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car is vibrating while accelerating ??? not tires


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52 replies to this topic

#1 jheat71

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:16 PM

Ok so my girl has a 2000 2.5l outback 239,000 + miles , about a week ago the car started to vibrate while accelerating . The harder you push on the accelerator the worse the vibrations( although when u let off the accelerator the vibrations go away ) , feels almost as if a tire is split but had them checked out, balance is ok to . A local mechanic thinks it maybe the transfer case or torque converter any suggestions on how to diagnose this problem ? ... there are no subrau dealers close

#2 bratman18

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:29 PM

Could be a cv axle on it's way out. Check to see if either inner boots are torn.

#3 jheat71

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:32 PM

thanks but had those checked as well hardly any play and no tears .... what do u think about the torque converter being the problem ???? could this cause the problem ?

#4 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

exhaust maybe? i know my brat always vibrates from its custom exhaust:headbang:

#5 davebugs

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

I'd rotate not just "check" the tires.

And when Ive had this issue it's always been a front axle - usually the drivers side actually. BUt it only happened to me on 2 95-99 Subaru's.

#6 jheat71

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:57 PM

ok i have had the tire rotated balanced and checked for splits all that is ok. The mechanic did say that there was a little warp on the driver side front axle but he said that should not cause this bad of a vibration ....... now that being said i just remembered back in may we pulled a code from the car ( check engine light came on ) and it was for a torque converter locking up could all this be related ?????

#7 edrach

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:35 PM

Typical symptom for a bad DOJ (inner joint on the axle) is vibration during acceleration which instantly goes away when you let off on the gas. Sometimes the vibration is just barely noticeable and others I've seen it so bad that it feels like the transmission is about to fall out! How many miles on the car and did you recently install a replacement axle?

Re-read your original post. 239K on the car! If that's the original axle, that's the problem. My experience has always been with the manual transmission so I don't know if the torque convertor might be an issue. I also have always had this issue on the drivers side; probably since that's right above the catalytic convertor so the boot fails there more often than the passenger side.

Edited by edrach, 07 July 2012 - 03:40 PM.


#8 edrach

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:36 PM

ok i have had the tire rotated balanced and checked for splits all that is ok. The mechanic did say that there was a little warp on the driver side front axle but he said that should not cause this bad of a vibration ....... now that being said i just remembered back in may we pulled a code from the car ( check engine light came on ) and it was for a torque converter locking up could all this be related ?????

What did he mean by a "little warp" on the front axle? If it's related to the DOJ then the axle is your issue.

#9 edrach

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:42 PM

Could be a cv axle on it's way out. Check to see if either inner boots are torn.

CVJ is the outer joint; inner joint is DOJ.

#10 jheat71

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

thanks Ed i will take it to my mechanic on monday hopefully it is the DOJ otherwise i am told it may cost a couple of grand to fix ... will let you know the out come


CHEERS all for the help ....... will keep you posted

#11 bratman18

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:18 PM

CVJ is the outer joint; inner joint is DOJ.


I know this, I just said the axle in general, and then specified the inner.

I agree if it's the original axle, it's probably the cause. They can look just fine, and "feel" just fine when you grab and try to move it by hand, but can cause vibration when driving. Just because it looks ok, doesn't mean it is.

#12 Ricearu

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:14 PM

same thing on my older GL. Inner DOJ on the axle. a little warped axle could be that one of the parts of he DOJ have failed and left it offset and will transmit directly to the hub a hellacious vibration under throttle.

Never seen a BAD subaru torque converter, much less one that causes vibration. Sounds like you need to find a more subaru specific mechanic.

#13 smiffy6four

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

Another vote for the drive shaft.

#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:56 PM

Nothing to do with the torque converter.
That would vibrate with engine speed, not wheel speed, and would not change when taking your foot off the gas.
This is drivetrain related. Bad U joint, bad inner CV axle, bad carrier bearing or carrier bushing.

#15 smiffy6four

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:00 AM

Have you tried adding the AWD fuse? That puts the car into FWD and stops sending power through the rear driveshaft. IF the vibration is still there with the fuse in, then you know to check the front. Sometimes, it's useful to swap the front cv shafts, side to side. If the problem moves to the opposite side, then you have your answer. If it doesn't make any difference, then you may gain more life from the cv's anyway, as they are now driving on the less worn faces of the cv joints.

#16 jheat71

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:38 PM

no i have not tried the AWD fuse ........... should i remove it ? not sure about all this ............ what i do know is that the vibrations are at there worse when i gun the accelerator and a lot less when i slowly accelerate ( but can still feel it ) and the vibrations is coming from the front end ............. very baffling, i have been told by the mechanic maybe drive train , torque converter , transmission , axel , or transfer case ............. not wanting to replace all of this if i don't have to .................... ok everyone what should i check 1st second and so on ......

again i appreciate all the help

#17 bratman18

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

It's almost definitely a front axle

#18 john40iowa

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:38 PM

I am with you bratman18. My Forester did the same thing at 175K. New axles by shops recommendation, and poof the problem was gone.

#19 Caboobaroo

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 11:57 PM

Only use OEM axles or you will probably be fighting the same vibration. With cheap remanufactured axles and new aftermarket axles, the tolerances within the inner joint can vary from being too tight to too loose. Both of which can cause vibrations while accelerating and decelerating.

I've replaced quite a few aftermarket axles with rebooted OEM used axles and had good results too as long as they weren't making noise. That is also a cheaper option. Boot kits are fairly inexpensive and not too terrible to do. Just be ready for a greasy mess:brow:

#20 jheat71

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

not the axle or drivetrain ................ i'm lost have had everything i could think of almost ready to call car talk any other suggestion?

#21 CNY_Dave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:44 PM

Tie rod end? Ball joint? Transmission bushing?

Is it a vibration, or a knocking?

Were the wheel bearings checked?

When you speed up does it speed up with the speed of the wheels or about 4 times as fast?


The axle could be shot and seem tight when the car is up on the lift.
Make sure it gets checked with the weight on the wheels.

#22 jheat71

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:31 PM

i have had the tie rods , axle , drive train , tires changed and balanced , the vibration is more pronounced when the car is going up hill and yes when u speed up the vibration increases but again when u go up hill it feels as if the car is going to shake apart ............. like something is out of balance bad

#23 john40iowa

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:12 AM

My Forester did the same thing at 165K. The front CV axles had no cracks in the boots but my shop discovered there was "Shake" from them. New (oem rebuilds) and poof, nice and smooth performance again. Best money I ever spent on the car.

#24 ivans imports

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:21 AM

stop driveing and check the front ujoint in the driveshaft had one break and smash the whole tailshaft of trans and had one two days later same thing and one a week before same all the front ujoint makes it vibrate like crazy will feel like its in the floor under you bum or in back end of car ushaly has a ping when put in gear or transitioing from drive to reverse check all ujoints

#25 edrach

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:58 AM

not the axle or drivetrain ................ i'm lost have had everything i could think of almost ready to call car talk any other suggestion?

Just asking, how do you know it's not the axle or drivetrain?




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