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After rereading your description, check the rear differential. Unlike most cars with IRS it bolts to frame. And see if you can read the part number on struts and shocks. The struts were easy on my 2022. Shocks were a little harder to spot.
And check the transmission mount. One poster said he bench pressed his tailshaft. I used a racing jack and a 4x4 to raise mine. I could fully compress the mount in my hands. I saw replacement mounts a one of the suppliers. It is the five bolt.
Vendors and Subaru do not update the applications. Dealer website still shows CVT II is correct fluid. And showed Subaru 0-w20 was not the right oil. Those urethane front bushings will work if they fit a ‘17 -18.
 

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'23 Limited
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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
I think I am figuring it out. Feels like something is out of balance/out of round and at higher speeds it's more obvious. Hitting a bump exacerbates it because the weight is not evenly distributed on whatever it is, rotating somewhere in the drive line. Imagine a washing machine that has been loaded unevenly, now imagine it lying sideways, that's basically what I think might be going on.

I'm going to bring it to another shop and have them put it in the air and in gear and see if it's obvious that way, which of course would be the easiest to spot and probably fix. Could be the mass that it's rotating is sideways like a drive shaft out of balance. It's still occurs when putting in neutral at speed. I know even in neutral the drive line is moving, it's just disengaged in the CVT, so I don't think in gear or out of gear would matter.

It kind of almost feels like the car is crab walking, like the back is not pointing in the same direction as the front, but I think the alignment would have picked that up. This seems to be more of a rotational imbalance that an alignment wouldn't find.
 

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'23 Limited
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Interestingly enough I turned off the traction control and on my ride home from Long Island I didn't feel much of an issue. Could be just coincidence. It's had moments for a while though we're actually didn't have the issue.

The car is really wonderful when it's smooth. The 2.5 is very responsive if you lay into it at the right moments. I'm enjoying the car even without having sport mode on at all. If I'm doing city driving I won't leave it on more often than not, but once I go on the highway and I'm up to speed I just turn it off.
 

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I am interested in what you find out jamesbob. I have a 2018 Crosstrek with a similar sounding issue, started around 80 and now at 85k miles.

I had the front and rear struts replaced at a Subaru dealership and the tires road force balanced, but still feeling the vibration (nvh) in the drivers seat on the highway. It also rocks from side to side when going over manholes in town etc.
 

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'23 Limited
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
have you tried take off the wheel and put it back again? check if your new rim need center hub ring to keep it center?
The wheels I got are the OEM option wheels, so there's no hub ring needed. This problem was evident with the OEM wheels and now with the new wheels, so I'm live to believe it's not real specific related.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I am interested in what you find out jamesbob. I have a 2018 Crosstrek with a similar sounding issue, started around 80 and now at 85k miles.

I had the front and rear struts replaced at a Subaru dealership and the tires road force balanced, but still feeling the vibration (nvh) in the drivers seat on the highway. It also rocks from side to side when going over manholes in town etc.
I'm definitely going to bring it back to my friends lift on Saturday if the weather is good, and have it run in gear on the lift to see if there's any noticeable driveline vibration. Could be something on the axles going through the wheels or the drive shaft going to the differentials. It's all just guessing at this point until Saturday.

I will update accordingly.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Premium 2.0 CVT
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I’m leaning toward the guy who says it’s a defective tire.

Why?

Because I sent over $4,000 on every suspension component, full driveshaft, rear pinion gear, axle shims, new wheels, etc on my Tacoma, all to find out the wobble was due to a bad tire. Balanced and aligned fine but upon examination of the interior it was out of round inside the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I’m leaning toward the guy who says it’s a defective tire.

Why?

Because I sent over $4,000 on every suspension component, full driveshaft, rear pinion gear, axle shims, new wheels, etc on my Tacoma, all to find out the wobble was due to a bad tire. Balanced and aligned fine but upon examination of the interior it was out of round inside the tire.
Yes, but I changed my wheels and tires completely. I went from the stock limited 18-in wheels with falken Ziex A/S tires, to the 17-in STI accessory wheels and Michelin Cross climate 2 tires. The problem was there before and after. I can be confident in saying that it's not either the rims or tires where the problem lies.
 

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Yes, but I changed my wheels and tires completely. I went from the stock limited 18-in wheels with falken Ziex A/S tires, to the 17-in STI accessory wheels and Michelin Cross climate 2 tires. The problem was there before and after. I can be confident in saying that it's not either the rims or tires where the problem lies.
Gotcha… then I will now side with the guy who said driveline vibration. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Gotcha… then I will now side with the guy who said driveline vibration. Lol
Bingo! Driveline issue.

I managed to bring it to a shop this afternoon and put it on the lift and in gear.

What we noticed is that the rear differential has way too much movement, it goes up and down way too easily. The guy told me it's not supposed to move near that much. Don't know What is allowing the rear differential to have so much play, whether something is missing like a bushing or bracket or something is loose. There was no noise associated just an excessive up/down wobble from the rear differential.

Definitely makes sense after seeing what's going on and what I'm feeling. I feel it even on a smooth road, a slight bobbing in the rear.

I didn't think it was in the suspension, I could have thrown another two grand on new struts and springs and all the goodies, and I guarantee I still would have felt the problem. I'm not against upgrading these shocks and springs, but I'm not going to do it on a car that has other issues.
 

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Bingo! Driveline issue.

I managed to bring it to a shop this afternoon and put it on the lift and in gear.

What we noticed is that the rear differential has way too much movement, it goes up and down way too easily. The guy told me it's not supposed to move near that much. Don't know What is allowing the rear differential to have so much play, whether something is missing like a bushing or bracket or something is loose. There was no noise associated just an excessive up/down wobble from the rear differential.

Definitely makes sense after seeing what's going on and what I'm feeling. I feel it even on a smooth road, a slight bobbing in the rear.

I didn't think it was in the suspension, I could have thrown another two grand on new struts and springs and all the goodies, and I guarantee I still would have felt the problem. I'm not against upgrading these shocks and springs, but I'm not going to do it on a car that has other issues.
I didn’t think it was suspension either and certainly would not have advised the suspension mods, these cars have quite comfortable and adequate suspension for most users.

As I think someone noted in this thread, the rear differential mounts to the subframe. Did you happen to see if it was loose or disconnected? That could absolutely be the issue!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I didn’t think it was suspension either and certainly would not have advised the suspension mods, these cars have quite comfortable and adequate suspension for most users.

As I think someone noted in this thread, the rear differential mounts to the subframe. Did you happen to see if it was loose or disconnected? That could absolutely be the issue!
From what I could tell, everything looked to be connected, but I am not too familiar with these cars in general.

The back of the differential has two bushings that mounts into the rear subframe. That is where we saw all of the movement. It could be something further up along the drive shaft forcing this moment. Like some sort of bucking up and down.

I'm going to bring it to another shop tomorrow and see what they say. Maybe what we were noticing is normal on these cars, idk. The guy swore to me that that movement wasn't normal, but he's not a Subaru specific shop, so idk.
 

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From what I could tell, everything looked to be connected, but I am not too familiar with these cars in general.

The back of the differential has two bushings that mounts into the rear subframe. That is where we saw all of the movement. It could be something further up along the drive shaft forcing this moment. Like some sort of bucking up and down.

I'm going to bring it to another shop tomorrow and see what they say. Maybe what we were noticing is normal on these cars, idk. The guy swore to me that that movement wasn't normal, but he's not a Subaru specific shop, so idk.
The differential itself should not be moving at all. The driveshafts should only rotate, there should be no lateral or horizontal movement, if there is, there is imbalance somewhere.

You did say this has been there since new correct? Perhaps the driveshaft is not properly balanced. I had a rear driveshaft on my Tacoma that was out of balance and created some sound and vibration. When I replaced it with an aluminum custom driveshaft it was gone.

You may just have a defective driveline component, whether a differential mount or driveshaft or even a cv axle that’s bad and causing the movement to move to the diff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The differential itself should not be moving at all. The driveshafts should only rotate, there should be no lateral or horizontal movement, if there is, there is imbalance somewhere.

You did say this has been there since new correct? Perhaps the driveshaft is not properly balanced. I had a rear driveshaft on my Tacoma that was out of balance and created some sound and vibration. When I replaced it with an aluminum custom driveshaft it was gone.

You may just have a defective driveline component, whether a differential mount or driveshaft or even a cv axle that’s bad and causing the movement to move to the diff.
Thank you, I'm thinking similar thoughts about the unbalance being further up thus causing the differential to move the way it does. It wasn't doing it the whole time. I think it was exacerbated when the guy gave it gas, or when the CVT was doing its thing (torque converter on/off)....
When the traction control was kicking in when the car was up in the air, the rear diff was bucking like crazy, like the car was trying to stop itself from slipping. I told the mechanic in the car to turn off the traction control, but he was tired of the whole ordeal and wanted to get out of the car.

Going to bring it to a different shop and see what they think before my dealer appointment next Monday.

Honestly I don't really have the patience for this, I'm ready to trade this car in for something that won't complicate my life. I thought buying new would give me piece of mind.
 

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Thank you, I'm thinking similar thoughts about the unbalance being further up thus causing the differential to move the way it does. It wasn't doing it the whole time. I think it was exacerbated when the guy gave it gas, or when the CVT was doing its thing (torque converter on/off)....
When the traction control was kicking in when the car was up in the air, the rear diff was bucking like crazy, like the car was trying to stop itself from slipping. I told the mechanic in the car to turn off the traction control, but he was tired of the whole ordeal and wanted to get out of the car.

Going to bring it to a different shop and see what they think before my dealer appointment next Monday.

Honestly I don't really have the patience for this, I'm ready to trade this car in for something that won't complicate my life. I thought buying new would give me piece of mind.
Subaru of America can buy vehicles back from customers who have had problems with a new car. In some cases, Subaru is required by state law to buy the car back because of a recurring problem. In other cases, Subaru does it because it's the right thing to do for a good customer. After the problems are corrected, Subaru offers these vehicles for sale exclusively to Subaru dealers.
(I would have drove this thing through the Dealership Storefront a week ago)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Subaru of America can buy vehicles back from customers who have had problems with a new car. In some cases, Subaru is required by state law to buy the car back because of a recurring problem. In other cases, Subaru does it because it's the right thing to do for a good customer. After the problems are corrected, Subaru offers these vehicles for sale exclusively to Subaru dealers.
(I would have drove this thing through the Dealership Storefront a week ago)!
LMFAO to your last line.

When I brought it into the dealer a little over a week ago, they did not notice the issue. They did however doing alignment when I insisted they check it and it in fact was off.

When I go into the dealer next week, I'm going to have video of the rear diff excess play, and I'm going to be more insistent.

But the question I ask, what if the dealership keeps denying there's a problem, will Subaru of America step in and buy the car back? Will any of this apply if that happens? Because it definitely seems like I might be getting the push off on this.

I will make sure it's a loaded up the back with some weight before I go in, as that exacerbates the issue. I'm not even talking crazy weight, 150 to 200 lb and it gets considerably worse.

Anyways, thanks for the advice, I'm going to seriously consider this. I still want a Crosstrek, and I would even consider getting another limited provided it doesn't have this issue. And I would make sure to take my STI wheels with me.

And even if they buy back my car, I'm going to lose a considerable amount of money. I had the freaking thing ceramic coated, lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Can you post some pictures of the rear differential and how it’s installed?

Doug
The backside of the rear diff has two posts with bushings that stick out that go into the rear subframe. And there's a counterweight that on the outside, marked with the letter F. I think that's what that is.

Going forward that looks to be like a dog bone type sideways mount, that looks pretty stiff.
The movement I have is viewed from the back of the diff, it would shift down quite a bit when it moved.
 

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The backside of the rear diff has two posts with bushings that stick out that go into the rear subframe. And there's a counterweight that on the outside, marked with the letter F. I think that's what that is.

Going forward that looks to be like a dog bone type sideways mount, that looks pretty stiff.
The movement I have is viewed from the back of the diff, it would shift down quite a bit when it moved.
You made me look. I crawled under with my flashlight and didn't see anything different on my car from what you show on yours. So, to me, it doesn't appear to an assembly issue. It looks like you're on the right track with the drive shaft balance. Good luck tomorrow.

Doug
 
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