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2003 Forester
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone could help point me in the right direction for what might be wrong with my car?

Anyway, my car makes a distinct humming noise at 40-50mph. It peaks RIGHT at 45mph and is barley audible outside of 43-47mph. This happens in any gear and even when I'm in neutral and coast through that speed as I decelerate. This all started out of the blue one day a few weeks ago. If any of you have ever driven over a bridge with a metal grating at a high speed, a muffled version of that is the best way I can describe this noise. It also seems to be coming from the drivers side of the car, but given that the drivers seat is all I'm ever in, take that last bit with a grain of salt.

If it helps, the car has 163k miles on it, tires are in good condition, and it has a bad transmission bearing you can hear in first gear (bearing noise has been going on for ~6 months). I also replaced the alternator a few weeks ago as that was going bad.

Thanks for any advice you might have and lemme know if there's any info I should add that I'm missing. Also if you have any idea on what labor would be and if someone who knows 'just enough to be dangerous' could handle the repair, that'd be appreciated as well. I love my Subaru...just not how everything seems to be breaking all at once. :X
 

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2002 Forester S Automatic
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52 Posts
I don't know why it would just start doing it all of the sudden, but I have the sound you're describing in my Mustang. Only in a very narrow speed range as well, has nothing to do with the install of the differential gears. I would assume any other gears could have that potential as well. On a Subaru I'd look toward wheel bearing since they're known to go, but it would help to isolate the location.
 

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2003 Forester
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, looking it up, I think I can replace a wheel bearing myself.

If anybody knows how to isolate the wheel that's making the noise on my own, or what I should expect to pay if all I want is a diagnosis of the wheel, please let me know. :smile:
 

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05 Forester XS LL Bean Auto
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240 Posts
Thats pretty classic for a wheel bearing. I had the L and R rear go out within 25000 miles of each other. Made the most noise at 45-50 mph. Both started as a hum, then rougher / louder sounding as miles went on( about 1000 miles from first noise until I replaced them). No heat from bearing, just noise. They both had pitted races, but would have lasted quite a while till failure. I pulled the floor cover and spare out and sat in the back while my wife drove , it was easy to isolate the bad side.
 

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2002 Forester S Automatic
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52 Posts
If you have jackstands and can get it on them with all wheels off the ground, you may be able to hear it. Mine was a little worse than yours, but I could definitely tell. Other people have diagnosed by the method above as well.

The bearing itself is pretty straightforward, but you need a hubtamer type tool you can get at harbor freight for about $80. You also need a slide hammer with an attachment that will fit our wheel stud pattern, I don't remember the size. You can rent the slide hammer from autozone for free.

Also, ask your dealership to match other dealership prices. Mine gave me 22% off the retail prices without even asking for some reason.
 

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2003 Forester
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Given that I have neither jack stands nor a hub tamer, and it looks as though getting the bearing out is a PITA, I'm going to go to my mechanic and see what it'll cost. If it's less than the couple hundred I'd spend on stands & a hub tamer, I'll call it a day and have them do it.

Thanks for all the info though guys. Really appreciate it! :smile:
 
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