Subaru CrossTrek CV Axle Study


The following study used data made available to CarBeast, provided by our data partners.

Our analysis suggests that certain model years of the Subaru CrossTrek require more front CV axle replacements as compared to other vehicles.

CV axles, or constant velocity axles are crucial components of a vehicle’s powertrain. They help transfer power from the transmission to the wheels even as the wheels are in constant motion or are being turned by the steering system.

The commonly reported symptoms that indicate the CV axle requires replacement are

  • Noise when turning
  • Vibration when driving

The typical cost for a CV axle replacement could be around $450 but can vary depending on:

  • Zip code
  • Use of OEM vs aftermarket parts
  • If the repair is performed at a dealership vs third-party repairshop

CarBeast Data

CarBeast uses repairs data from various repair locations across North America, sourced from our business partners. Our database has hundreds of millions of repair records across most vehicle makes and models.

Using NLP technology, CarBeast automatically understands the content in each repair record. Our data shows about 177 cases of CV Axle replacements for the 2013 Subaru CrossTrek alone, and 388 cases across all CrossTrek model years. Here’s an example of a relevant case :

Subaru Axle Coded Example
Example repair record of a CV axle replacement on a Subaru CrossTrek

The left pane shows the notes (provided by the technician at a dealership) that describe the complaint, cause, and correction. The right pane shows the structured repair code (“Replaced Left Front Axle”) automatically extracted by NLP technology.

Results from Predictive and Diagnostic AI

Together with the data and NLP technology, predictive and diagnostic models power CarBeast Foresight and CarBeast Insight.

CarBeast Foresight presents a list of likely repairs by using machine learning. One of the metrics generated by the Foresight machine learning model is the hazard ratio. It indicates if a particular vehicle make, model and year is more or less likely to require a repair, compared to the general population of vehicles. The hazard ratio for a 2013 Subaru XV CrossTrek requiring a front axle replacement was found to be significantly large.

For a typical 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, the forecast shows a left front axle replacement among the top repairs anticipated.

CarBeast repair forecast for a 2013 Subaru CrossTrek
CarBeast repair forecast for a 2013 Subaru CrossTrek

When using CarBeast Insight to diagnose a problem like “popping noise when turning” for a 2013 CrossTrek, , it suggests an axle replacement as the most likely repair.

Differential diagnosis for a noise problem on a 2013 CrossTrek
Differential diagnosis for a noise problem on a 2013 CrossTrek

Further Analysis

Upon looking closer at the data, it seems clear that this was a problem with the initial model year of the CrossTrek. Subaru introduced the CrossTrek/XV with a 2013 model year. The problem does continue to appear at a lesser rate with the 2014 model year.

Subaru CrossTrek CV Axle Replacements broken down by Model Year
Model year distribution for CV axle replacements vs all Subaru CrossTrek repairs

We see a significant number of cases after the 60,000 mile mark (which is the duration of Subaru’s powertrain warranty).

Mileage distribution for CrossTrek CV Axle replacements vs all CrossTrek repairs
Mileage distribution for CrossTrek CV Axle replacements vs all CrossTrek repairs

Reports from Subaru CrossTrek Owners

Besides repairs data available to CarBeast, we checked other sources for similar reports and incidents.

The website allows for CrossTrek owners to share news, articles, tips and advice regarding their vehicle. Here are a couple of posts from the forums mentioning axle replacements

subaruxvforum Forum Post
Source - subaruxvforum
subaruxvforum Forum Post
Source - subaruxvforum

Some similar complaints have been reported on NHTSA’s website.

Subaru CrossTrek complaint on NHTSA
Source - NHTSA
Subaru CrossTrek complaint on NHTSA
Source - NHTSA

Recall Status

As of Jan 30, 2023, based on recall information available at NHTSA’s website, there does not appear to be a recall associated with this problem.

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