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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 03 wrx wagon with 95k. I'm currently having 3 problems that all (as far as I can tell) started at the same time a few weeks ago towards the end of an 8 hour drive from NY to VA.
1) There is a whirring sound that is car speed-dependent (not engine speed dependent). It sounds like it is coming from below or in the rear of the car, and only happens after I have been driving for 20 minutes or so (the car is warm). It gets higher pitched as I speed up and disappears around 30 mph maybe.
2) At very low speeds and tight turning angles, there is a clunking or knocking sound that I can hear and feel. I am not able to tell what area of the car this sound is coming from.
3) At highway speeds the car is prone to swaying, pulling to the left a little, and just generally feels like it is not very stable and certainly not the great handling it used to have.

I've read through a lot of these threads and it looks like I might be experiencing problems with the struts, wheel bearings, rear differential, or some combination of the 3, but it just seems strange that it all started right about the same time.

Any help, please?? I don't know as much about cars as most people on here seem to, and I'd love to not get ripped off at a repair place (or crash going 75). Thank you so much if anyone can help.
Mike
 

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The Default One
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4,489 Posts
1. From you description it sounds like the rear diff needs work.
2. Do you have aftermarket sway bars? Maybe one of the bolts has come undone a bit, and needs to be tightened.
3. Inspect the tires for defects. If they are good have them balanced, if that doesn't fix it, you may need an alignment.
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
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Safely lift each corner of the car individually, in succession. When a corner is in the air and safely supported, grasp the wheel from top and bottom and feel for play.

I only said "safely" three times so far, counting this previous instance at the beginning of this sentence, so I'll repeat it a fourth time: safely lift each corner and support it first.

I wonder if a bearing is shot.

Check the rubber bellows or covers for the shaft ends and see if there is any moisture, wet dirt, or juice also.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. Nothing aftermarket.

I forgot to mention, the tires seem to have a bit of strut damage and need to be replaced soon, but the alignment was done recently and did not fix anything.

Could the tires themselves cause the loss in stability at higher speeds?

Could the rear diff cause the loss in stability in addition to the sounds?
 

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The Default One
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Thanks for the replies. Nothing aftermarket.

I forgot to mention, the tires seem to have a bit of strut damage and need to be replaced soon, but the alignment was done recently and did not fix anything.

Could the tires themselves cause the loss in stability at higher speeds?

Could the rear diff cause the loss in stability in addition to the sounds?
If there is damage to the struts then they need to be replaced, and then it needs another alignment.

To expand on what SD_GR was saying. Use a good Jack to raise the car (by good I mean not the one that came with the car, that's used for emergency only). Then put the corner on a Jack Stand :)
 
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