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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
My wife and I just bought a new Ascent Limited. We drove it for about 30 miles and now there is this squeaking noise when we turn the wheel as if it was rubbing against something. I’m going to contact the dealership ASAP, but does anyone know what it is — click on the link to see the video
Thanks!
 

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Omg that would get annoying real quick!

Can you tell where it’s coming from: near the firewall, the plastic cover, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Omg that would get annoying real quick!

Can you tell where it’s coming from: near the firewall, the plastic cover, etc?
Hi,
Not sure. It sounds like it’s rubbing against the plastic cover behind the wheel. Im taking it in tomorrow to see what it is!
 

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Sounds like rubber on rubber, squeaky shoes. I bet they put the parts in incorrectly behind the steering wheel.
 

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Doesnt sound like a squeak to me, more like a stepper motor sound. Could it be the lane assist motor making the noise? I'm curious what the dealer reports back with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So, I took the Ascent to our dealership service. The head of the service department came back and told me that they need to change the entire steering wheel column because it’s defective. He also said that he will have to notify the Subaru headquarters because this is very rare. I have to leave the car there until Wednesday because they need to order the part, good thing is that, they do provide free loaners.
Also, I’ve noticed when we bought the car that there was rust on top of the rotors — they said it was normal since the cars sit outside on the lot. They assured me that after we drove it for a couple of days it will go away. We have had the car for a week now. Last night it rained pretty hard, and the rotors were covered in rust drips this morning.

This sucks because it’s our first Subaru and was not expecting this at all! I’ve had my 2015 Honda Fit, went from DC to California (up the Rockies, Yosemite, Moab, etc) and back, still no issues with almost 100k miles on it!
 

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Replacing an entire steering column is weird. The good thing is the dealer didn't give you the run around. To me it sounds like something with a stepper motor. Let's chalk this one up to a fluke, I haven't heard of anyone have an entire column replaced in any vehicle.

As for rust on rotors, yes this happens. However, you mention only on the top? And drips? This is weird band pics would probably better explain it. But in general, ever cars rotors rust if they are wet when you park it, or are left outside and it rains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I took the Ascent to our dealership service. The head of the service department came back and told me that they need to change the entire steering wheel column because it’s defective. He also said that he will have to notify the Subaru headquarters because this is very rare. I have to leave the car there until Wednesday because they need to order the part, good thing is that, they do provide free loaners.
Also, I’ve noticed when we bought the car that there was rust on top of the rotors, but they said that after you drive it for a couple of days it will go away. Last night it rained pretty hard, and the rotors were covered in rust drips this morning.

This sucks because it’s our first Subaru and was not expecting this at all! I’ve had my 2015 Honda Fit, went from DC to California (up the Rockies, Yosemite, Moab, etc) and back, still no issues with almost 100k miles on it!
Replacing an entire steering column is weird. The good thing is the dealer didn't give you the run around. To me it sounds like something with a stepper motor. Let's chalk this one up to a fluke, I haven't heard of anyone have an entire column replaced in any vehicle.

As for rust on rotors, yes this happens. However, you mention only on the top? And drips? This is weird band pics would probably better explain it. But in general, ever cars rotors rust if they are wet when you park it, or are left outside and it rains.
The car is brand new. He told me that they are not going to open that up but rather just replace the entire column. I don’t know much about cars, so, I have to trust him at this point!
I’ve owned few brand new cars, but I do not recall them having this much rust or any for that matter for a while. Picture is below

6710
 

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So, I took the Ascent to our dealership service. The head of the service department came back and told me that they need to change the entire steering wheel column because it’s defective. He also said that he will have to notify the Subaru headquarters because this is very rare. I have to leave the car there until Wednesday because they need to order the part, good thing is that, they do provide free loaners.
Also, I’ve noticed when we bought the car that there was rust on top of the rotors — they said it was normal since the cars sit outside on the lot. They assured me that after we drove it for a couple of days it will go away. We have had the car for a week now. Last night it rained pretty hard, and the rotors were covered in rust drips this morning.

This sucks because it’s our first Subaru and was not expecting this at all! I’ve had my 2015 Honda Fit, went from DC to California (up the Rockies, Yosemite, Moab, etc) and back, still no issues with almost 100k miles on it!
this is what the warranty is for since every manufacturer will have a percentage of individual unit problems. Recalls in comparison are for widespread defects in design or build.

There are too many complicated parts interacting with each other and too many human hands on each vehicle to reasonably expect perfection for each unit. the manufacturers want to get as close as they can to perfection but it is not ever going to happen. It is inconvenient to have to deal with but Subaru thankfully does in my experience a great job at managing the warranty items as they arise.

The 2015 Honda fit had four recalls to date and is of course a less technologically complicated vehicle then any 2019, 2020 or 2021. This vehicle has also had one investigation which remains open involving air bags ACU electrical stress. Honda has out ninety seven communications for this vehicle. The communications range from warrnty extensions on the structure to issues like the CVT fill plug falling out. I am glad to hear you had a great road trip with your Honda but that really does not provided any useful metric in comparative reliability.
 

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The car is brand new. He told me that they are not going to open that up but rather just replace the entire column. I don’t know much about cars, so, I have to trust him at this point!
I’ve owned few brand new cars, but I do not recall them having this much rust or any for that matter for a while. Picture is below

View attachment 6710
Document it with the dealer as an issue so if it amounts to anything important in the future it can be dealt with through the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
this is what the warranty is for since every manufacturer will have a percentage of individual unit problems. Recalls in comparison are for widespread defects in design or build.

There are too many complicated parts interacting with each other and too many human hands on each vehicle to reasonably expect perfection for each unit. the manufacturers want to get as close as they can to perfection but it is not ever going to happen. It is inconvenient to have to deal with but Subaru thankfully does in my experience a great job at managing the warranty items as they arise.

The 2015 Honda fit had four recalls to date and is of course a less technologically complicated vehicle then any 2019, 2020 or 2021. This vehicle has also had one investigation which remains open involving air bags ACU electrical stress. Honda has out ninety seven communications for this vehicle. The communications range from warrnty extensions on the structure to issues like the CVT fill plug falling out. I am glad to hear you had a great road trip with your Honda but that really does not provided any useful metric in comparative reliability.
Oh, I know. It’s just that when you buy a 43k brand new car, you probably do not anticipate that. It may be just a very rare problem, and I happened to be the lucky one lol, or it could be a more widespread issue — I wouldn’t know at this point.
I am not loyal to either Honda or Subaru or any piece of machinery for that matter. You are right, it’s a simpler car, but it’s disappointing to have to deal with such matter with a car that has less than 70 miles on it, that’s all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Document it with the dealer as an issue so if it amounts to anything important in the future it can be dealt with through the warranty.
Yes, definitely. I’m going to ask them to put it in writing when I pick up the car. Thanks for the reminder!
 

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Oh, I know. It’s just that when you buy a 43k brand new car, you probably do not anticipate that. It may be just a very rare problem, and I happened to be lucky one lol, or it could be a more widespread issue — I wouldn’t know at this point.
I am not loyal to either Honda or Subaru or any piece of machinery for that matter. You are right, it’s a simpler car, but it’s disappointing to have to deal with such matter with a car that has less than 70 miles on it, that’s all.
I have had my share of dealership visits for warranty work on my 2019 Limited. It never really amounted to a big hassle. I always get a Ascent as a loaner and the issues were always dealt with as quickly as can be expected (parts were a delaying issue early on). Subaru even compensated me with two months payments because of the delay. I never really had to argue with Subaru about a warranty issue (with one recent exception due to an ill informed SOA representative - which I resolved satisfactorily). MSRP does not impact defects. Audi and some of the other more expensive brands are notorious for the problems that require warranty work and owner paid for repairs.
 

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All that rust wipes off within 2 or 3 revolutions with brakes applied. Do not worry about it. You've probably never noticed it in the past because these wheels really expose the rotor surface. Most wheels do not. Again, this is not a problem.
 

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So, I took the Ascent to our dealership service. The head of the service department came back and told me that they need to change the entire steering wheel column because it’s defective. He also said that he will have to notify the Subaru headquarters because this is very rare. I have to leave the car there until Wednesday because they need to order the part, good thing is that, they do provide free loaners.
Also, I’ve noticed when we bought the car that there was rust on top of the rotors — they said it was normal since the cars sit outside on the lot. They assured me that after we drove it for a couple of days it will go away. We have had the car for a week now. Last night it rained pretty hard, and the rotors were covered in rust drips this morning.

This sucks because it’s our first Subaru and was not expecting this at all! I’ve had my 2015 Honda Fit, went from DC to California (up the Rockies, Yosemite, Moab, etc) and back, still no issues with almost 100k miles on it!
Just as I suspected, the steering column / components were put together incorrectly at the factory. Glad they are replacing the entire thing.

As for the rust, I've seen this before in other news vehicles, I use to have a silverado in 2016 new, it did the same for a while.

My 2008 Forester use to do this too. It will go away if you use the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, I got a call today from the head of the service saying, “...we don’t know what the problem is! We sent the video to the headquarters tech division. They said that they have few similar cases and they are looking into it but don’t know what the problem is yet.” He offered for me to come and pick up the car, I refused. He said that it may take another week or more, he wasn’t sure.
It’s a bit weird how confident they were about the steering column being the problem, now they have no idea!!! Under Maryland Lemon Law they get one chance to repair a steering problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just wanted to keep you guys in the loop. We got our Ascent back today. Apparently after contacting the Subaru tech headquarters, the service manager was told that there is nothing they can do about the noise, multiple brand new Ascents were being investigated for a similar issue. However, my service manager went ahead and ordered the steering column anyways, and after changing it the noise disappeared (as of today). He told me that they will send the info back to the headquarters, and most likely they will eventually issue something for the public. Also, one thing that I noticed now is that, the steering wheel doesn’t feel as loosey-goosey! I’m hoping that I don’t have to see him for the next 6,000 miles. If anything changes, I’ll keep you posted.
 
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