Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,
I’m having an issue with my 02 out back. It has a little over a 103,000 miles on it and I’m having an issue when stepping on the breaks around 30-45mph. I get a vibrating in my steering wheel. I have replaced the front breaks and rotors and put 4 new tires on the car and still have the same issue. Any clue on what I should do next.
:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Does it vibrate at any other time? I would think if it were wheel balance you'd feel it at other times too. If the rotors are perfectly flat (and not all new ones are) then perhaps there's a suspension issue like a worn CV joint.
 

·
Tokyo's between my toes
Joined
·
6,696 Posts
That's the classic symptom of warped rotors, but if you had those replaced and it's still happening, then I don't know what's wrong - unless they cheated you and left the old rotors on, but that's not likely. Maybe take it back to the same place and have them ride in it and guess what the problem is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
I had this same problem on my older honda accord, and my 00 OBW. My guess is that your rotor is probably warping because it is overheating. What may be happening is your calipers have rust on the piston which makes them stick and not retract. This means that the pads could be constantly rubbing against the rotors, causing them to overheat and then to warp at high temp.

If this is the problem then you will notice:
1. vibrating only after driving for a while
2. Try touching the rotor after driving a while, and if it is significantly warmer than the other side take note.
3. Jack the front of the car up and rotate the wheel back and forth with your arms, if you notice and grinding or rubbing sound thats a dead give away (you will hear gear clunking which is normal)
4. excessive brake dust is also a give away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
i agree, from symptoms, it almost certainly sounds like warped rotors. so how they got that way is the Q.

Luke is right, i think your calipers are not retracting properly when you let off the brakes. they're designed to "float" from side to side and if this isn't happening, one pad stays in near constant contact with rotor and warps it pronto. one wheel hotter than other 3 is also an indicator of draggin brake.l :eek:

there's an extensive thread on non releasing brakes somethwere here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Well not exactly. The rear brake rotors will never be as hot as the fronts since something like 70% of braking power comes from the front brakes, so only compare the two front rotors. No disrespect intended cpt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
sorry, i wasn't being clear again. i meant after run at hwy speeds where all brakes in theory have been running cool and unloaded for a while.

you're right abt percentages but i don't think one stop will heat up fronts enough to mask this effect. on most of the cases i've seen, it was blatantly obvious, not a subtle difference at all. not uncommon for it to heat up hubs enough (on RWD car) that wheel brg grease liquefies and oozes past dust cap.

one almost sure indicator of brake drag is bluing or cracking of contact surface of rotor.

Luke, no respect desired. :D i allus appreciate it when anyone points out my inaccuracies and delusions, of which i have many...:crazyeye:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi, all

Thanks for the info. I don’t think it is the tries. The reason why I say this is because I replaced the brakes first and still had the issue, then I put the new tires on and still had the same issue so I had the rotors saved and that did not work. So I replaced them. But I’m not sure if the tires was balance correctly and the old ones could have been out of balance also? But I wonder if it is the rotor issue that some of ya are talking about. Now that is has been brougth to my attention the one thing I did not say because I did not think this would be part of the vibrating problem is I do smell a burning odor. I wonder if something is rubbing. I have been wiping my 04 outback around and I don’t get that smell at all. I was thing that the 02 just has a lot of miles and it just a wear and tear smell. So I guess it time to get dirty. now that I have a better idea of what I should look for this may help me find the issue. I hope in a day or so I can find out what’s up. I will let you all know how I made out. If any one thinks of something or hears some new info please let me know.

Thanks
2Backs
:8:
 

·
Superb Moderator, ,
Joined
·
6,194 Posts
Well I was going to say that maybe your lugnuts weren't properly torqued when the tires/rims were put back on...But that shouldn't provide you with a burning smell really. I mean the rotors can get warped by improper torque on the lugnuts, then warp the rotors, then provide stinky smells and vibrations. Other than that, I'm hungry and need to eat. Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
bheinz57
Well I check the smell and it's not from the Rotors, Well I think not, The smell is more like antifreeze of an acid smell I see not leaks so I will look into that some time later for now I’m still need to find out what’s up with this Vibrating issue . Any ways bheinz57 you
Said something about the Lugnuts weren't properly torqued. I now going to check that because I did have an issue with one of my Lugnuts Stud and I had to replace it. But I was having the issue before and after a had the stud replaced. Can I do this on my on or should I have a tire place torque the lugs and check the stud. I’m all over the place I have no clue what’s up. But keep the info coming I will try anything at this point. I'm thinking now I may take the 2 front tire/rims off of the 04 Outback and put them on the 02 Outback and see if I still have this issue. If Im correct they shoud fit.

Thanks
2Backs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Well I check the smell and it's not from the Rotors, Well I think not, The smell is more like antifreeze of an acid smell I see not leaks so I will look into that some time

antifreeze commonly evaporates off hot engine so you rarely see liquid dribbling. look for white scale deposits like on faucets in hard water areas, esp around both ends ofthe radiator hoses. coolant smells sort of sweetish and kind of funky inthe fermentation sense, while hot brake linings smell like a diaper needing changing (seriously). battery acid has an acrid, biting, citrusy odor, but if you're smelling that, you'll see lots of acid dmg near battery too.

Can I do this on my on or should I have a tire place torque the lugs and check the stud. I’m all over the place I have no clue what’s up.
absolutely. go to your local Harbor Fright, get $15ish beam type 1/2 drive torque wrench and cheapest socket set they have. assuming you have alloy wheels so i'd guess they're torqued to something in area of 65-85 ft lb, but yr O-manual may show spec and shop manual certainly will. anyone know spec on this?

the way lug nuts can warp rotors is when someone uses air impact wrench, many of which can generate 450-600 ft lb, and cranks em down and doesn't do the last bit with either torque wrench or educated arm. regettably common practice. one of the 1st things i do to a vehicle being driven by signif other is make sure the lug nuts don't require King Kong to loosen.

I’m all over the place I have no clue what’s up. But keep the info coming I will try anything at this point. I'm thinking now I may take the 2 front tire/rims off of the 04 Outback and put them on the 02 Outback and see if I still have this issue. If Im correct they shoud fit.
this is a great idea, as you can eliminate several variables this way. if you really want to be sure, slap the 02 wheels on 04 and drive it.

i stillthink it's warped rotors after re-reading symptoms, and given the miles on yr car, calipers needing attn as the cause is entirely possible. calipers that are wasted enough that they don't retract will oftenshow signs of heat/age/UVozone deterioration....cracked and dried rubber on the seals, but not always. it's possible shop turned old rotors instead of replacing em, and theold ones are now below minimum mass for heat retention/dissipation and are warping from heat of use. it's hard to diagnose wqithout seeing car.
one other possibility you shd look at is worn front wheel bearings and/or CVs as Jondalar mentioned....if those are way worn, esp wheel brgs, the reverse torque applied to the axleshaft under braking can cause entire axle assy to move aroundslightly, causing a judder. slop in steering tie rod ends might be able to generate some judder under braking torque too, i'm guessing.

one suggestion for cost & labor effective approach: i think Firestone, sears, etc otto centers will look over all the undercar stuff for free or minimal $ cuz they hope to sell you the repairs if they find anything. so they have econ incentive to be v. critical. use them to get a 2d opinion. print out this thread and show it to whomever you have look at it further, sorta like giving the psychiatrist a family history. good luck and keep us posted.

bw
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
About this Discussion
13 Replies
8 Participants
CPToversteer
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top