Vibrating front end until the car warms up

I have a 98 Subaru Outback with 115k on the clock. Lately, in the first 15-20 miles after sitting overnight or several hours, there is a vibration from the front end. When I go over ~40, I can feel it through the brake pedal. When I go over ~55, the steering wheel will vibrate. After the car’s sufficiently warmed up, it’s smooth as can be. I’ve replaced both front axles in the past year… did I get a dud or is there something else you can think of?

Does in only do this when the temperature is cold outside, say below 30deg F.?

Bias-ply tires do this when it’s cold, but you don’t have bias ply tires.

Nope, it does this no matter what the ambient temperature is. I’m down in Texas and even on hot days, it is still shaking until something in the car heats up. Thanks!

Since you say you can feel the vibration through the brake pedal and steering wheel, the first thing that comes to mind is a sticking brake. Drive your cold car for about 10 miles and pull over. Feel both front wheels and brakes for excessive heat. If so, you have a brake problem.

Thanks for the thoughts! I work at an R&D lab, so we have lots of temperature probes around. Later this week, I’ll borrow one so I can check the brake without burning my hand… just in case it is very hot.

Steve, YOU’RE GREAT! I drove my car on my 3.5 mile drive to work this morning then felt all 4 brakes. The front/driver side brake I could barely touch with the back of my finger, it was so hot. On my other 3, they were cool still. The funny thing is that about 4-5 months ago (when it was warm & my windows were always down), I could hear that brake squaling every once in a while. I immediately took it to my mechanic who said he drove it & never heard it. He ‘inspected the brakes’ but couldn’t find anything. I’m debating whether to find a new mechanic or not?

Nah, just get it fixed. Let this mechanic continue to work on the easy stuff. If he is ever stumped, check back here again. Happy motoring.

Well, he is stumped on something else, which has me thinking of going the new mechanic route. When I have 3-4 people in my car (which is rare), and turn right, it’s making a rough noise from the rear of the car. It’s almost like a slow grinding noise. The mechanic checked the suspension and found nothing wrong. He also put 2 shop guys in the car & couldn’t replicate the noise, but it does it EVERY TIME for me. When we picked up a friend from the airport, it made the noise and my friend immediately looked under my car & couldn’t find anything immediately wrong. Once he left, he called me & told me to check my tail pipe for too much play. With only a little force, it will easily move ~3"… do you think my hangers are shot?