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What Is That Wind Noise In My Subaru?

What is that wind noise on my Subaru and how can I make it stop!

One of the typical things that will happen to your Subaru is over time you will hear an increased amount of wind type noise coming into the cabin area of the car especially at freeway speeds.

For certain Subaru models there is an updated part called the door gusset that will resolve this issue for you and bring back some of the piece and quiet you used to enjoy in your Subaru.

There is actually a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) number 12-82-04 pertaining to the updated gussets on certain model Subaru’s.  Other models in some cases can have the gussets adjusted to resolve the noise.

The updated gussets are part number 61158AE00B for the right, and 61158AE01B.  These updated parts fit the 2000 to 2004 Subaru Legacy and Outback platform.

There are some measurements that Subaru suggests making prior to replacing the gusset jut to insure replacing the gusset is necessary.  The first is between the gusset and the glass with the door closed and the window up, if it is more than 2mm the gusset should be done the next is with the window down if the clearance is more than 5mm the gusset needs to be replaced.

Below are some pictures of the replacement process.  The door panel and mirror have to come off to replace the gusset.  The clearance needs to be checked after the gusset is replaced and adjusted if needed.

Subaru Wind Noise 

The picture doesn’t do justice to the gap formed btetween the glass and the door gusset.

Subaru Door Gusset

Subaru door panel removed 

Window Gusset Old VS New 

Subaru Door Gusset 

 

Window Gusset for Subaru Outback 

The gap is gone.

Fixing the gap in the Door Gusset will greatly diminish the wind noise coming into your Subaru from the window and will quit driving you crazy.

Thanks for reading

Justin

About the Author

All Wheel Drive Auto is a unique independent Subaru service & repair facility. We combine years of dealer experience with a local neighborhood shop atmosphere. We use Subaru parts & test Equipment and have the expert knowledge to fix it right the first time.

Comments (55)

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  1. Julio says:

    Thank you Justin. I just bought a 2004 Forester and that’s the first thing I noticed. I really appreciate you taking the time to document and take the pictures.

    Best Regards,

  2. lana says:

    Thanks you for the info… where could I buy a replacement door gusset?

  3. Joe says:

    Great bit of info. Very pricey part for such a trivial item. $92 from the Subaru Stealer.

  4. Joe says:

    Update: allsubaru.com has them in stock for $73 each.

  5. Don Christensen says:

    Thanks for your information on 2003 wind noise. Ours is getting worse and driving us crazy. It is the only thing we don’t like about our Subie. I suspected this area, now I know what to do. Thank You!!
    Don, Salem, OR

  6. Don Christensen says:

    Thank you soooo much for this information. I replaced both gussets and the noise is gone. It has put the pleasure back into driving my subie. It was the best $185 I have spent.

  7. Rick Reber says:

    If you want to try to fix yourself here is my solution (may be temporary??) Take a hair dryer and heat up the gusset and bend towards the glass. lo and behold it again sealed properly and took away the warpage that was causing the wind noise. so far so good

    • Dan says:

      This really works! I took the blow hairdryer and after warming up the gussets, I took a cloth to cover them and then using a plyers gently squeezed them together – viola – the noise is basically gone. We still hear the road noise but that is hardly noticeable. Thank you for the idea.

    • Lynne says:

      Yay! Worked for me too.

  8. ZAZ Brown says:

    Here’s another fix…sorry I don’t have pictures but after searching other forums, the solution was simple.

    If you roll down the window and remove the plastic trim where the tweeter should go (depending upon model) you should be able to squeeze the piece back into a more acute opening. If you get it to look like the new piece that Justin suggested, then the next trick is to attempt to roll up the window and check for clearance. I got it with a first time go on the passenger side. Since I roll the drivers side down more often, the window got jammed a couple of times until I “shaped” the wedge to a more suitable path for it. Now it works like new. I’ll be test driving it in a few on the highway to see if the noise is gone. Saved me some money and took less than 5 minutes (plus it’s cold out there!!!).

    Hope this helps folks. I love my Subaru.

  9. Jim says:

    Okay, this is good, now how do I fix an 09 Forrester wind sound? Just got it and plan to ask the dealer about this, but I want to make sure I have some idea what they will do.

  10. ZAZ Brown says:

    Follow up:
    After test driving my car on the highway, the noise is gone. I can only hear the faint sound of the road and exhaust,but no wind noise. It’s worth a try before plunking down money for new parts. Good luck!

  11. Mike says:

    My outback has this problem. My local shop often uses used parts to help save customers money. I will have to check this out with them. Thanks from Colorado.

  12. Amy says:

    My Subaru Stealer(I love that! Hate that it is so true) told me that adjusting the mirror gusset on my driver’s side door would fix the wind noise. I was quoted $25. I haven’t done it yet, will wait until I have the body repair from another car bumping into me (on the first day I drove my Subaru that was new to me!) and ask them to do that little service for me, hopefully complimentary.

  13. norm says:

    thank you so much for this item it was the only complaint i had with my sooby it was driving me nuts

  14. [...] this is a know problem with this model of subaru. here is a good explanation and how to fix it What Is That Wind Noise In My Subaru? – Seattle Subaru Repair [...]

  15. Nick says:

    This has been an annoying problem with my cousin’s 2003 Forester from the beginning. The noise at freeway speeds is excessive and actually makes it difficult to have a relaxed conversation at a normal volume.

    Clearly it’s a design flaw. The fact that a bulletin was issued and a modified part was designed to correct the faulty design makes it 100% obvious that this isn’t the kind of normal “wear and tear” item that owners should have to pay to have repaired. Subaru delivered a defective vehicle from the get go and they SHOULD fix ALL of them and do it for free!!!

    • Justin Stobb says:

      Hello Nick,

      The 2003 Forester model typically just receives an adjustment to change the gap as it is an adjustable component. In the event it does need a gusset, if it was to develop an issue during the 3/36 warranty it would be considered defective and replaced under warranty, if it happens out of that warranty its your car. I am sorry if a little wind noise has you wound up. I don’t think I understand the thought process behind everything should be covered for life when there are clear definitions of what is covered by your warranty and for how long.

      Typically if a component creates a potential safety issue there will be a recall, but you really wont ever have a recall for some wind noise.

      Justin

      • tony says:

        How do you adjust for the 2003 Forester?

      • Ken Fuller says:

        Actually I would tend to disagree. Google this and you will see that it’s more than a “little” noise, and it’s not really something that the average person would likely be able to adjust. Certainly I’m not suggesting that everything “should be covered for life”, but as an experianced designer in another discipline, I can tell you that many designs are destined to fail because they were poor designs from the outset. This is a poor design.
        Typically an auto manufacturer will realize that there are problems after a number of complaints, but will not inform their customers unless there exists a life safety issue. Instead, they may issue a bulletin to their dealers and will repair during warrranty only. Often these problems do not occur, or are not reported, until after warranty expiration. Then you are s.o.l.

        Bottom line is that this is an annoying design flaw.

        • Justin Stobb says:

          Hi Ken,

          I do understand that you find the wind noise to be irritating, I also hope you understand that no manufacture builds a perfect car. As Subaru’s have gained in popularity over the last 10 years especially I often find myself having to try and point out that there are some things that Subaru’s are known for and some that they are not, Subaru does not have a track record for building quiet cars, only safe ones. If noise while driving is irritating to you and spending some money to cure those noises when they arise is upsetting I would suggest a different car, but there will always be a trade off.

          The purpose of service bulletins are to help a vehicle manufacturer cut down on warranty time claims paid back to a Dealership for labor operations involving some sort of diagnoses paid to a line technician. That is the only reason they exist! A safety defect will generate a Recall or a campaign. I will agree that the gusset is weak, but will also state that based on what the market will bear in terms of sales price that if a manufacture is willing to spend X per vehicle in research and development, manufacture, and post sale warranty claims and a choice has to be made with some sort of interior or exterior fit and finish or a rattle, wind noise or squeak that may occur VS a serious safety defect I will take a noise any day and have always applauded Subaru for staying focused on building safe vehicles. I constantly see Safety related recalls for other makes and models that I do not see for Subaru. Everyone has their own value structure, mine is in my family and I want to know that if involved in an accident the car will take care of us, I dont care that something that costs $200.00 to repair at a shop or $98.99 plus some of my time to cure comes up every few years.. I will take the LACK of sudden acceleration problems, floor mat issues, brakes that fail, cars that catch fire, roll over etc that I have always seen with Subaru that instead plaque most of the other car companies that make cars at the same price point.

          The design of the Gusset did not change drastically, Subaru’s have NEVER been quiet cars, but in 2010 Subaru went to a fully framed door and lots of people have now complained about bumping their head on the same forums that house the rants about the weak design of the other door gusset.

          The repair takes an hour a side at best, if you paid a shop full price to make the repairs you would be out $400.00 and a few hours of your time.

          I would really encourage you to do some of the same Google research for problems with other cars in the same class as your Subaru and see if you would rather have your problems or theirs.

          Thats my point of view, thanks for reading

          Justin

  16. Carlos S Vega says:

    Where can I buy the gussett or take my car to be reapir because the noise is driving me nut. Thanks

  17. Leia says:

    Thank you so much for documenting this. You are my hero. It feels like someone running their finger nails on a chalk board to me everytime I drive my car. I am sooo happy to be able to know how to fix it. Thank you for taking the time. Truely!

  18. Justin stewart says:

    Justin, do you sell the version made for a 2003 forester? Ive made several adjustments to the window and gusset and have overall decreased the noise by about 75 percent, but i can tell the gusset is weak and flawed and i can only adjust so much, and at this point after sound proofing the car…its driving me nuts. If you sell the updatd 2003 forester part, i am interested. Please let me know!

    • Justin Stobb says:

      Hi Justin,

      We do, They run $75.30 per gusset.

      Thanks and let me know if you are interested.

      Justin

      • cheryl says:

        Justin re acceleration issues I just finished
        reading where many owners of 2003 Foresters
        have reportedserious problems with sudden
        accelerations at low speeds while backing
        up resulting in several accidents.
        Very concerning as this is the year Suburu I own.
        Also the wind noise is so incrediably loud
        your hearing is impaired along with your sanity not conducive to safe driving.

        • Justin Stobb says:

          I drove a 2003 Honda Accord for a customer that made more wind noise than any Subaru I have ever driven, the wind noise is correctable in your Subaru! It just costs a little money. Your hearing is impaired? The wind noise often occurs @ freeway speeds, I am not sure what to say about the need to spend less than $200.00 to correct a wind noise that many other Imports develop as well.

          As far as the issue in Reverse? There are no sudden acceleration issues in the 2003 Forester, its is not drive by wire like the newer vehicles including the Toyota’s you have read about in the news , there is an idle speed control motor that comes on whenever there is increased load such as when the Ac compressor engages. You may have a dirt Idle speed control motor, has yours been cleaned recently? You may have an out of range Throttle position sensor.

          If you experience a higher than desired idle speed situation you need only apply more brake pressure and then have it diagnosed locally. Typically when there is an accident the driver is unprepared for idle speed increase at lower speeds brought on by the idle speed control motor, this happens and if your foot is on the brake and you are reactive you shouldn’t ever have any problems

          Justin

      • Irene says:

        Justin, could you please list the door gusset part number for the FORESTER, 2003. Left and right please…and is there a corresponding TSB for the Forester? THANKS for info!!!!!

  19. Ian says:

    You might not need to buy new gussets. I simply used pliers and went around the gusset perimeter, squeezing a little bit until the gap was the right width to permit smooth window operation, yet have no gap after the window was rolled up. No more noise. And sooooo easy to do.

  20. me says:

    The wind noise on my passenger side 03 outback was overwhelming as it grew progressively worse over a year. After I could not take any more while on long road trip I found this page. While riding as passenger i wedged folded over paper between window and gusset and quiet was restored to the cabin. When I get home I will work on it.

  21. Kiko says says:

    I used weather stripping for windows. Now I will get the real thing. Cheap for the peace of mind (it was like a dripping faucet and I had to turn the radio up real high.

  22. 2004 subaru wrx specs…

    [...]What Is That Wind Noise In My Subaru? – Seattle Subaru Repair[...]…

  23. [...] NoisesWhat Is That Wind Noise In My Subaru … – All Wheel Drive AutoMystery Noise in New Parked 2011 Subaru – Car Forums – EdmundsSubaru Forester Cold [...]

  24. Mohammed says:

    Thank you Mr.Justin

    i have replaced the left doors and i have the same noise in the new doors

    and i am gonna fix it enshallah .

  25. Mahdi says:

    Hello
    I have a elantra xd 2006 in which I feel wind noise on high speed . I have seperated the mirrors and tested and there was no wind noise . what should I do ? does any one have this problem . How can I find any information about aerodynamic of mirrors? please guide me basically.
    sincerly ,Mahdi

    • Justin Stobb says:

      Im Sorry but my Expertise really lies with Subaru, I am unaware of any potential updated component for your Hyundai.

      Perhaps look for a Blog about that particular model?

      Justin

  26. gman says:

    There is an easy,no cost, fix for the wind noise. Ease off the tweeter grill(they just pop off)and sqeeze the metal bar behind the window gap to make the window gap smaller. Works like magic. Also try not to close the door using the window because thats what causes the window gap to increase..If the gap opens up again , repeat the procedure.
    Wish my terminology was better but thats the best I can come up with.
    Noise was so bad, I was thinking about getting a new car–now I’m happy with my 2004 Forester.

    • Justin Stobb says:

      Hello Gman,

      Thanks for sharing.

      What you will may find over time is that repair will be short lived and can allow water in in a wet climate. The article is really for someone to read who wants it fixed with the updated part so there is resolution.

      there is an adjustment with the door panel off on your Forester by the way.

      Justin

  27. Cheri says:

    I just got an 03 Forester with the window gusset problem. The old gusset, in particular on the drivers side, has a tear at the top, so I don’t know that adjusting would be an option. It also seems somewhat loose. In checking I found that someone has added a hard plastic shim inside the molding on both sides that seems to connect with the very top edge of the gusset. Maybe in an attempt to keep the window from tipping in due to the weakness of the gusset? Am I on the right track or do you think this could be adjusted? Is there anything else I need to check?

    • Justin Stobb says:

      A solid long term but more expensive fix is to replace the gusset with a new one, the adjust it one day only to adjust it later is the cheaper option, but being that its also torn I would consider option 1.

      Justin

      • Cheri says:

        Is the replacement an improved model to prevent this happening? Or do I threaten people with bodily harm for closing the door by pushing the window? I noticed a price in a prior post, has that changed? Thanks

        • Justin Stobb says:

          I have no idea what the price will be where you live, there is a MSRP but most Stealers do not adhere to it.

          Its a superseded Part # but there is no TSB to suggest its improved for the Forester only for the 2000 to 2004 Legacy and Outback.

          Hope that helps

    • Branton says:

      Cheri,
      That’s very interesting …”I found that someone has added a hard plastic shim inside the molding on both sides”

      We bought a 2003 Forester in 2005 from a dealer in Brisbane. The wind noise did not exist but has become extreme. Over time I was finding 10mm long strips of rubber (like the rubber tube you press into the edge of d-i-y window fly-screens but cut in half length-wise) on the floor of the the driver’s and front passenger side. After investigation I realized they were/had been glued into the molding on the doors. Telltale remnants of the glue indicated where they had been. I contacted Subaru who denied all knowledge of it. I concluded that it was done by the dealer who sold it to me. My plan has been to replicate the practice as it definitely worked. Just haven’t found the time to do so. This thread provides some options, but as I said the “fix” in our Forester was working.
      Regards Branton Hibbbett

  28. Gary Grosso says:

    The easier fix is to roll down the window, get two thin pieces of wood or plastic put them on the outside (one on each side) and with one or two vice grip pliers applied to there outside clamp down and leave for about a minute. It will last a month or so and you can do it again. Does not take long and costs nothing.

  29. Jodi says:

    Hi. Is this issue the same as a high pitched squeaky noise that happens at high speeds and on windy days? It sounds like someone is blowing through the mouthpiece of a clarinet or saxophone. Like wind is being blown across a thin reed or piece of metal. It drives us crazy. Is this the same issue as you guys are describing here?

    • Justin Stobb says:

      The window gusset noise would typically be there at freeway speeds regardless of weather and is a whistle or a noise similar to not having the window up all the way.

      Justin

  30. Jodi says:

    I thought I had posted a question, but I don’t see it anymore…
    Is this wind noise you’re describing just sound like wind is coming through an open window, or is it a high pitched squealing noise that sounds like wind is being blown through the mouthpiece of a clarinet or saxophone (just the mouthpiece)? Or like blowing hard on a leaf to make a music-like sound? That’s what our Subaru is making during high speeds but also at regular speeds when it’s windy. It sounds like something is vibrating and making the noise in the driver side vent. Anyone know what this is?

  31. Christine says:

    Is it possible for you to provide current part #’s for these “gussetts”?

    Thanks!

  32. Eric Paul says:

    Hey Justin -

    Thanks for the write-up. My parents had updated gussets installed last year but the wind noise has returned. I’m trying to track down the paperwork to make sure that Version B of the parts were used but I noticed on some parts websites that there is now a Version C. Any experience with those? I’m curious if they’d be a worthwhile upgrade for a more permanent fix. This is on a ’02 Outback Wagon.

    • Justin Stobb says:

      Hello Eric,

      Is someone at a Subaru Dealer telling your there are three different versions of the Window Gusset or you reading that online somewhere?

      Most likely the noise is stemming from somewhere else, the gussets were not installed correctly or are severely out of adjustment.

      -Justin

      • Eric Paul says:

        Wel, the car is now mine! Upon closer examination I don’t think the gussets are the problem. I believe the entire glass needs to shift toward the rear of the car by about .25″. If I measure the distance between the front class and the rear glass on the drivers (quite side) it is 1.5″ which is what is specified in the FSM. On the passenger’s side this is about 1.75″and it’s clearly the front glass that is out of position. I can’t make sense of the FSM adjustment procedure, got any tips on how to shift the position of the glass?

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