Weird Sound from Forester

I got a 98 Subaru Forester with 130,000mi.There’s a strange sound coming from the rear of the car when moving. It started a few months ago. It’s a kind of whirring sound, maybe a bit like metal rubbing, kind of sounds like a jet engine off in the distance. I made a wav file of me duplicating it, but I sound like an idiot! It starts up at a slow roll and briefly increases in volume as increase speed, but by about 5 or 10 mph its as loud as it gets. It doesn’t change when braking or shifting, its the same whether coasting or in gear, Its much louder inside the car than outside (almost can’t hear it when I stick my head out the window), I can kind of get it to come and go by weaving the car at a slow roll, and lastly, it doesn’t seem to happen when the roads are wet. I’ve checked the rear wheels, brakes, brake drums, differential lube - all look ok. Is my car haunted? Thanks.

If I was a betting man, I’d put pretty good money on you needing one or more rear wheel bearings replaced. Your description is textbook. Put it back in the air, spin the wheel & listen for roughness. Grab the wheel at 12 & 6 o’clock and jerk it back & forth. Any play & sound of roughness would mostly confirm wheel bearing. If they’re both original back there I wouldn’t worry about which one. I’d just replace them both.

And, btw, a bad wheel bearing is…well, bad. Don’t wait.

I was afraid you’d say that. Why in January and not in August?? - Murphy is alive and well! I’ll probably be diggin into it next weekend…and probably be freezing my ass off. Thanks again.

LOL…sure does sound like it… PLEASE try to discern if it is from the WHEELS…not your rear end or Pumpkin…er…differential. The diff is much less likely more likely wheel bearings…but while shes up on jacks pull the upper plug on the diff and make sure you have plenty of gear lube in there…then clean off your finger…cause it will STINK after that…LOL…not kidding…something happens to that lube when put under high stress…after that it gets a FUNKY SMELL


Blackbird - I checked it and it’s good. But you are RIGHT sir! I cleaned my hand off with a rag and then threw the rag on the floor of the backseat. Got up the next morning, got into my car and said out loud, “what the hell STINKS in here?” LOL!