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Subaru Forester torque bind

I have a 1998 Forester 186,000 miles.

It has a deep rumbling sound at low speeds and when I turned it was binding a bit. I disabled awd and it drove fine. I checked tires and mechanics at tire place inflated too high. I adjusted that . Then took out fuse for fwd and now in awd it drives fine but I am worried it will do it again. Nearest Dealer is 150 miles. Should I drive it in fwd to the dealer Albuquerque? Will that harm the car? No Subaru mechanics nearby.

Are your tires identical with the same tread depth all around?

Yes all tires are identical but tread depth is narrower on right rear wheel. Actually using a penny its 1/8 of an inch the rest of the tires are about 3/16th - 1/4 thread depth with outer and inner tread more worn on all tires.

Pull the fuse and get it addressed at your leisure or maybe never on a 12 year old Subaru if AWD not needed.

This may be your problem, then. Many or all Subarus require the tire circumference to be nearly identical. Please check your manual and report back exactly what it says about that. With a tread depth difference of up to 4/32, you’re probably outside the allowed range, which would damage the AWD system and cause symptoms like you report.

Automatic or manual transmission?

The FWD fuse tells me it’s an automatic. The transfer valve is probably worn sufficiently that it is not releasing when it should, and that’s why it’s binding.

The AWD transfer valve and clutch pack are in the rear of the transmission. When I had them replaced on my '99 Legacy it cost about $750.

I’d be tempted to insert the fuse and live with FWD. Continued binding will cause internal transmission damage and significantly increase the repair cost.

If you can locate an independent Subaru mechanic you wouldn’t need the dealer, but I’d want someone who knows and understands the Subaru AWD system to fix this.

Thamks for the help. I pulled the fuse and it is running fine in 2 wheel drive