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Hello,

I have spend quite a while reading around this forum and trying to figure out my issue, and I think I may have solved it, but it comes with another issue, so here it goes:

My car is 2007 Subaru outback, automatic transmission, with 108,500 miles. It makes a whining noise on only left turns and sometimes going over bumps. The sound is definitely coming from the rear left wheel, and continues if i shift into neutral. It also sounds like it is directly related to the speed of the wheels, but happens at any speed over ~10mph. First thought was tires (which are nearly brand new, maybe 8000 miles on them), so I got them rotated to see if sound moved, but didn't.

So next I figured wheel bearing, which from everything I have read and heard would mean that it would feel loose/off balance/etc if I jacked it up and tried to move it. I stuck the car on jack stands and the wheel was solid as a rock.

Third thought was CV joint - which is what I still think it is - but it doesn't click at all, which seems to be one of the primary symptoms, and I haven't noticed any grease leaking - I did try to look closely, but I will admit I could have missed it.

This brings me to the other part of my question: I looked online and visited NAPA and O'reilly's and tried to buy/order a new or remanufactured rear CV axle. No one seems to carry them for 2007 outbacks - I couldn't find one online and the guys at NAPA and O'reilly's both seemed somewhat stumped. So, here are my questions:

1) Am I right in diagnosing this as a CV issue, or could something else be to blame?

2) If it is a CV issue, where can I find a replacement? I have looked into repacking the grease and replacing the boot, but I am in college and would prefer not to have to do what sounds like a very messy job in a rented garage.
 

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The wheel bearings on the car might well not have any apparent looseness/movement, or noise when the car is raised and the wheel pushed and pulled.

That was the case with my LR bearing -- a dull "growl" in the car when rolling but no sign of movement with the wheel raised. The bad bearing was finally diagnosed by getting the car up on a hoist, and both listening with a stethoscope and feeling in the bearing area. The bad bearing had a sound (in the stethoscope) that was clearly different from the other three bearings, and as the wheel was turned, a roughness could actually be felt in the nearby suspension components.

Many posts here about wheel bearings will have the same observation of no slack in the bearing but where replacing it resolved the issue.

The bearing on the 07 is integrated in the hub -- it's replaced as a complete unit.

Reports of rear axle CV failures are, really, very(!) rare.

Also, the whining on left turns only could be a brake pad contacting the rotor, or the rotor rubbing against the brake back plate because the plate is bent too close.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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As said, wheel bearings often show no signs of failure beyond the noise, until they are very, very bad.

They can trick you sometimes, too. One front made more noise on right turns, almost always that means it's the left bearing as the outside wheel is loaded more heavily when turning. Tricky SOB was the right bearing.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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If the sound stops when you apply the brakes it could be a caliper needing a bit of grease on the pins. If the caliper is sticky it does not release all the way and the pad rubbing the rotor can make a squeaking or whining noise. Sometimes worse in one direction (Reverse vs. Forward for example).

I'm going to start a wheel bearing (and god knows what else) replacement job tomorrow and I had no real noticeable play in the wheel when on jack stands either, just the classic noise and a very hot hub.
 
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