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I have a 2001 Outback that is new to me, it has a pretty significant vibration that seems to peak at about 65 mph. I immediately think of tires out of balance, are there other things that can typically cause this? This car has aftermarket CV Axles, can those cause this kind of vibration?

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yes, aftermarket axles can, and do, cause problems.

But start with the tires - rotate first to see if anything changes.

if not, take it in and have tire balance checked.

if that checks out ok, swap the axles left to right.. see if that changes anything.

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move tires in pairs front to back and see if there's a change. (all tires must be identical; same brand/model/size and near each other in wear)

there is definitely a LONG list of things that can cause vibration. In a 18 year old car, every bushing is suspect. u-joints can be frozen, inner tie rods bad, brake calipers frozen, struts blown.....

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The 2001 Outback that I had suffered from warped rotors more than once. 2000 Outbacks were worse as the disk were even smaller than 2001.
If the steering wheel shakes/wobbles and/or the vibration gets worse when you slowly apply the brakes that could be you problem.

If it is the front disks, turning them only serves as a temporary fix, it comes back quickly.
I ended up putting higher carbon disks in the front and semi metallic pads all around to solve the problem I was having. 

With most wheel/tire issues the front vibration is felt more in the steering wheel, if it's the seat of your pants it could be in the rear.

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If the vibration is constant and predictable, it's a tire, wheel, wheel bearing or axle.

My favorite source of intermittant vibration is when a caliper drags just enough to heat up the wheel bearing and expands it to the point that it loosens just enough to vibrate. I have to exit the expressway and drive around slowly for a couple minutes until it cools off. 

Of course now 1 year after I replaced the caliper, with no occurrences since, it's starting to do it again... I think. 

Then again the left side VVT pressure sensor started leaking oil and threw P0028 codes. That seemed to cause some rough running a couple times.

 

 

Edited by uniberp1

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Thanks for all the replies, I haven't had a chance to work on it yet, but I drove it some more. The vibration is a bit inconsistent, it sometimes peaks around 55 mph, sometimes around 65 mph. I do feel it in the steering wheel. It goes away below 50 mph.  I don't feel anything in the brake pedal at low or high speeds.

To give you a bit more info this vehicle sat for a while, probably a few months at least. I do have some other rattles and sounds and feel some small clunks I haven't identified yet they could be related.

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if it wasn't doing it before it was parked, I'd suspect a frozen caliper, maybe a failing u-joint, possibly tires if they are getting old. (they are all 4 identical right?)

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Agree with Texan... if it was not doing this before being parked for a while - first thing to check are the calipers - slide pins specifically. The caliper should move freely & smoothly on those pins.

failing u-joint could also be a source of vibration. the other half just changed out the driveshaft on his 2006 due to a failing joint.. his was so bad he had a squeaking noise in reverse, but also had a vibration at certain speeds (would have to ask what speeds). both went away after the new shaft was installed.

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I bought the car in non driving condition, so I don't know how it was doing before.

I decided to put on my winter tires as a test, it made a dramatic improvement so I will be getting the tires balanced. Thanks for all the input.

 

 

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Thanks for the input, I agree the tires are suspect. They look pretty new but still, who know what might be going on. There may still be other issues as well, I am going to check out the brake calipers and be watching and listening for issues with wheel bearings and CV axles.

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