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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I bought my new 2012 automatic 6 cylinder Outback in April. I'm loving every bit of it. But I've run into a few issues lately. I took a two week vacation during which I left the car parked in my indoor garage. When I returned, the vehicle started up fine. I backed it out of the parking spot and as soon as I turned the steering wheel, there was a screeching noise from the wheels that sounded as if all the tires were flat. I found that driving it at slow speed in a straight line produced no sound but when I turned the wheel the sound returned. I took it out on the highway and drove it around for 15 minutes and then the sounds completely disappeared.

When I came back the next morning there was some sound when moving slowly and turning the wheels but after driving the car for sometime the sound disappeared again.

I'm not sure what the sound are and they are making me nervous!

Another newbie question I have is about the conveyor in automatic car washes. The dealer told me that the car cannot be towed except for a flatbed tow truck. Is it safe to take my 6 cylinder automatic through a car wash that has a conveyor?

wm
 

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a screeching noise from the wheels that sounded as if all the tires were flat.
Diagnosing sounds is difficult without hearing it; however, as a first guess I'd say it could have been a slight build up of rust on the working surfaces of the brake rotors (or the parking brake drums), although it's usually detected even when moving straight. The rust coating, which is quite common, is not normally a problem and just rubs off after the car is driven a short while. (In my own case, usually within a couple of blocks.)

Another newbie question I have is about the conveyor in automatic car washes.
The Owners Manual has a section on towing. The issue usually has more to do with raising one end of the car while the other is on the ground. All four wheels have to be stationary meaning, when towed, all four have to be off the ground. Thus the need for a flatbed rather than a hook-style tow truck.

We are also instructed not to tow the car with all four wheels on the ground. However, "conveyor" car washes that I'm familiar with, that is, ones that pull the car along using a roller behind one of the wheels, shouldn't be a concern. The distance involved is insignificant. (At least in my opinion, but this is an interesting question and perhaps others will have some comments).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks plain OM,
The sounds that I heard were produced only when the wheels were turned, not straight. But I wasn't stepping on the brake pedal when I heard it.
I don't hear the sound anymore, but I'm concerned that it might happen again.

Regarding the conveyor in car washes, I haven't actually tried taking the car through one for fear of ruining something. I wanted to check with others on this forum first to make sure I wasn't doing anything bad for the AWD/engine.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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It sounds as if your accessory drive belt may not have enough tension. I believe it is set by a spring on the idler pulley. You might want to have the dealer look at it, at least to record that you had an issue. May help later if the belt fails or slips all the time.
 
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