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Can a worn axle affect front wheel camber ? And wheel sensor ?


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2006 Outback I think it’s a limited but anyways , i just replaced the tires mostly due to the right front wearing severely on the inner side of the tire. 
 

Install guy noted the axle to me. Alignment guy was able to get it set fine with just the right rear out a touch but within tolerance. 
 

I had told the alignment guy that there might be worn bushings etc and just let me know what he saw and do his best for now. (Tire shop , so they don’t replace parts.) 
Nothing was mentioned and only the axle was written up as a potential repair. 
 

So did our wearing axle cause that inner wear on that RF tire ? 
 

40 plus years of Subarus and I don’t recall that happening. But I’m always decades behind as I’m that cheap guy extracting the last 100k from that aging Subaru. 
 

This car came from a friend who paid for what it needed in timely manner. Well kept and mechanically cared for. 

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I mention the wheel sensor because it’s got the shakes (antilock pulsing) as soon as you brake for the most part. 
 

So I’m probably just going to buy a set of them for the fronts. 
 

But should I wait until I do the axle ? Will that fresh axle make any difference with the wheel sensor? 
 

At its age and given the price I don’t really have a problem with paying for new sensors. I’m just looking to avoid anything I don’t really need to do. 

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Posted (edited)

No, but a bad bearing could.
I don't know that I would change the axle based on those recommendations. Definitely don't let them replace it with an after market part. Only genuine subaru axles. More than likely with new boots and repacked with grease it will be fine. Unless you're experiencing a lot of loud ticking noises from the axle when turning...

Edited by laegion
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No it doesn’t have the usual clicking. 
 

I do my own axles and most repairs. I’ll seek an axle from the dealer , I know all that , thanks very much though. 
 

Wife’s car , I hardly touch this one except when it needs attention. 
 

What scares me most is the steering wheel doesn’t also shake left to right a little when braking anything more than soft braking. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, moosens said:

No it doesn’t have the usual clicking. 
 

I do my own axles and most repairs. I’ll seek an axle from the dealer , I know all that , thanks very much though. 
 

Wife’s car , I hardly touch this one except when it needs attention. 
 

What scares me most is the steering wheel doesn’t also shake left to right a little when braking anything more than soft braking. 

 

 

The best way to tell is to get it up on a lift or jackstands and see if the wheel feels loose even when the lugnuts are tight. It sounds either like a wheel bearing or a ball-joint, it's possible the axle could cause the shaking; but unlikely especially if you haven't noticed it making any other noise. The axles on these cars last a long time if the boots are promptly replaced when ripped and they are re-packed when they first start making noise.

I'm sure others with more specific knowledge will also reply with some ideas. I'm certainly not the definitive expert; but the way the axles work on these, there isn't a way for a worn axle to effect camber, that has to be something in the hub or suspension.

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Ahh , but it was just in the air and supposedly being aligned by a professional. So I’d expect a report from that fellow. 

Yeah that’s why I’m asking what seems like a silly question. Nothing else is reported “out” or worn enough other than that axle. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, moosens said:

Ahh , but it was just in the air and supposedly being aligned by a professional. So I’d expect a report from that fellow. 

Yeah that’s why I’m asking what seems like a silly question. Nothing else is reported “out” or worn enough other than that axle. 

Well, an alignment professional is not necessarily an automotive diagnostic tech...generally they are just trained for what they do. It of course depends on where you're having the alignment done. Here in the PNW we have a "big-box" tire store called Les Schwab Tires...and their alignment techs, and tire people are not certified or trained on really anything other than what they do (and even that is highly questionable in my experience). They've failed to try to even up-sell me on ball joints with obviously ripped boots, and other really obvious issues I would think they would have noticed...so I'd take their advice with a grain of salt.

What was it specifically that they identified on the axle that made them recommend replacement? Based on the un-even wear on the tire? If that's all they were going on; I'd be extremely skeptical because there are many other things that would cause this such as ball-joint, wheel bearing, bent components from hitting a curb, worn bushings, worn strut, etc.

Edited by laegion
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No - warn axle won’t impact alignment. Same with wheel sensor. Not axle related. 

1. Inner Tire wear is most frequently alignment.  If it was aligned properly and you have *no other symptoms* and they checked the bushings there’s no reason to think this isn’t fixed.

2. “noted the axle” - If that’s the main thing you had to relay to us, you can likely ignore it. Sounds like non-diagnostic conjecture. A well versed Subaru person would have given specifics about noise, play, boot, grease, inner, outer.

3. 2006s had mad ABS wheel sensor issues when they first came out. It’s as if the first year integrated ABS/wheel bearing assemblies took awhile for aftermarket suppliers to figure out. Happened all the time 15 years ago and if you’re not around Subarus a lot it’s easy to not know or forget that.  

If you think you have wheel sensor issues the most likely culprit if you don’t have any ABs light/trouble codes is an aftermarket wheel bearing installed awhile ago. 

You can Read the ABS codes if there’s a memory fucntion.

Check for play, use a stethoscope while turning wheel by hand and use a temp gun to compare hub temps to the other side - all to assess possible wheel bearing failure. Though usually you can hear it.

ive seen sensors covered in rust - remove sensor, blow off rust and reinstall - works like new. I’ve also seen sensors warn down to nubs and obviously bad.

On your ABS is the ABS defititely triggering or are you just relaying “vibrating” and “shaking” from the driver (I think you indicated your wife drives this?)  

If it’s vibrating on braking the front rotors need turned.

And the caliper bushings need checked.  If you use normal old school caliper grease on those 2006 the pin bushings swell and cause braking issues. Have you ever use regular permatex caliper grease on these?
 

 

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12 hours ago, moosens said:

Wife’s car , I hardly touch this one except when it needs attention. 

What scares me most is the steering wheel doesn’t also shake left to right a little when braking anything more than soft braking. 


This is the only symptom we have reasonable cause to believe still exists (assuming alignment fixed your alignment issue). 

“doesn’t also shake”?  Did you mean it only vibrates while soft braking?

First make sure this still happens after the alignment. Severely warn tires can “wobble” and steering wheel jitters may be solved with new tires and alignment.

If symptoms still exist clarify if this is for sure ABS related.

Vibrating while braking is standard turn/replace front rotors territory for Subarus. Or for models with caliper pin bushings check those bushings. And use synthetic bushing compatible grease only. I like SilGlyde  

If it is ABS then check out comments above on wheel bearings, cleaning sensors and reading codes. 

Do you have records or know where this person got it worked on? Did it have aftermarket oil filter or aftermarket anything else?  Some shops keep records (I’ve called and asked before).  Or if it wasn’t a Subaru dealer then there’s a reasonable chance it was aftermarket.

If it’s an aftermarket bearing that makes it much more suspicious  

 

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Holy cow , I’ve got to go back and read some here but to the guy a couple posts up , No they did not diagnose a bad axle from the worn tire. 
 

Have to check the paperwork but I’m pretty sure it was a worn boot. Will verify. 

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Crap ! I had a huge write up and the board kicked me off.

Must have taken too long. 
 

I don’t have the energy or time to do all that again. 
 

Here’s the “spitting reply”

yes was diagnosed with reader as wheel sensor 

no time , will fill out details later

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13 hours ago, moosens said:

Holy cow , I’ve got to go back and read some here but to the guy a couple posts up , No they did not diagnose a bad axle from the worn tire. 
 

Have to check the paperwork but I’m pretty sure it was a worn boot. Will verify. 

Boots are definitely replaceable without replacing the entire axle. It does require removing and disassembling an axle, and it will need to be repacked with fresh grease as it's probably started leaking out; but if you catch it before serious wear has happened, then it definitely is not necessary to replace the entire axle. It's just a way for a shop to sell you a part you don't need that will keep wearing out over and over so they can keep you coming back; because the aftermarket axle they would likely put in is no where near as durable as the OEM Subaru axle.
It's like when Les Schwab tried to tell me they had to replace my entire lower control arm just to change a ball-joint, and I told them there was no way they were putting some junk, likely non-boxed control arm on my car, just to put some cheap junk ball-joint in. Then I went and changed my ball joint at home in about an hour. lol

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Well I can appreciate all that but ya know I’m kind of old and been around the block , but thank you. 
 

I realize I asked a noob question. Please keep in mind I’m not a new guy at all. Just presented with a new issue or what I thought was one. 
 

For sure I’ll get the best axle , install it myself like I have for decades , and take care of whatever I can. Right now I’m pressed for time and have various health issues , etc etc etc 

Thanks 

 

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18 hours ago, moosens said:

Holy cow , I’ve got to go back and read some here but 

Sorry it was long. The short answer to your questions are: “no, the axle can’t impact camber or wheel bearings”.

ABS: Focus on specific symptoms - what is it doing? Post any codes and describe symptoms.

Aftermarket wheel bearings were good at setting ABS codes. The wheel sensors can be cleaned off. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, moosens said:

Well I can appreciate all that but ya know I’m kind of old and been around the block , but thank you. 
 

I realize I asked a noob question. Please keep in mind I’m not a new guy at all. Just presented with a new issue or what I thought was one. 
 

For sure I’ll get the best axle , install it myself like I have for decades , and take care of whatever I can. Right now I’m pressed for time and have various health issues , etc etc etc 

Thanks 

 

Sorry, I'm not trying to talk down to your anything; just relating my own experience with these kinds of "diagnoses" at tires stores.
If it's something you already know then feel free to ignore me, I suppose.


I guess I don't see the point in not just putting on a new boot if you have to take the thing out anyway...an extra 30 min to repack with grease and put on a new boot will save a whole lot of money.

Edited by laegion
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Agreed , but some of us don’t have all that much time nor a space to work properly. No sweat and I really do appreciate all replies. 
 

Ido - didn’t mention a bearing so don’t jinx me. LOL 

And thanks again for the “rust off” info. That’s right up my alley. LOL 

 

Ok guys n gals I’ve got to cut out. You may see me chime in tonight at work but otherwise my roadtrip to AZ via CO begins in the morning. 
 

The wife will have this car and our 03 sedan to drive. Really isn’t terrible at all. I’m just spooked because I’m a dinosaur and not used to the ABS during “stutter phase” with that sensor taking a break from its duty. 
 

Looked at the YouTube video , looked the car over , and I’ll be tackling those lil buggers upon return from the dry zones. 
 

Cactus watch out !! 

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