2015 Crosstrek straining noise

Hi, I am having this experience with my 2015 CrossTrek. I’ve had this car from Day 1.
Over 90k miles.
It has been fantastic.
The noise this past few months is noticeably wrong, I can just tell. Almost like the car is straining, or stuck in a gear, but its not. Does that make sense? I have not had the tires rotated yet (this is my 2nd set of tires, still great tread) … and please note I am very good about oil changes… almost everything else has been checked. Trying to avoid the dealer if I can.

Is the noise coming from the front of the car (engine area) or rear of the car (rear axle area)? Is the engine revving higher than it has been?

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Hi @texases … the Engine Revs are not higher. They are typical for my car. High when you first start, I let them drop to under 1k rpms before driving (per bf’s orders). The noise seems like its from the front and rear, but If I were to commit I would say rear.

Rear axle bearings are a common Subaru problem around 100,000 miles or so. I’d find a good Subaru independent mechanic and have them take a look.

I suggest having a reputable mechanic who works on a lot of Subaru’s look at it. Tell them what you’ve observed or demonstrate it on a ride with them. From what you’ve described it’s difficult to pinpoint a problem - it could be major or minor, but usually the sooner you fix something the less it will cost in the long run.

Get a second opinion if you don’t trust your mechanic. If you don’t know who to go to, contact your friends and neighbors to see who they use. Eventually, you will have a short list of mechanics that show up often. Try one of them. Maybe your mechanic might be on the list.

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Do Subarus have a center differential that needs fluid changes - and that is very sensitive to tires of unequal circumference?

Which transmission does your car have? You also mentioned oil changes so I ask who has been doing those? There’s a reason for the questions.

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Up until about 3 months ago I have been going faithfully to Subaru for oil changes.

It has an automatic transmission.

Driving home today I feel like the noise is mostly in the rear. Also noted that it’s constant … no matter my speed or if I step on the gas, or, if I let off the gas and “coast” (which makes me suspect the tires …)

Could also be wheel bearings, they turn the same speed as the tires. A mechanic that knows Subarus can tell the difference.

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How many miles have these tires been on your vehicle without rotation? Some tires have a tread block pattern that is very susceptible to wear patterns in less than 10,000 miles and can become very noisy even at parking lot speeds.

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No, the fluid doesn’t get changed

Opinions seem to vary, but I believe it is very foolish to operate any AWD vehicle with tires of different circumferences, such as can happen when the tires are never rotated.

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First of all, I want to thank everyone for all of your comments.
They are all MUCH appreciated. :slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face:

My first plan of attack is to go get the tires rotated ASAP.
I will follow up.

They are supposed to be rotated on a consistent schedule of every 7,500 miles.
How many miles have you gone since the last rotation?

My reason for asking about transmission type is because there have been issues in the past with people mistakenly draining the final drive of gear oil by mistake. Left unattended, a very subtle whine may develop due to the ring/pinion gear lacking sufficient lubrication.

I notice things like this but based on past history some of the car owners either did not notice it or chose to ignore it. Eventually there will be a catastrophic bang and the transmission (transaxle actually) will become scrap metal.
Another symptom that may develop is a subtle type of straining feeling.

The odds of this happening at a Subaru dealer are far less but that also depends upon the experience and competence of the person doing the motor oil change. Subaru at one time even issued a TSB over this and you might consider having the final drive checked after reading the 2nd paragraph below.




Took the car into a mechanic. It was the left rear wheel bearings.
Noise is GONE!

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Great. Our Forester sounded WAY better once the rear wheel bearing was fixed.

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