Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Subaru Outback Steering Rattle

Hi All, I have a 2009 Subaru Outback with 60K miles and this problem has been present since I purchased with 30K miles. When turning left or right over uneven surfaces (like washboard dirt road, potholes, or strips of Botts’ dots in a parking garage) there is a loud, audible rattle coming from the front end. It sounds like to metal pipes hitting together. The noise does not happen when driving straight.

Subaru and another garage have inspected. Front struts and sway bar links have been replaced with no effect. CV joints, ball joints have all been inspected with no issues found.

I read on a forum that it may have something to do with the power steering fluid, that when turning there is uneven pressure on both sides and it results in the noise. Possible at the steering column universal joint.

Has anyone experienced this and found a solution? I assume since it only happens to some Subarus that replacing the correct parts will resolve the issue.

Thank you!

Just a guess, but maybe the noise is coming from the center differential, which is located near the front end. When you are cornering, you are making this differential work, but as long as the road is smooth, it works smoothly. When you hit bumps, it doesn’t work so smoothly. When you hit bumps going in a straight line, it isn’t doing any work so it doesn’t make any noise then.

I don’t buy the power steering story.