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2002 Forester
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

I was wondering on the off chance someone could help me.

Im new to owning an AWD vehicle, and after purchasing my 2002/2003 forester at 35000km i noticed a vibration noise coming from the car when turning into car park spaces at low speeds. Now i do not know if there is ment to be any sound or not, but my initial feeling is there is something wrong.

After purchasing the vehicle i got my trans serviced and the mechanic changed the LSD fluid aswell. Ive been reading some earlier forums and some people suggest adding an additive, is this necessary and if so what do i use? The changing of the fluid has not changed anything and i have done figure of 8s to try and break in the new fluids.

Basically i would just like to know for peace of mind is this sound/vibration normal or should i be investigating further.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,120 Posts
There shouldn't be any vibration but there will be some noise bc one of the tires will actually "skid" a slight amount. Now it is also possible that the extra power required for this may be vibrating something on the car..I think that's perfectly possible and probably normal.
 

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2002 Forester
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its an Automatic. Ive never owned an AWD car before so i do not know what to expect. Some people say it may be normal some not. I thought for a car with these low Kms there shouldn't be any issue. If other peoples cars are doing the same thing then i can agree this sound is normal but if some do and some dont im getting a little confused.

The driving and handling of the car is not affected, its only when driving very slowly IE turning into car spaces with wheel 3/4 lock and more.

Hmmm any thoughts?
 

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17 Forester Premium
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106 Posts
Its an Automatic. Ive never owned an AWD car before so i do not know what to expect. Some people say it may be normal some not. I thought for a car with these low Kms there shouldn't be any issue. If other peoples cars are doing the same thing then i can agree this sound is normal but if some do and some dont im getting a little confused.

The driving and handling of the car is not affected, its only when driving very slowly IE turning into car spaces with wheel 3/4 lock and more.

Hmmm any thoughts?
Sometimes I feel it when the wheel is turned all the way at very low speed. Might be the power steering pump. Change your power steering fluid.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Let me take a guess to describe what you are feeling.....

You get a very minimal vibration in the car, something that you can sense more than feel. You also hear it a little, like a hum or drone......only at low speeds. Sounds like what mine is doing as well.

To be honest though, it's not really normal........more like signs of a worn transmission. I drove another 4EAT Foz with lower milage and it didn't do it at all. But my 100,000 mile transmission does it most of the time, though sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure it's the MPT "center diff" showing signs of wear. When the MPT starts to really go, it'll start making the wheels skip or hobble around when in low speed tight corners. I wouldn't worry about it too much (being that there's really nothing you can do about it if it is the MPT).

What I would do is change the fluid, but you can't drain all of it at once. You can get 4 quarts by draining it through the drain, and you can get 7 quarts of it out if you drain AND pull the filter off. WIX makes tranny filters for 4EAT's and I got mine at O'Rielley's. After two 4-quart drains with a 25 mile drive in between each drain, followed by a 7-quart drain with filter change I managed to get all my old fluid out and mostly new fluid in. Really helped with the shifting and with the "noise/vibration" you're feeling.

Also, change your diff fluids. I used Amsoil before, my current change I used Lucas. It's easy and takes about 30 minutes for the front and rear. Put it up on jack stands, drain the front with a T-70 Torx (you can get it at Autozone, they're hard to find anywhere else). You'll need 3 quarts of diff fluid. Front takes 1.3 quarts I believe, the rear is .9 quarts Drain and re-fill. The front has a dip stick, fill fluid until full. The rear, you just make sure the car is level, and fill until is starts to come out the top hole, then you're done. You just need to pop in a normal socket wrench into the rear as the square is just about the perfect size for just the regular end of the socket. The diff fluid smells HORRID, so wear gloves, because if it gets on you're hands, they'll smell for a day or so (regardless of how much you wash them).

Good luck.
 

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2002 Forester
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Let me take a guess to describe what you are feeling.....

You get a very minimal vibration in the car, something that you can sense more than feel. You also hear it a little, like a hum or drone......only at low speeds. Sounds like what mine is doing as well.

To be honest though, it's not really normal........more like signs of a worn transmission. I drove another 4EAT Foz with lower milage and it didn't do it at all. But my 100,000 mile transmission does it most of the time, though sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure it's the MPT "center diff" showing signs of wear. When the MPT starts to really go, it'll start making the wheels skip or hobble around when in low speed tight corners. I wouldn't worry about it too much (being that there's really nothing you can do about it if it is the MPT).

What I would do is change the fluid, but you can't drain all of it at once. You can get 4 quarts by draining it through the drain, and you can get 7 quarts of it out if you drain AND pull the filter off. WIX makes tranny filters for 4EAT's and I got mine at O'Rielley's. After two 4-quart drains with a 25 mile drive in between each drain, followed by a 7-quart drain with filter change I managed to get all my old fluid out and mostly new fluid in. Really helped with the shifting and with the "noise/vibration" you're feeling.

Also, change your diff fluids. I used Amsoil before, my current change I used Lucas. It's easy and takes about 30 minutes for the front and rear. Put it up on jack stands, drain the front with a T-70 Torx (you can get it at Autozone, they're hard to find anywhere else). You'll need 3 quarts of diff fluid. Front takes 1.3 quarts I believe, the rear is .9 quarts Drain and re-fill. The front has a dip stick, fill fluid until full. The rear, you just make sure the car is level, and fill until is starts to come out the top hole, then you're done. You just need to pop in a normal socket wrench into the rear as the square is just about the perfect size for just the regular end of the socket. The diff fluid smells HORRID, so wear gloves, because if it gets on you're hands, they'll smell for a day or so (regardless of how much you wash them).

Good luck.

Thanks for that, yes these are the symptoms im feeling and its more of a low groan vibration that is heard more than felt. The car has only done 35000km, so i wouldnt expect their to be to much wear on the trans.

After just purchasing the car my mechanic changed the trans fluid and replaced the LSD oil aswell, hoping to improve on my problem.

Its been a week and still the same......? Sounds like a common problem alot of people are having but so many different answers :icon_confused:
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
Joined
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5,732 Posts
^^ If the car has only done about 35,000km, then I highly doubt anything is wrong. Could possibly be some worn/old motor mounts/tranny mount/diff bushings. Even though the car hasn't done much distance, age of mounts/bushings is what I would be looking at. I'm going to be changing just about all my drivetrain bushings here pretty soon and we'll see if that helps anything. But for now, I would just drive and enjoy.
 

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2002 Forester
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes maybe i am just being a little bit paranoid, ok ill check those out and see what i find. From the symptoms im having do you reckon it could be this Torque binding that ive read so much about, or diff problems?

Ive heard that some people say if you put a fuse into the FWD and disable the AWD then the problem should go away, and this try eliminate some of the possible issues?
 

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Registered
2005 forester x auto
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1 Posts
Steering wheel chatter on slow turns.

Hi Neil,
I have a 2005 Forester that started having this problem at 40k, and it has been back to the dealer 3 times for this problem. The problem lies within the transmission/differential which is sticking at low speeds and affects all Foresters because of the AWD and type of differential it employs. At the first time I brought it in they did a flush and changed the fluid. It ran ok for 12 - 18 months and then started the vibrations again. On my second visit, they put an additive in it and it ran ok again for 12-18 months. Today I brought it in again and was given a detailed explanation which I won't try and repeat here, but they changed the fluid again and put in a new type of Valvoline tranny fluid which guarantees the tranny against failure (free). It now runs fine again. They also said I didn't drive it enough (10k per year) so the clutches were grabbing too much when they are suppose to slip at slow speeds. I paid about 100.00 for the first flush & fill, but since then it's been on the house. Probably because the problem started while it was under warranty. The Subaru transmission is different, and I wouldn't let anyone work on it that is not trained for it.

I also own a 2005 Subaru Baja which I dearly love!:
 

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2005 XT Auto
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1 Posts
Hi,

My forester has a similar problem. I have a 2005 XT with 150000kms. When turning at slow speeds there is a vibration coming from the rear diff (I think). It's steadily getting worse and is really annoying. The only thing is that when I start it from cold it is fine until I have been driving for 5 minutes then the vibration starts. I wondered if yours had the same symptoms....was thinking if it does not do it when cold it could be just a change of diff fluid that is needed??.

Cheers
 

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1996 Legacy
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1 Posts
Hi, I've been reading many of the other posts trying to narrow down what may be the problem with my car... I'm leaning toward steering pump, but not to sure because it does not make a whining sound when I turn, I can feel it in the steering wheel, it kind of vibrates with a little resistance. It hasn't done this before, but my radiator recently blew and I just put in a new one. The oil was Um... quite Low and I replaced it. Now that I have done those things, on my first drive to make sure all was well that is when I noticed the problem when making turns. Any input would be Greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
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