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Old 12-10-2008, 08:06 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 181001
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Vermont, USA
2012 Impreza WRX 5DR
Rally Blue

Default Odd vibration...

The patient is a 2000 Impreza (wife's car). I can feel a heavy vibration at highway speeds through the steering wheel and the gas pedal. The vibration is most pronounced under heavy load (accelerating and engine braking). But, if I put the car in neutral and coast at 65 mph, it's there, too.

I've already:

1. Replaced rotors and pads (needed to get done anyway). Vibration is still there.

2. Swapped wheels and tires. Vibration is still there.

What's next - motor mounts, CV joints, driveshaft? The only confusing thing is that the vibration is still there when the gear selector (auto tranny) is in Neutral.

Your $.02 is much appreciated.

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Last edited by vtdave; 12-10-2008 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:25 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 127878
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Front Royal
2004 Impreza 2.5TS
2014 XV Crosstrek


I'd check the front end for any play in the tie rod ends or the ball joints/wheel bearings. This is most easily accomplished by lifting the front wheels off the ground and supporting the car with jack stands. Then, and you'll need a helper for this part, grab one of the front wheels at the top and bottom (12 and 6 o'clock) and shake it up and down, feeling for any movement. While you're shaking the wheel, your helper should be looking for anything moving. Slop in this direction typically indicates worn ball joints or wheel bearings.

After that, place your hands at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions and shake the wheel back and forth. Again, have your helper looking for anything moving isn't just the normal movement of the tie rods back and forth. The easiest way to tell if it's normal movement or not, depending upon how hard you're shaking the wheel, is to look at the wheel on the side you're not shaking. If it's moving in time with you shaking the wheel, you're just steering the car.

I know it's probably kind of hard to understand what I just wrote without pictures, but there was a decent article on popular mechanics' website that dealt with this. Admittedly, PM keeps things fairly generic, but the same principles apply. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 181001
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Vermont, USA
2012 Impreza WRX 5DR
Rally Blue


Thanks very much. I'll try that procedure.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 126339
Join Date: Sep 2006
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Tampa, FL
2003 WRX Wagon


my guess would be worn tires from a bad alignment... if you rotate the tires and the vibration moves to a different place or changes sound then you know that's it

a bad universal joint can make vibrations too, but it usually changes with acceleration/deceleration
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 17498
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Durham, NC
No More Subarus :(
Only a truck, for now. ;)


Hmm.... sounds EERILY like the problem I had with my 98RS. I changed the transmission, rear diff, engine mounts, suspension, tires..... and it wound up being a FL axle. .

My symptoms were:

- Only was really noticeable during acceleration
- Got worse as speed increased.
- Had a speed harmonic it was worse at.

Replaced the axle, and it was perfect. Took a year to figure it out

Good luck!

- dow
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