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I have just purchased a new 2013 Outback, and bought a Thule Ascent 1500 cargo box for it from the dealer. It vibrates very loudly, like a big mad bee. Anything above 30 mph causes the vibration. And it is so loud that I have to drive with the sunroof up on the highway to help drown it out.

I am in the middle of a 2500 mile trek and did not discover it until on the road! At first it was only periodic, but now it is constant. I plan to return it to the dealer when I return home, but want to get there without going crazy. Any advice?? (Other than tossing it in a ditch.)

I tried moving it backward, forward, to one side, as well as cushioning the attachment points, and moving the luggage inside around many times, and decreasing and increasing the contents. Nothing has worked.
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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You probably need a fairing, but I am not sure what is out there that attaches to the OEM crossbars. Since you are en-route, try any REI or look for a rack specialty store in a major city. Maybe the Yakima website can help you figure out if they have Subaru adapters. I bet the answer is yes....

Yakima Fairing - Standard Sizes - Free Shipping at REI.com

Worst case - you need to buy some proper crossbars and rail adapters. Yakima or Thule, your choice. I am a Yakima fan.

You don't need to worry about this right away, but eventually you need to add some clear film where the four rubber fairing feet rest, to prevent your paint from wearing. It takes a few years, but it _will_ wear.

As a temporary fix, try wrapping a couple of long bungee cords around the lid and base at the front and rear - maybe the top is vibrating. Though that seems unlikely, since Thule boxes are pretty well engineered. Be careful not to lose your grip and whack yourself in the eye with a hook! Also make sure one of the hinges or latches isn't defective.

It sucks, doesn't it? I always try to do a short test trip with new gear before heading out on a long one.....

Welcome to the forum.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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We just bought a thule box for our 2013 Subaru Outback and experienced the exact same issue. Seeing the extent of your efforts we decided to go back to the place where we bought it (a local rack store in our city). They knew exactly what the problem was when we described the vibration. Apparently most of his Outback customers have the same problem. He said it’s due to the rubber gasket that is between the Subaru rack and the roof of the vehicle. He said people particularly hear it on the passenger side. He applied black electrical tape to that part of the vehicle and when we got back on the road the problem stopped! I attached a photo here from r reference. A more long term solution he has provided to his customers is to glue that gasket down. For this trip the tape will do, we may go back for glue when we return. Thought I would share for people who may also have this issue.

I have just purchased a new 2013 Outback, and bought a Thule Ascent 1500 cargo box for it from the dealer. It vibrates very loudly, like a big mad bee. Anything above 30 mph causes the vibration. And it is so loud that I have to drive with the sunroof up on the highway to help drown it out.

I am in the middle of a 2500 mile trek and did not discover it until on the road! At first it was only periodic, but now it is constant. I plan to return it to the dealer when I return home, but want to get there without going crazy. Any advice?? (Other than tossing it in a ditch.)

I tried moving it backward, forward, to one side, as well as cushioning the attachment points, and moving the luggage inside around many times, and decreasing and increasing the contents. Nothing has worked.
 

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2019 Outback 2.5i base
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On my 2013 Outback I had loud buzzing over 40 mph after I installed a Yakima Skybox.

It was caused by airflow around the the front right hole in the rack assembly after I moved the factory bars to their "across" position from their "parallel to travel" position. The flute effect I call it.

Stuff a rolled up pair of socks in that open hole and see if it changes things. If so, go to a Party City and get one of those little sponge rubber balls that are made to look like baseballs, basketballs, etc. They fit that open hole perfectly, and are weatherproof to boot.

I was amazed that this solved MY noise problem, that open hole had made NO noise when the cargo box was not up there.
 
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