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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever have a noise you can't identify and it drives you crazy? My '13 OB softly whines/rattles at highway speeds ONLY when I have my foot on the gas; when I take my foot off the gas, it stops. It sounds like it is coming from the back...drive train? My dealer was unable to identify it (but they didn't try very hard.) Any thoughts on possible causes? THANKS!
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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1,056 Posts
In several non-Subaru vehicles a number of years ago on another automotive forum, a similar rear-end whine typically beginning at around 60 mph was caused by a faulty rear axle assembly and its associated axle housing bushings. A new rear axle assembly and bushings instantly cured the whine for all of the owners who reported it and went ahead with the recommended fix at that time. This issue was reported by enough owners of those vehicles for the manufacturer to issue a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) regarding it.

I would ask the dealer if they have any TSBs regarding rear axles and bushings for your particular vehicle. If they say no, I would then check with Subaru of America.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5, Ice Silver
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889 Posts
Whining coming from the back? Could be teenagers sitting back there, or rattles from a baby, either way this can be fixed by turning up the radio.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Limited
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1,042 Posts
If it's truly from the rear and it's associated with torque being delivered to the wheels (i.e. foot on the gas pedal) I would want to inspect the level and condition of the rear differential fluid. Might as well replace the fluid and clean the magnet while you're at it. I don't think we've seen a lot of failures of the rear diff on these vehicles, but if the fluid got contaminated (e.g. if the diff got submerged in water) it could cause issues.
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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452 Posts
I've had a whine for quite some time and miles. I'd peg it as a wheel bearing but it isn't anything I'm staying awake at night over. A friend has an OB with similar mileage and a similar problem and was told the same thing. I'd guess the whine is going on 30K and hasn't gotten any louder. It sure isn't screaming!
 

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2014 Outback 3.6l
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39 Posts
I was going to post the exact question and title it How loud is too loud.
I traced my noise to the rear differential.
'14 OB 3.5
I have changed the diff fluid every August since purchase. The noise is consistent, the fluid clear and the magnet has had very little metal "paste" since the first change. I use Mobil 1, and get exactly 27 ounces in.
The sound resembles the whir of a fan boat from the Everglades.

Totally tolerable, but I would sure like to know if there is something wrong. Thoughts?
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,937 Posts
I was going to say it may be the CVT whine...mine has it..part of the first gen CVT's. Only other thing I can think of is the rear diff...
 

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2013 3.6R SAP BBP Outback
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717 Posts
The center propeller shaft bearing has been known to whine/rumble before failing. That's right under the center of the car. Could be felt in the rear more than the front.
 
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