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2018 Outback Premium 2.5 w/ Eyesight
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have a 2014 Legacy (CVT) with about 59,000 miles on it. For the last year or so I've noticed a howling/whining sound seeming to originate from the rear of the car, only between 55 and 60 MPH. It does not change in pitch with an increase or decrease in speed, and is most noticeable during cruising or coasting. I can get it to fluctuate a little (get louder/softer) if I ease on and off the gas, but its pitch or character does not change with an increase or decrease in speed.

Seems to go away (or be less prominent at least) with harder acceleration, IE merging onto a highway. The key factor is a steady cruise of 55-60 MPH.

Have brought it to dealer's attention twice and of course they claim they can't duplicate, but I suspect they're only putting it up on a lift and running it, if that.

Had rear differential fluid changed at 55k.

Does not seem to be tire related as I've had them rotated every 5k and that hasn't made any difference.

Any ideas? I've had wheel bearings go before and it doesn't sound like that, and it's not present at any other speed beyond what I've mentioned. Next step is to request a ride-along so I can be sure the tech is hearing what I am hearing.
 

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2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5 Premium. Now has 115,000 miles.
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10 Posts
Sounds like rear wheel bearings.

If you have a floor jack and jack stands, jack up the rear of the car AFTER you have place wheel chocks both behind and in front of at least one rear wheel. If you can get all 4 wheels off the ground, even better. Remove the rear wheels and brake components. Put the car in neutral (so you will be able to spin the hub) You should now be looking at the hub/bearing assembly. Take hold of one of the wheel studs on the hub and rotate that hub, being very careful to note any noise or gritty feel as you are doing so. You won't be able to turn it fast at all, but just as quickly as you can. That assembly should produce no noise or rough feel. It should be silent and very smooth. Anything other than silent and smooth is a failure.

Replacement is really pretty easy if you have any mechanical skill, and the Factory Service Manual (available on line, I think even on this site) will walk you through it. Don't trust the factory procedure to test the bearings by grabbing the top and bottom of the tier and feeling for play. If they are that far gone, you are possibly going to be going for new axle shafts.

Good luck.
 
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