Rear end noise


#1

Not THAT kind of noise… Just kidding. 2003 Subaru Forester with 130,000 miles. We put new tires on two months ago and when I started hearing the wah, wah, wah noise coming from the back of the car (rhythmic - increases with speed of car) I assumed on of the new tires was bad. It isn’t. Also pulled the brake drums and cleaned everything there up… Any ideas what this might be?


#2

There is a good chance that this is a problem with your rear wheel bearings.

Back in the early 2000’s, Subaru had a problem with the rear wheel bearings provided by one of their suppliers, with the result that there were quite a few early failures. As a result, they did provide “good will” assistance, post-warranty, for repairs on certain model year Foresters and some other models.

If you supply your VIN to the dealer’s service department, they can tell you if yours is one of the ones for which Subaru will provide some good will assistance. However, even if your Forester theoretically falls into the covered category, it is possible that its odometer mileage and its age will disqualify you at this point, as it is not unusual to have wheel bearing problems after 130k miles, even if a particular model does not have a history of problems in this area.

If yours isn’t covered, take the vehicle to a trusted independent mechanic. Any mechanic can replace rear wheel bearings, and an indy guy will be much cheaper than the dealership.


#3

Rear end noise. Ha ha!

Are the new tires the same size as the old ones? Do all four match? Any chance they are rubbing on a loose splash guard or mudflap?

How was it determined that the tires are not bad?


#4

Thanks. I took the tires back to the tire dealer and had them check them over. I’ll call subaru.


#5

I do not know how the tire dealer “checked them over,” but it may have been just a visual inspection. This would not reveal internal flaws, which are a likely cause of the road noise you are hearing.

The trick here is to rotate the tires, front to back, and see if there is any change in the noise. If so you have discovered the source of the noise to be a bad tire, regardless of what the dealer may tell you.

If there is no change, suspect a wheel bearing.


#6

I wondered about the wheel bearings but there’s no screeching or play in the wheel… I’ll rotate the tires tonight and see if that changes anything.