Q: Car is making a speed related sound over 20mph almost like something is dragging or rubbing. 2008 Subaru Outback

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My 2008 subaru outback is making a speed related sound when driving over 20mph. It almost sounds like something is rubbing or dragging. I've put the car up and looked for anything obvious that was hanging off and nothing. I also lifted the front and rear axle to spin the tires in neutral to see if it's a bearing but they were free moving and everything looked dry underneath. The sound gets louder as you increase speed but is a constant sound not related to shifting and is constant when I let off the gas and coast. So I'm stumped. Any ideas?

My car has 76800 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there - quite likely, this is a wheel bearing noise. Your own diagnostics actually narrow it to this "speed-related, but not while shifting (accelerating)" - well done! The bearing might not make noise while suspended - because it isn’t carrying any weight then. If you make slow turns at modest speeds - an "on-ramp" for example - that will help determine which bearing it is if it’s a front wheel bearing: if louder during a left turn, it’s the right-front bearing, opposite for a right turn. I would recommend a wheel bearing/hub replacement service by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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