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Old 10-04-2011, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Loud High Pitched Whine from the Rear

Okay, so on to the next problem. Driving down the road today, about 35-45. REALLY loud annoying high pitched whine coming from the rear of the car. Intermittent. Not constant under acceleration. Rear differential whine? Not a dull roar like bearings, but a high pitched whine. Did I mention LOUD?

Let me guess: since the woman that owned this car before me didn't do ANY preventative maintenance, it probably needs the rear diff fluid changed, right?

Any thoughts?

Update: Drove it again moments ago on a short trip, and no whine. Will change the rear diff fluid this weekend along with EVERYTHING ELSE already on my plate to do.
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Last edited by 99ForesterVA; 10-04-2011 at 03:15 PM. Reason: A Middle-Aged Irresponsible Lady
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 99ForesterVA View Post
Okay, so on to the next problem. Driving down the road today, about 35-45. REALLY loud annoying high pitched whine coming from the rear of the car. Intermittent. Not constant under acceleration. Rear differential whine? Not a dull roar like bearings, but a high pitched whine. Did I mention LOUD?

Let me guess: since the woman that owned this car before me didn't do ANY preventative maintenance, it probably needs the rear diff fluid changed, right? I would LOVE to LICK HER FEET for abusing this poor car.
Quoted for posterity. And if you must emphasize something with the use of swear words, we will gladly help expedite your efforts to do so over at NAISOC.

Some of the most neglected service items are transmission fluids, differential fluids, power steering fluids and brake fluids, so you shouldn't be surprised. Besides you knew there was some issues fairly early on God-awful Noise in Front End! Yikes!

Not knowing which model Forester (L or S), could it be a dragging brake caliper or brake piston if it were an S model. As brake pads wear down they have an audible sensor that is meant to alert you to check your brakes. This can either be constant if the caliper is dragging and can often not be heard until the brakes begin to heat up. I can't offer you a probable cause if it is the rear drum set-up, maybe someone else will.

And I'll say don't rule out the possibility of either the wheel bearing (really common on the 98-99's) or a drive shaft.

Lots of possibilities, I'm sure more will offer their advice.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some of the most neglected service items are transmission fluids, differential fluids, power steering fluids and brake fluids, so you shouldn't be surprised. Besides you knew there was some issues fairly early on God-awful Noise in Front End! Yikes!

Not knowing which model Forester (L or S), could it be a dragging brake caliper or brake piston if it were an S model. As brake pads wear down they have an audible sensor that is meant to alert you to check your brakes. This can either be constant if the caliper is dragging and can often not be heard until the brakes begin to heat up. I can't offer you a probable cause if it is the rear drum set-up, maybe someone else will.

And I'll say don't rule out the possibility of either the wheel bearing (really common on the 98-99's) or a drive shaft.

Lots of possibilities, I'm sure more will offer their advice.
When I got the car (the S model), I changed all four rotors and brakes. Could it be dragging a brake caliper or piston? It's been awhile since I changed the brakes, and no noise since then, so I doubt that but you never know.

Could be a rear bearing, but I've never heard one make that high-pitched sound; more like a dull roaring most of the time when I've heard them, but I guess anything could be possible. I'm not a professional mechanic.

I never knew a drive shaft could make that kind of noise, but since I'm new to Subarus, I guess if that's true, I will learn shortly enough.

PS: Thank you for editing out my frustrated language. However, licking someone's feet is a preference that I do not engage in, nor care to even think about. Duly noted.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'll need to find some commonality to the noise or wait for it to get worse to find it. When my last wheel bearing went bad, I had to get someone else to drive the car so I could get myself in the back and listen closely just to figure out which side it was. They can sound like lots of things. If you can isolate it to left, right, or center it will help to diagnose it.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You'll need to find some commonality to the noise or wait for it to get worse to find it. When my last wheel bearing went bad, I had to get someone else to drive the car so I could get myself in the back and listen closely just to figure out which side it was. They can sound like lots of things. If you can isolate it to left, right, or center it will help to diagnose it.
I may have to do that. I do intend on changing the diff fluid in the front and rear ASAP, just to see if that helps, and hopefully to stave off a disaster in the future. From what I could tell, driving with all the windows down and then with them up, the sound is really more centered than obviously on one side or the other. I'll try your other tip though, definitely, if it comes back or gets worse.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can make it easier by getting a friend to drive, while you are in the back seat listening for where the noise is coming from.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This happens to me also.

Other Subaru owners seem to be experiencing this similar issue.

I'll to have to the airbox. Hopefully it's just that simple.

High pitch noise when accelerating - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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