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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this posted in the Gen1 section but figured the design is pretty standard across the years.

1999 OBW - 2.5 Manual ~200K miles

Have had a problem for a while now with it clicking when I let off the power. Sound goes away as soon as I touch the throttle or roll to a complete stop. It does it in all gears, all speeds and speed of the clicking correlates with speed of the wheel. I just patched a leaking tire, aired it back up and the clicking has gotten louder, and no, it isn't the lug nuts, I just plugged the tire and didn't remove it.

It sounds like it is coming from somewhere behind the transmission, but I haven't been able to put my finger on a bad part yet. Odd thing is when I jack the car up and roll the wheels under power the noise is gone. Might suggest a wheel bearing but everything seems tight. It does sound a lot like a bad CV in a tight turn, but the CVs look good.

Only thing I can think of is something in the driveshaft, U joints or prop bearing.

Anyone have any ideas before I start ripping off random parts looking for something worn out?
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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deleted other thread.

1 thread per problem. (double posting just makes worse answers).
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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if the car makes the noise while driving slowly, have someone drive it while you run along beside it - hopefully you can then narrow it down to where the noise is coming from.
 

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2005 Mazda 6 && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean, WGO
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Lug nuts is a good one, too bad you ruled that out. I had a wheel weight slip inside the tire once, talk about random sources of click noises!

It goes away when the wheels are off the ground... have you done a good look for just a stone or nail or something? Could it be a noise that's there while under power, just too quiet? Does it stick around if you're coasting in neutral?

if the car makes the noise while driving slowly, have someone drive it while you run along beside it - hopefully you can then narrow it down to where the noise is coming from.
+1 to this. If you haven't got a runner, try coasting alongside a stone/brick/concrete wall... like in an empty parking garage, with the windows down. Might at least tell you front vs rear, left vs right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lug nuts is a good one, too bad you ruled that out. I had a wheel weight slip inside the tire once, talk about random sources of click noises!

It goes away when the wheels are off the ground... have you done a good look for just a stone or nail or something? Could it be a noise that's there while under power, just too quiet? Does it stick around if you're coasting in neutral?

+1 to this. If you haven't got a runner, try coasting alongside a stone/brick/concrete wall... like in an empty parking garage, with the windows down. Might at least tell you front vs rear, left vs right.
I tried driving next to a concrete barrier and couldn't really get any ideas from it. It does it when I stop accelerating or let off the throttle - in or out of gear, clutch in or out, but it is louder if there is more engine breaking. If I am rolling at a constant speed or accelerating it is quite as a mouse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was thinking wheel bearing as well but the noise seems to stay the same when I push it into a hard turn. My past experience has had a bad wheel bearing noise change depending on how hard I load up the wheel.

I haven't pulled a wheel yet so I'll probably start with the brakes and see if I can get any play out of the wheel bearing. Worst case I'll just drive it until the noise gets loud enough to pinpoint it.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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I tried driving next to a concrete barrier and couldn't really get any ideas from it.
You will never have success doing that - you may be able to hear the clicking, but you will not be able to tell which end of the car it is coming from.

HOWEVER - if you can first drive with the barrier on one side, and then the other, you MIGHT be able to tell which side the issue is by the loudness of the clicking, though it won't sound any different if it is coming from the center of the car - something like a driveshaft u-joint.


It does it when I stop accelerating or let off the throttle - in or out of gear, clutch in or out, but it is louder if there is more engine breaking. If I am rolling at a constant speed or accelerating it is quite as a mouse.
Then it is a torque direction issue - CVs, U-joints, etc., not something like a wheel bearing. (at least not in my opinion! :) ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, unlikely it is the drive shaft making the noise. Just got it off and only thing I can tell is it has a minor issue with the rear u-joint, but not enough to make that noise. I'll go ahead and have a drive line shop replace that u-joint and look over the shaft while I have it out but now I am guessing it might be a wheel bearing after all. Still not convinced that is the problem, but the last 2 I had go out gave 2 different signs something was wrong. May also drive it till the sound gets so bad there is no way I can't find the bad part.
 

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I have this posted in the Gen1 section but figured the design is pretty standard across the years.

1999 OBW - 2.5 Manual ~200K miles

Have had a problem for a while now with it clicking when I let off the power. Sound goes away as soon as I touch the throttle or roll to a complete stop. It does it in all gears, all speeds and speed of the clicking correlates with speed of the wheel. I just patched a leaking tire, aired it back up and the clicking has gotten louder, and no, it isn't the lug nuts, I just plugged the tire and didn't remove it.

It sounds like it is coming from somewhere behind the transmission, but I haven't been able to put my finger on a bad part yet. Odd thing is when I jack the car up and roll the wheels under power the noise is gone. Might suggest a wheel bearing but everything seems tight. It does sound a lot like a bad CV in a tight turn, but the CVs look good.

Only thing I can think of is something in the driveshaft, U joints or prop bearing.

Anyone have any ideas before I start ripping off random parts looking for something worn out?
I came here because I'm just now having the same issue. I was driving on the highway and next thing you know when I let off the gas it started making this weird clunking noise almost like my wheel is about to come off or blow in the front driver side and so I exited and yeah sound correlation matches the speed of the tires so I'm thinking the same thing either something bad in the driveline or u-joint
 

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I have this posted in the Gen1 section but figured the design is pretty standard across the years.

1999 OBW - 2.5 Manual ~200K miles

Have had a problem for a while now with it clicking when I let off the power. Sound goes away as soon as I touch the throttle or roll to a complete stop. It does it in all gears, all speeds and speed of the clicking correlates with speed of the wheel. I just patched a leaking tire, aired it back up and the clicking has gotten louder, and no, it isn't the lug nuts, I just plugged the tire and didn't remove it.

It sounds like it is coming from somewhere behind the transmission, but I haven't been able to put my finger on a bad part yet. Odd thing is when I jack the car up and roll the wheels under power the noise is gone. Might suggest a wheel bearing but everything seems tight. It does sound a lot like a bad CV in a tight turn, but the CVs look good.

Only thing I can think of is something in the driveshaft, U joints or prop bearing.

Anyone have any ideas before I start ripping off random parts looking for something worn out?
Hi bldmtnrider,

Did you ever find the issue. This is exactly what is happening to me now. Thx!!!!
 

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So I'm having the same thing The engine purrs like a kitten but when I drive forward it makes a clunking sound that only goes away when I let off the gas then starts back up as soon as I put my foot back in it could it be a carrier bearing or a wheel bearing already did both cv axles inthe front it also doesn't make the noise in reverse??? Please help me figure it out
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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things that will make your driveshaft clunk

1. u joints (front or rear or both)
2. worn trans mount
3. worn engine mounts (side or front)
4. worn rear differential
 
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