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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Cold weather noise

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14 replies to this topic

#1 BlueSoob


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:00 AM

Ok. Because I am paranoid about this new model...
Whenever it freezes outside I hear a "howling" when I take my car 35+ mph. at 45,000 miles on my 03 Forester, I have wind noise through the seals on the window and I know thats not it.

It sounds like a hound dog on crack howl. auhg auhg auhg (not quite sure how to spell that sound) It wasnt really loud yesterday -actully hardly noticeable.. as the temp was 25 degrees. WHen it snowed here and the temp was hangin at 0 it was louder and more distinguishable. (snow, ice etc) I made it into town, let it sit while I was at work and then I drove it home and the sound was gone... I thought .. hmmm must have been ice in the wheel or something..

then it happened again yesterday.. no snow.. just frost.. Its coming from the passenger side.. but sounds like it could be from the front or the back.. I can't tell.. (I know that helps alot)

If it helps you out any, the car has seen dirt logging roads alot and has had several long distance trips but for the most part runs between town and home (55 mile round trip) - I run synth every 5000 miles and check it frequently.. though I doubt it has anything to do with how frequently i change my oil.


#2 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:57 AM

New tires? Rubber compound might change characteristics with low temps.
Any dents/damage underneath or on the pass side?

Loose belt? (I'd expect squealing - not howling)

When it is present, will it change with speed or time or wind or road conditions?

#3 SevenSisters


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:33 PM

Loose trim?
Power steering pump?
Heater fan?

It would be nice to hear the sound.
On this board we can post pictures and add links. Wouldn't it be helpfull if we could add audio clips to the posts?
How 'bout it?

#4 blitz



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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:24 AM

Several weeks back when the cold snaps were blowing across Michigan, I was getting a very similar howling noise from the driveline on my '02 OBS, but it was constant rather than pulsating.

It was strongest (loudest) at about 35 mph, and also seemed to be biased slightly toward the passenger side. Also like you, I could not place the origin as front or rear. It tended to resonate the entire chassis structure to such a degree that it blurred the distinction of it's origin.

Now that it's warmed up a bit, the noise has vanished.

#5 cmk552


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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:25 AM

I had a '99 Outback sport that use to howl like you are describing. I took it to the dealer and found out I had a bad wheel bearing. It was fixed for free under the drivetrain warranty that comes with the car. Good luck :banana:

#6 BlueSoob


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Posted 07 February 2004 - 10:25 PM

Blitz- did anything ever become of it.... that sounds very similar to what I am noticing.... just wondering if i should check out the bearings...

#7 blitz



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Posted 08 February 2004 - 11:43 AM

Originally posted by BlueSoob
Blitz- did anything ever become of it.... that sounds very similar to what I am noticing.... just wondering if i should check out the bearings...

Well, my noise was pretty loud when the temp was close to 0*F, but when the temp rose to 10*F it diminished and now that the temp has been hovering around 20*F or so, it's gone.

Obviously I'd prefer to drive a car that didn't freak me out with noises, but it is what it is. So far this has been the noisest car I've ever owned.

A veritable smorgasboard of audio. Piston slap, brake pad thunk, suspension squeaks, brake squeal, dash rattles, exhaust heat shield rattles, steering "bonngle" ...and now driveline howl.

As far as a potential wheel bearing problem goes, I'd think that if a bearing was on it's way out, the noise would be influenced somewhat by by steering input. Steering left or right while driving is gonna change the lateral load on the affected bearing, so the noise would change too.

Steering had no affect on the noise in my case. You might wanna try that test.

#8 torxxx


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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:19 PM

sounds like its a power steering pump problem..

just be glad you dont have a mercury sable.. my ex gf's car is on its 3rd PS pump in 3 years.. I thought the ****er what gonna blow up one time when I started it..

It made all this noise for about 30 min

#9 blitz



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Posted 08 February 2004 - 09:34 PM

Originally posted by BlueSoob
Blitz- did anything ever become of it.... that sounds very similar to what I am noticing.... just wondering if i should check out the bearings...

Also, the wheel bearing problems on the Forester were worked out (supposedly) in '03 by the switch to the Legacy roller bearing. Impreza switched a year earlier ('02).

My bet is something in the transaxle or rear diff producing the noise. Only time'll tell. :( :rolleyes:

#10 cookie


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Posted 09 February 2004 - 11:52 AM

Since it shrinks components stuff can howl that won't when it warms up.

#11 Turbone


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Posted 10 February 2004 - 01:51 AM

Does it have a 2 piece driveline? Maybe its the carrier bearing if it is.

#12 joybell


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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:16 AM

I have had Subarus since the mid 80's. Whenever it is extremely cold, and I don't warm up the engine before hand and just take off, the engine complains off and on with the metallic whine and howling until it warms up, on every Subaru model I've owned. They were all good winter cars and never stalled, and never had much trouble starting even in cold temps with no block heater. I suppose it could be the fuel pump. It never does any harm so I don't pay attention to it. If you don't want to hear it, just warm up your Forester for 5 minutes before taking off. I also have a 2003 Forester.

#13 Atomic Robot

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:31 AM

It's not a loose exhaust cover is it? My '93 used to make a strange noise like that whenever it was cold until I finally ripped that thing off...

#14 MAJMarcPaul


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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:20 PM

Good day. I bought a 2001 Forester LTD from RI in August. It had 48 K on it and an extended warranty good to 80K. I drove the car home to SLC, Utah and it did fine. The mileage is in the low 20's. Lately, maybe since the whether cooled here--it is getting too loud to drive in. It is a howling sound (I thought it was the tires) that sounds like it is coming from the right rear. At speed, in gear or in neutral, the sound is getting louder by the day. After reading the posts I will have the dealer check out the transaxle and bearings. Appreciate this site!!

#15 Setright


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Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:55 PM

Sounds like a wheel bearing. The rear bearings are weaker for some odd reason.

If it's the rear left bearing, the noise should get worse in left turns, and almost dissappear in right turns.

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