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Discussion Starter #1
My 2016 OB has about 69,000 miles on it. At about 57,000 miles, it started to make a humming noise that has since gotten louder. I was assuming it was a bad wheel bearing, but while reading up on what may cause this noise, I read somewhere that if the tread tire ware from front tires to rear tires is as little as 2/32" it may damage the center differential bearing and could cause this same noise. Does anyone know if this true?
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,158 Posts
Not just front-to-rear. With ANY AWD vehicle, all tires must be replaced ALL FOUR AT A TIME. Any mismatch in tire diameter may cause the AWD system to think there is tire-slippage and try to engage the AWD system. Obviously, engaging the AWD system when all 4 tires are on pavement can cause undue stress on the AWD components and tear things apart.

Now... to address YOUR specific issue.
If I were you, I would NOT start by being concerned with a problem of the AWD system. Start with the EASY things like tires. Yes, some tires will get VERY noisy as they wear down. Also, a wheel-bearing can cause noise too.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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908 Posts
Does the noise depend on speed and/or make a difference while turning left or right?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Noise is constant. Rev's up as I speed up, but it is the same noise with no difference when turning either way. I wondered about the tire ware only because after getting a flat, I replaced the one tire (same make and model). The other tires had about 57,000 miles, but they were in pretty good shape tread wise. The noise started shortly after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE... I borrowed a laser heat sensor gun from work and over two trips back and forth to work I scanned the temps of all four wheel bearings. Three of the bearings ran within 2-3 degrees of one another the forth (front drivers side) was 10-12 degrees hotter each time. That was the one that sounded like where the noise was coming from to start with. I figured that might be the problem so I got a new front wheel bearing and replaced it, being careful not to hit the speed sensor. The good news is when taking it out for a test drive the whinning sound is gone. The bad news is ALL the dashboard idiot lights are on (check engine, ABS, AT Oil Temp., Cruise Control, X-Mode and traction control). I thought that maybe I hit the speed sensor, so I purchased a new one and replaced it, but it didn't help. All the lights are still on. Any ideas on what else to check? or do I need to clear them? How do I clear them?
 
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