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2011 2.5 CVT Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2012 Outback has about 25,700 miles on it and is a bit over 2 years old. It's run well, and I've been happy with it to this point.

Recently, I've noticed an increasingly annoying low-pitched creaking or rubbing sound coming from the rear of the car. This sound occurs on all roads (smooth and rough), at all speeds, and in either direction (forward or reverse). I've removed everything out of the back of the car and have folded the rear seats down in order to try to isolate where this noise is coming from. After removing the cargo cover, the noise actually increased.

One thing I should note is that I've felt that the rear suspension has always been a bit stiff. Not sure whether that's normal or not. By stiff, I mean that the rear wheels will bounce over a parking lot speed bump rather than absorb it like the front wheels do. (This happens even at very low speeds.) This led me to think that perhaps there's a problem with the rear suspension that's also causing the creaking noise. But when I push the rear bumper down and let it "rebound", it appears normal and there's no creak.

So, does anyone have any idea what might be causing this creaking noise? And are there any opinions about the car's rear suspension? (ie - normal/abnormal?) Would this sort of thing be covered under warranty? The noise is really annoying and I feel that a 2 year old car with only 25K miles on it shouldn't be sounding like an 8 year old jalopy. The car has never towed anything, has never been overloaded, and has never been off-roading (although I have driven it on some dirt roads). Basically it has been babied, but has still developed this creak.

Any thoughts/suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

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OB 2011 3.6R Limited with NAV
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My 2012 Outback has about 25,700 miles on it and is a bit over 2 years old. It's run well, and I've been happy with it to this point.

Recently, I've noticed an increasingly annoying low-pitched creaking or rubbing sound coming from the rear of the car. This sound occurs on all roads (smooth and rough), at all speeds, and in either direction (forward or reverse). I've removed everything out of the back of the car and have folded the rear seats down in order to try to isolate where this noise is coming from. After removing the cargo cover, the noise actually increased.

One thing I should note is that I've felt that the rear suspension has always been a bit stiff. Not sure whether that's normal or not. By stiff, I mean that the rear wheels will bounce over a parking lot speed bump rather than absorb it like the front wheels do. (This happens even at very low speeds.) This led me to think that perhaps there's a problem with the rear suspension that's also causing the creaking noise. But when I push the rear bumper down and let it "rebound", it appears normal and there's no creak.

So, does anyone have any idea what might be causing this creaking noise? And are there any opinions about the car's rear suspension? (ie - normal/abnormal?) Would this sort of thing be covered under warranty? The noise is really annoying and I feel that a 2 year old car with only 25K miles on it shouldn't be sounding like an 8 year old jalopy. The car has never towed anything, has never been overloaded, and has never been off-roading (although I have driven it on some dirt roads). Basically it has been babied, but has still developed this creak.

Any thoughts/suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.
It is difficult to compare sounds via texts on this forum.
However I had experience of the similar sound (based on your description ) for few months coming from the rear of the car. It was very annoying but Subaru could not find anuthing wrong with my OB. At some point I realized that the sound is noisier when the fuel level is low and is much less noticeable when the tank is full.
It was consistent and I convinced Subaru to replace the fuel pump...the problem has been resolved in 100%.
Interesting it did not have any impact on the mileage which was roughly the same before and after the fuel pump replacement
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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Have you check there are no offenders underneath (wrapped around the cv joints)?<O:p</O:p
What you’re seeing in the rear is wheel hop – normal. What rear psi are you riding?<O:p</O:p
 

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2011 2.5 CVT Premium
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all of the input, guys!

Is the spare tire secured tightly?
The spare is indeed secured tightly. But just to eliminate it as the source of the noise, I removed it completely, and the noise was still there.

It is difficult to compare sounds via texts on this forum.
However I had experience of the similar sound (based on your description ) for few months coming from the rear of the car. It was very annoying but Subaru could not find anuthing wrong with my OB. At some point I realized that the sound is noisier when the fuel level is low and is much less noticeable when the tank is full.
It was consistent and I convinced Subaru to replace the fuel pump...the problem has been resolved in 100%.
Interesting it did not have any impact on the mileage which was roughly the same before and after the fuel pump replacement
I agree that it's difficult to discuss sounds and noises online. In my case, the tank is over 3/4 full at this point. I'll have to carefully note if there's any difference when the fuel level is low. Hard to belive that it could be the fuel pump, but I'll keep that in mind. Glad that you got your noise issue sorted out.

Have you check there are no offenders underneath (wrapped around the cv joints)?<O:p</O:p
What you’re seeing in the rear is wheel hop – normal. What rear psi are you riding?<O:p</O:p
I'm not as "spry" as I used to be, so can't get underneath the car. However, I'm due for a State Inspection in a few days and I'll ask them to check likely places for the noise. What kind of things did you mean by "offenders"?

Thanks for easing my mind about the "wheel hop" issue. I checked the rear psi's. They were 33.5 on the right and 34.5 on the left (after driving around town locally, so these are NOT cold temps.)
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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I started this thread (http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/52039-cold-creaks.html) a little while ago thinking that the creaks may have been linked to the extreme cold, but they have persisted but only occur when going over larger bumps. Roads are mostly smooth and I have been busy so I have not done anything else with it. We still have cold weather so I will see what happens when the temps really warm up...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Could just be the rear hatch needing to have the latch adjusted
Haven't had a chance to contact the dealer yet. But today, I left the hatch open (in the "up" position) and drove up and down my driveway. With the hatch closed, the rear of the car creaked. With the hatch open, no creak.

So, it looks to me that your assessment might be spot on.

Anyone know whether a latch adjustment is covered by the 36/36 warranty? (I'm at 25.5K and 26 months....)

Thanks!
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Haven't had a chance to contact the dealer yet. But today, I left the hatch open (in the "up" position) and drove up and down my driveway. With the hatch closed, the rear of the car creaked. With the hatch open, no creak.

So, it looks to me that your assessment might be spot on.

Anyone know whether a latch adjustment is covered by the 36/36 warranty? (I'm at 25.5K and 26 months....)

Thanks!
Hatch adjustment should take about 5 minutes, and may or may not be covered, depending on the attitude of the service writer. Spraying silicone lube on the gasket might also help. But the latch adjustment should be a simple thing.
 

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2012 Outback Premium Ruby Red Pearl 2.5 CVT AWP
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Yep, I have the same creak in my '12 OB. Come to think of it I drove home the other day from Home Depot with the rear hatch open and didn't notice the creak. Sounds like a trip to the dealer maight be in order....
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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latch adjustment… is certainly covered – it’s between the bumper-to-bumper.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT Premium
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Discussion Starter #13
Just to update this thread, I brought my OB to the dealer today and they adjusted the rear latch and lubricated 2 rubber pieces on the liftgate-- and the creaking is gone.

This was covered by the 36/36 warranty. :)
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ Nav - Azurite Blue
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I found the source of my creaking to be the a line that is clipped on to a suspension piece. This line is wrapped with a material that seems to have hardened and when there is a little movement in the clip as the suspension moves, it creates a "creaking" noise that transmits into the cabin. I can hear it from outside too if I rock the back end. I put some graphite lube on both sides and it went away for a day. I need to wrap the line with something to prevent it longer.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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I found the source of my creaking to be the a line that is clipped on to a suspension piece. This line is wrapped with a material that seems to have hardened and when there is a little movement in the clip as the suspension moves, it creates a "creaking" noise that transmits into the cabin. I can hear it from outside too if I rock the back end. I put some graphite lube on both sides and it went away for a day. I need to wrap the line with something to prevent it longer.
Pictures.
 
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