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2011 Outback 2.0D SE 6 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
2011 Outback Diesel SE NAV UK spec. 190k miles

Hi folks :smile2: ....Outback Newbie here!

I've owned the car since January and have been sorting out various annoying rattling noises ever since. Hood liner, Air box catch can, bumpers and liners. The final and most annoying rattle I have now narrowed down to the front brake calipers. I 'know' it's the calipers as the rattle is not there when braking, only when going over small bumps that vibrate through the suspension.

I've replaced the caliper guide pins and seals (and of course checked the caliper carrier bolts are good and tight) but it's still not solved the problem.

Anyone else had this issue and sorted it?

Thanks
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,619 Posts
other components may shift position enough on deceleration to stop them rattling - sway bar endlinks, lower control arm rear bushings, and maybe even heat shields might behave differently between 'cruise' and deceleration.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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168 Posts
I feel your pain. I'm chasing a front end rattle on mine too. I've so far replaced: front pads and caliper pins, front anti roll ( sway) bar drop links and bushes, front inner and outer tie rods, and the rear bush on the front lower control arm. All showed some wear but none were causing the rattle. Like you I am in the UK and my next attempt will be greasing the steering rack. You probably have an electric rack like mine (UK spec). If you turn your steering wheel quickly between 2 and 10 o'clock can you hear a knock? Alot of electric racks seem to do this, and I can feel the knock in the shaft that connects the rack to the steering Uj. I'm hoping greasing the rack will reduce the knock, which I'm thinking is the same knock I can hear on uneven roads.
 

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Premium Member
18 Outback 3.6R Limited
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39 Posts
This issue I've seen in other cars and came from the pads rattling within the caliper. Not sure what the front pads and pad hardware looks like on your car but if you've replaced and serviced everything else you may consider looking at the pads. Many aftermarket pads (non-oe) can have slight variations which can cause clearances to be different. If the clearances are too great the pad can move around when the brakes aren't being applied and resonate to the cabin.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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@PURE STI

Nice to see you I have have ponied up for a lifetime. It was the best short $ I have ever spend. We enjoy an add free forum.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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168 Posts
I seem to have quietened my front rattle for the time being by using plenty of silicon grease on the pins and the pad contact areas. The ceramic all singing and dancing specialist brake grease had all dried to a powder, about 6 months and 5 k miles after applying it to new pins. I found Alot of movement in the upper pins (which don't have a rubber sleeve like the bottom ones). If the rattle returns I may use lower pins and rubber sleeves in the upper position as well, cos it's like driving a new car without the rattle!!
 

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11 OB 2.5i all options, 70K Miles, Ski (winter)/ (Summer) car, mountains 3-4 days a week in winter w/bllizzaks.
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4 Posts
11 OB exhibiting the same problem. Getting worse. Rattles are very "there", until I hit the brakes (lightly) they absolutely stop.
Road (6 lane interstate) to local ski area is well worn concrete, I hear the rattle almost incessantly when driving to the pass.
I can drive over any local reflective road turtles and hear it plainly, til I touch the brakes, it IMMEDIATELY stops.

Brake calipers are a little loose on their slide pins, not excessively though. Pads seem tight in the caliper housings. Need to diagnose further. Am convinced that it is the brake calipers. I may need new pins and calipers,, more on that as I get "serious" with this annoying rattle... It's not dangerous, just a PITA to hear when the road is not really smooth.

Blemishes an otherwise outstanding car.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,619 Posts
maybe you just need new antirattle spring clips? Some aftermarket pads don't come with new ones and the old ones get re-used.
 

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11 OB 2.5i all options, 70K Miles, Ski (winter)/ (Summer) car, mountains 3-4 days a week in winter w/bllizzaks.
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4 Posts
Re-Read this thread, I am using after market brake pads on all corners, still on original rotors, all wheels.
I will go down to the Suby dealer and buy OEM pads and stuff them in.
Worth at least that much effort to diagnose.
 

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11 OB 2.5i all options, 70K Miles, Ski (winter)/ (Summer) car, mountains 3-4 days a week in winter w/bllizzaks.
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4 Posts
Thx 1LT, I will make sure I get all the brake hardware from the dealer.
Best,
SM
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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it's woth mentioning I think that, when braking, other items can shift around. While under the car, check rear bushings on the front lower control arms, anti-roll bar endlinks, and check heat shields on the exhaust.
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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334 Posts
Adding to the knowledge base: approaching 100k km, our 2014 2.5 CVT Convenience developed a very annoying rattle in the front left area when going over small bumps, unpaved road, etc. I narrowed it down to the left side by driving on broken pavement spots with left and right wheels separately.

Initially the dealer replaced left strut mount, that partially fixed the issue. Covered by the major component warranty.

There was still some metal on metal rattle at 30-40 km/h only, something was resonating just at that speed. I thought it could be brake caliper pins. The dealer replaced LF caliper bracket 26225AJ010, and that solved the remaining rattle for now.

Here is the link to the tech info: https://subaru.oemdtc.com/336/rattling-sound-from-front-brake-caliper-support-2010-2014-subaru-legacy-outback
Looks like it is a common issue on 2.5 Legacy and Outbacks, and IMO Subaru should have issued a TSB. As is, it was not covered under the major component warranty, out of pocket cost around $250 including parts & labour.
 

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Premium Member
2016 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ EyeSight
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315 Posts
i am also experiencing this problem now. 2011 Outback 3.6 Limited with 103xxx miles onit. i took it to the dealer and they allegedly checked the front end and found nothing.

the service advisor said that it's a common problem and it was the hood bouncing off the headlights - i knew he was FOS and didn't know what he was talking about.

i checked under the hood right in front of him and heard no rattling when i tapped it as he described. the closes noise to resemble the rattle was those two plastic pieces near the hood shocks that lead up to the head lights... "dust shields???" don't know what they are called or why they are there.

i took those off and went for a drive and the rattle is still there.

anyway, i will pull the wheels off soon and re-check myself. on the invoice it said that they tightened my hood. i seriously doubt that.

*from my previous experience with a Dodge Magnum R/T, the rattles were common in those too, with the 5.7 Hemi and 3.5 (bigger engines). upper/lower control arms blah blah blah, bushings, stabilizers blah blah...
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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If you change pads, make sure that the rotors are THOROUGHLY cleaned of the old compound material that is on the rotor surfaces - depending on the type of compound, you can sometime be able to just scotchbrite it off, but on some others - like carbon-metallics - you have to remove about .25mm off of the surface, or you run the risk of incompatible compounds causing you to have really BAD brakes. Not sure about ceramics,
 

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28 Posts
If it stops rattling when you press the brake pedal, then it's most likely your caliper pin bushing, or lack thereof. They deteriorate over time. I replace them at every brake change. It's on the bottom pin. For those of you who just take the bushing off, if you pump it full of enough grease, you might be OK for awhile, but when you eventually develop a front end noise, now you'll know why.
 
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