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Old 02-19-2003, 12:26 AM   #1
AVATAR-X
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Default Brake/Wheel Creeking... Subaru says the answer is...

Something we noticed on my bro's 4EAT WRX. We had the car taken to the dealership, but they decided not to go into detail about the problem (which really annoys me) save that the rotors may or may not be bad really bad. Anyway, I'd like some more info on what the possible culprit is.

Here's what we noticed (I’ll try to be descriptive – so it might sound weird):

There is some creaking/groaning (nothing really high pitched), which sounds like someone walking on old floorboards. The creak is reciprocating, so it has a sound much like an overly burdened wheelbarrow while moving, or someone opening and closing a rusty metal gate. It occurs mostly when the wheels are full-lock (right or left) at low speeds, but will persist (just not as loud/often) when the wheels straighten out. It seems to go away when we pick up speed, but it still seems to occur every now and then.

As far as I know, it is not just when we’re on the brakes, but while/after we were coming off the brakes from a standstill (letting the car pick up speed at idle). We reproduced this in a parking lot turning in slow circles, and it seemed to always occur – always.

He is probably going to have the rotors and pads replaced, but if the rotor(s) are warn, wouldn’t it make odd noises while pressing on the brakes, and not because the wheel is turned? Any ideas or explanations would be greatly appreciated?
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Last edited by AVATAR-X; 03-12-2003 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 03-02-2003, 02:51 PM   #2
AVATAR-X
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Update: (Maybe I'll get a reply this time)

As per Subaru's suggestion, we had the front rotors and pads replaced. For a day the sound was gone, but now it is back.

It didn't happen until we took the car out to get the brakes warmed up. When we came back we turned into our street and noticed the sound again. We did some tight circles (full wheel lock) and once again we hear some sort of creaking/groaning (picture the sound of metal being stressed). The sound is repetative, though it doesn't sound as rythmic as it did before (before it seemed to speed up with the car, so we figured it was the brakes binding or something).

We have no idea what it is, or whether it is the brakes, the wheels, the cv-joints, axles, whatever. It is definetly from the front end, and it sounds like it is coming from the wheel area.

Anyone have any clues.

EDIT:

So we went out and messed with recreating the sound again. This time, we noticed we could get the sound to start by just sitting still (even while not on the brakes) and just turning the wheel left and right aside from turning in circles. Does this mean it is something to do with the axles or cv-joints???

Last edited by AVATAR-X; 03-04-2003 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 03-04-2003, 07:55 PM   #3
munkis
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Default

could be a squeaking inner or outer tie rod, could also be a lower ball joint or strut top.

You have think of every thing that moves when you turn the wheel and narrow it down from there.

if you can get the front up in the air and turn the steering wheel and listen for the noise, try grabbing the outer tie rods and twisting them to see if you hear the noise.

Biggest thing is to make sure you can found out when it happens so you can reproduce the noise at the dealer.

If it happens while the car is standing still It should be very easy for a tech to find it. It would probably be one of the things I listed above.

If I could hear the noise I could help you better

Jay McDade
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:36 PM   #4
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The problem is that we took it to Subaru, they reproduced the noise, told us to change the brake rotors and charged us $45. Now, new rotors, new pads... same noise. It seems that reproducing the noise just isn't enough for some techs.

I should point out, that the brake rotors did go kinda bad (at least from what various techs have said). With the car at 80,000 miles the front right rotor was supposedly really warped (enough to confuse the tech when he was trying to get a reading). We assumed that this peculiar warpage and the noise might be somehow related.

Also, just after we got the new rotors and pads in, we drove the car around the city a bit. We took one large corner, moderetly hard, and heard a sharp squeel for half a second. It wasn't tire squeel, more of a metal rubbing sound... I can't quite remember.

Anyway, we'll try to have someone look at it again on the weekend.
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:03 AM   #5
vvk
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Default strut thrust bearings

Really sounds to me like a rough strut thrust bearing. Get yourself a mechanic's stethoscope (under $10) and try to locate the sound with the hood open and someone turning the steering wheel. Stick the probe to the strut mount top and listen for noises.
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:19 AM   #6
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Another random other noise that occurs (which may or may not mean anything) is a squeak that comes from the suspension. It tends to happen when we are just getting into the car an sitting down - the sound is very faint, just a quick - "squeak, squeak, squeak". It also happens (though it is harder to notice), on little slow-speed bumps, as the bounces settle down.
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:58 PM   #7
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Have you checked to make sure that your dust shieds are not hitting the rotors? You should also double check & tighten the power steering belt up. Also, I doubt it is the case but you can check the CV boost to make sure there is no cracks in them. If you can reproduce the noise w/ the car not moving then I doubt it is the CV. FWIW it appears is if my CV is bad and the axel is being replaced Friday.
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:18 AM   #8
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lower ball joint
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Old 03-12-2003, 01:24 AM   #9
AVATAR-X
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And the word from Subaru is....

RUST!!??

Yes, indeed. Initially Subaru said that the noise was coming from warn brake rotors, which were replaced (not by those guys though... ), and yet no change in the noise. So, onto take two with the Subaru techs. We get them to take a look at the axles/cv area (as suggested by a friendly neighboorhood performance shop ) and they said there weren't any mechanical problems there.

Instead what they say they found was "an excessive amount of rust at the joint between the axle and the suspension" (as paraphrased by my brother). The tech inspection says they "noted excessive rust on contact surface at hub/wheel area." They sanded the area down and said it stopped reproducing the sound. Once again they were a little glib when it came to explaining the problem and possible causes, but they did say that they "lubed up" the area and hopefully it'll keep the rust away.

Anway, hopefully this brings and end to the evil ghosts that have plauged the front end of my bro's WRX. With any luck the noise is gone for good (or another 80,000 miles). I should point out, that the first visit cost $45 and the second cost $140, neither of which were covered under the 100,000 mile extened "Gold Plus" warranty - thanks Subaru.
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Old 03-12-2003, 01:36 AM   #10
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Rust? WTH???? Ive never heard of that before...
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Old 03-16-2003, 06:45 PM   #11
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FYI (not that any even cares), but it seems as if the sound really is gone. We took it out and tested it and couldn't get it to reproduce the sound anymore.

Oddly enough, the front swaybar was loose when the Subaru Techs were taking a look at it.
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