wheels bind on tight turns - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 09-05-2009, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default wheels bind on tight turns

Hi. I tried to do a search but couldn't get the wording right. I do hate my computer.
Anyway, my 96 is acting up. whenever I do a tight turn, say to park, she feels like she's not happy, and it tightens up and slows down.
Is this a drive shaft issue?
Appreciate any feedback!
Thanks!
dave
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The term you are looking for is torque bind.

Something in the AWD system is not happy and functioning correctly, most likely.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If it's an automatic, have the transmission fluid flushed, it should make a big difference.

This problem is more rare with the manual transmission, but it could be a sign of leng-term damage from mis-matched tire sizes.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Manual tranny. I only noticed it after I had the tire shop install snows last winter. They had the car jacked up entirely. Wonder if torquing down the wheels ruined something?
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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[I had bigger tyres fitted to my 01 model 215/70 16 to give a bit more ground clearance. The front tyres rub on the inner guards on tight turns and the rear ones touch the wheel arch on big bumps. Not a problem, just noisy.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I recently fixed the torque bind issue in my 98 Outback with manual tranny. One thing I found similar between my car and others I read about is that you won't have the problem when the car is cold. Instead drive a few miles to get everything warmed up, then go to a parking lot and do some circles and figure-eights. You will find that the wheels bind up and you probably can't even complete a turn.

You mentioned new tires and the problem started with those. Ensure all four are identical sizes and the same air pressure. Have someone stand outside the car and have them look for the wheels rubbing while turning slow tight corners. Maybe even mark them with some chalk to see if it rubs off on the inside edge where they can't see.

If you do truly have torque bind, it is an expensive thing to fix. The replacement viscous coupler for me was $550 from the dealer. I bought it online for $450. I had a very hard time finding one from a salvage yard, so I went with a new part. Labor from dealer was $500+. It is a job you can do yourself if you have a good set of tools, but probably too intimidating for most guys. I had my brother help do most of the work, he is far more brave than me.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks cheetah,,I'll hope and pray that it's just tires, else might be the beginning of the end for that wagon!
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had the same problem on my 02 OBS.It turns out the previous owner did not rotate the tires properly or at all by the difference in tread wear.I rotated the tires and now the car seems to roll much more free than before and no more torque bind.I was worried that I would need a new clutch pack but I got lucky.Maybe if you try this now and it works you can avoid any real damage by continuing to drive it like that.I hope the fix will be this easy for you as well.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mario A.
the new snows will be going on soon. Curious that it did happen when the old tires were put back on in the spring.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm returning to this thread instead of starting a new one. Seems to me that the "torque bind/Lock" might not be the culprit? I dunno. The car drives straight all day (drove 5000 kms to florida, no problems till parking lots) there is no "hopping" will getting fluids replaced help? the car is rusting out a bit (96),, and I'm up to 330 000 kms, but it runs like a top otherwise? HELP!
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