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Vibration increasing during cornering and with higher speeds?

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My 96 Outback wagon has developed a vibration which sounds like a muted whirling sound. It starts at about 30 and increases in volume along with the speed. It is more pronounced during cornering. I have learned from this forum that tires need to be the same height and mine are not. The rear tires are newer than the front and so there is quite a bit of tread difference.

Could that be the cause? I have an automatic transmission, if that helps. If anyone knows what this is, I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!

~J

p.s. I really love this car. My mom bought one and so did my girlfriend. We're almost cultists...

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Maybe your suffering from torque bind. It is usually caused from what u did. All 4 tires should be changed at the same time. SO when u go slow does the vibration make it more difficult to steer?

 

Oh and welcome to the forum.

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My 96 Outback wagon has developed a vibration which sounds like a muted whirling sound. It starts at about 30 and increases in volume along with the speed. It is more pronounced during cornering. I have learned from this forum that tires need to be the same height and mine are not. The rear tires are newer than the front and so there is quite a bit of tread difference.

Could that be the cause? I have an automatic transmission, if that helps. If anyone knows what this is, I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!

~J

p.s. I really love this car. My mom bought one and so did my girlfriend. We're almost cultists...

 

Put the FWD fuse in under the hood and see if the sounds and vibration goes away. If it does.....

Immediatly either replaced the worn tires, or place them both on the same side of the car untill you do. This difference in tire size will quickly destroy the AWD.

If it doesnt let us know.

 

nipper

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this vehicle is AWD? if so then you need to get some matching tires on there soon. even if that isn't the cause of your noise it will likely be the cause of something shortly if your tires aren't matched.

 

tires can cause noises, i'd check them out carefully. might need a shop to see if any wheels are bent or balance is off, tires are warped....etc.

 

does it at 30 but not under? in that case i'd guess driveshaft ujoint but that's rare on a vehicle that new. how many miles?

 

any recent repairs, accidents, important history?

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Well, if you don't feel jerky motion in tight, slow turns/figure eights on pavement, I vote for something more like a torn CV boot or wheel bearing or something.

 

However, you do need to confirm the tires are close (most say 1/4") to the same cirumference. It MAY be possible to reduce the likely hood of torque bind by running them (the larger tires ) with slightly less air pressure too.

 

Carl

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Put the FWD fuse in under the hood and see if the sounds and vibration goes away. If it does.....

 

If it doesnt let us know.

 

nipper

 

Just curious...what is the FWD fuse for? I haven't tried it yet.

~J

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Just curious...what is the FWD fuse for? I haven't tried it yet.

~J

 

you need to know where this is. If you ever put the spare on the car you need to put the FWD fuse in the holder. It disables the AWD by holding the duty c solenoid fully open.

 

nipper

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Ok, I put a fuse in the slot and the noise was markedly quieter. I assume this in not good?:-\ I am getting tires in a week, would it be a good idea to leave the fuse in till then?

~J

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Ok, I put a fuse in the slot and the noise was markedly quieter. I assume this in not good?:-\ I am getting tires in a week, would it be a good idea to leave the fuse in till then?

~J

It's not good that the noise/vibration was there before; it's better that by putting in the fuse (going to Front Wheel Drive) the problem is less pronounced. Definitely leave the fuse in place until you get matching tires, and consider driving the car as little as possible until then.

 

How many miles have you put on since the tire size mismatch? If anything substantial, there may already be significant damage. Once you have matched tires and remove the FWD fuse, you'll be able to get a better idea. Sometimes a transmission fluid change (full flush) will help if things didn't get too bad.

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Ok, I put a fuse in the slot and the noise was markedly quieter. I assume this in not good?:-\ I am getting tires in a week, would it be a good idea to leave the fuse in till then?

~J

 

In a way this is good thing. It means electrically your awd unit is working. Get the tranny flushed, leave the fuse in untill the new tires are on the car. Get it flushed after the new tires are on and cross your fingers....

 

 

nipper

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It's not good that the noise/vibration was there before; it's better that by putting in the fuse (going to Front Wheel Drive) the problem is less pronounced. Definitely leave the fuse in place until you get matching tires, and consider driving the car as little as possible until then.

 

How many miles have you put on since the tire size mismatch? If anything substantial, there may already be significant damage. Once you have matched tires and remove the FWD fuse, you'll be able to get a better idea. Sometimes a transmission fluid change (full flush) will help if things didn't get too bad.

 

Might be better for u not to drive the car at all, because you will kill your solenoid sooner, or is that overrated? And like nipper said definitly get a tranny flush.

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Might be better for u not to drive the car at all, because you will kill your solenoid sooner, or is that overrated? And like nipper said definitly get a tranny flush.

 

solenoids seem to last for a long time that way, so a few weeks wont kill it, unless its already tired.

 

nipper

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might wanna change the rear diff fluid also. Its way easy to do and only cost $10 for a bottle of mobil 1

 

and why not the front too?

 

i did all mine when i had it flushed.

 

nipper

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Ok, bought new Toyos and flushed the tranny fluid. The noise starts at about 25 and is less noticable at around 45, but gets louder in corners. A friend suggested that if I am driving, hearing the noise and I shift into neutral, the noise should stop. It doesn't, which lead him to think it was something behind the tranny. A wheel bearing or something. I notice that it is louder when turning left than when turning right. I don't have the cash to have the tranny looked at by a mechanic and I am not much of one.

My friend (who has an 05 STI Imprezza:headbang: ) says that a tranny swap is easy and he also thinks I can get into a tranny for less than a grand.

 

I am going to read up on torque bind symptoms a littel more, but I am interested in what you guys think.

Thanks!

~J

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Ok, bought new Toyos and flushed the tranny fluid. The noise starts at about 25 and is less noticable at around 45, but gets louder in corners. A friend suggested that if I am driving, hearing the noise and I shift into neutral, the noise should stop. It doesn't, which lead him to think it was something behind the tranny. A wheel bearing or something. I notice that it is louder when turning left than when turning right.[...]

 

I am going to read up on torque bind symptoms a littel more, but I am interested in what you guys think.

As 1 Lucky Texan suggested earlier in this thread, torque bind tends to be more noticable in low-speed tight turns. It also doesn't tend to greatly favor turns in one direction over the other.

 

Previously you found that inserting the FWD fuse made a significant change in the noise level -- is that still the case?

 

Does applying the brakes (keeping the road speed in the range that the noise exists) affect the noise?

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Yes, I noticed that when I brake, it really quiets down.

~J

The reason I asked about that is because just like turns cause car body sway and change bearing load, braking also affects play in the same area. It's seeming more likely that there's a wheel bearing problem.

 

To help further isolate the area, does just applying the emergency/parking brake make a difference under the same conditions?

 

By the way, you didn't answer my question concerning whether the FWD fuse in/out still matters.

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The reason I asked about that is because just like turns cause car body sway and change bearing load, braking also affects play in the same area. It's seeming more likely that there's a wheel bearing problem.

 

To help further isolate the area, does just applying the emergency/parking brake make a difference under the same conditions?

 

By the way, you didn't answer my question concerning whether the FWD fuse in/out still matters.

 

 

I have noticed that when I took the fuse out, the noise didn't diminish. Maybe it was my hope that the noise was less, but I think it really did get quieter when I put the fuse it. When I took it out, it stayed at the same level as when the fuse was in. What is a good wayo to check the bearings? Shake the wheel?

~J

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Jack the wheel off the ground to where it hangs freely and turn each wheel a few full rotations, if theres resisitance or anything at certain points its a problem with the bearing.

 

My camry had bearing go bad however it was because I overloaded it hauling logs and went over a bump too bad. (was only roughly 100$ to get it back in working order though)

 

I had the same symptons, at first I thought it was a giant rock stuck in the tread because it only happened if I turned right hard (putting extra force on the rear left bearing) it wasnt noticeable during normal driving.

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I have noticed that when I took the fuse out, the noise didn't diminish. Maybe it was my hope that the noise was less, but I think it really did get quieter when I put the fuse it. When I took it out, it stayed at the same level as when the fuse was in. What is a good wayo to check the bearings? Shake the wheel?

~J

It may well have gotten quieter when you put the fuse in, because that was before you matched the tires.

 

You didn't answer one of my previous questions. To help narrow the problem area, could you try applying the emergency/parking brake in a manner similar to when you used the regular brakes, and see if that has an effect on the noise?

 

New questions: When the noise/vibration occurs, do you feel it in the steering wheel? seat of your pants?

 

Jacking the car up and shaking the wheel might give you a clue, if something is sufficiently loose. However, rotating wheels often is more revealing. There will be things moving other than the wheel and bearings, so comparing sides of the car (left with right, front and then back) may make it easier to tell if something feels or sounds "wrong" (rough, etc.).

 

Some mechanics will lift the car completely off the ground (all four wheels), start the engine, put it in gear, and listen at each wheel. Obviously, that approach has to be done with extreme caution.

 

Unfortunately, lifting the car (with either engine off or running in gear) removes the bearing load and causes the problem to not be very evident with certain types of failure.

 

Please do respond to the questions.

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