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Discussion Starter #1
Alright here's a quick question on the faint whine that started on my 02 OB with 160k miles today. I have a 2.5L with the Manual Transmission, new clutch/flywheel/throw out bearing. I'm thinking I may need to check the fluid in my transmission as I noticed a faint whine starting on my hour drive home this afternoon. The whine gets higher pitched and louder the faster I am traveling and does not change with engine revs or the clutch in/out. It is always there so I will be checking my trans fluid and diffs tomorrow.

Any other ideas or help would be very appreciated.
 

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I have an 2002 Outback 2.5 4EAT and a couple of years back I chased what I was convinced was a transmission whine for a couple of months. I changed front and rear diff fluids for Mobil 1, did several transmission drain and fills (even changed the spin on trans filter in desperation). In the end I decided to live with it.
A few months later I changed the tires to Yokohama Avids and finally complete silence, I couldn’t believe how quite the car was (and still is). I had been previously running Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires as I figured this was a cheaper alternative to the OEM tires the car originally came with. They never were quiet but I guess as they wore they just got noisier and noisier.
 

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I have an 2002 Outback 2.5 4EAT and a couple of years back I chased what I was convinced was a transmission whine for a couple of months. I changed front and rear diff fluids for Mobil 1, did several transmission drain and fills (even changed the spin on trans filter in desperation). In the end I decided to live with it.
A few months later I changed the tires to Yokohama Avids and finally complete silence, I couldn’t believe how quite the car was (and still is). I had been previously running Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires as I figured this was a cheaper alternative to the OEM tires the car originally came with. They never were quiet but I guess as they wore they just got noisier and noisier.
Tires can also make noise if the alignment is out, regardless of brand.
 

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It definitely sounds like what I just experienced: low or no gear oil in the front differential. The shop I paid to drain and refill the transmission fluid and front differential gear oil drained and replaced the transmission fluid, but only drained the gear oil from the differential, but didn't refill it. After about 300 miles of a high-pitched whine that got worse, I checked the differential gear oil level to see it was bone dry. I took my car back to the shop and they had to replace the entire transmission :(

Definitely check the gear oil level. If it's low, refill it. That may help the whine, but if it's still there, you likely have bad bearings in the differential.

- Jeremy.
 

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Tires can also make noise if the alignment is out, regardless of brand.
Agreed. However, I had the shop that fitted the tires do an alignment, they showed me the before and after data, only a minor tweak was done. I searched around and found a lot of people complaining that the G009 was a noisy tire when worn. Years ago I had an old Ford that had a bad rear diff, it sounded just like the tires on my Outback.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I checked the trans fluid and the level is good. My tires are very worn and I am planning on ordering new ones in 2 weeks so I think it may just be my tires. I did just rotate them last week.
 

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Let us know if it changes. Might also have the shop installing the tires check for wheel bearing noise while its off the ground. If they let you in the shop area, put one hand on the coil spring and spin the wheel with the other. If you feel any roughness, the bearing is drying out. If its smooth, good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I put it up on jack stands and ran it and I hear the passenger rear brake or bearing is rubbing so I'm going to pull the wheel off and check it out. I don't think the rear brake is causing the noise. The whine has a clicking sound to it at slower speeds but doesn't sound like a bad CV joint. I'm so new to Subaru's that I really don't know much about them yet.
 

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Well I put it up on jack stands and ran it and I hear the passenger rear brake or bearing is rubbing so I'm going to pull the wheel off and check it out. I don't think the rear brake is causing the noise. The whine has a clicking sound to it at slower speeds but doesn't sound like a bad CV joint. I'm so new to Subaru's that I really don't know much about them yet.
The rear bearing bolts on with 4 bolts. When you replace it, you want to brake the axle nut loose while the wheel is on the ground with the park brake set to help keep it from turning. Then, remove all the brakes, including the rotor, remove the axle nut, knock the axle loose from the hub with a punch and hammer, (never hit the threaded portion of the axle, you will compress the threads), then remove the bolts that hold the assembly onto the spindle. Depending on the amount of rust, you may want to spray all the bolts/nuts with PB Blaster a day before you disassemble everything to help dissolve the rust.

When you reassemble everything, use a small amount of loctite on the hub bolts and caliper bracket bolts. Tighten the axle nut as much as you can before installing the wheel then torque it with the wheel on the ground.

Aftermarket hub assemblies work well plus you get a better warranty than with the dealer parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I check the bearings and the brakes on that rear wheel and it is definitely the brake pads rubbing a little bit on every turn. The bearings feel fine so I will change out the pads and have the rotors turned. This should fix my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK so I changed the rear brake pads and rotors and the weird whine was still there so I changed the gear oil in the transmission and after driving about 500 miles to Seattle, WA and back the whine is gone. I guess the gear oil just needed to be changed.
 
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