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'23 Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been dealing with a weird problem with this car since I had it. Feels like the back is not always connected to the car, like this something not being absorbed in the rear suspension. I can't quite put my finger on it. Almost feels like a lateral side to side. And you can feel it in the seat, not in the steering wheel, which is what leads me to believe it's the back part of the car. Best way to put it is it feels like something is rotten. Feels more noticeable when there's weight in the back of the car.

Felt it right when I rolled off the dealer's lot. At first I figured it was because the tires were over inflated. I aired down but it didn't make a difference.

Then I figured well maybe the car needs to break in/settle in a little bit more. Hasn't changed or got better in 1100 mi. Well, I thought it was getting better, but no. Tried convincing myself that it was.

Then I thought let me drop down to 17-in wheels and better tires, maybe that will improve it. Actually think it made the issue more noticeable going to the smaller wheel.

Brought it to the dealer, and of course they didn't find any issues. I even insisted they check the alignment which they did and the toe on the right wheel was too low. So they did an alignment, and it made absolutely no difference. Which I didn't expect it to, but of course it's good to have proper alignment.

Don't know what the next move is aside from getting some bilsteins and Ralitek springs. Perhaps that would help. I know it would help in general because I think these cars are way soft with the springs and under-dampened, especially in the back. I'm not looking forward to dropping $1,000+ on full suspension on a brand new car.

Searched on here and on other forums Reddit etc, to no avail.

Perhaps someone out there has some insight or experiences with their Crosstrek. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I think you just dont get used to rear independent suspension. Your observation on rear spring and damper when it is loaded pretty spot on, so the car need to be driven smoothly to lessen the problem symptom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think you just dont get used to rear independent suspension. Your observation on rear spring and damper when it is loaded pretty spot on, so the car need to be driven smoothly to lessen the problem symptom.
When they were checking out my car they gave me an Outback loaner which also has four wheel independent suspension, I felt no such problems. When I had a 2017 WRX which also has independence suspension, I had felt nothing of the kind.

I'm looking to go to the dealer and have them let me try out another Crosstrek to see if it feels similar. If so, that will ease my concerns.

Furthermore, it has the problem even with no weight in the back, just doesn't feel right, like something is not absorbing properly in the suspension.
 

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2022 Crosstrek Limited
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Your explanation is not very descriptive. Do not blame the 4 wheel independent suspension because my other two cars and the 22 Limited drive fine.
Figure out if front or rear end. Check CVT Mount. It is very flimsy. Rotate tires. Might have a bad shock or strut.
 

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2021 Crosstrek, 2.5 Liter, Pure Red, Limited
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I can't quite put my finger on it.

Best way to put it is it feels like something is rotten.

Actually think it made the issue more noticeable going to the smaller wheel.

Don't know what the next move is aside from getting some bilsteins and Ralitek springs. Perhaps that would help. I know it would help in general because I think these cars are way soft with the springs and under-dampened, especially in the back.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sounds serious!

I suspect that sitting down with the 'Better-Half' and explaining why this issue calls for spending $1,000 to $2,000 dollars is required!

Hope this helps!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your explanation is not very descriptive. Do not blame the 4 wheel independent suspension because my other two cars and the 22 Limited drive fine.
Figure out if front or rear end. Check CVT Mount. It is very flimsy. Rotate tires. Might have a bad shock or strut.
Good suggestions, thank you. Feels to be in the back for sure, but I could be wrong. I would hope it would be one bad shock or strut, but I think that would be more obvious to one side of the other where I feel it in the back as a whole. I will check out the CVT mount.
The dealership told me they put the car on the lift to make sure nothing was obvious. Might have to bring it to another dealer.

I'm going to go to the dealer today and see if they have another one on the lot that they could let me drive or a loaner that's not being used. If it's something that they all share, I can accept that.

However, it would lead me to trading in the car earlier rather than later.
I don't want to be miserable for the next 5 years with this car. I otherwise love it. Looks wise functionality wise. Enough power with the 2.5 for me to be happy.
 

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We had a similar symptoms with the family's MY18. I replaced both front and rear sway bar bushings(TSB issued). The dealer did rear sway bar links that had been recalled. The tracking and stability vastly improved. Down the line, I'll switch the sway bar bushings over to urethane. I'd agree on the springs on the car, though the shocks seem fine. The car could use stiffer springs all-round(std height, slight increased rates, IE- not race).
At 20k with the family's car, I'll probably do motor and trans mounts as I can feel they are starting to go. The driveline already feels as if it's sloshing around and too much vibrations at stop lights. With the previous MY11 we had, this seemed to solve those issues.
You might consider a 2nd opinion on the alignment. It's been my experience most dealers are horrid at alignments and don't spend the time to really dial the suspension in. I recently had our Boxster aligned at a shop that does race/track cars as well as street. The difference afterwards was stunning. Race type alignment, but at street settings.
Sorry to hear, hope you get it solved.
 

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Failed struts and shocks are very hard to identify. We had a 2008 Sequoia Limited. Installed Bilstein struts and shocks at 50,000. Everything was better.
At around 110,000 the vehicle felt loose. Had alignment checked twice. They found it tight and in alignment.
Finally at 150,000 bit the bullet and installed new KYB struts and shocks. Found my issue. Rear passenger shock had separated at a threaded connection. Dustboot hid this failure. Think my wife and daughter drove for 40,000 miles with three working dampers. They said it drove fine.
Check rear differential mount too. It bolts to frame. Looked funky to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
We had a similar symptoms with the family's MY18. I replaced both front and rear sway bar bushings(TSB issued). The dealer did rear sway bar links that had been recalled. The tracking and stability vastly improved. Down the line, I'll switch the sway bar bushings over to urethane. I'd agree on the springs on the car, though the shocks seem fine. The car could use stiffer springs all-round(std height, slight increased rates, IE- not race).
At 20k with the family's car, I'll probably do motor and trans mounts as I can feel they are starting to go. The driveline already feels as if it's sloshing around and too much vibrations at stop lights. With the previous MY11 we had, this seemed to solve those issues.
You might consider a 2nd opinion on the alignment. It's been my experience most dealers are horrid at alignments and don't spend the time to really dial the suspension in. I recently had our Boxster aligned at a shop that does race/track cars as well as street. The difference afterwards was stunning. Race type alignment, but at street settings.
Sorry to hear, hope you get it solved.
I would love to put stiffer sway bar bushings, but nobody makes them for 2018+. I could tell by looking underneath, the stock ones look too soft.
As for springs, I was thinking the Rallitek standard ones, front and rear. They list them as +.05 higher though. My intent is not to raise the vehicle any higher. Previously they did not list them that way.

I emailed them and this was their response:
"Our standard height springs are 0.5” springs. Their the same spring we just got rid of the standard height naming convention because of the confusion that they’re not OEM height spring because they sit higher in there travel under the weight of the vehicle due to the increased spring rate."
For the rear springs, there 2 options, Sport and Overland. The Sport has is 18-20% stiffer than OEM, which matches the amount of their front spring stiffness increase over stock. The Overland is 40-45% stiffer than OEM, which would be good for carrying extra load, like a full size spare and whatever heavy equipment one might use. Probably overkill for my use scenario, as I don't plan on ordinarily carrying lots of stuff. I wonder if it's worth it doing the struts too at the same time with the Bilstein B6. Rallitek seems to recommend doing this, but of course they do... $$ :cool:

My good friend actually recommended I lower the car, LOL! He lowered his Forester for street-ability fun and has an FJ Cruiser for off-roading. RSR- has a lowering spring kit for $250, which is half price of going with rallitek, and would definitely firm up the ride compared to OEM, but it lowers it 1-1.2". I don't see the point of reducing something that was part of the Crosstrek's selling point for me, the increased ground clearance.
Not that I go off-road, but I like the idea of being higher up for snow clearance, and the crappy roads that I might encounter along my travels. Although, I was tempted by the idea :oops: ...my last car was a Fiesta ST, and that's what I was always used to.

I don't know if changing springs will fix the weirdness issue I have, but it will make the car ride much better overall. And as @Panelhead pointed out, perhaps one of the struts or strut mounts (top hats) is bad/defective. Changing springs will allow me to get a thorough inspection of all of the parts, being that they will be re-used with said springs.

Although, the one thing that concerns me is if changing to the Rallitek springs will affect my warranty in regards to suspension. I would be concerned that if after everything I do, the issue is still there. Now the dealer can say that I am the cause of the issue, or that since I modified the suspension, they won't even assist in helping me further trying to fix it. :unsure:

Failed struts and shocks are very hard to identify. We had a 2008 Sequoia Limited. Installed Bilstein struts and shocks at 50,000. Everything was better.
At around 110,000 the vehicle felt loose. Had alignment checked twice. They found it tight and in alignment.
Finally at 150,000 bit the bullet and installed new KYB struts and shocks. Found my issue. Rear passenger shock had separated at a threaded connection. Dustboot hid this failure. Think my wife and daughter drove for 40,000 miles with three working dampers. They said it drove fine.
Check rear differential mount too. It bolts to frame. Looked funky to me.
Thanks for the info! I will go through everything with the struts, as it looks like I will get some Rallitek springs to swap out with the OEM. Perhaps one of my struts or strut mounts (top hats) are defective. And I will take a look at the diff mount. But being that the car has only 1k miles, I would imagine it would still be OK.
 

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If OEM height is desired, a great low cost option is the OEM springs for the Hybrid. My dealer had them for around 80.00 each. Not sure of wait time. Hybrid rear shocks were a 60 day wait.
The Hybrid Crosstrek is 300 pounds heavier than a Limited. Springs and shocks are stiffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If OEM height is desired, a great low cost option is the OEM springs for the Hybrid. My dealer had them for around 80.00 each. Not sure of wait time. Hybrid rear shocks were a 60 day wait.
The Hybrid Crosstrek is 300 pounds heavier than a Limited. Springs and shocks are stiffer.
Hmmm, interesting idea. I saw you comment about these struts and springs on another thread. I'd love to know the exact spring rates of the hybrid springs and the differences in the dampeners in the back. Are the stock springs progressive, I'm thinking yes. I know Rallitek does a linear in the back spring and I think a progressive in the front. But I would love to know if their back standard spring is the same or stiffer than the hybrid. You mentioned overlander King springs being stiffer than the hybrid stockers.

And I think installing the hybrid setup in the back would cause less of a ruffle with the dealership in terms of warranty claims with suspension at any point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Were you able to visit the dealer and take a similar make/model out for a test drive?
I didn't make it out yesterday, I was feeling tired. I went to my friend's shop and had him put it up on the lift. We couldn't see anything out of place. But yeah, I'm going to make it to the dealer next week and figure out if it's just the way these are, or is mine an outlier.

I'm starting to believe that it's just the way these are, lol. Still going to do the springs though, and maybe the bilsteins. "Pay once cry once".
 

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When you go to the dealer, ask to drive a loaner Crosstrek, to see if it feels the same. If it feels the same, get over it, or modify your suspension.
If not, something is wrong with your car. Have the tech or service manager drive the car with you so you can show them the issue. If you're not with them, you will probably get the "unable to duplicate" talk off. Realize that dealers like to run scans and replace parts. Non-scan diagnosis is a lost art and takes time away from generating revenue.
 

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Looking at my dealers website the front bushings are unchanged. The latest version retro fit to something like 2017 - 2023. The rear are 2020+.
On rates, read here the OEM are linear.and Rallitech are progressive. I am happy with stock rear springs. Ran 2360 miles last week, all highway. Had a heavy cooler full of meat, three cases of beer, four bags of gear in back. At least 250 pounds. Ride level and fine. Half that was gone on trip back. Still rode level and controlled.
I have two older sports/luxury cars with Bilstein air struts all the way around. The Crosstrek rides and drives just as well as one and better than the other. Wife drives a new F-Sport RX-350. She takes my Crosstrek to work a lot.
You got a problem somewhere.
 

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A suggestion…I owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee purchased new in 2013. Right from the start, something vague and unsettling felt wrong with the rear suspension. Long story short, I ended up swapping the tires and wheels from back to front and the sensations that I was experiencing moved to the left front.
it turned out that one tire was defective internally. After the selling dealer service manager took it for a couple of test drives and had their alignment tech check the alignment and finding it in spec, they replaced two tires. Problem disappeared. My son owns that Jeep and has close to 175,000 on the clock with no further issues.
My 21 Crosstrek sport handles and rides perfectly. I’m a pretty picky guy and have owned a number of cars, including an 18 Porsche Cayman GTS and I find the Crosstrek very satisfying in all regards.
I hope the OP gets it sorted.
 

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I’m a pretty picky guy and have owned a number of cars, including an 18 Porsche Cayman GTS and I find the Crosstrek very satisfying in all regards
Agreed. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handles for being such a tall vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A suggestion…I owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee purchased new in 2013. Right from the start, something vague and unsettling felt wrong with the rear suspension. Long story short, I ended up swapping the tires and wheels from back to front and the sensations that I was experiencing moved to the left front.
it turned out that one tire was defective internally. After the selling dealer service manager took it for a couple of test drives and had their alignment tech check the alignment and finding it in spec, they replaced two tires. Problem disappeared. My son owns that Jeep and has close to 175,000 on the clock with no further issues.
My 21 Crosstrek sport handles and rides perfectly. I’m a pretty picky guy and have owned a number of cars, including an 18 Porsche Cayman GTS and I find the Crosstrek very satisfying in all regards.
I hope the OP gets it sorted.
I had the problem since new. I replaced the rims and tires with the STI 17-in wheels, and still have the issue. Tires and wheels can be ruled out in my case.
 

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I had the problem since new. I replaced the rims and tires with the STI 17-in wheels, and still have the issue. Tires and wheels can be ruled out in my case.
I think you may need to elaborate what you experience whether during high-speed turn near tire adhesion limit, aggressive change of direction, or during mouse maneuver.
Crosstrek has rear double wishbone setup that is different from common twisted beam, which give rear tire better tracking ability on undulated surface and also has active torque vectoring which may also give different sensation.
 
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