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Discussion Starter #1
This car has 160,000 miles on it. Sometimes when I turn the steering wheel to the right or left, I hear a a low frequency shuddering like vibration while the wheel is being turned. When the input has been satisfied, the vibration. stops.

I did some diligence on this issue today. Here is what i know

1. I have a steering system leak, which I am trying t track down. Both boots on rack and pinion are in tact I cleaned up the area to see if I could observe where the leak was coming from. The jury is out at this time.

2, The noise is not evident, or at least is was not this afternoon, when I turn the wheel while sitting still, but is will happen while moving slowly. The shudder does not seem to change with speed of axle rotation.

3. On the passenger side, both CV boots, inner and outer are torn, and have flung grease all over, but no speed sensitive noise is evident.

My theories were

1. Leak in rack and pinion makes the oil level low, and causes the shudder; but I topped of power steering this week, and it is still full, but the noise persists.
Worse, no obvious clues no obvious clues as to where the leak is from.

2. Failing steering pump. But the problem with this is that there is no noise when standing still and turning wheell . . . .

3. CV joint issue . . . . but . . . no real noise coming from joints otherwise . . . . and the speed of the shudder seems not to be impacted by wheel speed.


Any ideas?

Thanks
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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Replace cv's (on both sides )to get those out of the way. You have got your money's worth out of them.

Suck out and replace the steering fluid, several times, after some driving.

Or put on stands to suspend the front wheels and cycle the steering , lock to lock, to circulate new fluid in the res thru the system. Suck out the res and and new fluid( and repeat the cycling). The goal here is to dilute the old fluid with new until, overall, the fluid in the res looks fresh.

At that point, suck it out again and add some steering system stop leak to top off the res.

With any luck, your rack will stop leaking and you'll be able to get a few more years out of it( assuming the rack is the source of the leak in not the hoses). Stop leak wont fix hoses.

Stop the engine before sucking out or adding to the res

A Turkey baster is perfect for this chore, but keep it in the the garage thereafter!
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@saturdaymechanic
Ditto on the boots - Do it before your CV joints fail.
For the power steering fluid...
You can accomplish the same thing by removing the belt from the power steering pump (super easy with a serpentine - you just rotate the tensioner a bit and slip it off) and then remove the power steering return line from the reservoir, which you put in a container, and plug the reservoir where you removed the return line with a small piece of plugged hose.
Turn the power steering pump by hand, and it will pump the old fluid out into your container and you add fluid as needed until the fluid out of the return line is clean.
It accomplishes the same thing as multiple suck and fills and takes all of 10 minutes .
My fluid went from nasty grey to brilliant pink and I only used one pint of fluid doing it.
If you are really concerned about getting every smidge out of the system, do it a second time after driving for a while.
In my case, that was completely unnecessary.
After 1 flush it's still "pinky" clean a year later.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update - I did find that the rack was the source of the leak. The boot on the passenger is wet, so I think the seal on that side is cuplrit. I have put so much ATF in this system, I cannot immagine that there is any old fluid in there. I reckone I will give the PS stp leak a shot and see what happens.

A question on axleshafts . . . . . any brand recommendations?
 

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@saturdaymechanic Last time I had to do one, I used Raxles. This was for an Acura but they do different brands.]
They are not the cheapest option but seem to produce good quality. This was for a friend's car. He was paying the bill for it.

I've actually had good luck with Cardone, which I believe is sold by NAPA. Lots of people complain about NAPA quality but they've worked well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh well, think I may be able to wait a while to pick out the right CV axle. Though the boots are torn, I really do not think the CV's are the source of the noise. Yes, they will be rebooted.

I was all set to buy one from NAPA today and I stopped by a school parking lot and cut some tight turns. Not a noise at to be heard. Not even the original noise that sent me down this rabbit hole . . . . . . . . . perfect

My theory now is that the noise is not axle shaft, but possible coming from steering . . . . possibly air in the system. It does have a leak after all.

So Subie gonna get new boots . . and Lucas steering system Stop Leak.

We will see what happens. . . .
 

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Oh well, think I may be able to wait a while to pick out the right CV axle. Though the boots are torn, I really do not think the CV's are the source of the noise. Yes, they will be rebooted.

I was all set to buy one from NAPA today and I stopped by a school parking lot and cut some tight turns. Not a noise at to be heard. Not even the original noise that sent me down this rabbit hole . . . . . . . . . perfect

My theory now is that the noise is not axle shaft, but possible coming from steering . . . . possibly air in the system. It does have a leak after all.

So Subie gonna get new boots . . and Lucas steering system Stop Leak.

We will see what happens. . . .
Once dirt is allowed into the joint, it will grind it down. If that was my car, I'd replace the whole thing.
As far as the work is concerned, putting a new boot on (unless it is a crappy clamp around boot) is pretty much the same job as replacing the half shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just came to that conclustion . . . . think I will be replacing the shaft . . . . . I hope I am not sorry I did it, but i am buying one of those Trackmotive CV axles (Suretrack) . . . the local BAP Geon shop sells them. They seemed pretty on top of the game. They sold me on going with them. They knew about the split production date for that model year. So we will see how it works out. . . . . does anybody on this thread have any advice on jack stand location? I am going top be under this thing . . . . .
 

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does anybody on this thread have any advice on jack stand location? I am going top be under this thing . . . . .
Just under the pillar where the door hinges are is good. You can jack the car up by the cross member.
Don't forget to chock both directions on the rear wheel (harbor freight has nice beefy chocks, in case you don't have them).

I believe your vintage still has the roll pin holding the shaft down. If so, they aren't difficult to get in and out but this handy dandy tool makes that go in and out like butta.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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<sniped>. . . . . does anybody on this thread have any advice on jack stand location? I am going top be under this thing . . .
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