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Registered
2000 Forester
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2003 Forester X, manual transmission:

I have a high pitched whirring noise that seems to be coming from the front of the car (although it's hard to pinpoint a location). The noise seems to stay at about the same volume, but the pitch increases with vehicle speed. Gear choice, acceleration/deceleration, clutch in/out, and turning don't seem to effect the noise. It even makes the noise in reverse.

I'm guessing a transmission bearing, after the gears, or possibly a wheel bearing but the pitch seems too high too me.

in this video I'm coasting from 40mph down to 5mph going up a hill in neutral, then accelerating back up to 40mph.
I don't have enough posts so it's:
vimeo dot com/13633571
sorry you'll have to type it in to your browser

anyone know what that sound is?

I changed the transmission and differential gear oils, and it sounds the same...
 

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Registered
2009 Ralliart SST
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231 Posts
i'd guess wheel bearing to, but only because it made the noise in neutral.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
Apparently your car knows what scares you and I think it wants your children so sell it, SELL IT NOW, lol!

 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I really want it to be a wheel bearing, because that's way cheaper than the transmission, but the pitch is pretty high and every wheel bearing I've ever heard has a lower growling type noise. I think the pinion shaft (or output shaft... not sure what to call it) in the transmission spins at a pretty high rate, and it's always connected to the wheels... could be a bad bearing or bad pinion gear.

anyone ever had a high pitch wheel bearing, or had a noise like this from the tranny?
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
get it up on a lift and drive it to be sure it's not wheel bearings. i had a high pitch noise too, but 90% of the noise came from my right rear wheel bearing. the remaining bit that caused it to sound high pitched was from the rear diff (the front bearings that connect to the drive shaft).
 

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Registered
2000 Forester
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I don't have access to a lift... anyone aver put one up on jack stands and drive it? sounds sketchy to me. Running it on a lift is an excellent idea, and probably the best way to diagnose

also, has anyone had a center-diff / viscous coupling go bad? would that make a noise like this?

thanks for the help!
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
i've seen guys do it before, but i think it can be rather dangerous. plus to really take advantage of floating, you need to be under there to listen for where it's coming from and jack stands really aren't high enough for that, nor stable enough IMO. if your garage had a pit on the other hand.. then there's room to duck if the car falls :D
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
Because of the poor sound quality it is really difficult to tell what the hell it may be but if I had to guess, it sounds more like driveline than anything.

I would definitely get it properly diagnosed before something seizes though because if it is as loud as the video makes it seem, you are well on your way to a catastrophic failure of something, good luck.
 

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Official sf.org decal guy
2006 FXT
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12,367 Posts
I'm thinking differential. Even if you're in neutral or the clutch is disengaged, the transmission is still spinning so long as the car is in motion, it's just not connected to the engine.

I'm definitely not saying it's not a wheel bearing cause I don't know what that sounds like. Although, I have heard that a failing wheel bearing (front) will cause a steering wheel vibration similar to an unbalanced wheel.
 

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2000 Forester
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
the noise isn't really that loud, and hard to hear over the background noise inside the car (at least when recording on a digital camera), that's why the sound quality is so bad.. I had to crank up the volume
 
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