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Old 02-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clunking Sound while driving - Trans?

I have a 99 Forester with.. around 130k miles on it.

I don't remember when it started making the noise, but I have only had it for a year or so. The previous (only other) owner was my Aunt, and she treated it like it was made of glass, so it was not abused.

The check engine light is on, but last I knew it was for a fuel line or air pressure or something, and the causes ranged from a gas cap to fuel lines to fuel pump... I forget the exact code.

Whenever I am pressing the gas, I hear a clunking sound. It goes faster as my speed increases, and I don't notice it changing when it shifts, like slowing down as my gears get higher.

When I make turns, especially left turns, it seems much more prominent.

The sound comes from the front of the car, and my friends say it is from the passenger side, but that could just be because they are sitting over on that side.

I took it to a garage, and the mechanic replaced the front right axel because the boot was all tore up, and I didn't even get out of the lot before I heard the same exact sound. I waited a couple weeks and brought it back and he looked it all over again, and said he couldn't find the cause, but he said it was very likely a transmission issue because these cars are known for transmission problems.

Anyone have experience with this issue?

Should I take it to a place like Aamco and have them run the $50 diagnostic on it, or should I just find another mechanic to take a look at it, or what?

I am most afraid of having it grind to a halt while I am driving down the highway.

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like your center driveshaft may be ready to let go. Does it wobble too? Or just clunk?
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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define wobble?

would does my car feel like it is on crooked tires, or would my wheel sway back and forth? or both?

I haven't really noticed it. I will try and notice on my way home...

would a driveshaft require me to win the lottery to replace?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Did you ever figure this issue out??? I am having the exact same thing happen to me right now...
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have not found out what is causing it yet, but I did manage to take a couple recordings, so hopefully I will be able to get those uploaded to see if anyone can recognize them.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh man. You have me wondering about my problem too. I thought it was axle or CV joint. When I make slight left turns, I get a clunking too, especially when I hit the gas harder. It too speeds up as I do but seems to go away when the car is warm.
I was about to replace the axle.... I might just take 'er in to a Subaru shop and see what they find...
BTW- I have a '99 Forester L with 140K on it.
Please let me know what you find and I will do the same.

PS - I found a new drive shaft for $372.50 + $60 core and free shipping both ways. Also I found a "low mile" used one for $172...

Last edited by emtownsend; 04-08-2011 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey i have myself a 2000 fozzi and like wise i notice a knocking like sound from the wheel wells when i turn left normally from a stop on to the street kinda scenario, i do get a bit of a wobble in the steering wheel when under moderate to hard braking. i was thinking that it was a wheel bearing issue or possible brakes but i have new brakes and the bearings were checked out during the last inspection at Subaru. so please if you have gotten the centre axel replaced let me know if it solved the knocking if so then i shall have to bring the girl in for a servicing

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Old 05-01-2011, 03:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i have the same problem with my 00 forester N/A. I also think its the engine support and because i hear it when i start my engine but i dunno where the engine support for the EJ engine is located so im not yet sure if it really is the engine support. I also have a problem with my gear oil, i've changed my oil seal already but still the oil comes out. ive checked the drivers side/left side but there's none, only on the right/passenger side. and the axle is a bit loose, so i was thinking maybe that is the problem, whenever i move the axle inwards/outwards the gear oil comes out. do you guys know how to adjust the axle or have encountered the same thing? thanks.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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any update on this?
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I fixed my problem!
OK, my buddy replaced the CV Axle which fixed the crunching noise. During that process we found the lower control arm to be very loose and grease was all over it like it was bad. Once both of those were replaced, I had a 4 wheel alignment and balance.
Now, the car rides very smoothly.
The blown lower control arm made my steering wheel feel vague and it actually made it feel like the wheels were not being turned properly when I moved my steering wheel., plus I had bad edge wear on my driver's side tire.
The CV Axle was $53 and the lower arm was $37. 4 wheel alignment was $69.
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