04 Subaru OB SW

I have an 04 Subaru OB Wagon, 85,000 miles.

In the last few months it has started some very strange behavior. At about 70 mph, it begins with a dull roar, like riding on tires that are worn or not inflated properly. Then it gets louder and begins vibrating up front, the steering wheel shakes and the whole dash vibrates. It drives like you are driving with all flat tires, but all vibration is from front of vehicle. It does this for about 5 minutes or so then corrects itself.

I have had tires balanced and rotated. I took to Subaru dealer but since it doesn’t do this all the time, they were clueless and said unless they could drive it and see/hear what it was doing, it was hard to say what it may be. That sounds costly.

Any ideas - Anyone???


I’m assuming this vehicle has an automatic transmission, but your post doesn’t specify.

Look under the hood for a small receptacle labeled FWD. It should be at the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger’s side.

Insert a spare fuse into this receptacle, which will disable the rear drive and make the car Front Wheel Drive only.

If the problem does not happen while the fuse is in the receptacle, then the problem could be in the AWD transfer valve and clutch pack in the transmission. These items wear and can cause “binding” in the drive train.

If your vehicle has a manual transmission have the transmission and differential lubricants replaced and see if that helps.

Sorry - yes it is an automatic transmission - thanks for your help!