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Old 01-21-2019, 07:47 PM   #401
bueckerjl
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Has anyone else installed the pedders mounts yet? Since doing mine, itís made another rattle more noticeable (since suspension noise is quieter). I realize now that itís always been present I just thought it was related to the low speed clunk (which thankfully is still gone). Itís almost a plasticy rattle or like a heat shield is hitting something. It occurs over very broken pavement similar to the other clunk but Iím pretty confident itís not suspension related. Itís been more apparent since the weather has been in the 20s.

I have an Ď18 Premium with the revised rack and have noticed some noise moving the wheel back and forth but nothing too unusual or worse than my forester. Iíve ordered the TSB spring just to make sure itís not that.
Well that was unexpected. Put the spring in and the other rattle is gone. Have to agree with xxaís opinion above that there are multiple culprits. Interestingly the new spring was about 3mm longer than the old one. Wonder if this is going to have to be considered a wear item?
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:08 AM   #402
Btec
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Originally Posted by bueckerjl View Post
Well that was unexpected. Put the spring in and the other rattle is gone. Have to agree with xxaís opinion above that there are multiple culprits. Interestingly the new spring was about 3mm longer than the old one. Wonder if this is going to have to be considered a wear item?
I have a 2018 Limited and just got my Pedders top hats installed over the weekend and unfortunately, no change and seemed to make the noises more pronounced.

I have the same rattle as you and already noticed it a few months ago once it started to get cold. At first, I thought it was attributed to the strut mounts as well or endlinks. But considering the strut mounts didn't resolve anything, it appears the steering rack may be the culprit in causing the rattle AND clunk on uneven roads at slow speeds. I am out of ideas at this point.

I thought 17+ already had the revised TSB spring in the rack, I guess not?
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:38 AM   #403
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I have a 2018 Limited and just got my Pedders top hats installed over the weekend and unfortunately, no change and seemed to make the noises more pronounced.

I have the same rattle as you and already noticed it a few months ago once it started to get cold. At first, I thought it was attributed to the strut mounts as well or endlinks. But considering the strut mounts didn't resolve anything, it appears the steering rack may be the culprit in causing the rattle AND clunk on uneven roads at slow speeds. I am out of ideas at this point.

I thought 17+ already had the revised TSB spring in the rack, I guess not?
Iím sorry to hear that the mounts didnít fix the clunk. I definitely had two distinct things going on. Mounts fixed a metallic clunk and the spring fixed the muted rattle.

Thatís what I thought too about the steering rack but my VIN is actually before the revision range so maybe the early 18s (I got the first one in my state) still had the old spring OR the spring relaxes over time. The dealer didnít show any TSBs though which makes me wonder if it slipped through or the spring relaxes.

Try the spring (or make the dealer do it). It took 3 minutes to swap. No need to drop the underbody panel. Just need a T-40 5 point and an inch pound torque wrench. You might even be able to test it by stretching the existing spring a little though without knowing what that spring actually is doing I wouldnít guarantee it.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by Btec View Post
I have a 2018 Limited and just got my Pedders top hats installed over the weekend and unfortunately, no change and seemed to make the noises more pronounced.

I have the same rattle as you and already noticed it a few months ago once it started to get cold. At first, I thought it was attributed to the strut mounts as well or endlinks. But considering the strut mounts didn't resolve anything, it appears the steering rack may be the culprit in causing the rattle AND clunk on uneven roads at slow speeds. I am out of ideas at this point.

I thought 17+ already had the revised TSB spring in the rack, I guess not?
I installed Pedders hats along with RCE black springs over the weekend. I wanted to give it some time before reporting. But I'd hate to say it - the clunk is still there as of this morning.

I've always had 2 distinct noises. 1 is like heavy metal hitting a hard rubber. I really thought this had to do with the top hats bc the sound came from both sides, independently, towards the top of the hood.

The other is metal to metal rattling noise. I'm not hearing this as much, but I noticed if it's really cold (it's 15F here), it wouldn't make the sound as much. I've suspected this could be the design of the inverted struts themselves. However, I'm starting to focus on the TSB springs in the rack for this issue. I also thought 17+ had the revision, but considering it's a cheap part & an easy job, I might as well give it a try.

Both of these noises, as everyone has reported, only occurs at low speeds, & that hasn't changed on my end.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:31 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by bueckerjl View Post
Iím sorry to hear that the mounts didnít fix the clunk. I definitely had two distinct things going on. Mounts fixed a metallic clunk and the spring fixed the muted rattle.

Thatís what I thought too about the steering rack but my VIN is actually before the revision range so maybe the early 18s (I got the first one in my state) still had the old spring OR the spring relaxes over time. The dealer didnít show any TSBs though which makes me wonder if it slipped through or the spring relaxes.

Try the spring (or make the dealer do it). It took 3 minutes to swap. No need to drop the underbody panel. Just need a T-40 5 point and an inch pound torque wrench. You might even be able to test it by stretching the existing spring a little though without knowing what that spring actually is doing I wouldnít guarantee it.
Do you have the part number of the spring that you used? Post #234 on this thread shows the TSB & the part number 34130AL010. My local dealer shows 2 springs: either VA or FG (in place of "AL").
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:51 PM   #406
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Do you have the part number of the spring that you used? Post #234 on this thread shows the TSB & the part number 34130AL010. My local dealer shows 2 springs: either VA or FG (in place of "AL").
I used 34130AL010 ordered online. I also ordered this bit set:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IUCONNY..._0J0rCbB4D0VP7

The bit you need is the 5 point T-40.

Here a pic of the difference between the springs.

https://imgur.com/gallery/kYfWRJU

Last edited by bueckerjl; 01-22-2019 at 12:58 PM. Reason: I can’t get Imgur to embed
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:43 PM   #407
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I installed Pedders hats along with RCE black springs over the weekend. I wanted to give it some time before reporting. But I'd hate to say it - the clunk is still there as of this morning.

I've always had 2 distinct noises. 1 is like heavy metal hitting a hard rubber. I really thought this had to do with the top hats bc the sound came from both sides, independently, towards the top of the hood.

The other is metal to metal rattling noise. I'm not hearing this as much, but I noticed if it's really cold (it's 15F here), it wouldn't make the sound as much. I've suspected this could be the design of the inverted struts themselves. However, I'm starting to focus on the TSB springs in the rack for this issue. I also thought 17+ had the revision, but considering it's a cheap part & an easy job, I might as well give it a try.

Both of these noises, as everyone has reported, only occurs at low speeds, & that hasn't changed on my end.
Since it is not the top hats, I am also starting to think the rattle is the "stiction" associated with the design of inverted struts on small bumps/uneven roads. Re-greasing can apparently fix this...

As for the knocking sound that I get, I know for sure that is related to the garbage steering rack because it is the same noise I can reproduce by moving the steering wheel left and right through the centre spot. But this is just a design flaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bueckerjl View Post
I used 34130AL010 ordered online. I also ordered this bit set:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IUCONNY..._0J0rCbB4D0VP7

The bit you need is the 5 point T-40.

Here a pic of the difference between the springs.

https://imgur.com/gallery/kYfWRJU
I believe this has been posted before but here it is again related to your issue:

SERVICE BULLETIN # 04-17-17
2015-2017MY Legacy and Outback 2015-2017MY WRX
Rattling Sound from Steering Rack
NUMBER:
DATE: 09/13/17

This bulletin provides a service procedure to address isolated customer concerns of a rattling sound identi ed as coming from the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) rack assembly. The repair involves installation of a new tension spring for the worm gear to reduce / eliminate the condition. It should be noted the condition is NOT detrimental to the operation of the EPS system.
PRODUCTION CHANGE INFORMATION:
The new EPS rack springs were incorporated into production starting with the following VINs:
04-17-17
Vehicle / Model
Starting VIN
Legacy
H*069171
Outback
H*429659
WRX
J*801300
PART INFORMATION:
A special tool bit is required to remove the cover screw for access to the tension spring. An inch-pound torque wrench will also be necessary. ONE tool will be provided to each Retailer AT NO CHARGE to coincide with this bulletinís release. Additional bits can be sourced (at user expense) from either Bosch or Matco. Both tool suppliers will utilize the same BTP40P part number.
Description
Part Number
SPRING KIT NBL
34130AL010

My VIN already incorporates the above so doesn't apply to me.
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:45 PM   #408
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My VIN already incorporates the above so doesn't apply to me.
Maybe I ought to check my VIN b4 jumping into the ESP spring. What does "J*801300" referring to? J, anything in btwn, then the last 6 digits? If my VIN ends with 803000?

What would happen if I take this back to the dealer now? With the aftermarket top hat & the springs....
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:09 PM   #409
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Maybe I ought to check my VIN b4 jumping into the ESP spring. What does "J*801300" referring to? J, anything in btwn, then the last 6 digits? If my VIN ends with 803000?

What would happen if I take this back to the dealer now? With the aftermarket top hat & the springs....
Yes, since the last 6 digits of your VIN is the same or greater than the one listed in the TSB, you should already have the new spring.

In regards to taking the car back to the dealer, it would really depend on how mod friendly your dealer is and which specific part(s) it is concerning. It would be similar to power mods where they can deny you claim if the the mod is the cause for the issue. However, I find it unlikely they will tie back steering related issues (rack itself) to your top hats or springs. On the other hand, struts would be a different story for apparent reasons.

To share my experience, when I brought in my car for service, I already had lowering springs and whiteline front roll centre adjustment kit installed and mentioned the issue with the steering noises. They just noted on my file that aftermarket suspension was installed and said steering noises were normal.

I have yet to bring it back but I think I will eventually as it has gotten worse.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:03 AM   #410
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1 thing I forgot to note, which could be a crucial factor, is that I did not grease my struts like bueckerjl has done. I took a quick peek & saw there was decent amount of grease already. Also my plan was actually not to grease them to see if we can pinpoint better.

Considering the ESP spring update doesn't apply to my VIN, perhaps the difference made for bueckerjl was the grease. I'm talking about 1 of the clunks that he was able to get rid of b4 he installed ESP spring.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:27 AM   #411
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1 thing I forgot to note, which could be a crucial factor, is that I did not grease my struts like bueckerjl has done. I took a quick peek & saw there was decent amount of grease already. Also my plan was actually not to grease them to see if we can pinpoint better.

Considering the ESP spring update doesn't apply to my VIN, perhaps the difference made for bueckerjl was the grease. I'm talking about 1 of the clunks that he was able to get rid of b4 he installed ESP spring.
That is a good possibility, although I am still leaning towards that the steering rack being the root cause. Like bueckerji have mentioned, maybe the spring just gets worn over time, which is why the noise keeps coming back even for people that have the EPS replaced. This is especially since his rattle has been fixed when replacing the spring. Maybe a wear and tear item but with very poor durability.

I have also noticed there is alot of swaying left and right in the steering wheel if the car goes over many small bumps and uneven road.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:35 PM   #412
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After reading earlier posts on this thread and finding the link below for Subaru Outback owners, this is clearly a very common issue.

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-clunk-11.html

As other members have also stated, this is prevalent in both models and others that uses the same steering rack built by JTEKT. In conclusion, it is a design flaw where even the new spring replacement under the TSB will eventually wear ,with the clunk/rattle noise coming back.

At this point, I would suspect they would issue ANOTHER TSB with an actual permanent solution.

Keeping my fingers crossed as we get closer to 2020 models being released that this will be addressed as well?
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:46 PM   #413
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Has anyone else installed the pedders mounts yet? Since doing mine, it’s made another rattle more noticeable (since suspension noise is quieter). I realize now that it’s always been present I just thought it was related to the low speed clunk (which thankfully is still gone). It’s almost a plasticy rattle or like a heat shield is hitting something. It occurs over very broken pavement similar to the other clunk but I’m pretty confident it’s not suspension related. It’s been more apparent since the weather has been in the 20s.

I have an ‘18 Premium with the revised rack and have noticed some noise moving the wheel back and forth but nothing too unusual or worse than my forester. I’ve ordered the TSB spring just to make sure it’s not that.
Ive been following this thread for a while now (18 Limited with front right suspension clunk). It's exciting to see that you may have found the issue for the suspension, I cant wait to see what happens when someone else tries the fix.

As for your new noise, are you sure its not coming from inside the car? My rear "dash" (plastic behind the rear seats) vibrates pretty badly with loud base or bumps. Was going to get it looked at but moved away to a place without a dealer close. I'm considering zip ties...

Edit: Aaaaaand I missed a page... Nevermind, excitement about a fix has faded...
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:11 PM   #414
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subscribed, 2018 Limited with only 4K miles.(right front clunk). I get the thud sound in the cold over small bumps and no steering clunk when turning wheels like some have posted. Everything feels tight and drives OK. Just the annoying idea of what is making the thud sound. This being a almost new vehicle I think maybe a design flaw because nothing had time to wear. Not even going back to dealer unless I see a for sure fix. The local shop that did the MV inspection said he heard it and I saw them looking under hood . I asked them what are they looking for when I saw them under hood, so he noticed without me saying anything FYI.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:54 PM   #415
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Question I ll leave for those who may be way smarter;
With no repair being found that works and Brand new cars having this issue is it possible that maybe it s another component (not in the suspension) that is banging off something? Something else loose or rubbing?
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:50 PM   #416
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I just looked around and everything suspension wise seemed tight. What I asked above is the only thing I found. The airbox rattles a thumping sound if you move it by hand. It s all secured but were the plastic pieced come together and other placed that they touch could potentially cause some noise. I used some foam to tighten everything up a little and I ll see.
I m not bring a car with 4K miles to the dealer with this issue after all I have read here.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:11 PM   #417
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I took in my 2016 base model (about 35k miles) to the dealer last week, and they couldn't reproduce any of the sounds to their satisfaction and refused to apply either of the TSBs. I took the tech for a ride and was able to produce some clunking, but he said that's normal. I've only been a WRX owner for 10+ years and over 175k miles so of course I don't know what I am talking about.

I placed a called with SOA and got the typical apathetic response, he sounded like he couldn't care less. I also have four spots worn through on the driver's seat upholstery which is also lovely but luckily SOA extended me a "one time courtesy repair".

I'm not mad enough to dump my WRX right away and I still think it's a fun car for the price, but I will probably sell it off in about 2 years and happily move on from the Subaru brand once and for all. Their 3-4 years response time to these major engineering issues (my '09 with the clutch box/firewall issue, and the front end clunking/rattling and pitch stop bracket breakage on the '16) is about all I can take.

For now, I will start by replacing the steering rack spring myself next week and see how it goes.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:30 PM   #418
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I took in my 2016 base model (about 35k miles) to the dealer last week, and they couldn't reproduce any of the sounds to their satisfaction and refused to apply either of the TSBs. I took the tech for a ride and was able to produce some clunking, but he said that's normal. I've only been a WRX owner for 10+ years and over 175k miles so of course I don't know what I am talking about.

I placed a called with SOA and got the typical apathetic response, he sounded like he couldn't care less. I also have four spots worn through on the driver's seat upholstery which is also lovely but luckily SOA extended me a "one time courtesy repair".

I'm not mad enough to dump my WRX right away and I still think it's a fun car for the price, but I will probably sell it off in about 2 years and happily move on from the Subaru brand once and for all. Their 3-4 years response time to these major engineering issues (my '09 with the clutch box/firewall issue, and the front end clunking/rattling and pitch stop bracket breakage on the '16) is about all I can take.

For now, I will start by replacing the steering rack spring myself next week and see how it goes.
I love this part "I've only been a WRX owner for 10+ years and over 175k miles so of course I don't know what I am talking about." I laughed so much.

I got my spring replaced today, no noticeable difference. My wife didn't notice any change either (she took it to the dealer and yes, she can also hear it). The sound from moving the steering wheel back and forth while stopped seems to be gone, but I need more time to confirm it.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:05 PM   #419
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2017 WRX premium. 35k miles. Clunking just started happening after a trip to northern michigan when it was -30ļ. Clunking isn't as bad at low speeds now, it used to be though, now it is more of something sounds loose and the suspension seems like it is stiffer/not working as it should. Bumps that i used to go over no problem now have a nasty clunk associated with them, no matter what speed. I have the steering wheel noise to when rocked side to side.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #420
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Compengr - That is great information, thanks for the update.

I have come to this final conclusion.

1. Steering knock/clunk at slow speeds - Steering rack design issue - No permanent fix. Sadly, we can only hope aftermarket vendors releases a product that can replace or fix this or Subaru issues a recall or TSB fix for this (I highly doubt this considering there is no real safety hazard involved other than just noise).

2. Front suspension clunk - I am very confident this is fixable by getting new strut mounts with NON-inverted struts. Inverted struts is known to be clunky and for this reason alone, I have decided to pick up a set of coilovers with non-inverted struts. I will gladly be willing to sacrifice a bit of the performance side (considering I do not auto cross or track), for less maintenance, comfort and clunk-free suspension (twin tube non-inverted struts have much less friction and stress on seals). However, for those base WRX owners reporting the clunk as well, I am pretty sure they are referring to the steering rack issue.
Hey Btec,

I wanted to follow up with you on this. Did you go through with the coilovers and non-inverted struts? If so, did it fix the clunk?

--

To further add to the conversation for myself.

Model: 2018 WRX Premium
Mods: Blizzak WS80s on Sport Edition U2 wheels.
Miles: 4,000
Problem: Front-end clunk while traveling over uneven roads/parking lots. Mostly occurs from front passenger side.

Noise started happening when it got cold. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I first noticed it around late November, early December.

I took it to the dealer in early January. They kept my car for 3 weeks and gave me a loaner. They worked directly with SOA.

1) The dealer replaced a spring. I think it was in the steering rack? After they did so, they noticed the noise was still there and kept the car.
2) The dealer replaced the entire steering rack and claimed the noise was gone. Coincidently, the weather got warm around this time. It went from -20 to 60 degrees when they swapped the rack.

The front-end clunk is NOT fixed with a new steering rack. And I swear it's worse than before. It sounds so bad, and truthfully it's embarrassing. The car is brand new, and when other people point it out while riding in your car the frustration just flows.

I don't know what I'll do next. I think I am going to write another lengthy email to the dealer stating the noise is terrible. I have 0 expectations at this point though as it looks like theres no fix. Just at a loss.

Last edited by alexhendershott; 02-10-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:50 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by alexhendershott View Post
Hey Btec,

I wanted to follow up with you on this. Did you go through with the coilovers and non-inverted struts? If so, did it fix the clunk?

--

To further add to the conversation for myself.

Model: 2018 WRX Premium
Mods: Blizzak WS80s on Sport Edition U2 wheels.
Miles: 4,000
Problem: Front-end clunk while traveling over uneven roads/parking lots. Mostly occurs from front passenger side.

Noise started happening when it got cold. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I first noticed it around late November, early December.

I took it to the dealer in early January. They kept my car for 3 weeks and gave me a loaner. They worked directly with SOA.

1) The dealer replaced a spring. I think it was in the steering rack? After they did so, they noticed the noise was still there and kept the car.
2) The dealer replaced the entire steering rack and claimed the noise was gone. Coincidently, the weather got warm around this time. It went from -20 to 60 degrees when they swapped the rack.

The front-end clunk is NOT fixed with a new steering rack. And I swear it's worse than before. It sounds so bad, and truthfully it's embarrassing. The car is brand new, and when other people point it out while riding in your car the frustration just flows.

I don't know what I'll do next. I think I am going to write another lengthy email to the dealer stating the noise is terrible. I have 0 expectations at this point though as it looks like theres no fix. Just at a loss.
Sorry to hear, I did not end up getting the coilovers and I don't plan on throwing more money at this car unless there becomes a permanent solution available on fixing these front end noises, which I highly doubt.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:58 PM   #422
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with all the changed front end parts one would have to think it s either not a front end suspension part or it would have to be a faulty design as new parts don t help. Seems like more than a bad batch of part s too.
That s why I started looking for other rattle possibilities . Seems like no one is separating the two issues also. The side to side steering rack noise seems to me to be a separate issue also. Standing by.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:19 AM   #423
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Update:

My noises still are gone 99% of the time. Iíve heard a faint thump when it got -10įF. The only thing Iíve done differently is grease the front struts so maybe the grease got real stiff. Those that have a clunk still perhaps try a penetrating grease (hydrocarbon based) and see if that makes a difference before taking your struts all the way apart?
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:06 AM   #424
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brining my 2017 Outback to dealer this AM for clunking in driver front. Only 31,000.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:59 PM   #425
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Upstate NY
Vehicle:
2018 WRX Limited
Silver

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerbomark View Post
brining my 2017 Outback to dealer this AM for clunking in driver front. Only 31,000.
Front end link changed. All fixed.
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