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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, hate to be the first timer with a question but....

We just bought an automatic 06 2.5L Outback(160,000 miles) and knew buying it that there was a weird shake/shudder/vibration in the steering wheel when turning at low speeds. At home today I tried to characterize it a little better, and the best I could do was notice that it completely goes away when in park, but not when in drive or reverse. I have seen many posts by shaking in the steering wheel and the solution varied from just needing new fluid to needing a new differential. I am still unsure at this time, but I am hoping that someone might be able to help me figure out the problem based on my observation.

Let me know if you need any other info, thanks!

Oliver
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #3
I just went out and did some tests.

In a flat parking lot, stopped with foot on the brake, I turned the steering wheel full lock in both directions, let go of the brakes and the car does move pretty smoothly in both directions. The majority of the vibration is while actually turning the wheel, but not necessarily when the wheel is in one position(though still sometimes a little). Not sure if this is anything, but when the wheel was at full lock and I would let go of the brakes, the wheel would stay at full lock and not start always start to straighten. I did some figure 8s at full lock too and noticed no major shuddering/vibrating.

Also, I inserted the FWD fuse and observed no change what so ever.

Few other things:
- There's a small but noticeable vibration in the car in general in any gear except park or neutral. I think I have noticed this on most of the automatics I have ever driven(because they were all usually old and well driven). Not sure if this is of concern.
- There are some minor rough/late shifts during normal driving.

Let me know what you think! Judging from what I've read, it doesn't exactly sound like a standard case of torque bind.

My personal opinion(and hope/wish) is that the previous owner just didn't change the ATF fluid often enough and after a good fluids change these problem will diminish. However, that may be naive wishful thinking. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We got it inspected today and the mechanic said the vibration in the steering wheel might be a rack-and-pinion issue, do this sound right to you all?

I went ahead a drained the ATF fluid and replaced it and it's hard to tell, but I think some of the vibration while in Drive and stopped might have gone away.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean H6
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From my knowledge Subaru rack and pinions rarely fail though not impossible. Have the CV axles been replaced? Aftermarket CV’s can create a vibration and frequently fail rather quickly. Think it has to do with them being less robust than OEM CV’s.

Went through 3 aftermarket box store CV’s in a year on my 02 before finally choosing to spend the extra for OEM.




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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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I would take it to a Subaru specialist instead of a general mechanic. I would think a CV joint is more likely than a rack and pinion.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Went through 3 aftermarket box store CV’s in a year on my 02 before finally choosing to spend the extra for OEM.
That will always work, but it's costly. There are also quality rebuilt OEM units available at lower cost which are a far better bet than imported Chinese junk replacements.
 

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That will always work, but it's costly. There are also quality rebuilt OEM units available at lower cost which are a far better bet than imported Chinese junk replacements.


I agree, I purchased some reman’s from FWE. Was trying to make the point that OEM was best but guess I could have been clearer.


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After market axle / cv joint. They don’t fit right and will chatter and vibrate while stopped and in drive. They don’t do this when in park or Neutral.

This is a common rookie Subaru mistake. Many shops don’t reboot split cv boots they swap out the high quality axle with a cheap knock off that doesn’t fit right and you get the vibration
 
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