Shake, wobble, Shimmy! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-30-2010, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Marion, NC
Posts: 2
Car Year: 2001
Car Model: Forester
Shake, wobble, Shimmy!

Hey! Hope I can get help! 2001 Forester, manual transmission. 148k miles. Newer tires, I keep up with maintenance... A few days ago (Wednesday), it started wobbling; felt like a tire was coming off. Drove right to my local tire store/mechanic, tires were fine, and they discovered a broken boot around the driver's side axle rod, no grease. They replaced that ($200), and it seemed to "mostly" fix it, though I had a shimmy in my gear shift at various speeds, but no serious wobble or shake. Drove great above 60 mph. Then Friday morning, wobble started AGAIN, just like before. Sigh. It seems to wobble most when I'm accelerating. Drives mostly okay at low speeds. Any clues? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 05:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Posts: 1,219
Car Year: 02
Car Model: Forester L (sold)
Transmission: Manual
I'd get a second opinion. Replacing the axle for the split boot was okay; no harm done there. Is the 'wobble' just in the steering, or does it feel like it is going through the entire car/chassis? Is it only under acceleration, or does it also happen at a constant speed (and is it always the same speed?)? You did a good job with your first post, but there are a lot of things it could potentially be.

If it's only in the steering wheel, then it's probably limited to the front end of the car. If it feels like it's vibrating through the entire chassis, then we have to look further also. Out of balance tire, broken shock/strut, bad ball joint or tie rod end, worn U-joint in the driveshaft...all possibilities. See if you can find a Subaru specialist garage that is more familiar with the brand.

'02 L m/t. Insurance adjuster 4 U.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Marion, NC
Posts: 2
Car Year: 2001
Car Model: Forester

Appreciate the reply, David. I absolutely will take it to the dealership, but am wondering if I should drive it over (30 miles, in next town, up the mountain) or if I should have it towed. Wouldn't want to do any more damage. But to answer your questions, the shake is in the chassis, not at all in the steering wheel (though the gearshift shimmies now AFTER the replacement of the axel). It shakes at various speeds, but mostly over 40, and mostly when accelerating. Doesn't do it at all in first gear! Wobble/shake is much too pronounced to be an out-of-balance tire (and they checked that first thing). Thanks again.
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