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Old 12-11-2012, 06:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Sounds & feels like on a rumble strip ~70mph

~70K miles. Have begun experiencing a problem when driving the Forester on the highway. Around 70mph and above, after about 5-10 minutes, the vehicle starts to noticeably sound like, and somewhat feel like, I'm driving on a rumble strip. If I try to maintain the same rate of speed it sounds and feels like the problem would intensify. How much more? I haven't tried to find out! Makes no difference if the highway is straight or curvy. If I drop to around 65mph or below, or pull over and stop for a few minutes, and then don't go above 65mph afterwards, the problem doesn't occur. I've been living with this situation for around 6 months. Actually, it's my girlfriend's car so we've both been living with it ;)

My first thought was maybe it's some kind of problem with the viscous coupling overheating and binding. But I've done some reading on that now, here and elsewhere, and VC problems seem to be described in terms of binding and clunking at low speeds while turning. I will take the vehicle out to a parking lot in the next day or so and do some low speed circles with it to see if I get any noticeable clunks or noises or binding. I will also double check but I didn't see any problems with CV joint boots or fluid leaks anywhere. Other than reporting back on those things, does anyone recognize the symptoms I've already described? Thanks for any feedback! :)

-John
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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wheel bearing?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Possibly a wheel/tire that's out of balance, or maybe even defective (broken steel belt in tire?).
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With a bad wheel bearing or tire with a broken belt, do you guys think I would notice any other symptoms at slower speeds, driving around town and back roads, at all, anytime at all? We've noticed nothing sounding or feeling unusual at all, except after running at around 70mph or so for a little while. I can definitely jack it up one corner at a time and check to see if I can feel any problems with the wheel bearings. But I'm already concerned that if a wheel bearing is indeed the issue, I wouldn't be able to tell that way because it takes high speed and the development of some heat (I'm assuming) to show the problem. If it's a defective tire I'm a little less sure of how to isolate it, because I only have 4 of them to begin with, so I don't have an extra, known good, one to swap in, one at a time, to troubleshoot with. But I will do my best to check out both possibilities, because either one of them sounds like it would be less costly to deal with than a failing VC. Which, by the way, are you guys saying you think the symptoms don't seem to be strongly pointing at? Thanks for your replies :)

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with pleiad7's initial thought, out of balance wheel

the only time I have experienced what you are talking about, it turned out to be a large amount of mud caked onto the inside of my wheel. once I removed the mud, it drove on the highway perfectly. and I have driven around town at low speeds for thousands of miles with missing wheel weights without ever noticing it.

most of the wheel bearing problems I have read about on here make noises in turns at lower speeds.

maybe try getting your wheels balanced

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Out of balance tires/wheels (even if there's some mud/ice stuck on the inside of the wheel), it'll cause the car to shake and make all sorts of odd noises. Even a tire that is several grams out of spec will cause shaking at speed.

At lower speeds, you usually don't notice it. Clean your wheels (specifically, inside the wheel). Take it to a powerwasher and see if any dirt/mud/ice comes out.

Since it just happened out of nowhere, I'm willing to bet either a balance issue or debris on the wheel.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with everything above. You probably lost a wheel weight. Tire balancing is cheap so I'd recommend that.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Take the car for another drive...

Get up to 30-40 and start veering left/right... does it make more noise going one direction than the other? if so, typical sign of wheel bearing failure..

If not, rotate the tires... if the problem moves, you know, if not, you know to keep looking at that area...

Could be a tie rod end, could be an axle, could be a lower ball joint, it could be a dragging brake, it could be all sorts of things... all would impart vibration at speed if bad... likelyhood of them BEING bad is small, but not unherd of..
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I'm having a hard time seeing it being any kind of issue with wheel balancing in any way. There's no buildup of mud or anything on the wheels and the potential for the issue to show up has been ongoing now for 6 months or so. It definitely seems to be something that is heat related because the only thing that causes it is when you are running the vehicle continuously above a certain threshold (about 70mph or so), and it takes 10-15 minutes perhaps for it to become noticeable. And what you notice first is mainly a sound. The sound is like that of riding a rumble strip. You feel it a little too, but compared to the sound, there isn't much intensity to the feel. It's just an accompanying vibration that seems to rise in pitch with speed about as much as it would if it WAS the rumble strip you were riding. If it's not a VC issue, then I think the next most likely possibilities are a CV joint, wheel bearing or separation in a tire. Those are things that seem like they might have a time and heat build-up component to the set of conditions that bring the problem on. What still just makes me feel a little unsatisfied about those possibilities is that I haven't noticed even a tiny hint of an issue at all in any other circumstances while driving the vehicle. I should have some time tomorrow evening to put it through some of the driving troubleshooting procedures mentioned earlier in this thread, though. I'll be sure to post updates about anything. Thanks for your replies so far, everyone.

-John

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Originally Posted by Blue Fox View Post
Out of balance tires/wheels (even if there's some mud/ice stuck on the inside of the wheel), it'll cause the car to shake and make all sorts of odd noises. Even a tire that is several grams out of spec will cause shaking at speed.

At lower speeds, you usually don't notice it. Clean your wheels (specifically, inside the wheel). Take it to a powerwasher and see if any dirt/mud/ice comes out.

Since it just happened out of nowhere, I'm willing to bet either a balance issue or debris on the wheel.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Im having similar issues, have done 2 wheel bearings on the drivers front in the last month (thinking the first replacement was defective out the box)

Mine feels like it comes from the drivers front, why im focused there..

Its happened across 3 different sets of wheels..

Ill be looking at tue passenger side wheel bearing next...

The viberation seems to be too "fast" to be anything else, its frequency seems faster that that of the wheels/shafts spinning...

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron View Post
I agree with pleiad7's initial thought, out of balance wheel
Also check the run-out on your rims. You might have a bent or deformed rim.

Check all four rims for run-out - it's possible at some speed a pair of rims start creating sympathetic vibrations.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Shakes like driving over rumble strips

I just had the same problem fixed. The front calipers were not releasing. New calipers' rotors and brake pads. $740.00
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