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Discussion Starter #1
So far no mechanic has been able to diagnose the issue, and I was warned that it could be an expensive rabbit hole. So community, maybe you can help me!

When I take a left or right turn, there is a loud grinding feel and noise in the middle of the car. There is no issue or noise when driving straight.

Took the car in, they fixed the front left axle. Noise still persists. They checked all of the fluids and everything came back good, and no mention or sight of metal shavings in the differential fluid.

I have had 3 wheel bearings replaced in the passed, and this does not sound like a wheel bearing.

I bought the car 1 year ago, in a bit of a pinch so I don't know much about it and I bought it off craigslist (so who knows where its been). It has been great to me, except for this noise that started as a little thud every now and then but has accumulated to a louder thud/grind on turns over the course of the year. When I accelerate hard up a hill the back right tire actually sounds like its seizing up a bit as well with a loud clunk. Could be separate issues...

Alright, any and all help/comments would be appreciated, Thanks!!
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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since you bought it, have all the tires been the same?
same make/ tread/ type, tread depth?

= subarus like all 4 wheels the same or they get torque bind, this is correctable. it is noticeable when making slow figure 8 type turns. (grinding and grabbing is what you feel and hear)

can you upload a video to youtube?

here is some present discussion that you might get something from with your own similar car

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-rear-trailing-arm-bushings-symptoms-fix.html
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
All of the tires are the same size. I just took a video while driving the car around the block. The sound that I captured is very faint in the video but is very noticeable while driving/riding in the car and can best be heard at the 4 second mark.

Here is the youtube title: H6 2003 Subaru Outback thudding issue


I am not allowed to post a link since I am such a new member to this forum.


Thanks!!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Has it always done this since you bought the vehicle or only recently developed?
Does it do it even if you're 'coasting' through a turn - try it in drive AND in neutral - while turning the wheel at an angle that typically causes the noise:

Does it still do it in neutral while coasting?

Only while turning and center of vehicle:

1. rear differential. i'd change the fluid and see if any debris/chunks come out.
2. axles - aftermarket axles suck and have numerous issues (think about how bad you think aftermarket axles might be if you don't know this already - then multiple by at least 10 - they're atrocious and should never be paid for)
3. the 4WD bits in the rear extension housing - the MPT is failing

I'm also wondering about the rear driveshaft - center carrier bearings or ujoints, though I wouldn't expect them to only do something while turning.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,474 Posts
Has it always done this since you bought the vehicle or only recently developed?
Does it do it even if you're 'coasting' through a turn - try it in drive AND in neutral - while turning the wheel at an angle that typically causes the noise:

Does it still do it in neutral while coasting?

Only while turning and center of vehicle:

1. rear differential. i'd change the fluid and see if any debris/chunks come out.
2. axles - aftermarket axles suck and have numerous issues (think about how bad you think aftermarket axles might be if you don't know this already - then multiple by at least 10 - they're atrocious and should never be paid for)
3. the VTD is failing

.
possibly a typo above.

I don't think a 2003 Bean has VTD, but more like the plain old stuff like a H4 automatic of the same year. (in 2003 only VDC had VTD)

2003 Subaru Outback options, prices, colors, all other years also. Seattle

________

the 2005-2006 H6 Bean (no VDC) got it though,
2005 Outback- Subaru Outback Research site

edit: and non-VTD cars like the Original Poster's, ...should have a Front Wheel Drive fuse to insert to the fusebox under the hood, which can isolate the noise to specific areas.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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Sounds a bit like the bushings in the rear control arm assembly. I have bad ones on my rear upper lateral links and they make squeaks, clunks (going up hill especially). If you take off your rear tires, you should be able to see them. They're fairly big and the arm has that flat spot for the overload bushing to sit on (if the car were overloaded). I'm hoping to fix mine this weekend. I got the new bushings from the local Subaru dealership and a local shop says they can press them in. (The dealership won't press, but they sell the part.) It sounds like a bad transmission grinding in the rear, but pretty sure its these bushings. Also, rear calipers are pretty bad off, so I'm replacing them too. Sticking calipers are another thing to check for.

Here's a link to some pictures of what mine looked like:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-arm-bushings-symptoms-fix-2.html#post5018946
 

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possibly a typo above.

I don't think a 2003 Bean has VTD, Front Wheel Drive fuse to insert to the fusebox under the hood, which can isolate the noise to specific areas.
yes - install the FWD fuse.

I was thinking VDC VTD, it would be the MPT in this case, same idea though - the 4WD guts inside the rear extension housing. I'll edit.
 
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