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subaru forester VISCOUS COUPLING (coupler) Manual transmission

i have a 2003 subaru forester 2.5x (the low end basic model) and recently it with make a horrible clicking noise when turning (more than a quarter turn of the steering wheel).
<br/> my initial though was a CV joint issue (having had this happen on an 87 subaru wagon) but it only happens after 20+ miles of when it's hot.
<br/> i brought it to my repair shop, they said it was probably the viscous coupling and not to worry about it.
<br/> well, it has been irking me.
<br/> first, should i worry?
<br/> second, any idea on the cost to have this fixed?


  • edited June 2009
    I am not a Subie guy but I know the viscous coupler is something to worry about. What have you found in regards to a service interval for the coupler?
  • edited June 2009
    there is no reference to the viscous coupling in the suggested service intervals i have seen.
  • edited June 2009
    maybe i can just replace the center differential?
  • edited June 2009
    Yes, you should worry, and you should find another repair shop, preferably one with more knowledge of Subaru drivetrains. Noises and/or binding indicate serious problems.

    You didn't tell us the mileage on this car, or whether it has an automatic or manual transmission. This is important information. Read your owner's manual; you'll see.

    I suggest you have the transmission lube/fluid and the lube/fluid in both differentials replaced ASAP.

    And as far as the cost goes, the longer you delay this the more it will cost.
  • edited June 2009
    i brought it to my subaru only repair shop.
    any suggestions for one in the boston area (i'm willing to drive a distance if they are good).

    sorry about the omission.
    it has ~133,000 miles on it.
    manual transmission.

    i have had the fluids changed about 4000 miles ago.

  • edited June 2009
    Did the shop check the fluid level or condition in your rear differential? Changing rear diff(regular service item) it would be my first move if any noise is coming front in.
  • edited June 2009
    changing the rear differential is a regular service item?

    i know changing the FLUID for the rear differential is a regular item and has been done a few times since i have owned the car.
  • edited September 2009
    I am having the same exact problem with my 2003 manual transmission Subaru Forester (2.5 model, as well). Oh, and it has 74,000 miles on it. I, too, thought it was the CV joints. It just started doing this two days ago.
    I took it the the shop today and they couldn't locate the problem just by lifting it and looking at it (so I am doubting the CV joints). They told me to drop it by tomorrow morning and they are going to really investigate it. The first thing he said they would look at is the rear differential fluid.
    I started looking here to get more info and discovered this post. I am curious if you ever found out what the problem was and how much it cost?
    Thanks very much, I appreciate it!

  • edited September 2009
    I have a feeling the "VISCOUS COUPLING" is what most people call the center differential. The weak knee of AWD vehicles..
  • edited September 2009
    i have yet to find a solution.

    the last time i did have the rear differential 'serviced' was at a valvoline oil change place about a year ago.

    i was going to poke around and see about changing the fluid myself. i hate those quick oil change places and have decied to do my best to avoid them.

    logically, bear in mind i AM NOT A MOTORHEAD, it seems the fluid is fine at cold temps, then after warming up maybe it breaks down and no longer works as it should. sorta makes sense. gets cold and more viscous and the cycle continues.

    a local VW specialty place said he'd take a look at it, but didn't say a price. and neither did my regular subaru specialty place (neither one dealerships). but as i mentioned before my subaru place didn't seem to want to fix it.
    it sounds horrible. people look it's so loud.

    luckily i have not been driving it much as of late just due to biking more and having another car to use for two weeks.

    please post what you discover!
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