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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #21
Yes my father in law has travelled with me and he agreed it's passenger front( left to me in the UK with rhd). The rattle I hear over uneven surfaces is not effected by steering input, it is mostly when driving straight. I think I will have to start again and check stuff like wishbones etc myself instead of taking techs word. This is really frustrating!
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #22
I should perhaps mention that my UK 2011 outback has electric power steering. I have seen a few things on line about problems with these in WRX models in the states. Anybody know of any common problems?
 

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2017 Outback, 2.5L, Auto; 2018 Forester, 2.5L, Auto (for Mama); 2005 Baja, 2.5 Turbo, Manual
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If you jack up the car to check it, slap the exhaust pipe too. The rattle I found in the exhaust sounds exactly like my "suspension noise" on rough pavement.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks guys. I have had a rattle in the cat cover which I fixed, this rattle is a different type of sound completely. I am going to check the steering rack mounts next, there might be wear in the bushes, as per a few posts on WRX forums. The noise I hear when wiggling the steering wheel has to be coming from the rack or column, right? Can't feel the knock in the steering wheel itself, so I'm thinking rack mounts. The bit of the rack that the inner tie rods screw into was solid.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #25
Had another look under the car and managed to locate the knock at the steering box. No play in the steering at all but a definite knock when wobbling the steering wheel back and forth. I've checked with my dealer here in the UK to see if it can be adjusted and they say no. Quoted £1500 to replace, saying they don't see any trouble with them. Will just have to live with it for a while!
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #26
Found a small amount of movement in the lower part of the Uj in the steering column. Allowable free play is zero for this part in the service manual as far as I can tell. Will change and cross fingers.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #27
Ok, so removed the steering column Uj today and it is fine. The play I was feeling through the Uj is coming from the shaft going into the gearbox. There have to be bushes or seals in there that are serviceable right? It all seems fairly accessible ? I will check with dealer to see if parts are available, but has anyone done any work like this on an electric rack before? Cheers, Paul
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #28
Went to my local dealer on Monday to see about getting the adjustment nut checked /tightened on the steering rack, only to find out they were no longer a Subaru dealership from that day!! Having to try a different dealer today who have said they don't think they have the special tool required! Anyone dealt with this adjustment before?
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #29
Well I visited dealer today. They basically told me that the Subaru electric steering rack s have been plagued with this problem. Tightening the adjustment doesn't work. Even replacing the rack will probably see the rattling return. A 16 outback with 6 k miles and a 14 forester on the lot had the same issue. Will have to turn the music up. Very disappointed.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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4eyes, so what is the actual problem you've identified? Play in the steering rack itself or just where the steering column connects to the rack?

How do you know a new rack wouldn't solve the problem?

I found this thread because I just picked up a 2011 and have an unidentified clunk feeling in the front but I haven't felt play in the steering wheel. I'd be hesitant to trust that blanket statement made by the dealership however knowing there could be some others on the lot with the same issue is concerning. Are you able to complete a steering rack replacement yourself or would you go to a shop?

Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm sure we can share some knowledge with one another in the future!
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #31
On hols in Cyprus at the moment, so only just seen your post. I would really like to try tightening the adjustment screw on the rack first, but it requires a special tool or two which my dealer doesn't have. I wouldn't attempt to change the rack myself, will maybe apply some grease to see if it quietens it. Am also going to have a look at the lower control arm rear bushes again when I get back from holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I seem to have eventually got somewhere with this. The rattle I'm experiencing while driving on slightly uneven roads goes if I lightly apply the brakes with my left foot while still applying throttle. The noise from the steering rack seems to only occur when rocking the steering wheel back and forth, and is a separate issue. I removed the caliper pins and pads and greased everything with silicone grease. I noticed that the top pin sleeve ( in the caliper) on my front left wheel had more clearance than the other side. This was shown up when moving the pins in and out, the front left was Alot easier with little resistance. This side is where the noise was coming from. The noise has now pretty much stopped with a liberal application of grease.
I have seen on this forum somewhere that a dealer had replaced the top pins with lower pins ( which have a little rubber bushings on them) and this cured the problem. My dealer here in UK don't sell the caliper sleeves, just pins or a complete new caliper. I don't want to pay for a new caliper as they are stupid money here (£300), so any opinions on using lower pins in the upper position? I can't see what harm it would do. I might even using thread tape or even insulation tape to build up the pin.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Wow, good find. I'm not surprised by such a simple culprit. I used to have a lot of clunk coming for the pads and caliper of my pontiac grand prix.

I don't have an answer to your question but if they look the same I'd just order a set and try them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
It was a good find, it was driving me crazy. I replaced the pins in January, and used super dooper ceramic brake grease. It had turned to white powder in about 5 k miles. Silicone grease has made a massive difference. I'm going to leave it alone for a while now and see how long it lasts before looking at it further. I've replaced most of the front end trying to find it!! Never mind,all good fun and I've acquired a new inner tie rod tool in the process! #canthaveenoughtools
 

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4eyes,
I just read all the posts and was happy to see that you found the problem. The rattle you described in your first few posts sounded similar to the rattle we had in our new to us 2011 Outback. I was focused on steering and brakes as well. In the end, it turned out to be the hood. A small bit of adjustment with the space limiters snugged up the hood and took the slack out of the hood latch. The slack in the hood was noticed by my wife when she happened to press down on it in the latch area. Again, this rattle sounded just like you described...but obviously our rattles came from different locations.

Congrats on finding your problem!
 

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4eyes,
I just read all the posts and was happy to see that you found the problem. The rattle you described in your first few posts sounded similar to the rattle we had in our new to us 2011 Outback. I was focused on steering and brakes as well. In the end, it turned out to be the hood. A small bit of adjustment with the space limiters snugged up the hood and took the slack out of the hood latch. The slack in the hood was noticed by my wife when she happened to press down on it in the latch area. Again, this rattle sounded just like you described...but obviously our rattles came from different locations.

Congrats on finding your problem!
Another great yet simple find. I fixed this on mine before I even bought it, haha.
 

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When I started reading this posting I was wondering if anyone would mention the hood as being a possible source. Our 2011 developed a rattle after about a year of ownership and I was absolutely convinced it was in the front suspension. After a few weeks of poking around we identified the source as the hood and a quick adjustment fixed it and it's never returned.
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks guys, I will check my bonnet ( hood!) in the morning just out of interest!
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Just in case it helps anyone:

I just replaced my front control arms (included all new bushings, ball joints, etc.) and new quick-struts in the front. I got out for a test drive and it appeared all noises were gone from the front end. The control arm bushings were dry cracked with 120k miles. I'd argue the control arm bushings near the back of the control arm were the source of the noise but I can't say for sure.

I still have the car up in the air to complete the rear struts and control arms. I'm hopeful upon more test driving that it drives like new!
 

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4eyes,
I just read all the posts and was happy to see that you found the problem. The rattle you described in your first few posts sounded similar to the rattle we had in our new to us 2011 Outback. I was focused on steering and brakes as well. In the end, it turned out to be the hood. A small bit of adjustment with the space limiters snugged up the hood and took the slack out of the hood latch. The slack in the hood was noticed by my wife when she happened to press down on it in the latch area. Again, this rattle sounded just like you described...but obviously our rattles came from different locations.

Congrats on finding your problem!

I had the same rattle on the front driver side. I was convinced it was suspension. I adjusted the rubber bumps and the rattle went away.

:smile2:
 
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