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2007 OBW
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2007 Outback 2.5. As far as I know it is the most basic version - steel wheels, abs, and that is about it. None of the other frills a lot of cars have, just basic transport.

After I bought it several years ago, it would make an odd clicking/buzzing sound when turning corners and punching the throttle. It was only when I was giving it a lot of gas that it would do this.

I took it to the local dealer and tried to explain the sound and such to them and they couldn't recreate it. Their best answer was it is the traction control system, but my car doesn't have that and when I told them that they had nothing.

Several years later it is still doing it, but it most recently started to do it somewhat more. This has corresponded with a bit of a cold snap we have had lately. This got me to thinking and as I recall it always did this when very cold (-10 and under). I don't ever hear it in the summer.

So, here is what I do to make it happen.

Turn hard, not to lock, but about 50%.
Give it throttle to quickly get around the corner. Think like you have just enough time/space to get across the highway to the other lane if you hustle.

This causes a click/buzz. Best I can describe it is very rapid; and the sound of something like to washboards being pulled across each other while pressed together. Pull quickly.

It started by being in only one direction and has since moved on to both.

My best guess is a cv joint, but it isn't a knocking like what my other fwd cars have done when they are bad. My other cars weren't Subaru though, but I am guessing cv technology is mostly the same for everyone.

I was thinking maybe front differential too. I don't know if that can slip when it is very cold. The oil isn't fresh, but only about 2 years old. It is topped up proper.

Transmission fluid was serviced when we did the differentials. It is currently the weird color that our ATF turns.

I know my car has a little piston slap when it is cold and not fully warmed up. This is a different sound than that.

Has anyone heard or experienced this sound before? What do I need to be looking for?

Thanks!

Matt
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
I have owels in my 2005 when I first start it that is annoying.

is it a clickclickclick or bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Not diff.

It can be just cold grease in the CV joints, depending upon what we are calling cold. Does it go away after a mile or two?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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get a different dealer (maybe someone can suggest a mechanic in Grand Forks)


did the shop you took it to put the car on a lift and inspect for an axle that is partially popped out of the diff or for loose heat shields on the exhaust?
 

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2007 OBW
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm not really sure what they looked at when they had it. The next nearest Subaru dealer is 70 miles south. Not terribly far, but enough so to be inconvenient.

The cold grease is something I had thought about too. But I would think that the grease would warm up rather quickly and make the sound quit. If it does it once, it usually is something that is going to happen again and again that day.

I'm leaning toward the cv joints beginning to go. I'm approaching 70,000 miles, and while I know that isn't a lot, the steering angle this car is capable of makes me think they may be getting there.

It really seams to rapid a sound to me, but its all I can come up with.

I may try and record the sound and such with a video camera if it is cold enough to make it happen again.

Thanks!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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when this happens, do you feel any vibration? steering wheel or seat-of-pants, or foot-well area?

I once owned a Toyota that had a loose fender liner that would buzz on the shoulder-lugs of the tire. But it wasn't metallic-sounding. Maybe a CV boot band or some road debris/wire is caught somewhere and needs just the right position to hit something?
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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782 Posts
I have owels in my 2005 when I first start it that is annoying.
The howling noise upon start during cold weather is the fuel pressure regulator. There is a TSB out for it. Mine does it too. It is harmless, so I've never bothered with it.
 

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2007 OBW
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Discussion Starter #7
when this happens, do you feel any vibration? steering wheel or seat-of-pants, or foot-well area?

I once owned a Toyota that had a loose fender liner that would buzz on the shoulder-lugs of the tire. But it wasn't metallic-sounding. Maybe a CV boot band or some road debris/wire is caught somewhere and needs just the right position to hit something?


Nothing in the tires or rubbing. I just put new tires on it in November. Not saying I didn't pick something up, but it doesn't do it now that it is warm out (10*). Well, not incredibly badly like when it was -10. It did it just once this morning and hasn't since. I tried to make it and it wouldn't.

My Dad said to try going to steering lock in a parking lot and going in reverse; that would make the cv joints rattle if they were bad. I tried it just a few minutes ago and couldn't cause any strange noises. But I couldn't go very fast either as there is some snow on the ground from last night and things are slippery. I also couldn't locate a sufficiently large parking lot that was empty enough to put my foot into it.

So, I will wait for a frigid day again and try to record the sound.

Thanx!
 

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2006 Atlantic Blue OBXT Limited 5MT
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27 Posts
That sounds remarkably similar to the noise my '06 OBXT makes in cold weather. It only happens when it's really cold, and I've only noticed it when turning. My thought was it was something in the rear suspension... but I'm just guessing. I had it at the Subaru dealer the other day getting new brake pads installed and asked them to see if anything looked off in the suspension, but he reported back that it looked fine. I'm curious to see what you come up with in your investigation.
 

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2005 2.5i
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48 Posts
Could it be a loose swaybar that is "readjusting" itself when you go around a corner? I know mine is loose and it clunks and occasionally makes a ticking/clunking noise when it's cold out and I take a left turn fast (at least I am assuming it's the swaybar making this noise).
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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70 Posts
I'm getting a very similar sound coming from my newly installed *new* CV axle. For me, it only happens on full lock (or near full lock) when turning left. I am sure it is the CV axle because the noise wasn't there with the old OEM axle. The new replacement axle is EMPI brand, bought on fleabay for around $70. I took a chance and bought this brand and hoped for the best. I heard okay things about it from other Subaru owners..

To be fair, I only installed the new CV axle last week, and it has been very cold ever since. When I drive my car, it is for short distances (less than 15 minutes), so it could be that the grease hasn't gotten a chance to warm up in this brutal weather. Funny, though, my driver's side axle doesn't make this sound.

If I had to do it again, I would have gone with a remanufactured OEM unit from a reputable shop. I ended up holding onto my old OEM axle. I may attempt a rebuild next month when I have some free time on my hands.
 
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