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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, guys. I'm a first time Subaru owner and let me just first say that I love my Ascent. However, I have noticed a howling wind noise now that the temps have gotten colder. It seems to happen when temps are below 40 degrees. I do have the crossbars which came with the car and they are installed correctly. Anyone else noticing this sound? It's fairly loud and a little bothersome. I don't have a moonroof, and all of my windows are completely up. Anyone have any ideas as to where it could be coming from or where I can look?
 

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Hey, guys. I'm a first time Subaru owner and let me just first say that I love my Ascent. However, I have noticed a howling wind noise now that the temps have gotten colder. It seems to happen when temps are below 40 degrees. I do have the crossbars which came with the car and they are installed correctly. Anyone else noticing this sound? It's fairly loud and a little bothersome. I don't have a moonroof, and all of my windows are completely up. Anyone have any ideas as to where it could be coming from or where I can look?
I

I have it all the time. I didn't have it on the 60 degree test drive.I live in MN where it is colder. No cross rails, no sunroof. Much worse into a headwind. Won't be "warm" for another 3-4 months. I agree it's annoying.
 

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See what happens if you turn on recirculation on the HVAC system.
 

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I sometimes have it happen on mine below about 30F in the windows and sunroof, I think the seals in my sunroof harden, and if I open the sunroof when its below freezing ( I know....) you can see that the SR isn't quite flush anymore when I close it..

Turning the HVAC on eliminates the noise from the windows, closing the shade will generally eliminate the noise from the sunroof.

I only really notice the noise at startup and a few minutes after on cold days, because the climate control comes on after the car warms up, pressurising the cabin, and solving the issue with the windows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I

I have it all the time. I didn't have it on the 60 degree test drive.I live in MN where it is colder. No cross rails, no sunroof. Much worse into a headwind. Won't be "warm" for another 3-4 months. I agree it's annoying.
So you know what I'm talking about? To me it sounds like a strong wind howling through old house windows. So far, mine has only done it when there is ice (frost) on it. Luckily, I'm in Arkansas and our temps warm up during the day. I guess if that's the worst thing it does, I'll be ok. Hope yours gets better! Thanks for responding! At least now I know I'm not just hearing things :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I sometimes have it happen on mine below about 30F in the windows and sunroof, I think the seals in my sunroof harden, and if I open the sunroof when its below freezing ( I know....) you can see that the SR isn't quite flush anymore when I close it..

Turning the HVAC on eliminates the noise from the windows, closing the shade will generally eliminate the noise from the sunroof.

I only really notice the noise at startup and a few minutes after on cold days, because the climate control comes on after the car warms up, pressurising the cabin, and solving the issue with the windows.
I appreciate you responding! It just took me by surprise when it started happening!
 

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Hey, guys. I'm a first time Subaru owner and let me just first say that I love my Ascent. However, I have noticed a howling wind noise now that the temps have gotten colder. It seems to happen when temps are below 40 degrees. I do have the crossbars which came with the car and they are installed correctly. Anyone else noticing this sound? It's fairly loud and a little bothersome. I don't have a moonroof, and all of my windows are completely up. Anyone have any ideas as to where it could be coming from or where I can look?
Got similar in mine. At a specific sped of fan (or car/air speed) got this howling noise too. I thought it was turbine, but then played with fan speed and deflectors and it disappears. sometimes I cannot got rid of it and becomes annoying. Sort of flute sound. Resonance. Sometimes get it in warm weather too.

BTW, another Cold Weather "feature" is rattling 3rd row seat belt mechanisms (assuming grease is getting thick?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got similar in mine. At a specific sped of fan (or car/air speed) got this howling noise too. I thought it was turbine, but then played with fan speed and deflectors and it disappears. sometimes I cannot got rid of it and becomes annoying. Sort of flute sound. Resonance. Sometimes get it in warm weather too.

BTW, another Cold Weather "feature" is rattling 3rd row seat belt mechanisms (assuming grease is getting thick?)
Oh dear...I think I have heard the seatbelt rattle too...thank goodness we don't keep cold weather too long here! But even with these issues, I still love my Ascent☺ Thank you for responding!
 

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Hey, guys. I'm a first time Subaru owner and let me just first say that I love my Ascent. However, I have noticed a howling wind noise now that the temps have gotten colder. It seems to happen when temps are below 40 degrees. I do have the crossbars which came with the car and they are installed correctly. Anyone else noticing this sound? It's fairly loud and a little bothersome. I don't have a moonroof, and all of my windows are completely up. Anyone have any ideas as to where it could be coming from or where I can look?
It is the CVT. It is a moaner when things are cold
 

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My CVT moans when cold too, but everything I’ve read says that’s normal. It’s only been down to -20C so far and the moan wasn’t too bad. Not any worse than when it was just -5C so I’m hopeful that when we get to -45C it won’t be any worse. I guess it will just take longer to go away. I get no wind noise at all.
 

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Yes, the whining/whirring sound, when cold, is quite normal and is the CVT. I find the noise akin to an old Chevy power steering pump that's dying or low on fluid. That's not what it is, in our case, obviously, since we are neither driving a Chevy, nor have a fluid driven power steering pump. For those wondering, the noise is caused by the cold fluid squeezing its way through the voids in the CVT chain links as it runs across the variator cones.

In more understandable terms, the technical fancy term for the two big "pulleys" is "variators" and the thing in between is a multi-link, multi-layer "variator chain". It's comprised of flat plate links on pins, like many other chain designs (eg: bike, industrial, motorcycle, etc), except, it's then built up into multiple layers, with side pins that the chain rides on.
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It's a harmless sound that quiets down when the CVT reaches higher temperatures. Every Subaru CVT does this, but, the smaller chain (riding on smaller variators) in the TR580 that most people are familiar with is quieter due to its smaller size and lower clamping pressures. So, one has to listen, from the outside, on a cold day, to hear it on most Subarus. Our bigger chain is definitely louder, and when the car is cold, can be heard clearly from the inside.

If you live in -30° Alaska and Canada, chances are your CVT will not reach very warm temperatures, especially on shorter trips on flat land, and your CVT will remain noisier than the CVTs of people who live in Florida.
 
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