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2011 Outback 6-speed MT 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
I am a newbie and not a mechanic. I have a 2011 OB 2.5 6 speed MT which I bought just under a year ago with 123,000 miles. For the last 6 months or so, I notice a 'grumbling' on tight turns after the car has heated up. It might not even happen every time, but often enough, and especially if I have been doing a lot of highway driving.

From what I have read, I think it is the Viscous coupler. I have not rotated my tires or checked or changed the rear or center differential oil. Will doing that fix my problem, or am I in for a viscous coupler replacement?

Will it cause further damage to the car if I wait on this expensive repair? I have read on various forums that it can cost $1200 - 1800.
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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Before we jump to the viscous coupler, does the noise get loader when you turn one way and disappear when turning the other, could be wheel bearing.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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Does the grumbling come with shuddering, popping, or a binding-sensation (like it doesn't want to go forward without good force)?

If so, I'd say it a decent chance it's a center diff issue. If not, I'd suspect wheel bearing(s) or even a brake backing plate issue.
 

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Also . . .

I am a newbie and not a mechanic. I have a 2011 OB 2.5 6 speed MT which I bought just under a year ago with 123,000 miles. For the last 6 months or so, I notice a 'grumbling' on tight turns after the car has heated up. It might not even happen every time, but often enough, and especially if I have been doing a lot of highway driving.
That seems to be typical of a failing center differential viscous coupler. Lately there's been a number of reports of Gen 4's with faulty viscous couplers in the MT center differential. Here's one recent example: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forum...-6spd-manual-torque-bind-opinions-needed.html

From what I have read, I think it is the Viscous coupler. I have not rotated my tires or checked or changed the rear or center differential oil. Will doing that fix my problem, or am I in for a viscous coupler replacement?
If it is a faulty viscous coupler, rotating the tires will not fix the problem. All four tires should be the same brand, model, size and remaining tread depth. If all four tires aren't the same, then it's possible that could be causing the viscous coupler to react when it shouldn't. In this case, replacing the tires with four that are the same might help if the coupler hasn't already been permanently affected.

Same for changing the gear oil -- it's not likely to have an effect unless the oil in the transmission is so old and/or in such bad shape that it's causing the transmission to overheat.

Will it cause further damage to the car if I wait on this expensive repair? . . .
If the coupler is binding when warm, that will put a strain on the whole drive train. It could damage other components.

This thread is for an older model, but, like yours, had symptoms only when warmed up. (https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/307762-viscous-coupler-test.html) Post #5 has a test that others have since found helpful.
 

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2011 Outback 6-speed MT 2.5
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Discussion Starter #5
How can I find a reasonable place to make this repair? The dealership is quoting $1622 and 8 hours of work when I see on the previous thread that it took someone 3 - 4 hours. The part costs $378 according to another mechanic who also quoted 6 - 8 hours to do it.

anyone know someone who could help in Southwest Washington or Portland area?
 

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2008 Subaru Tribeca
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How can I find a reasonable place to make this repair? The dealership is quoting $1622 and 8 hours of work when I see on the previous thread that it took someone 3 - 4 hours. The part costs $378 according to another mechanic who also quoted 6 - 8 hours to do it.

anyone know someone who could help in Southwest Washington or Portland area?
4 hours is fair, 6-8 is ridiculous.
 
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