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Discussion Starter #1
So I just picked up a 2013 Outback 2.5 Limited about a week ago; my first Subaru to own and as far as I remember the first one I've ever even driven. I'm pretty handy with a wrench but I know next to nothing about these awd systems(yet). I bought the car knowing it was making a little noise and knew it'd need a little maintenance, but I may have gotten myself into more than I anticipated.

First off, the car drives perfectly--tracks straight, "shifts" smoothly, gets great mpg, etc. Basically no symptoms other than this noise that I'm trying to narrow down; seems to be coming from either the cvt itself or the center diff. It's only present when in motion; it stops as soon as the wheels stop. No noise at idle, even in drive, until you start moving. Last night I did get several lights coming on(AT temp, brake, traction control) which seems to be a fairly common issue. Not sure if the two or related or not; it still drove perfectly after the lights came on.

Any tips, help, advice would be greatly appreciated. I've searched and read all sorts of stuff but still quite uncertain as to what exactly the problem is. Here's a link to a vid of the noise(couldn't figure out how to post a vid here).

Thanks!
 

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2010 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/AWP 6MT
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Check shaft play on the three drive axle output shafts (2 front, one rear). Check for a fallen apart front wheel bearing. Usually they make a bad grinding noise first, but I have seen one fall apart or wear in a way that lets the axle shaft bounce or clunk a little.
 

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Only code I'm getting is U0073; only got that after the lights came on. Had no affect on how it ran when they did.
  1. Pretty sure it's not a wheel bearing; they seem pretty tight and the noise is most definitely coming from around the back end of the transmission. I'm much more concerned with this noise than the lights at the moment. I'm leaning pretty heavily towards the viscous coupling based on everything I've read and listened too online, but having never worked on these things I'm still skeptical
 

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I'm leaning pretty heavily towards the viscous coupling
Does the car have a manual transmission? There's no viscous coupler with the CVT.

Is the car up on a lift in the video?

With the car raised, engine off, in neutral, what happens if each of the wheels is turned by hand, and, if the two fronts and two rears are turned together, in the same direction, by hand. Does the noise or something similar appear and if so, when turning which wheel(s)?
 

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Yup car is on jackstands in video. Turned individually they're all smooth and tight, no noise. Same with both tears turned at once. When both fronts are turned however you can hear the noise(not from the wheels but from the diff/trans/something.
 

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When both fronts are turned however you can hear the noise(not from the wheels but from the diff/trans/something.
So with both fronts being turned together (same direction, speed), the noise appears but not when only one is turned, or the rears are turned.

In the video there's a sound that appears periodic, sort of like a repeating knock or rough click. Is it the same when the two front wheels are turned together? If so, then when one front wheel is turned while the other is prevented from turning, for each revolution of the turned wheel, how many clicks or knocks are heard? (Or, similarly, if both wheels are turned together, how many clicks or knocks are there for each revolution of the two wheels?)

Can both front wheels be turned together with the gear selector in Park? Also in Park, can one front wheel be turned while the opposite wheel is prevented from turning? In either test, is the noise heard?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so while in Park both cannot be turned at once, although you can turn them individually. No noise either way though.
When in Drive I can't really spin the wheels fast enough to get it to knock, it's just more of a grinding noise; like bad bearings or such. Your first statement is correct; I get the noise when both front wheels are turned together but not individually and not when the rear wheels are turned.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No idea, just bought it about a week ago. When I first drove it I wrote it off as something as simple as a wheel bearing or such. Intended to change the fluid today but got busy and it didn't happen.
 

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Ok, so while in Park both cannot be turned at once, although you can turn them individually. No noise either way though.
Not sure what you mean by "No noise either way . . ". Seems to contradict "When both fronts are turned however you can hear the noise".

When in Park, and turning only one front wheel, the other wheel should turn the same amount but in the opposite direction. I would imagine this did happen but would prefer confirmation.

The noise could be from the front differential, perhaps a damaged pinion gear. Or it could be a fault in the reduction gear set or another rotating component in the tail section. Either probably would mean the transmission has to come down for repair or replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, no noise turning either wheel when in park. And yes, the opposite wheel turns the opposite direction.
If it's something internal to the cvt shouldn't it "shift" poorly or something? Like I said I'm totally new to this type trans but it seems odd that it actually runs and "shifts" with no sign of anything being wrong other than the noise.
 

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U0073 is a communication problem across the LAN. It can be any of the following modules that set it.

IF it's due to a bad battery or grounding, that could create noise in the CVT because of limited electrical flow through all the systems and your noise is the valve body or internal parts due to insufficient fluid flow and pressure.

Start with the battery and cabling, all the ground straps and check the transmission harness for cracks, pinched area, broken wires. Beyond that, it will need to be checked for continuity between the transmission connector and the engine harness connector.

The battery needs to be putting out 550 amperes or better. You have to have really low resistance through the grounds; like 0.2 ohms or less to the engine/transmission. Up to 1.0 the further you get from the battery on the body points. Here's a good video that shows how to check:

If it does come to a valve body, Subaru has an updated valve body.
 

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When you turn one front wheel and the opposite side turns in the opposite direction, the only things rotating are the wheels, hubs, axles, and the gears inside the differential body. The differential itself is not turning, nor the ring and pinion.

What you could be hearing then are a bad differential bering, a bad ring and pinion, a bad pinion bearing, or whatever comes next that drives the pinion.
 

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If the noise can be heard when turning both front wheels with the transmission in neutral, there should be the same noise when turning one front wheel while the other is being prevented from turning. With one front prevented from turning, use a mechanic's stethoscope at different points between the front differential and the back end of the transmission while someone turns the free front wheel. This might help better locate the area by the loudness or tone of the noise. As Richard Pare noted, it could be in the front differential (that's the section in between the two axles that go to the front wheels) or it could be in the tail section area where the pinion shaft, coming from the front differential, is connected to "reduction gears" and the output shaft of the transmission. There, it could be a damaged gear or bad bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
U0073 is a communication problem across the LAN. It can be any of the following modules that set it.
IF it's due to a bad battery or grounding, that could create noise in the CVT because of limited electrical flow through all the systems and your noise is the valve body or internal parts due to insufficient fluid flow and pressure.

Start with the battery and cabling, all the ground straps and check the transmission harness for cracks, pinched area, broken wires. Beyond that, it will need to be checked for continuity between the transmission connector and the engine harness connector.

The battery needs to be putting out 550 amperes or better. You have to have really low resistance through the grounds; like 0.2 ohms or less to the engine/transmission. Up to 1.0 the further you get from the battery on the body points. Here's a good video that shows how to check:

If it does come to a valve body, Subaru has an updated valve body.
Hmm, the battery does seem rather weak; it was on my list to replace but haven't done it yet as the noise seemed more important. I'll go ahead an replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When you turn one front wheel and the opposite side turns in the opposite direction, the only things rotating are the wheels, hubs, axles, and the gears inside the differential body. The differential itself is not turning, nor the ring and pinion.

What you could be hearing then are a bad differential bering, a bad ring and pinion, a bad pinion bearing, or whatever comes next that drives the pinion.
If the noise can be heard when turning both front wheels with the transmission in neutral, there should be the same noise when turning one front wheel while the other is being prevented from turning. With one front prevented from turning, use a mechanic's stethoscope at different points between the front differential and the back end of the transmission while someone turns the free front wheel. This might help better locate the area by the loudness or tone of the noise. As Richard Pare noted, it could be in the front differential (that's the section in between the two axles that go to the front wheels) or it could be in the tail section area where the pinion shaft, coming from the front differential, is connected to "reduction gears" and the output shaft of the transmission. There, it could be a damaged gear or bad bearing.
It does sound like a bearing or something like that. I've got to find my stethoscope or get a new one; actually was going to do just that yesterday but couldn't find it. I think the kids found it a while back and ran off with it.
 
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