Newer Subaru shake problem?

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Jan 9, 2010
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Location
Los Gatos, CA
I don't know anything about Subies, except a lotta people seem to love 'em.
A friend has a newer SUV that has a shake; I suggested getting tires rebalanced to start.

Are there any typical known issues?
Apologies for the lack of information. I have never even been in the car.
 
Death wobble - Subarus tend to use smallish bushings that rot quick. @The Critic did a set of control arm bushings not too long ago on a newish Outback or Forester.
 
I don't know anything about Subies, except a lotta people seem to love 'em.
A friend has a newer SUV that has a shake; I suggested getting tires rebalanced to start.

Are there any typical known issues?
Apologies for the lack of information. I have never even been in the car.
I think your advice is spot on. Start with the simplest potential cause and work from there.
 
Death wobble - Subarus tend to use smallish bushings that rot quick. @The Critic did a set of control arm bushings not too long ago on a newish Outback or Forester.
Right on point. Good advice. For the poster, could you articulate the order in which you would use diagnostically?
 
Right on point. Good advice. For the poster, could you articulate the order in which you would use diagnostically?
It would depend on the severity of the shake, the conditions where it occurs (low speed, moderate speed, high speed). Occurrence during cruise, during acceleration or under all conditions would also make a difference in the diag procedure.

Plus a basic safety inspection of the suspension should always be done with every visit.

If the inner bushing on the lower control arms has failed, the wobble is accurately described as a "death wobble."
 
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It would depend on the severity of the shake, the conditions where it occurs (low speed, moderate speed, high speed). Occurrence during cruise, during acceleration or under all conditions would also make a difference in the diag procedure.

Plus a basic safety inspection of the suspension should always be done with every visit.

If the inner bushing on the lower control arms has failed, the wobble is accurately described as a "death wobble."
DEATH WOBBLE!! I had 33" tires on a lifted Cherokee. That was a fun puzzle to solve.

I'm beginning to think the owner should just take it into a Subaru dealer. Rather than chase their tails around in circles, just get an expert diagnosis of the actual problem. Time is money, you have to figure out how much your time is worth
 
Death wobble for the win. $700 estimate at Wheel Works in Los Gatos. According to @The Critic , this ain't a bad price.
Of course, once it's apart...
$700 for both sides including alignment is a smokin' deal at any CA chain store.

I have a feeling that the $700 charge is only for the passenger side...
 
$700 for both sides including alignment is a smokin' deal at any CA chain store.

I have a feeling that the $700 charge is only for the passenger side...
Spot on Michael.
Both sides, rebalance/rotate 4 tires, alignment and 1 new axle due to broken boot...
$1,204. It's only $$.
 
Subaru does use some crap rubber bushings the ones in the outback were hanging on by threads at 7 years old.. looked MUCH worse at 5 years old than 10 year old hyundai's and this is a $30k outback vs $10-$14k hyundai.

Reason 6 or 7 traded it in on the 2020 ram hemi.
 
Apologies; I do not know much about this car. I will find out.

Please do, depending on your definition of "newer SUV" I can think of several different things it could be.

Model year 2010 and 2011 Outback and Legacy vehicles had a well-known steering wheel shake issue that there was never a definitive fix for. I know because I had an Outback that had this issue and it was never resolved after 8 years and multiple visits to multiple dealerships to try to fix. It was later resolved in model year 2012 vehicles and has not been a known problem since.

A friend of mine just snapped the bolt that connects the lower control arm to the ball joint on his 2015 Legacy this past week. I thought it was a bit out of sorts because the bolt was completely rusted through but at the same time his car is in an area with high humidity year-round with lots of snow and road salt that it is exposed to in the winter.
 
I don't know anything about Subies, except a lotta people seem to love 'em.
A friend has a newer SUV that has a shake; I suggested getting tires rebalanced to start.

Are there any typical known issues?
Apologies for the lack of information. I have never even been in the car.
It's the boxer engine. All the punches and KO's into the ropes get things rocking. Obviously a joke.

Where is the shake? What speeds does it start? Slow? Stopped? Fast? When you first start our Subaru it idles at a million RPM's when cold and vibrates.

Not much info to go on. Just tell them to deal with it and check their oil & coolant often, that tends to be my motto after a 2005, 2013, and 2017 Subaru. I mostly joke, but more info or it could be anything.
 
I don't know anything about Subies, except a lotta people seem to love 'em.
A friend has a newer SUV that has a shake; I suggested getting tires rebalanced to start.

Are there any typical known issues?
Apologies for the lack of information. I have never even been in the car.
There's also a recall on steering boxes for some Subarus. Could be that. Have they checked recalls?

Edit: for some reason I was thinking the recall had to do with a vibration. But one is for loss of power steering and the other for general loss of steering. But checking for recalls is a good thing anyway if they don't normally.
 
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