View Full Version : Newbie has problem with my '98 Impreza

12-31-2010, 04:11 PM
First of all, hi! I'm new here, and I know little about cars except how to drive them.
Secondly, and the reason I'm here:
I have a '98 Impreza AWD. I was having a problem with my car where when I was making turns, the car was making noises and "skipping". By skipping, I mean it felt like it was slipping. Sometimes the car would move a little, then jerk and move more, then slow down again. The sharper the turn, the louder the noise, and the worse the skipping was.
My mechanic (whom I've used for 10+ years and whom trust) said it was the drive shaft, and he replaced it. He even showed me the old shaft and explained the problem with the joint, and what was happening to create the problem.
A few weeks later (I didn't drive it much in those few weeks), I began to notice the problem again. The noise is gone, but the skipping/slipping is still there. It's more noticeable when making sharp turns at a slow speed, like pulling in and out of parking spots.
I bright it to my mechanic's attention, and he offered to back up his work and fix whatever the problem might be. However, after pulling the car apart again, he said there's nothing wrong with the shaft, and he can't find any problem with it.
He did, notice, however, that the rear tires were fairly new, while the front tires appeared to have more wear on them. His thinking now switched to maybe since the wear on the front was different than the back, the minute difference in tire diameter may be "throwing off" the 4-wheel drive, causing the skipping because when turning, one side has to turn more to keep up with the other side.
It's true, that when I had a flat tire a year or so ago, I purchased TWO new tires for the rear, because that's what I always hear -- replace tires in pairs. I now wonder if the same applies to AWD vehicles, since this is my first one.
He went and rotated the tires for me, putting the front in the back, and vice versa, to see if there's a difference. He said he feels a difference, saying the skipping now feels like it's in the back rather than the front. While I can't tell front or back, it seems the problem is now worse than it was before.
Since this is only a theory of his, he encouraged me to seek out assistance from other Subaru owners to see if this is a common problem. He said that the two tires are still new enough that if I replaced only the two older tires, that would probably be good enough to solve the problem, however he can't guarantee that this IS the problem.
Thanks in advance for any support!