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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 2002 Forester - Automatic.
On snow covered roads, it seems like sometimes it takes a while for all wheels to engage. What I mean by this, is when I take a corner, the rear end seems to fishtail quite aa bit, and then the front wheels seem to engage.
If I am heading up a hill covered by snow, and I accellerate the gas a little more, there is the clunk, once in the rear of the car.
Had the differential fluid changed a while back, and no difference.
Eventually the awd does kick it, just seems to take longer than normal these days. Any thoughts? Thanks:icon_question:
 

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If the rear end is spinning, then the awd is already engaged as it starts out mostly FWD biased and can send power to the rear (it is always sending power to the front AND back, just usually sending more to the front when cruising).

The clunk is most likely the car taking up slack in the rear drivetrain ie the driveshaft, rear diff carrier etc. Theres a ton of slop in the rear end stock.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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Might be the other way around - rear wheel DIS-engaging as they slip. But the clunk is most like in the drivetrain.
 

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2000 Forester
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is it a clunk or a jolt? When I had crappy tires on, and it was slippery, it would feel like my rear end would spin and catch some pavement giving a healthy push, kinda making a knocking noise. This would especially happen with a heavy foot.
 

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Yeah, I had this happen last Friday on a road that had mostly ice under a blanket of blown snow.

Had both kids in the back (my kids are 19 and 16, so not little tykes or anything like that).

From a stop at a corner, turned left onto the road. The back end stepped out, I pointed the wheels where I needed to go and and feathered the throttle to control the slide and got a huge "clunk!". Right at that moment the car straightened out.

It was so much fun I did it again on purpose, but with more feathering back, and the "clunk!" wasn't as bad.

Waiting for more snow so I can try and figure out why the engagement was so harsh.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #9
All the same tires, and they all have the same wear.
It is really more of a clunk, than a jolt.
Just seems like the car was much better in the snow when I first had it, so I am wondering if perhaps the rear wheels are getting more power than they should be....just don't seem to remember as much fishtailing as I do now, and I am also ligher on the pedal than 5 years ago.
 

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2000 Forester
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263 Posts
A fairly easy thing would be to jack up your whole rear end...or Foz...and see if there's too much free play in your drive shafts, both CV and main under the body. It would only take a few minutes and easily eliminate that as a problem.
 

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How are the tires on it? That will make the biggest difference in how it handles snow. With the non-VTD auto theres no way for it to send more than 50% of the power to the rear. If something wasn't engaging, you would be spinning the fronts a bunch and then maybe the rear end clunk in. Otherwise if the clutchpack setup was shot it could lock it 50/50 but then you would feel it binding on pavement and there wouldn't be anything engaging/disengaging.
 

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2002 Forester
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Discussion Starter #12
The Tires are Goodyears with about 50% of the tread left on them. (All are pretty evenly worn) I thought that perhaps thud/clunk sound was when the tires were spinning and then hit the dry pavement, but it was on a snow covered road with about 2-3 inches of virgin snow on it. Not a lound bang or anything, just a clunk whenever I think the rear is engaging. Maybe I just got some bad tires.
 

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I have had the same issue exactly. I'm still looking for ideas and solutions. I wonder if the transmission needs more oil. I guess I don't understand totally how the subi AWD works and what part lubricates it. anyone?
 

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2002 Forester
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Hello team,

Anyone find a solution. I am having same exact issues. I dont want to start throwing parts. I know this is not normal. I put car on lift with wheels in air and it does the loud clank as well!! Please help.
 
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