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Suspension problem?

Shakes or Wobbles problem

1998 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport

140,000 miles

When traveling above 25 mph, if I hit a road irregularity then the steering wheel shudders, and I hear a hollow thumping noise that seems to be coming from the front of the car, and if I’m traveling at freeway speeds and turning the wheel (merging, changing lanes, driving on off-ramp) and the road is slightly bumpy, the same thing happens. The car also feels “floaty” at freeway speeds, in that it seems to wander. Also, sharper turns on tight on-ramps, etc., make the car feel like it’s understeering.

Badly worn ball joints possibly. This is not something to be messed with-take it into a shop soon.

Checked your air pressure lately? How many miles since your last alignment? Had anyone check the C.V. joints? A good independent shop should be able to figure this out. How about a bent or dented wheel?

C.V joint is not related to some of her symptoms, nor is an alignment or tire pressure.

Agreed. Undiagnosed problems of this sort should always be considered dangerous. Losing a wheel is not an unprecedented result of neglecting this type of problem.

Subarus have been prone to inner tie rod wear. This allows the front wheels to squirm around and basically cause a perpetual “out of alignment” situation.

Jack the car up one front wheel at a time. Grasp the tire at the 3 and the 9 o’clock position and try to move the wheel assembly in and out. There should be NO movement. If there is a very noticeable movement in the wheel assembly then odds are the inner tie rod(s) is gone. There is also the possibility of an outer tie rod end being worn out but with Subarus it’s usually the inners. Hope that helps.