Driver Seat Squeak - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Driver Seat Squeak

I am fairly certain I have already made up my mind on this, but I thought I would ask here just to get some feedback.

My driver seat squeaks, bad, anytime you accelerate or decelerate. It is very annoying to someone OCD like me who doesn't use the radio but about 25% of the time. Yes, I know I am weird, but I actually do enjoy the silence.

Anyway, on to the point. I have taken my car back to a certain unnamed dealer 3 times now, and personally I feel that is extremely excessive, for the same thing. I have worked in the dealer business, and I know that many techs are just parts changers that don't actually know how to diagnose anything. I was fortunate enough to work with guys (many moons ago) that actually were competent and knew how to diagnose things. But I am really running out of patience with this dealer. The first time they tried to throw it off on the "drop stop" that is just a cotton filled piece of leather that I have between the seat and the center console, when clearly if you bothered to drive the car you would notice the squeak is very evidently a metal squeak. I have mostly self diag'ed it to be the seatback frame and connection to the seat bottom. But the second time I took it back they said that it was the bottom and seat rails, and claimed they did know exactly what I was talked about this time. So I took it back a couple of friday's ago and they called me that night and said it was finished. It didn't even take me getting half way home before it "came back", not that it ever really left. So it makes me wonder if they even check their work when they are finished, as they have now had in my 3 times for the same issue (two, if you don't count having to go back for the parts coming in for installation.)

So should I try them a 4th (3rd?) time? or just call it and go somewhere else. They are so much closer than the other dealers, and that is really why I have been taking it to them. The manager is actually very nice, and seems like he is trying to make the shop better, but it seems like he doesn't have the support staff to help with that yet. (he just took over from an absolute horrendous manager, who I had a previous multi-trip issue with) So do I just waste my time..... again..... and see if they can fix it this time, or should I just go 30-45 min south and let another dealer look at it? There is nothing mechanically wrong with the car, it's just an irritant. But this is really starting to grate on me. I have been trying to get it fixed for about 6k miles now. (about 3 months)

Just looking for thoughts and opinions, there is no wrong answer. I would also like to know if anyone else is experiencing this.

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post #2 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 08:37 AM
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I've got the same problem but on the passenger's side. Haven't gotten around to taking it in for warranty work yet.

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post #3 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 09:07 AM
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My brother in law had me question the shallow hal part of my personality when he stayed at my home after hurricane Katrina. My brand new, leather, lazy-boy top of the line sofa was squeaking and squealing, grunting and groaning under the immense weight of my BIL. There was the sound of wood crackling, metal on metal grinding and sounds that I hadn't heard from 6 mo.'s of use. NO sofa could have withstood this amount of pressure without protest. My furniture was purchased for normal sized human beings not this 400 lbs plus over 6' tall big boned fella. It was an eye opening, real world experience big people run into.
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post #4 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 3.6R-great View Post
My brother in law had me question the shallow hal part of my personality when he stayed at my home after hurricane Katrina. My brand new, leather, lazy-boy top of the line sofa was squeaking and squealing, grunting and groaning under the immense weight of my BIL. There was the sound of wood crackling, metal on metal grinding and sounds that I hadn't heard from 6 mo.'s of use. NO sofa could have withstood this amount of pressure without protest. My furniture was purchased for normal sized human beings not this 400 lbs plus over 6' tall big boned fella. It was an eye opening, real world experience big people run into.
I'm not saying I'm skinny, by any means, but I'm only about 15-20% above weight than the average at my height. I'm 6'0ish and 235. If the seat can't support that, then Subaru should really rethink the design of their seats. I will say this though, it does it with my 140-150# fiancee too.

I will also say that I didn't start experiencing this until about 6k miles into ownership.



@Right_Mike

Thanks for confirmation of other people experiencing it too.
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post #5 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 02:28 PM
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I noticed a rattle from the front seat. Kinda sounded like change rattling in your pocket. It happened occasionally and was driving me crazy. I narrowed it down to the receiver of the seat belt. The part on the right side of the driver seat. I haven't had a chance to diagnose it further, but I feel better that I know where to start looking to figure out what is actually making the noise and how to quell it.


Is it possible that is the noise that you are hearing?


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post #6 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 02:33 PM
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I had a squeak in the seat back of my 2014 OB Limited SAP. It was very obvious. Service writer set in it one time and ordered a new seat back. That solved the problem.
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post #7 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MultiSubie View Post
I noticed a rattle from the front seat. Kinda sounded like change rattling in your pocket. It happened occasionally and was driving me crazy. I narrowed it down to the receiver of the seat belt. The part on the right side of the driver seat. I haven't had a chance to diagnose it further, but I feel better that I know where to start looking to figure out what is actually making the noise and how to quell it.


Is it possible that is the noise that you are hearing?
It is very similar to that. I don't think it is the seatbelt receiver though because it gets worse when stressed in differing directions. I say this because I can cause the squeak just from sitting there with no belt on just by applying miniscule pressure to the seat back. But I could be entirely wrong. Allegedly, they replaced the seat-rails and bottom last time I was in. But whatever they actually replaced didn't fix it.

The sound is very much like an old screen door noise, only slightly lower in pitch and shorter. I'll try and get a video tonight.
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post #8 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 05:27 PM
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My passenger seat, the squeak can be easily replicated by pushing down and toward the center console with your fist.
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post #9 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Right_Mike View Post
My passenger seat, the squeak can be easily replicated by pushing down and toward the center console with your fist.
Oh, then in that case, we might be having the same issue afterall.
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post #10 of 272 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 01:41 PM
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Yea I'm thinking it's the same thing. I noticed it doesn't really matter who's sitting in the front, if I go over bumps you can hear the squeak as long as someone is in the seat (it's the same squeak that can be replicated the way I mentioned). It basically sounds kind of like a spring going up and down, which is it most likely is.

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