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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I've noticed I get some 'wheel chattering' (feedback in steering, vibration) when taking tight left turns. This occurs while rolling (up to 40 MPH I've experienced it) and while parked. I don't recall it happening when turning right.

I did notice that there was some fluid seeping from the front differential, and meant to check the levels and see where it was leaking from but things kept coming up and I didn't get around to it. There is also a 'whine' that tends to be present when the car is cooler, you can sort of here it here: https://clyp.it/rehu5bwk . It follows with the engine RPMs ( I don't know if it's relevant, just providing clues).

I've read some stuff which suggests this happens with AWD, and sometimes tire size differences can cause this. However, that sounds strange if I this happens while parked. I also found to: add LSD additive, and do tight figure 8's in a lot to 'workout the center clutch pack'.

So before I crawl under, any ideas or suggestions of what to look for? Or diagnostics to perform?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,612 Posts
you may need to look in the PS fluid reservoir while idling. Have someone turn the wheel and look for bubbles. There really shouldn't be any - on or 2 from splashing is OK, but the intake hose adapter and other parts can sometimes allow air to be sucked in. Often easy/cheap fix with an o-ring or hose. Do a search, many posts about that (even Youtube videos) - often there's a whine, but my WRX only had the steering wheel chattering vibration.

If it DOES prove to be the PS pump, used ones from the wrecking yard are the best option.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
you may need to look in the PS fluid reservoir while idling. Have someone turn the wheel and look for bubbles. There really shouldn't be any - on or 2 from splashing is OK, but the intake hose adapter and other parts can sometimes allow air to be sucked in. Often easy/cheap fix with an o-ring or hose. Do a search, many posts about that (even Youtube videos) - often there's a whine, but my WRX only had the steering wheel chattering vibration.

If it DOES prove to be the PS pump, used ones from the wrecking yard are the best option.
I've been meaning to check out the PS because it is pretty loud, especially in the morning when its cold. I don't know why I didn't even consider that it might be the problem, I just assumed with was either transmission or suspension/steering related. Good call. I'll check it out, replace the O-rings, and if necessary go for a pump replacement.
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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320 Posts
There should be a pop-up the first time someone signs into this forum in November/December:
Steering Noise in Cold Weather? Replace your suction hose O-ring!
I've seen this one half a dozen times in the past month.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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There should be a pop-up the first time someone signs into this forum in November/December:
Steering Noise in Cold Weather? Replace your suction hose O-ring!
I've seen this one half a dozen times in the past month.

yeah, that and maybe these 2 could also be 'seasonal';


" gasoline smell in the morning" (tighten fuel hose clamps)

or

"misfiring until warmed up" (bad plug wires/coil shorting in moist conditions)
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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320 Posts
+1 on the fuel hose clamps, put it in the same pop-up / sticky.

Re moist conditions, never owned a Subaru anywhere but Colorado. I bet they're a whole different animal in Oregon/Washington.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update: looks like it happens both directions. I had someone turn steering while car was parked, saw bubbles. Really small and only a handful, but I presume that's all that's needed. So the fix is just the o-ring on the suction hose? Part: 34439FG000 from the other thread that's active right now?


Now question: this is a terrible week to be dealing with this, is this a "fix ASAP" problem or a "get to it sooner rather than later" problem? Ideally I'd be able to get to it in a week (so like 2-300 miles). Thanks guys.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I have no idea about if, or how quickly, damage may be done.

on rare occasions, I think a different/tighter hose clamp or a new hose has been needed. Read of one guy on 90s model that had some kind of crack in the fluid tank????

o-ring is MUCH more likely though.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #9
I have no idea about if, or how quickly, damage may be done.

on rare occasions, I think a different/tighter hose clamp or a new hose has been needed. Read of one guy on 90s model that had some kind of crack in the fluid tank????

o-ring is MUCH more likely though.
Good to hear. I assume that air just screws up performance, like in brake lines. Looks like the repair only takes 10 minutes ( I thought I'd have to drain the PS and whatnot, found a quick and dirty on the Legacy site), I'll try and get it done today if dealer has the part in stock.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #10
Hey folks, got a sort of current situation.

Replaced o-ring, everything was great. Tightened bolt till it felt firm and left it. NExt day, issues start reappearing. I go to torque the bolt to spec (30 ft-lbs as i read it) and the bolt keeps spinning... and spinning... till this happens https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2463289 (someone else, same situation). I feel super dumb because when I noticed no change and spinning I should've stopped.

Luckily I easily removed it and found a new bolt. This one is doing the same thing. I matched the bolt as best i could re: length... I dont know how I'm apparently bending bolts like cheese. It gets to about 15 ft-lbs then continues to rotate. Any clue what's going on?

EDIT: Backed out new bolt, looks fine. Maybe because the suction hose mate is made of plastic/rubber, so the constant 15 ft-lbs is just the rubber compressing?

Here is toque spec:
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #11
Well things got worse. I tightened the bolt down to what felt 'pretty snug'. Definitely was leaking a lot of air. So I undid it, seated the o-ring on the pump body instead, and at first it seemed better but it wasn't- I had pinched the o-ring into the inlet channel on the pump. Which apparently caused tons of fluid to back up into the reservoir, which then overfilled on the driveway (my father's mind you... and he's reeeaallll anal when it comes to oil and stuff on his driveway). I ended up seating the o-ring on the inlet tube connection, spread a tiny amount of RTV silicone on the perimeter of it, and tightened it down. I guess I'll see what happens. Hopefully the reservoir goes down a little before I start it. And I hope it seals.

Still dont know why I can keep turning at a constant torque with seeming no mechanical result (like, pieces mating or something). There's a metal insert on the suction hose mate, so the 'rubber compressing' theory doesn't necessarily make sense?

Guess who cant replace an o-ring? <- This fella
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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if you are using a big torque wrench (150-200 ftlbs) you might not sense the click at just 29 ftlbs. hard to say really.

Or, someone before you stripped it out. You could try to helicoil it but, you might consider pricing a replacement pump from LKQ or car-part.com , they are usually cheap-ish.
 

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I might be mistaken, but my reading of the FSM is that the 30 (29.5) ft-lb spec cited earlier applies to the eye-bolt holding the high pressure hose to the pump, rather than the hold-down bolt for the suction hose adapter.

The adapter hold-down bolt has a 10 mm hex head (M6) whereas the pressure hose bolt is 14 mm (M10). I have not been able to find a FSM torque spec for the hold-down bolt, but similar-looking 10 mm hex heads at the AC compressor and on the accessory drive belt cover/shield have torque specs of only 7 - 9 ft-lbs. This is consistent with on-line charts for M6 torque specs. (Although the specs do vary with bolt hardness, they're not as high as 30 ft-lbs.)
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #14
I was using the torsion style where it indicates against a scale... I tried two different ones also haha.

In any case it looks like reseating + RTV fixed the issue at the pump. However ATF fluid started to leak slowly from here (underneath car on drivers side, close to front). I dropped it off at Best Buy because I had a remote start appointment and if I missed it, itd be months before I could book a new appt. Steering feels better... Hoping maybe just a new clamp will fix the new leak.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys, still running into issues. The ATF leak was from the transmission oil cooler, completely separate. Fixed it up with a new clamp, everything is OK for now.

On the power steering side I think I'm just going to order a new connector and o-ring and hope that stops the suction leak. Just want a sanity check that this is the right part:
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2009_Outback-Base-25L-4AT/CONNECTOR-PUMP-ASSEMBLY/49245802/34431AE030.html

Last week I could've sworn they listed two parts, one plastic (like the original) and the metal one linked above.
 

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2005 OB L.L. Bean (3.0 H6)
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17 Posts
If you've been messing around in your power steering system, especially if you see bubbles in the reservoir, make sure to bleed the air out. Even with a new o-ring and all, any air you let in won't leave in large amounts. Lift the car and turn lock to lock 15-20 times.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
For sake of accuracy if anyone ends up on this thread, the correct part is 34431FG000. Subaru puts you to the wrong part(34431AG030) because it's discontinued now, apparently. In the future I'll probably phone the dealer and verify for my VIN. Not fun waiting for the wrong part to come in -_-
 
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