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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a new-to-me 06 Subaru Outback, 54,000miles. The car drives very well, however, there is a loud droning sound that comes from the rear end/tires. The sound isn't really noticeable below 30mph, but as the speed increases so does the volume. Pitch stays generally about the same (i.e. no gravely, squeaking, etc..), but it does seem to vary slightly depending on the speed of the vehicle. Possibly getting louder/faster as the car travels faster, slowing down as the car decelerates.

From what can determine, it's one of two things.

Bad wheel bearings or road-noise combined with a lack of sound deadening material in the rear hatch area.

The rear-gate on this car feels incredibly light, too light if you ask me, and I'm wondering if that hatch and rear cargo area is lacking adequate sound deadening material. This car is new to me, but I know it was is a minor rear-end fender bender earlier in it's life. In theory the back hatch and/or part of the rear quarter panels may have been replaced, but not with adequate sound deadening/temp material and as a result the back of car is rather noisy. It's also cold back there, cold enough for a 6er sitting next to the gate to freeze on a recent road trip. I should also mention the car has brand new tires (<1,000miles), which I thought was going to solve the problem but it has not.

The other option I believe is wheel bearings. From what I can tell the sound is coming equally from each wheel so both rear wheels would be equally bad. That seems a little strange to me, but I'm not a mechanic, so maybe that's it.

Anyone have a guess? -- I suppose putting the car on a lift and spinning the tires would help narrow it down....

Thanks
Ryan
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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I've got a new-to-me 06 Subaru Outback, 54,000miles. The car drives very well, however, there is a loud droning sound that comes from the rear end/tires. The sound isn't really noticeable below 30mph, but as the speed increases so does the volume. Pitch stays generally about the same (i.e. no gravely, squeaking, etc..), but it does seem to vary slightly depending on the speed of the vehicle. Possibly getting louder/faster as the car travels faster, slowing down as the car decelerates.

From what can determine, it's one of two things.

Bad wheel bearings or road-noise combined with a lack of sound deadening material in the rear hatch area.

The rear-gate on this car feels incredibly light, too light if you ask me, and I'm wondering if that hatch and rear cargo area is lacking adequate sound deadening material. This car is new to me, but I know it was is a minor rear-end fender bender earlier in it's life. In theory the back hatch and/or part of the rear quarter panels may have been replaced, but not with adequate sound deadening/temp material and as a result the back of car is rather noisy. It's also cold back there, cold enough for a 6er sitting next to the gate to freeze on a recent road trip. I should also mention the car has brand new tires (<1,000miles), which I thought was going to solve the problem but it has not.

The other option I believe is wheel bearings. From what I can tell the sound is coming equally from each wheel so both rear wheels would be equally bad. That seems a little strange to me, but I'm not a mechanic, so maybe that's it.

Anyone have a guess? -- I suppose putting the car on a lift and spinning the tires would help narrow it down....

Thanks
Ryan
The hatch in my 2008 is awfully light, too. My '04's was much heavier.

How about your tires? Some tires can start to make a lot of road noise when they're a little worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah that hatch is ridiculously light, our '01 is much heavier too.

I thought the tires were the culprit, as they were on their last legs, but I just put brand new ones on last week and still the sound persists. I believe it may have lessened some, but it's still there. The rear end of this car is much louder than our '01.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Yeah that hatch is ridiculously light, our '01 is much heavier too.

I thought the tires were the culprit, as they were on their last legs, but I just put brand new ones on last week and still the sound persists. I believe it may have lessened some, but it's still there. The rear end of this car is much louder than our '01.
At least that rules one thing out. Definitely shouldn't be louder! My 2008 is quieter in every way than my 2004 was. On occasion, I get some hatch creaks when it's really cold out, but normally there isn't any noise at all in the back.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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Classic wheel bearing hum. Now you just need to figure out which one.

Oh, I actually read your reply.

These wheel bearings received an extended warranty to 100k/10 years. Get it taken care of by the dealer. Very possible both are bad and the original owner just ignored it.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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One thing is for sure, your ice bill will be less during the winter when going fishing or to the in-laws. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the insight guys. Given there's a recall and warranty extension on rear wheel bearings, they've got to be the source. Already scheduled an appointment to have them replaced. Hopefully my VIN falls within the recall range, although from checking last night I have my doubts. Hopefully Subaru doesn't notice. Really looking forward to a quieter car. Thanks again
 

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Went through this on mine, right rear. You'll be wondering why your library has a steering wheel & highway view in it afterwards. :)
 
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