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2010 Subaru OB 2.5 Ltd
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Discussion Starter #1
Regarding the Thread 'Poll: Does your Outback have a slight steering wheel shake at highway speeds.', let me include some observations.

During this winter season, it happend to me 3 times, that I have experienced a terrible steering wheel shake, vibrations, starting at the about 50 mph and ending at about 70 mph, although for safety reason I had to slow down to below 50 mph.

The last time I experienced this was this morning, when I entered the highway after sitting in a 26+ inches of snow for 3 days (yes, that's what we had in Maryland).
I'm sure it was an ice/snow build up on the tires and/or drivetrain components, as it disappeared completely after driving for about 7-8 miles.
The first time it happened a couple of weeks ago, just right after I visited a dealer for an oil change and tire rotation. At first I thought to myself: no way, it happened to me, as well?! but as it disappeared after 10 minutes of driving, I was sure I was dealing with an ice/snow causing unbalanced wheels.

The vibrations were so harsh that I have never experienced before, even back then, when my 1983 Ford Escort hit a curb and I had to drive it back home.

I'm sure SOA has to look at this issue deeper, since the car destined for snow driving conditions cannot be so sensitive.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,198 Posts
This is a common occurance, I bet you have the same rims as I do. :)

Best thing to do if this occurs again is to knock the snow out of the rim with an object or non-scratching tool and then you are off. I really noticed the snow packing in there after big drift sessions at the local ski hill. Something about the way the snow packs against the brake rotors when sliding sideways I guess. :2:

Anyhow, you might also try coating your rims with some kind of teflon coating, or simply spray the rims down (not the brakes) with some cooking spray.
 

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2010 Outback PZEV
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726 Posts
leo said:
During this winter season, it happend to me 3 times, that I have experienced a terrible steering wheel shake, vibrations, starting at the about 50 mph and ending at about 70 mph, although for safety reason I had to slow down to below 50 mph.
I'm sure SOA has to look at this issue deeper, since the car destined for snow driving conditions cannot be so sensitive.
It seems that new OB is very sensitive to any out-of-balance condition for some reason. I would say that it's not a desirable characteristic of the car designed to go into a mud and sludge. Is coating rims with some kind of teflon coating or some cooking spray (as suggested) should be added together with a road force balancing to a regular maintenance list?:7:
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Re: Re: Steering wheel shake after snow storm

JarekMW said:
It seems that new OB is very sensitive to any out-of-balance condition for some reason. I would say that it's not a desirable characteristic of the car designed to go into a mud and sludge.
This happens to ANY car that gets snow in the backside of the rims. It throws the entire wheel out of balance. Think about it...a wheel is sensitive to a 1oz difference...imagine up to a pound or more of snow packed in back there...it will make it feel like you are riding on a boomerang. Every car I have ever owned has suffered from this...a hazard of living in a snowy area. Somewhere on this site I saw a suggestion of spraying pam or a spray based silicone on the inside of the rim to help the snow slide off...just keep it off the brakes....

happy bumping :)
 

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2010 Outback premium and 2004 Legacy Wagon
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shaky situation

I had the mechanic look at my car I was so concerned with some shaking. There was a lot of ice and snow build up. A few warm days and away it went.
 

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2015 Tungsten 2.5 Limited w/eyesight
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The first time snow buildup happened to me I had just pulled onto the interstate and the car felt like a tire was going flat. I pulled over and checked each wheel and could not find anything wrong. After riding about 2 miles the snow must have disloged and everything was fine. The "wobble" sure scared me at first.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback Wagen
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7 Posts
all vehicles will shake in the fron end with no more than an extra ounce(s) of snow etc, always clean the interior / exterior of the wheels to eliminate snow etc that will cause road shimmy !
 

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My '98 did it so when the '10 did it I knew to slow down and unplug !! Really freaks you out the first time !!!
 

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car shaking in ice and snow

I made sure it wasn't a tire problem. Completely inflated, lug nuts on tight, no ice build up around wheels/tires. But my car was shaking like it would come apart at plus 60 miles per hour. Lasted over 200 miles on a trip in northern Michigan. Both the sales person for the 2015 Outback and the mechanic knew what it was immediately. They said it happens all the time in the winter with this car. They said ice builds up and clings to the drive shaft right above the pan that's down there under the drive shaft. So they know all about the issue. When asked how to prevent it they said either don't drive in ice and snow (really, in their AWD vehicle marketed for that very thing) or make sure you get it in to a heated garage until the ice melts away from the driveshaft. Unreal.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i crystal white pearl
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I cannot believe that some of you feel that Subaru is responsible for snow causing wheels to be off balance, come on people you have to be responsible for something.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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25,358 Posts
I made sure it wasn't a tire problem. Completely inflated, lug nuts on tight, no ice build up around wheels/tires. But my car was shaking like it would come apart at plus 60 miles per hour. Lasted over 200 miles on a trip in northern Michigan. Both the sales person for the 2015 Outback and the mechanic knew what it was immediately. They said it happens all the time in the winter with this car. They said ice builds up and clings to the drive shaft right above the pan that's down there under the drive shaft. So they know all about the issue. When asked how to prevent it they said either don't drive in ice and snow (really, in their AWD vehicle marketed for that very thing) or make sure you get it in to a heated garage until the ice melts away from the driveshaft. Unreal.
it does not have to be a heated garage, ...just warm enough for the salt already in the ice / slush to do its job.

I think even the super toyotas old top gear took on this trip would have trouble given a chunk of ice jammed where it does not belong.

 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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ANY car can/will pick up snow inside the wheels and cause a shake - and strut suspensions are the most sensitive to shaking from wheel imbalances.

Even the '66 Chrysler Imperial we had when I was a kid in Maine had that shake on occasion!

The teflon spray idea does indeed help reduce the snow sticking issue.
 
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