Squeaky Subaru

Here’s one that even the dealership can’t figure out: My 2001 Subaru Outback’s wheels have been squealing intermittently for about 6 months now (getting progressively worse). The squealing usually starts when I have slowed down after driving at high speeds (40-50mph). The squealing stops immediately when I put on the brakes, and it also stops when I make either a right or left turn. I can’t make the car reproduce the sound (which has also been a difficulty for the mechanics), and it usually doesn’t start until I’ve been on the road for a while. After the squealing has started (while driving 20-30 mph)it tends to continue while I’m driving at higher speeds. If I brake for a long period of time, the squealing stops for a while.

This is really starting to drive me nuts! Does anyone have a clue as to what the problem might be? I’ve gotten three answers from the Subaru dealership: one time, they told me it was an alignment problem (they realigned my wheels), the second time, they told me there was mud in my wheels (they cleaned them out), and the last time, they told me it was my brakes (which they have looked at many times, and given the OK – even replaced my front brakes and rotors). It’s still as noisy as ever.

Any thoughts?


Try driving it without the wheel covers and see if the sound stops. Oh no you didn’t put chrome wheels on a Subaru! I don’t believe it is the wheel covers since it just started six months ago, but I haven’t had to fix any of the other things I can think could be wrong. If it is the wheel covers, I don’t know the cure. Oh no you didn’t…

Wheel covers have to be ruled out as all Outbacks come equipped with alloy wheels. If it was one of the lower trim line Legacy wagons, it might have come with steel wheels and wheel covers, but every Outback comes with alloy wheels, albeit somewhat different alloy wheel designs on the various Outback trim lines.

Well Golleee,
sounds like brakes to me…
maybe scrapers leting you know its time for
new brakes !

It does sound (no pun intended) as if the wear indicators in the brake pads are the culprit, except for one detail. Those little devices will emit their cricket-like sound for a few weeks perhaps, or maybe even a month, but I have never known those noise- makers to last for 6 months.