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Old 01-26-2004, 12:57 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 30994
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Madison, WI
2003 WRX Sedan
Midnight Black Pearl

Default wheel vibration-like noise

Here's my story quick in chronological order, question to follow:

About 2 weeks ago: Hear a rhythmic noise coming from the front driver's side tire/wheel. Talk to Subaru Service and they suggest checking tire pressure, doing a tire rotation, and check for tire wear.

Check tire pressure, one tire slightly off, but doubt this is the problem.

Rotate tires. Find that inside 1/4 of the driver's front tire is worn smooth down to tread pattern.

Car handles better after rotation, and with the wear, assume that alignment is off.

About 1 week ago: Decide to get alignment done at Tires Plus East in Madison, WI for convience to work, and deal they offer on ContiExtremeContacts to replace the stock RE92's.

Take car in for alignment, front driver's wheel is indeed off.
Specs After Alignment:
Left Front:
Camber -0.50deg
Caster +3.40 deg
Toe -0.02"
Right Front:
Camber +0.20deg
Caster +2.70eg
Toe 0.00"
Order ContiExtremeContact's
Car feels much better after alignment, and although there is still a rhythmic sound which seems to be coming from the driver's front tire/wheel, it is quieter.
Assume driver's front wheel is unbalanced, and this will be solved when new tires are put on.

Last Friday: Have ContiExtremeContacts balanced and mounted. The new tires look great and seem very surefooted on the snow we get in just in time to test them out.

Today: Notice on the way to work that rhythmic sound seems about the same as it was after alignment. Now the new tire noise I can live with, but a rhythmic "wheel might fall off if I don't know what it is" noise I can't live with.

So, plan of attack is to schedule time to have a Tire's Plus tech ride along with me. If they goofed up somehow, I'd like them to fix it. After that, we check with the local Subaru Service department, hoping it's a wheel bearing or any other warranty-covered work. However, I didn't notice the free-play that seems to be associated with a wheel bearing.

So, does anyone have any more exotic explanations of my plight, or have any suggestions to narrow down the problem?
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:06 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 25142
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
1998 Legacy 2.5GT


This could be wheel bearings failing, not uncommon. You might want your dealership to take a look at them and see, you seem to have checked out everything else that it could be.

good luck
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