happen at 25k. But the service manager said it was the tie rod bushings. It only happens on uneven ground. He told me when he repaired it he took them off a new model (2006). In some of the other posts there are similar references to this clunking and all about the same mileage. The funny thing, the one thing they did recall, the hydraulic hatch pistons, don't give me a problem. But I am 6'8" I automatically make sure it is open all the way. But like I said I am thinking about getting another one for my girlfriend. Very happy with the vehicle and very happy with Subaru. I am a Subaru fan for life.
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    I've only got 5K on my '07 but it has a shudder at 47mph +/-3 mph, which it has has since it was new. It feels similar to a rear tire imbalance. I had them re-balanced at the dealer, but it didn't change the effect. It's possible that the tires need to be checked out on a [Hunter] road force balance machine -which my dealer does not have. Or perhaps an out of round rim? Or an imbalance somewhere in the drive shaft?

    You can only notice it on smooth roads, so it's not a major vibration, but it IS noticeable. It seems to shudder at the same speed, regardless of gear or RPM, and even while coasting.

    My service adviser (as is typical) is clueless. Any suggestions on what I should tell him to tell the mechanic to look for?
  • n0pan0pa Member Posts: 5
    I have the same issue with the shudder around 47mph, I also get it around 78mph (don't ask). Let me know if you have any luck, I have not. However i do keep bothering them.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Does it get effected by weight in the rear? A friend has a similar problem in his Frontier, but if there is weight in the bed, it goes away.

  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    That certainly makes sense. A vibration is typically caused by something exciting one of the many resonance frequencies of the vehicle. If you add weight, you change (lower) the resonance frequency and it will no longer match what's exciting it.

    My current status: Dealer tried balancing tires: No effect.
    Dealer tried rotating tires: no effect.
    Service adviser doesn't know what a road force balance machine is. doesn't understand resonance frequencies, doesn't know if the mechanic has a map of the frequencies and their likely causes, doesn't know if they have an accelerometer setup to measure the frequency.
    But... he's friendly.

    It appears as if I'll be living with this for the next 8 years.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    See if you can find some alternate tires. On the Frontier it's looking like it's coming down to the actual tires we have on there. (Balanced and rotated/shifted around at least 4 times so far). These are upgraded tires, with a higher load rating, meaning a stiffer sidewall than stock. When we have a load or trailer on his truck, it goes away, empty bed it comes back. Stock tires and rims, not a problem either.

  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    the Dealer called Subaru and made a determination that this is the "normal ride quality for this vehicle"
  • bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    I think you need to see another dealer. Subaru couldn't possibly agree that this ride quality is normal for a Tribeca or any other vehicle.
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    This is the only dealer in my city. The next nearest one is over 2 hrs away.

    Frankly- all the roads around the dealer that we test drove it on were just bumpy enough to make it difficult to really discern the (admittedly) slight vibration. My service adviser took out another new Tribeca for a ride and claimed that it felt the same as mine.

    I guess this is why the Lexus RX costs $10K more. Not that it doesn't vibrate- but I'll bet they take a calibrated accelerometer for a ride and collect actual vibration magnitude and frequency data.
  • bgriffithsbgriffiths Member Posts: 2
    I had a random vibration at about 40-50kmh...
    Subaru Australia suggested removing the roof racks. I did and the vibration disappeared. At that speed & the wind blowing in a certain direction made the bars resonant & caused a vibration to appear
    Putting the racks back on this weekend to see what happens
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Make sure the round edge faces forward, like the wings on an airplane.
  • kharshawkharshaw Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 Tribeca that has given me a (usually) subtle vibration that becomes more pronounced at highway speeds. It feels like driving over little rumble strips all the time. It's been doing this for the entire year, regardless of weather/temp. The other day it shook violently --I thought I had flat in rear passenger wheel. When I drove away after checking the tires, it was back to the subtle vibration. It's been into the dealer multiple times, it's like chasing a ghost.

    Any thought? I go back to the dealer on Thursday. Do other 2007 owners have a smooth quite ride? Am I being to critical of the ride? I'm about to give up on this vehicle :lemon: . Maybe I'll ask to drive an 2008 to compare the ride when I'm at the dealer...
  • kartmasterkartmaster Member Posts: 2
    This sounds identical to the problem we had with our '06 Tribeca...After numerous visits to the dealership and 3 sets of tires, the district Subaru Rep. maintened that our problem was inherited. We did not accept his explanation and filed a complaint directly with Subaru. Subaru decided to send an engineer to validate our claim. After almost 10 days and numerous test drives with the engineer, he finally validated our concerns and stated that it was a driveline based vibration.They replaced both front axels, rear axels and rephased the driveshaft. Still vibrated. We filed a successful lemon law claim agains Subaru and are now proud owners of a 2007 Honda Odyssey Minivan.
  • kharshawkharshaw Member Posts: 2
    Ugh... Not what I wanted to hear, but thank you. How did you initiate the complaint with Subaru? Via the dealer? Or directly?
  • qdexterqdexter Member Posts: 3
    I am having the same trouble with my 2008. 2 dealers cannot fix it. I opened a case with Subabru America by calling there 1-800 number from the website. They sent the regional rep to check out my car and he told me the reason was flat spots on my tires and to increase my tire pressure to 38psi and drive it to 7000 miles. That should fix the flat spots!!!

    Needless to say I am at 9600 miles and still have the problem. Went to new dealer for service and they told the tires were out of balance and re-balanced them. Still having the same problem though. No one seems to be able to fix it even agree that it is a problem.

    Are you still having the issue?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Tire can be balanced but still not be perfectly round.

    If they were flat-spotted driving on them more doesn't fix that. I think you need new tires.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Are we talking flat spotted or out of round? There is a world of difference.

    Flat Spotted= brakes were locked up and/or car slid sideways flattening out the tread in a particular part of the tire. Very rare on street cars, somewhat common on non-abs race/track cars. Usually this happens when you lockem up and spin or lock em up under hard braking going into a turn on the track.

    Out of Round= tires sat for a long time under-inflated and therefore are now oblong shaped. This can also be a result of broken or hyperextended cables in the tires.

  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    Yes. Still having the issue, but I haven't persued it any more. The vibration is feelable, but subtle. It annoys me sometimes, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle for me.

    It's not really a 'flat spot' but that's the easiest way to describe it. Tires are not completely uniform, and often they have a part of the sidewall or tread that is thicker or firmer than the other parts. Even if the tire is balanced, the firmer spot is felt when driving.
    Increasing tire pressure does sometimes helps, as it essentially makes the whole tire firmer, and masks the problem. Of course, it will detract slightly from handling and ride quality.

    Many dealers will have a Hunter road force balance machine to check this aspect of tire irregularity.
  • thecafethecafe Member Posts: 2
    I have an '08 Tribeca with the same problems that were evident the first day I drove it. Here is what I had sent my dealer & Subaru after months of trying to get he problem addressed:

    "> I have had my 08 Subaru Tribeca for about four(4) months and I am very
    > disappointed in the way it runs and equally disappointed in the response
    > that I have gotten from Kerven and the District Fixed Operations Manager
    > (Jim Hoffman). The vehicle hesitates, "surges" and overall does not run
    > well during highway driving. From a stop it will sometimes hesitate and
    > other times "surge" forward when the accelerator is depressed and this is
    > a safety issue especially in a parking lot or other tight driving
    > situations. When driving on the highway (60-70mph) the vehicle "shudders"
    > and hesitates/surges when trying to accelerate or maintain speed on an
    > incline. This is very noticeable and happens every time I drive it. This
    > is not how a new vehicle is supposed to operate. The first time I had it
    > to Kerven they told me the tires were out of balance. The second time
    > they said they recreated the problem but there was nothing they could do
    > about it and I was referred to Mr. Hoffman. He took
    > the vehicle for a test drive and said that it is an engineering problem
    > and that there is nothing he can do. Not only is this NOT how a new
    > vehicle should run, there is also a safety issue involved here. If the
    > vehicle cannot be fixed then I would like to return it for a refund. I am
    > even willing to pay a fair and reasonable amount for the miles I have put
    > on this vehicle. Please let me know how you plan to fix this problem.
    > Thank you."

    I still do not have any resolution but I did manage to get an extended warranty and a 45,000 mile maintenance agreement.
  • sadie13sadie13 Member Posts: 3
    We recently purchased a 2008 tribeca and have had nothing but problems ever since in regards to ear congestion/ear pain. This pain is experienced whether we are driving or not. We have contacted Subaru of America as well as the dealership we purchased it from and have been told that they have never heard of this before. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • sadie13sadie13 Member Posts: 3
    Adding to what my wife wrote. What we think the problem maybe is that we and several others have an allergie to the off gasing of the new plastics, glues, and vinyals. I am reaching out to see if anyone else who owns a subaru has had similar effects and if you did how long did it last. I have placed carbon filters in the vents and have had no releaf. I also purchased a $250. dollar air pureifiar specific to VOC'S. My family vehicle is now my work truck that I drive with the windows down with outside tempatures at around 35 degrees. Not sure whats worse freezing or a $30.000 dollar ear ace. My experience with subaru of America !@#$%^&**#%^ lets just say I wil never buy a subaru ever again. My fist and LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,270
    Wow, and you *both* have this problem? How quickly do the symptoms appear? Have you tried occupying another of the same make/model to see if the result is the same?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • sadie13sadie13 Member Posts: 3
    Yes, we have tried another new 08/09 and feel the same effects and the symptoms occur immediately for not only us but several other people we have had either sit or go for a ride in our vehicle.
  • vle3vle3 Member Posts: 3
    We had what sounds like the same intermittent "shuddering" or vibration problem with our 2008 Tribeca. Our Subaru mechanic had us drive the car while he rode with us with his laptop connected to our Subaru. Basically, he captured some sort of readout while we reproduced the shudder. He sent this information to Subaru. Subaru told him that they knew about the problem and were working on a fix. Six months later, our mechanic received direction for the fix from Subaru. I will try to explain what they did, from looking at our service summary sheet.

    I am not mechanically inclinded, so bear with me. It looks like they replaced the torque converter, the turbine speed sensor &/or o-ring. He also mentioned that he "re-flashed" it. I think he means a software update. These repairs were just performed yesterday, so only time will tell if it is the correct fix. If you require more specifics, our mechanic's name is Tim and he works for Schumacher Subaru in West Palm Beach, FL.

    I hope this helps!
  • jeosterjeoster Member Posts: 2
    Now that a month and a half has passed, was wondering if the replacement of the torque converter, turbine speed sensor, and/or o-ring has correct the issue? I am having the same issue with my 2008 Tribeca.
  • vle3vle3 Member Posts: 3
    It seems to have worked. Neither my husband nor I have experienced the vibration/shuddering since the replacements. Typically, we would experience them several times a day. We feel like the problem has been corrected. Let me know if we can help further.
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    About what speeds did the vibration occur? And, was it speed sensitive?

    Do you know if there is a TSB out on this problem?

    My vibration is still there, and it is subtle. So, it's not too bothersome, but I do notice it from time to time.

    I've also noticed that when the vehicle is cold (not real cold, but within a few minutes of starting in the morning 30-60 degreesF), I get hesitations. No check engine light though.
  • thecafethecafe Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I have contacted my dealer and am waiting to hear back from them. I also get the hesitation mentioned in one of the other posts.
  • jeosterjeoster Member Posts: 2
    Just to provide an update... I was experiencing the vibration on my 2008 Tribecca. I complained to Subaru and was contacted by a Sales Manager. She arranged for the torque converter to be replaced (no charge). It seems to have done the trick.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Glad to hear they helped you out. Odd fix, but hey, it worked!
  • pa_tribecapa_tribeca Member Posts: 4
    I recently had the same problem with my 2008 Tribeca. The dealer replaced the torque converter, O-ring and sensor last week under warranty. So far no vibration. Thanks to all that posted their experience with this issue.
  • jeffrey1958jeffrey1958 Member Posts: 1
    I am in Australia and have recently aquired a Tribeca. The problems that are expressed in your forum is also in the vehicle out here. The first vehicle I had shuddered, felt like it was missing when on highway driving and I complained that much Subaru gave me a new vehicle after they replaced the torque converter and a number of times doing upgrades to the computer. Well the same is happening with this new vehicle. It has only 8k on it and it is a dog. I have complained again to Subaru Australia and they do not want to know about it. I am now looking at trading in the vehicle foe a new Liberty its that bad. I would never endorse this make of subaru to anyone. They are an absolute joke of a car. Total waist of money.
  • vle3vle3 Member Posts: 3
    Just an update. It is now December of 2009 and we are still "shudder free" since the fixes noted in my earlier post. We love our Subaru!
  • sept2martinsept2martin Member Posts: 28
    Well, My Subaru dealer are as frustrated as I am.
    I have had three torque converters, numerous other parts and software upgrades.
    Also more recently "anti-knock sensors". The dealer phoned me that the car is still doing the same thing. Subaru Canada seems to be grasping at straws and based on the entries in this forum, I would have to think that they are about to have a major request for recall of this vehicle.
    I am going to ask them to take it back.......This is now 30,000km and over 1 1/2 years of this CONSTANT problem. Enough is enough!
    I just feel badly for the service people, who have tried everything and have been as helpful as they can.
    Good luck to you all! :mad: :lemon:
This discussion has been closed.