View Full Version : Noise at Highway Speeds?

8th April 2009, 02:45 PM
Posted this over at SF.org too, but I'm double posting to get some help!

Ok guys, I've had this noise for a while and I'm trying to figure out what it is.

It's a whine at around 74mph indicated. Seems to be speed related, as I can't duplicate the noise at any other speed and it happens at 74mph in 4th and 5th gear and also if I pop the clutch and just coast thru that speed. It's hard to tell where it's coming from. I uploaded 2 videos in an attempt to capture the sound, you can barely hear it but I'll tell you right now in the cabin it's pretty dang loud!! Loud enough to interrupt a conversation or make you crank the radio. Really annoying as the speed limit in between towns up here is 75mph.

Here are the videos:

YouTube - Forester noise

YouTube - Forester noise 2

Anybody got any ideas? 2003 XS with 110,000 miles, I did have the 100k service with some extra stuff done at 92k.

Just talked to a friend who was riding with me in Dash the other day, he seems to think it's coming from the front right. I agree front more than back.

Could this be a wheel bearing? I've never had them replaced.

8th April 2009, 10:33 PM
Can be a wheel bearing. The noise can be very tubtle, but eventually you notice a wobble that comes and goes. Then the speed the wobble starts to happen gets lower and lower and lower.

Sometimes you have to wait for a noise to get worse to properly diagnose it.


8th April 2009, 10:37 PM
It's dang loud at this point, and the only wobble I've got is a slight wobble under braking cause I need to replace my front brake rotors.

Is there any way to diagnose a wheel bearing issue?

And thanks! You're the first response I've gotten off of either site, I appreciate it!

8th April 2009, 10:49 PM
Its really easy to diagnose. Just jack up the wheel and shake it and watch the disc brake rotor through the wheel. There should be NO play whatsoever.

I have one going on Blu now as we speak.

The fact that it is loud without any wobble bothers me. Have you checked your front diff fluid?

Rotate the tires and see if the sounds move front to rear.

How does it sound in reverse?

Usually loud volume is associated wih a bad diff.

I dont know why I cant hear the noise.

And your welcome.

8th April 2009, 10:51 PM
I am an idiot

Step 1 turn on speakers.

Sounds like a wheel bearing to me.

I can hear the wobble that your not feeling, but do the checks like i said.


8th April 2009, 11:34 PM
Turn on speakers?!


Ok, that's funny right there.

I'll go check my dif fluid too. Always fun to find that dang dipstick... Can I check it cold?

Wheel bearings seemed the most obvious thing to me, at the mileage and age of the car and they haven't been touched.

Do you know if it's advised to replace or repack, and should I have all 4 done?

9th April 2009, 08:38 AM
Sounds like a wheel bearing too me. Blubaru had one go out a while ago on a rear wheel, we just replaced the one bad one and have had no issues. Odd thing was, it really sounded like it was coming from the drivers side but it turned out to be the passenger side bearing.

9th April 2009, 11:31 PM
Did you have a mechanic check the bearings to determine which needed replacing? A friend recommended removing the rear tire and wiggling the rotor to see if it was loose, is that at all effective? Sounds kind of willy nilly to me, but if it's a decent enough indicator it'd be nice to save the $ I'd pay to have a mechanic check.

Front dif fluid level is good!

10th April 2009, 03:19 AM
I've just replaced my rear bearings for this exact reason! They were only 3 months old but got water in them. The bearing runners had some pitting on them...

The other method to try is jack up the wheel and rotate it. If you hear some noises like a metal on metal knock or crunch its defenetly the bearings. On my L this did not work, but on mum's corrolla it did so its not a cancel out the bearings being the problem. I can't see the diff being much of an issue at that milage unless you've lost the oil and kept driving...

Bearings are not hard to replace - you just need a hammer and punch to 'gently' tap it out. I find putting them back in is easier, although I have an L so I don't know whats different on the Foz.

Good luck with it, my bet's on the bearings.



10th April 2009, 05:56 AM

If it does turn out to be a front wheel bearing. Best to do both sides regardless of which side it is. Guaranteed you do one side now, and you will be back doing the other shortly. It may be on the way out now as well, but you cant hear it over the one that is louder.

Mine is getting both front wheel bearings done after Easter.


15th April 2009, 10:43 PM
Well, no play in the rotors at all. I pulled all four wheels and checked. Yarg. Dif fluid is good too. I'm thinking just keep driving it til something gets worse, I refuse to take it to a dealership and pay out my *** for a "full diagnostic."

15th April 2009, 11:46 PM
could be the spigot bearing behind the fly wheel???? it happend to me about 6 months ago. had to pull the gear box out to relace a $30 bearing:madred::yell::furious:
so i replaced the clutch aswell.

15th April 2009, 11:48 PM
Oh now that does NOT sound like fun. Is there any way to diagnose? I am definitely not a mechanic, no way I could pull the gearbox!

16th April 2009, 12:13 AM
put it on a hoist and put it in gear and listen for it. other wise just wait for it to get worse. mine got worse as it got hotter. e.g. driving it longer

16th April 2009, 12:28 AM
Dang don't have access to a hoist either. YARG. I need a local mechanic friend, lol.

Ok, I'm gonna keep a close eye on it. The car doesn't get driven much in the summer cept for camping, so hopefully I can hold off on any pain to my wallet for a while.

Thank you!!

16th April 2009, 10:03 AM
Well, no play in the rotors at all. I pulled all four wheels and checked.

I pulled all the wheels as well trying to figure out our noise and there was no play in any of them. If the bearing races get pitted you may be getting the noise and no play, just something to consider.