Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited automatic
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys. I just wanted to provide you all with a user experience regarding the 2019 Forester Limited. The vehicle was purchased in late November 2018. It might have had 2 or 3 miles on it. It is the vehicle my wife has been wanting for a while. So, we bought it and it's been fine up to about two weeks ago. She came home and said that there was a clunking or thumping noise coming from the back and that it sounded like the back seat was loose. I thought that was a bit of stretch seeing as how I've ridden in the back seat twice now and it never felt loose or anything. Regardless, I played along. I went and inspected it (what I could). Nothing felt loose. Seat belts were restrained. Seat backs were locked, etc.

I then thought maybe it was something in the spare tire well. Everything was buttoned up just fine. I tightened up the jack a little as a precaution and had her drive it a day or so to see if it was better. She came back and said it was still making a thump from time to time and that it was coming from behind her and to the right (passenger side).

I then removed the retractable cargo area cover. I thought it might be bouncing in it's little holder. Again she drove it and now said it sounded louder. OK. The use of the cover must have been directing the sound back and now that it was off, the sound was able to be better heard from the driver's seat.

We took it for a ride and I sat in the front passenger seat. It was loud. It was a loud clunk that occurred with every bump and roll of the vehicle. So, I got in the back right side passenger seat to be closer to the point of origin. It sounded like it was just behind where the rear door closes, or right behind the seat. With every bump I was able to further isolate the sound. It wasn't coming from within the cabin. It was definitely coming from a space outside of the cabin, but between interior structure and the exterior body panel. I immediately thought strut mount. With every bump, it sounded like a strut wanted to pop out and come through cabin. It is a hard and definite metal on metal impact.

The more we drove it, the worse it seemed to get. Then I noticed a nuance to the noise. If both wheels were displaced vertically by a bump, there was no noise. If only the right rear wheel was affected by the bump, then the noise was present. So, I jacked up the car and looked at the right rear wheel. No slop. No play. It spun without a grinding or catch. Looked underneath and all the bolts were in place and there was no apparent evidence of a bushing failure or the sorts. Nothing felt loose or worn.

So, to the dealer we went. They took a drive with her and confirmed the noise. As of now, they have inspected the suspension and CV joint and everything is good. They have completely disassembled the entire interior from the back seat to the lift gate. They have verified the torque of the bolts on the strut mount. They are now taking photographs of the visible structures and sharing them with a Subaru USA field engineer. They are leaning toward a failure in a substructure and are considering flying an engineer out to physically inspect and document the vehicle. When they start talking about "re welding" parts, I can't help but be worried and mad at the same time. Total vehicle miles... 2,000.

So far everyone is perplexed. Engineering hasn't seen this issue before. I can't help but wonder if some Foresters are missing some welds like in the case of Ascent. For those unfamiliar with it, Subaru had to recall some Ascents because spot welds on the B-pillar were never performed due to a programming error in their robotic welders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
@nolaphoto1 All I can say is just be thankful it's a Subaru and you aren't being ignored. FCA ignored Jeep owners for months until they were forced to inspect them by nhtsa after a lot of customers reported the missed/poor frame welds to them.

Subaru is proactive at least.
 

·
Premium Member
‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
Did they replace the sway-bar endlinks?

I could not find anything wrong with my previous STI (everything felt rock-solid by hand examination), but I'd hear loud metallic rattling over every uneven bump. Swapped the endlinks and never heard another sound.

If there are panel weldment issues, make sure you keep a detailed log of every attempt to repair and attempt to lemon-law the vehicle if this becomes necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Sooo. if there was a welding issue with yours, there must be more than one. Like the ascent, itll be a robotics error which will be multiple cars right?

did they confirm that it was a welding issue? or theyre just trying it to see if it fixes the problem?
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited automatic
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So, yesterday was a wait day for them to do more diagnosing. This morning I received a call from the dealer stating that they found the issue. Get ready for it. It's comical (not really). So the culprit is...... a loose sway bar bracket on the body. Yes a loose bolt. The fix.... retorque to factory specifications. I asked if that at least included thread locker. I got no response. Soooooo we had the suspension components inspected, the interior removed from the back seat back and from the floor to the headliner, we counted visible welds and provided photos and feedback to engineering and the culprit is a loose sway bar bracket that mounted to the body. Hmmmm. It'll be ready this afternoon after they also take it to the body shop to have some "rail dust from transport" removed from the chrome trim pieces ( another issue we asked them to look into since it appeared to be rust).
 

·
Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
Joined
·
14,201 Posts
Crap happens. Glad its fixed. You won't need threadlock.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester CVT
Joined
·
665 Posts
The diagnosis of clunking with an uneven (only one side) bump and not clunking with an even (both sides) bump should have led any mid level mechanic directly to the anti-sway bars and their associated attachments.

GD
 

·
Registered
2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
Joined
·
236 Posts
So, yesterday was a wait day for them to do more diagnosing. This morning I received a call from the dealer stating that they found the issue. Get ready for it. It's comical (not really). So the culprit is...... a loose sway bar bracket on the body. Yes a loose bolt. The fix.... retorque to factory specifications. I asked if that at least included thread locker. I got no response. Soooooo we had the suspension components inspected, the interior removed from the back seat back and from the floor to the headliner, we counted visible welds and provided photos and feedback to engineering and the culprit is a loose sway bar bracket that mounted to the body. Hmmmm. It'll be ready this afternoon after they also take it to the body shop to have some "rail dust from transport" removed from the chrome trim pieces ( another issue we asked them to look into since it appeared to be rust).
Nice advice and catch. You deserve the awesome mechanic award for today. seriously that stuff you just did there gave me goosebumps @gathermewool will be shipping you a 6 pack.

Did they replace the sway-bar endlinks?

I could not find anything wrong with my previous STI (everything felt rock-solid by hand examination), but I'd hear loud metallic rattling over every uneven bump. Swapped the endlinks and never heard another sound.

If there are panel weldment issues, make sure you keep a detailed log of every attempt to repair and attempt to lemon-law the vehicle if this becomes necessary.

Nice glad it was solved. buy @nolaphoto1 a beer.
 

·
Premium Member
‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
Nice advice and catch. You deserve the awesome mechanic award for today. seriously that stuff you just did there gave me goosebumps @gathermewool will be shipping you a 6 pack.




Nice glad it was solved. buy @nolaphoto1 a beer.
It seems as if you've already dipped into both of our beer supplies! You mixed up who's who in the zoo, booboo! >:)
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited automatic
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi guys. Thanks for replies. Yes I think we jumped in with both feet with this hiccup. So the car wasn't ready today after all. They are saying that the body shop has it and they are backed up. I feel like I can't find a dealer that is just right. I want to feel confident in what a dealer tells me. My Jeep dealership just doesn't care about a darn thing. The Subaru dealer over sells the happy go lucky attitude, like my concerns are unwarranted. The fact that the dealer jumped from the suspension components to the weld inspections has me concerned. I think they honestly feared they were looking at a repeat of missing or poor welds. The other issue that concerns me is that the clunking noise sounded higher up behind the rear door near where the strut mount is located as opposed to under the car where the sway bar connects. Even the tech was saying it sounded higher up. I guess we'll find out Friday if the fix is real. I live 45 miles from the dealer so we'll have plenty of good old crappy Louisiana roads to test it on! We'll definitely be keeping a repair journal and record on this car.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top