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2016 Forester Limited CVT
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy - I have a 2001 NA Forester with only 30k miles on it. My wife called me today and said that it is making a clicking noise from the front that increases an decreases accordingly with car speed. She said it sounded like there was a rock in the tire, but she checked and nothing was there. She then said the clicking went away after a while.

Obviously I have some checking to do when I get home, but can CV joints go back with that few miles? Do they degrade with age alone?

I guess it also could be front wheel bearings....

Any tell-tale tests that would point to CVs or wheel bearings?

Thanks
 

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Premium Member
2014 328i xDrive Wagon 8 spd Auto
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2,039 Posts
CV joints are usually more noticable in a slow hard left or hard right turn. That makes the clicking more pronounced.

If you're driving straight on the highway and you hear anything from a rumble to a drone, that can indicate a wheel bearing, among other things. Usually noise goes up and down with wheel RPM's, sometimes slightly worse in a light left or right turn.

Wheel bearings are usually very easy to hear if the car is on a lift.

There's a number of threads in the forums on diagnosing the types of noises.

Good luck
 

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2003 Forester X Auto
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955 Posts
Wow! An '01 with that low milage shouldn't have worn out CV joints unless it was driven really hard in extreme conditions. By the sounds of it I doubt that's the cause. What could have possibly happened is the CV boot has dried out and cracked, causing the grease to escape and contaminates to get into the CV joint. That will cause a CV joint to fail pretty quickly. I think the right inner is prone to this on older models due to it sitting right above the catalytic converter.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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471 Posts
What could have possibly happened is the CV boot has dried out and cracked, causing the grease to escape and contaminates to get into the CV joint. That will cause a CV joint to fail pretty quickly.
^This.

9 year old boot cracking is what I'd bet my money on. The crappy part is if you catch these things early, you don't have a wrecked joint. But most people don't catch it til the joint is making noise, when it's too late.
 

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2016 Forester Limited CVT
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the replys!

I took a look at the boots and all seemed in good shape and no evidence of grease leaking out could be seen. My wife said that it happened yesterday and today, but both times it went away after a bit of driving.

Took it for a drive and did figure 8s in a parking lot - a lot of stops, go in reverse, stop, go in drive, accelerate, etc, - no noise/clicks....

I did however notice some auto trans fluid leaking - then I checked my fluid level. It was a little bubbly and hard to read, but it looked like the dealer over filled it (they replaced the fluid 7k miles ago). Not sure if this is related to the noise or not, but I hope they didn't overfill it and blew a seal....
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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226 Posts
If the CV-joint boot cracks through and dirt gets inside, it can wear the CV joint in a short period of time. This happens a lot in Alaska when the ambient temperature drops to perhaps -40 degrees. After very cold days, it's very important to inspect the CV-joint boots to make sure they are in good shape. When very cold outside, the boots crack when one turns the steering wheel.
 

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2002 Forester
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293 Posts
If it's a made in China new replacement part pruchased from a place like Advance Auto/AutoZone/Pep Boys then if it last 30,000 miles I'd be suprized.
 

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2016 Forester Limited CVT
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92 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replys!

I took a look at the boots and all seemed in good shape and no evidence of grease leaking out could be seen. My wife said that it happened yesterday and today, but both times it went away after a bit of driving.

Took it for a drive and did figure 8s in a parking lot - a lot of stops, go in reverse, stop, go in drive, accelerate, etc, - no noise/clicks....

I did however notice some auto trans fluid leaking - then I checked my fluid level. It was a little bubbly and hard to read, but it looked like the dealer over filled it (they replaced the fluid 7k miles ago). Not sure if this is related to the noise or not, but I hope they didn't overfill it and blew a seal....
So I took the forester to the dealer about the overfilled trans. They checked it an indeed it was about TWO quarts too full. Service manager was super good about it and at my request printed out a service reciept saying that they overfilled it at the 30k mile service in case I have issues down the road. Fluid was not foamy, but while it was up on the rack, we did notice some wetness on the drivers side of the trans. Is there a breather on that sideof the trans that extra fluid would escape from? Trans operates like new.

Still have not heard the noise my wife did......
 
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