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Any ideas on what I should ask the mechanic to look at

I own a 2006 Subaru Forester which has been the absolute best cr I have ever owened. It has a little over 120,000 miles (60 mile commute to work one way 3 days week). For a little more than a year I have noticed that when I make a sharp turn like into a parking spot the car makes a clicking noise and kind of shakes. It has just got progressively worse. Does anyone have any thoughts on what this could be and if so about how much should I expect to pay. Also is it worth getting fixed or should I think about trading it in. I never know how to tell the mechanic what is wrong or what I think they should be looking at. I appreciate any advice. I love my car and have never had any other trouble with it except headlights burning out quickly. And I have learned to replace the bulbs myself. Thank you.

Just tell the mechanic exactly what you said in your post. You don’t want to bias his diagnosis. I could be as minor as CV joints.

Thank you for the response. If it is the CV joints is that a big job?

Does your Forester have an automatic transmission? Have you ever had the transmission serviced (fluid replaced, etc)?

It sounds like you’re describing a failing AWD transfer valve. You will want a qualified Subaru mechanic for this.

Yes it is an automatic. I’m ashamed to say no I havent ever had the transmission serviced. I keep up with the oil and filter changes but thats kind of where it ends. Would that cause noise along with the fact I can feel a difference in the steering wheel like a clicking. Is that a huge and expensive job? Thank you for your thoughts. I agree I need to find a mechanic that actually works on subaru vehicles.

If you think $200 is hugely expensive, then you can expect hugely expensive. It could be CV joints and that is good news.

I had an AWD Volvo with very similar symptoms and it was the drive shaft connecting to the rear wheels. An $800 part alone. Hope your problem is simplier and less expensive.

I would be thrilled with only a $200 bill. I was thinking up to $800 or even $900. The car to me is worth it. It has been great so I can’t complain. I just always hear horror stories about spending a lot of money then having something else major go wrong. I don’t want to get into the cycle of throwing good money after bad if I can help it. I know there is no real way to predict what could happen but I’m just trying to get ideas. I’m going to call the subaru dealer today or just stop in. Thank you for the response.

I believe that mcparadise is on the right track.
In addition to the AWD transfer valve failing from lack of transmission service, it is also possible that the AWD mechanism has been damaged by running the car with mismatched tires.

Just as you have skipped the very vital trans fluid change every 30k miles, if you have not consistently rotated the tires every 5k or every 7.5k, you could have done major damage to the AWD mechanism.

Have you consistently rotated your tires as described above?
Are the tires matched as to brand, size, and amount of tread wear?
What can you tell us about your tires?

I’m ashamed to say no I havent ever had the transmission serviced
That could be an expensive error. Start now. Also read the owner’s manual. If it list it do it. Do the transmission fluid even if the owner’s manual does not list it.

[b] I love my car"

“I keep up with the oil and filter changes but thats kind of where it ends.”[/b]

Am I the only one who sees these two statements by the OP as somewhat in conflict with each other?

If someone really “loves” his/her car and wants to keep it running as long as possible and as economically as possible, that person should be doing much more than simply changing the oil (at an unknown frequency). If the OP is telling us that this vehicle with over 120k on the odometer has never had the factory recommended services performed at 30k, 60k, 90k, and 120k, I really don’t think that she will be loving it much longer.

In addition to the 4 trans fluid changes that she has skipped, she has apparently also never rotated the tires, or changed the spark plugs, plug wires, air filter, fuel filter, coolant, differential oil, and brake fluid. As a result, this vehicle is going to need a lot of very expensive repairs in the very near future. As just one example, the transmission undoubtedly has little life left in it before it needs to be rebuilt–to the tune of a couple thousand $$.

Another example of what will happen as a result of skipped maintenance is the extremely important timing belt. This part was supposed to have been replaced at 105k miles. When it snaps (with no warning whatsoever), your engine will be reduced to an inoperable steaming pile of metal which will cost about $1500 to fix–over and above the cost of the timing belt itself. Please note that it is not a question of IF the overaged timing belt will snap, but rather a question of when it will suddenly do so.

While this misadventure in car care shows Subarus to be more tolerant of poor maintenance than many people think, this situation will end with some big expenditures for the OP, IMHO. The OP should probably sell the car or trade it in, and start from scratch with a new car and with–hopefully–a new attitude toward car maintenance. I just pity the person who is the next owner of this severely neglected vehicle.

And people wonder why I don’t buy used cars!

Thank you for the feedback. I can respect your opions. Yes, I take full responsibility and as you have pointed out I am sure I will pay for it. I have contacted the Subaru dealer where I purchased my car to have them take a look at it and get the work done. Some information in your above post is assumed on your part though. I have had the tires rotated as suggested and did have a tune up at least once. I do plan to be more vigilant with my car care. I apologize for obviously offending you however there has never been any malintent on my part and never thought my car was just a throw away to give my problems to another person. Thank you again.