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Sawing-sound from rear of the scar

Hi, I have a 2006 subaru outback. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a sound when driving the car, the sound appears to come from the rear driver side wheel area. It sounds like something made of rubber rubbing together, there is no screeching or metallic (high pitch) sound at all. A while back I had gotten a nail stuck in the tire and every time the wheel turned it’d make a sawing or low humming sound, this sounds just like that. The sound is very noticeable when inside the car but you can barely hear it from outside the vehicle (windows down). It’s very noticeable while driving straight or turning right but when I turn left the sound disappears.

Anyhow, at first I thought it had to do with all the snow that we’ve been getting an some of it freezing on the inside of the wheel well and rubbing on the tire but I’ve cleaned both rear wheel wells and I can’t find anything that is on the tires or rubbing against them. I’ve been under the car as well and have also looked at the break pads/caliper area to see if anything is stuck in there but was not able to find anything at all.

I’ve put a recording of what it sounds like here:

Any suggestions as to what it may be?

Have your wheel bearings checked.


Left rear bearings where the problem. Thanks!

You may wish to have the right rear replaced as well, as a precautionary measure, after all, it’s as old as the left one.

Do you mean the sway bar bushings and not wheel bearings? I know they are not exactly related, but a wheel bearing does not make this rubbery sound you are describing. Subarus are actually known for this rubbery creaking from the rear suspension…

If you do a search with “Subaru Outback Wagon creaking rear suspension” and you will see just how many other people are dealing with what sounds like the same issue. My friends Wagon suddenly began this ridiculous rubbery Schroonching sound from the rear. We never figured out what it was because it went away as fast as it came upon us. From what I have gathered most Subarubians remedy this issue with either sway bar bushings or struts… So…I’m not sure what the solution for his vehicle is just yet.

Glad you fixed it, but I’m honestly shocked to hear that a wheel bearing fixed this issue. It makes no sense to me at all really…but that’s ok …it doesn’t need to make sense to me to be fixed… LOL

Glad you got it diagnosed and repaired. Now think back to about 6-9 months ago. Did you drive through some high water? From storm flooded streets, or crossing a stream on a camping trip? If so, that’s quite likely the cause of the wheel bearing failure. OEM wheel bearings are really tough beasts, probably made by Timken or Koyo, and wouldn’t be a common failure item in a 13 year old vehicle.