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1998 Forester S
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This started happening about a week ago to my '98 Forester S. On slow turn manuevers, like when pulling into or out of a parking space, the front end makes a shuddering vibration that is translated to the steering wheel.

A google search points to one of 2 things: a change of transmission fluid (I just had it changed a couple of months ago), or the transfer casing.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
 

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99 Forester
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205 Posts
It sounds to me like the center diff is not releasing. What spec oil did you put in when you changed it? Was there a flush involved?

Your car may not be happy with the new fluid or the diff is starting to fail.
 

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1998 Forester S
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for replying. I did have the transmission exchange service at pep-boys :icon_redface: I don't know which AT fluid they used. I've also had the rear differential fluid changed, but not the central diff. No reason - I just need my daughter to stop using the car long enough to change it myself or have it done.
 

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99 Forester
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205 Posts
Thank you for replying. I did have the transmission exchange service at pep-boys :icon_redface: I don't know which AT fluid they used. I've also had the rear differential fluid changed, but not the central diff. No reason - I just need my daughter to stop using the car long enough to change it myself or have it done.
I think the Center diff uses the transmission fluid for lubricant. Poor quality fluid may be the issue. I used Maxlife ATF in my 99 Forester automatic and it seems to be working well. It has some of the tougher specs on it like Honda's Z1 rating. Hopefully the center diff is OK, it's a bit pricey to replace.
 

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1998 Forester S
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. That sounds like a good place to start. I'll change the diff fluid and see if that works the problem out.
 

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2002 Forester
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4 Posts
How much mileage on car?

I had a similar experience on a 1979 Subaru after 165,000 miles. i was told that the CV joints needed to be repaired. For your sake, I hope that it is only the fluid!
 

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99 Forester
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You should be able to tell whether it's CV related or Diff related. The diff is more like it's binding up, maybe like the brakes are on but they're not, or the tires are skidding on the pavement. The CV usually does some sort of knocking as the shaft wobbles around on the loose joint, the forward motion isn't affected so much.
 

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1998 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #8
You should be able to tell whether it's CV related or Diff related. The diff is more like it's binding up, maybe like the brakes are on but they're not, or the tires are skidding on the pavement. The CV usually does some sort of knocking as the shaft wobbles around on the loose joint, the forward motion isn't affected so much.
It's more like that, no clicking or knocking, just vibrating like the front tire(s) aren't turning as fast as the rear tires are pushing.
 

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1998 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #9
It turns out I have a leak in my power steering fluid lines. When I filled the power steering reservoir the shuddering stopped.

I've seen signs of leakage in the rack area near the power head. Possible signs of leakage near the upper tie rods. I'll have to look again but closer to see if seaks are leaking or steering fluid line fixtures. Any opinions as to whether I'm going to have to spring for a complete new rack assembly?
 
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