2003 Forester wheel noise

I have recently noticed a noise that increases as the wheel revolutions increase (one noise per revolution). Seems to be on the right side of the car. Increased sound as I turn left. Decreased sound as I turn right. Could this be bearings or the CV joint?? How much to fix? Thanks.


Clicking noise?
If yes, it’s a CV joint

Whining noise?
If yes, it’s a bearing

If the noise occurs while turning left, the problem is on the right side.

This is because of load changes which occur when you make a turn

If it turns out to be a bearing, you may want to consider doing both sides.

If one bearing is bad, the other may not be far behind.

To db4690’s good advice, I will add that there was either a recall or a service campaign regarding rear wheel bearings on some Subaru vehicles from the early 2000s. If the OP goes to the service department of a Subaru dealership, gives them his VIN, and asks, “Are there any open recalls or service campaigns on my car?”, it is just possible that he/she can get rear wheel bearing replacement done–gratis.

Actually no whining or clicking noises. Just a whoop whoop that keeps time with the tire rotation speed.

I also had the same whoop whoop noise on my 2008 forester, only in the front. Never found out what it is, everything underneath look great. Sold the car because I couldn’t take the rattles, was scared that the wheel might fly off at 80 mph because no one could find the source of the noise.

There is no recall for wheel bearings on this car. I work in the parts department of a Subaru dealer. They are a common problem though. Not over expensive to repair. Not sure of exact prices off the top of my head. If it is a CV shaft, they make those re-manufactured right from Subaru for pretty cheap as well. Subaru knows they had problems, they don’t want people over-paying for common problems like these. Definitely have your local dealer run the VIN number and check for recalls just the same though. They will do this right over the phone

It’s not possible to diagnose with any certainty, could be other things like tire problems, brakes, etc, but a " whoop whoop whoop " noise is a common sign of a failing wheel bearing. Often this is the first sign the owner notices when it is a rear wheel bearing failing on a front wheel drive car. Often noticed at first only when turning at low speeds. Common problem, easily fixable.

Jack up the front wheel and see if there’s any play in it.

Great feedback. Thanks!

I had it repaired. “Repair Pal” had a range of $499 - $699 for replacing the front wheel bearing. My cost $375 at a local shop. The car runs like a champ. Obviously I will continue to take my car to my local shop.


Congratulations on getting your car repaired for a reasonable price!

BTW . . . which side front wheel bearing was replaced?

You nailed it . . . the right side.


Thanks for the info