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2004 Outback VDC sedan
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a rather irritating problem and am hoping someone can offer advice.

My ~7 mo. old 2004 Outback VDC sedan (US model) has, in the past few weeks, developed a high-speed vibration somewhat similar in sensation to a vibrating massager.

I can feel it primarily in the accelerator pedal, especially when accelerating or at highway speeds, and sometimes (very strongly) in the seat and slightly in the steering wheel.

Also, when stopped in drive, there's an occassional pulsing vibration throughout the car and often a faint tapping noise from the front brakes.

The vibration started out intermittantly but eventually became constant in the gas pedal, so I took it in to a dealer service dept., where I was told this was "normal."

The problem grew steadily worse, so about a week later, I took it elsewhere and asked them to check it out and to also perform the 7500 mile service (tire rotation, balancing, and oil change).

They found an out-of-balance tire but no other vibration source. When I picked up my car, the vibration was gone for the first time in weeks. Unfortunately, it came back later that day on an intermittant basis and is now once again mostly constant.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,542 Posts
Next time it occurs, try to immediately feel the 4 tires and wheels for heat. The thought here is perhaps some issue with a tire or a dragging/malfunctioning brake caliper. Also, maybe observing the engine while idling and, with a helper on the gas pedal, at elevated RPMs. maybe a bad engine mount? When the vibration is occuring, does it's frequency seem synchronized with vehicle speed or engine RPMs?
The next time the dealer says it's normal, point to another on the lot and say; "Give me the keys to that one and I'll see for myself." Or, my favorite; "If they all do this, they're all broken and they all need to be fixed and you can start with mine!"

let us know what you discover OK?
 

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2004 Outback VDC sedan
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Vibration continues

Thanks for the thoughts. I was scheduled to take it back in and mentioned some of the possibilities you suggested, but they once again found nothing.

They suggested I bring it in sometime and leave with them for a full weekend so they can drive it around more extensively and experience the problem first-hand.

My current plan is to wait until the seat vibration is more constant or the car displays other more obvious symptoms and then take them up on that offer.
 
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