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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread is posted in both (General-->Problem & Maintenance) and in (Models Gen 3)

We bought a used 2007 Legacy Outback 2.5I Wagon in Oct. 2010 with 48,600 miles on it from a nearby dealer in Connecticut. It now has 76,000 on it as of 4/2/13. We did buy the extended warranty giving us 48 month or 100k miles additional coverage at the dealership.

After driving it consistently for 6 months or so I noticed a bit of a hum coming from the rear end of the car. I also noticed that when the car got up to 35-45 mph you could feel a slight shudder in the car and feel a change in the way the car propelled itself (I think this might be the car shifting to mostly front wheel drive from all wheel drive, but I'm guessing) I looked under the both the front &rear end, no obvious signs of weird tire wear, missing bolts, or leaks from front to rear trans-axle. Had to take the car in for a possible rusting control arm recall notice (or something like that) last summer and when I did that told the service manager about the hum from the rear end and the shudder. He suggested to either drain the transmission and put in fresh fluid or do an entire system flush, which was waaaaaay to much money at the time and could not afford it on top of the 60K miles service it also needed. Did do the transmission flush. This seemed to lessen the hum a little bit, for a while.

I hadn't driving the car (it's my girlfriend’s car) for quite some time but did recently. The hum has grown into what a Turbo Prop aircraft engine sounds like when sitting on the runway waiting to take off. This is definitely a drive- train issue, as the sound does not happen when parked and rev the motor up to 2000-4000 rpm. It only happens when in motion.

It is a slight sound when first get moving, but when it gets up to 30-40 mph it sounds like the airplane is revving up the prop to take off from the runway. Not kidding or exaggerating at all here. It is way loud.

Does anyone have a clue what might be going on here or has anyone experience the same thing with a 2007 Outback??

I plan on taking it in to the dealer as we do have the warranty, but when I mentioned this to the service guy at the dealer ( just over a year ago when did control arm recall) he said the service tech did not notice any hum after he took it out for a drive after checking the control arm and doing the 60K mile tune up. This hum existed prior to the control arm inspection and they did not have to replace the control arm, but the hum was a slight noise then. Now, a year later, the hum is…well, it’s a Turbo Prop aircraft getting ready to take off. I’d like to walk into the dealership with some real, actionable information, especially if this has happened to other 2007’s.

Any guidance here is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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276 Posts
Rear wheel bearings. A known "shortcoming" with this generation. Dealer should be very aware of the problem as there is a Technical Service Bulletin on it.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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There is also an extended warranty on the rear bearings to 10 years, 100k.
 

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2001 Outback EJ25-5MT - 406,000km, 2016 Outback Limited Tech-FB25-CVT6 - 9,000km
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A rear wheel bearing failure can really shake the car a lot. My original rear wheel bearing started to whine at about 250,000 km on it. I swapped it and the replacment failed shortly thereafter. I was decelerating coming off the highway and all of sudden the car started shuddering. I could swear that the drive shaft U joint had failed and that it was the 50lb+ drive shaft wobbling around shaking the car so much. Nope, just the bearing.

My mistake was reusing the hub/flange, the bearing is a hub unit and the part that I reused is the part pressed into it which has the flange and wheel studs to which the wheel attaches. The ideal part is a complete OES assembly which has a new hub/flange already pressed into the hub bearing unit. With this part is a fairly easy DIY job, depending how cooperative all the bolts are and the brake rotor/drum's willingness to come off.

The drone from that wheel bearing was so bad we could not even tell which side of the car it was coming from. We had to run it on a lift and listen to the hub with a stethocope.

Its quite widely known that the 2005+ Subaru's eat rear wheel bearings a lot more that the earlier models. On the upside the replacement bearings for these models are 1/2 to 1/3rd the cost of the older 00-04 models.

If its not a wheel bearing then the propeller/drive shaft is the next culprit.
 

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07 Outback
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I have an 07 Outback also and it makes the same noise. My brother described it the same way when I took him for a ride one day. he said it sounds like we are in an airplane sitting over the wing. Anyway....

My car was making the noise the same as yours and it was more noticeable when turning left indicating that the problem was on the passenger side of the car. I thought it was the rear wheel bearing so I replaced that one first. I used a Timken bearing even though it was more expensive than the others offered. Still makes the noise and it still get louder when turning left. So yesterday I replaced the passenger side front wheel bearing. Yep, still makes the noise. When I first bought the car the passenger side inner cv boot was torn so that front axle was replaced. I wonder if its a rear cv joint? The fluids were all at the proper level when I bought the car and it had a good service record so I dont think its the front or rear diff but you never know. Im at a loss. Strange thing is that both bearings I replaced were really bad. The rear had a lot of play in it and the front broke apart as I was pulling it off the knuckle. I was convinced the problem would be solved after seeing the condition of those parts. Maybe driveshaft u-joints? Im bringing it to a mechanic early next week. Hopefully we can get it on the lift and run it in gear and find the location the noise is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Taking 2007 Outback "airplane" to the "hanger" this week.

Thank you, everyone, for your insights.

I would assume that since, theoretically, both rear bearings would wear evenly if under normal conditions, it would make sense for me to insist that they replace both bearings, not just one side if just one side seems to be bad (making the noise)? Having a new bearing and one with 80,000 miles on it seems to be asking for trouble.

Also, is this exclusively a rear bearing issue? Would it make sense to do all 4 bearings, that way everything is rolling as evenly as possible?
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Rears are weaker than fronts. Had noisy rear bearings in my '98 the whole time I owned it. I wouldnt worry about the fronts without additional symptoms.

Right rear went bad in my '06 shortly after I bought it (had 100k) and now the left rear is starting to noise up at 130k... So I got almost 2 years between one and the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks ScobbyRu for the FYI on Technical Service Bulletin.

Do you have a free internet source I can find the TSB for my cars?

Also have a stick shift 5 speed 2003 Forester with 138,000. She leaks a little oil (which I guess is normal, I keep an eye on it and add as needed). Has anyone here ever used the suggested oil supplement that is supposed to help in Head Gasket leaks? Wondering if it's about time I should consider this. Car runs great otherwise.
 

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Just wanted to update in case the original posters issue was not resolved.

I brought by car into my mechanic. He took it for a ride and noticed the noise right away. Once up on the lift he was able to isolate it to the drivers side rear bearing. I ordered the part and while I was at it ordered a front bearing too since that would be the only old one on the car. Early next week Im having him install both instead of doing it myself this time. Hopefully this solves my issue. I hope this issue was solved for the OP too.
 

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07 Outback
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I just had my drivers side wheel bearings changed out for new ones today. I can not believe the difference. After driving away from the mechanic I didn't even listen to the radio for the first ten miles of my commute home from work. All I listened to was the road noise from the tires. Something I have not heard in months. The drivers side rear bearing was completely roasted. Hope this helps others get rid of the turbo prop sound effects too.
 
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