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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5l
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My 1999 Subaru Outback (137K) just started to make a noticible whining noise during acceleration. The noise continues throughout acceleration and completely disappears when I get off the accelerator and coast. The transmissin as been very strange since I purchased it 5 years ago with 97K, it makes a clunking noise when hard accelerating to pass a vehicle or enter a highway.

As a side point I researched the issue and was advised to check the front differential fluid. I attempted to remove the dip stick and it won't budge. I put a screwdriver through the yellow plastic ring at the end of the stick to gain leverage and the ring cracked. Any suggestions on how to remove the stick.

As my luck would have it I am on vacation in the Green Mountains of Vermont (250 miles from home). Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping to make it home next week so I can address the issue at home.

Thanks in advance.

Bob K
 

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00 OB 07 OBXT
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5,538 Posts
Have to get a pair of adjustable pliers in there and grab the base of the dipstick. Turn it back and forth sideways until it breaks free. The Oring is probably fused to the diff hole.

So, you haven't checked the diff fluid in 5 yrs ?

How about the trans fluid ?

Ever changed it ?

At least top them both off before you head for home.

For the clunky trans, do 3 drain and fills on the fluid. Up to you whether you change the filter or not [if the 99 has an external]. You can add some trans X or trans fix on your last fill. It has helped quiet down some peoples trans and made them shift smoother.
 

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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5l
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Discussion Starter #3
1999 Subaru OutbackMaking Whining Noise During Acceleration

ETC,

All the fluids were changed when I purchased the car 5 years ago, I know long overdue. I do check the fluids regurlarly but admittedly forgot about the front differential fluid. It does have an external transmission filter which was changed then. It was suggested to add some "Lucus Transmission Conditioner" at that time to try to eliminate the clunk......no luck.

The dip stick for the front differential fluid is located in an awkard place. I will try to snap vice grip pliers on it and work back and forth this morning.
Thanks!

Bob
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Most of my whining noises in the car come from my wife and kids (rim shot).

Seriously though, some of the usual suspects are:
Power steering pump pulley or the O-rings (the O-rings are more of an H6 problem though). You'd also see bubbles (foam) in power steering fluid reservoir if it is the O-rings.
Alternator - this can be a precursor to failure, so pop the hood and try to find the location of the sound. You can take a large screwdriver and carefully place the tip against the alternator and the handle up to your ear to use it as a mechanic's stethoscope to try and isolate the source of the sound while someone revs the engine. If you think it is coming from the alternator, have it checked before heading home. Most auto parts stores like Advanced or Autozone do this for free while you wait (Why not? they may get to sell you an alternator - look over the kid's shoulder while he tests it.) Mine started to fail on the way from NY to Baltimore along the NJ Turnpike and I was almost stuck in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel! Have you seen any other odd symptoms like CEL on or lights dimming and brightening with acceleration?
Timing belt idlers - did you have the idlers replaced when the timing belt was last changed?

The transmission could be the problem, especially with your previous symptoms. But they could just be a red herring. Check the easy to check on vacation stuff first.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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the exhaust doughnut gasket between thew rear cat and the mid pipe can cause noise during hard acceleration and be quiet the rest of the time. the exhaust pressure increases during acceleration and it leaks. when the pressure is less it does not leak.
 

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the exhaust doughnut gasket between thew rear cat and the mid pipe can cause noise during hard acceleration and be quiet the rest of the time. the exhaust pressure increases during acceleration and it leaks. when the pressure is less it does not leak.
^ same deal on the front one where the Y pipe joins the exhaust just before the first cat. That was the gasket I had to replace its more a whistle than a loud gear whine.

Loud gear whine is probably front diff. I have money on it that the fluids service prior to purchasing never included the front diff which is famously ignored on AT's till they fail.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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those front diff dipsticks are horrible for removal.

lots of possibilities, exhaust heat shields are rather common and often vary by speed/acceleration when they first start off then progressively get worse. under acceleration is when the exhaust is flowing the most.

so any exhaust leak could sound like a high pitched whir, etc.
 

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1999 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5l
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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,

I was able to get the differential plug out with a little help from a pair of pliers. The whining noise in the differential lasted another 6 months (6K). until the differential broke!
 
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