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Discussion Starter #1
So I've got a 2007 Subaru Outback 2.5i (non-turbo; automatic) that's making some fairly odd noises that seem to be coming from the drivetrain. I'm thinking that for couple of reasons, one being the general area the sound seems to be coming from (center of the vehicle / right under me) and the fact that you can put it in neutral and kill the engine and the noise continues.

The first noise is one that has been happening for a while. It's a high pitched, whistle sounding noise almost something like a supercharger. It comes and goes at seemingly random intervals. I can't really place where it's coming from.

The newer noise is more of constant whining noise. Not quite metal-on-metal ... it's hard to describe. It is the one I mentioned above that definitely seems to be coming from the center / bottom of the vehicle and continues with the car in neutral and off. It seems to pick up at a very low speed and be present at all times and is definitely in time with the motion of the vehicle moving It is a very distinct noise.

I can't upload the actual recording I made nor will the forum let me post a link (without a higher post count?) to my dropbox account where I have the file uploaded. I'll try to post the link separately. If not, I will send the link in a personal message if you are interested.

Also a little background information ... I just had the car with a mechanic and had a "new to me" transmission put in it, all new wheel bearings and timing belt.

From the little bit of research I've done online, the most similar noises I've found are a center differential bearing that seems to be closest to the whistling-type noise described above. I haven't found a similar sounding noise to the other one, but I've read some stuff that makes me think it might be a driveshaft carrier bearing?

Any help on this would be much appreciated!
 

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Post the link or links to the recording in plain text, or add some characters or spaces that change it from a link to just a bunch of letters and numbers. Indicate what was changed. Readers can then copy it, restore to the correct link address and then use that as a link in the browser.

Any chance of getting the car up on a lift and turning the wheels to see if the sound can be better located? Or if it's apparent outside the car, and at low speeds, have someone listen beside the car as it's moving.

Is it in both forward and reverse directions?

If I understand correctly, the older noise is apparent when in neutral and the engine off while the car is still moving. Is it the same with the other sound?

Did either noise start only after the work was done, or were they both there before?

Noises can travel and be hard to locate especially when the car is moving. I wouldn't put too much weight on comparing recorded noises from other cars -- perhaps only as a guide as to what to look for, but not to start changing unless first confirmed.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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is your mechanic experienced with Subarus? Does he have any opinions as to the noise sources?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1 Lucky Texan

He is not familiar with Subarus, he is more of a transmission specialist. Which is why I assume he was having trouble diagnosing these other noises. He tried multiple things with no luck. I just posted a reply to plain OM with more details, but it must be "moderator approved." I suppose because of the link workaround which took me a couple of tries to get right. Hopefully that reply shows up soon ...
 

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confirm that GL-5 fluid was put in the front diff. Make sure the axles are seated in the diff.

noises on soobs can be lot's of things...heat shields buzz/ding....air/foam in power steering whines...torque bind...axles, lots of possibilities.

trying to think of stuff that is more central...

there are gadgets like Chassis Ears that can help pinpoint sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(add "www dot dropbox dot com) /s/nxk2cje34zsdmuk/Subaru%20noise.m4a?dl=0

So there is the link. Going to answer plain OM's post again since the original reply doesn't seem to be getting approval..

No access to shop / lift where I'm at currently.

Some noise in reverse, but mostly seems to pick up around 10 MPH or so and stay continuous until 60-70 at which I don't believe I hear it anymore.

The older noise is the high pitched whistling noise that is intermittent. This newer noise is one that, although I believe it used to be there, seems more apparent now. I am vague on this information because I began having tranny problems around a year ago, at which point I had a family member drive up to me and load it on a trailer to take back to my hometown where I had more connections to get it worked on. It sat around for a while before the transmission & timing belt work was done. After that the guy tinkered around with it trying to diagnose the whistling noise (including warrantying the timing belt / water pump and re-doing them again). Then it was another couple of months before I got back down there and could pick it up. Just drove it back up to where I'm at currently and that's where we are now.

1 Lucky Texan - I'm no mechanic, but do have enough experience to say fairly confidently this isn't a heat shield, certainly not a power steering whine. It is a constant noise that seems to be right under me in the middle of the vehicle. The noise doesn't travel. It almost sounds like a bad bearing would sound. It picks up as the car starts moving forward and continues and is constant. No clinking or anything else, just a constant whirring / whine noise. Hopefully the **** link will come through because I think if someone could hear it, the distinct nature of the noise itself might help diagnose.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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You can check it by jacking up the car and after it's blocked up, have someone start the car, put it in gear and let off the brake so you can be under it and listen for the whining.

That whine sounds like a bearing. Was the transmission used or did your mechanic rebuild it? Like Luchy Texan posted, is the correct fluid in the diff? I'm thinking diff bearing or center diff planetary/bearing. There are plenty of bearings within the transmission, front and center differentials. Most of the time, a whine that comes from what sounds like right under the driver is the front differential bearings. This usually occurs when the gear oil is in the car for too long and it breaks down reducing lubrication. Or, someone changes the gear oil with the incorrect viscosity.

The whistling: Check your air intake silencer box and make sure its connected to the air filter box properly. A gap between the two will make a whistling noise. It'll whistle if its got cracks in it or pin holes also. Check that the correct air filter is in the box and the lid is tight. Whistling means air is moving through a tight space so look for it where air moves.
 

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^^^^ good point on intake, the slots on the bottom end og the filter box sometimes don't get the tabs on the upper section seated or they are cracked.

I've read that the center carrier bearing can really howl as it fails?
 
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