2004 Subaru Legacy with cracked engine shield, steering issue

Mar 7, 2023
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Hi there,

I'm new to the forums here so first hello to you all and thank you for hosting this great resource! I have a 2004 Legacy (just over 200k miles) which started making an intermittent clicking sound during turns this past week. We've had a significant amount of snow fall here in Grass Valley, CA recently, and I believe I further cracked the plastic engine shield on the (driver side) front of the undercarriage (it appears to have been partially wired up on the driver side by the previous owner) driving over a low bank of snow; this, I'm pretty sure is the source of the clicking sound. However, while driving the car earlier today, there were a few moments when the steering jerked a bit to the left or right as well.

I had a tie rod replacement done last year, and I'm wondering if anyone might have an insight into what's causing the steering issue now.

Thanks so much!

My areas of experience include mostly German and British cars (Mercedes, Jaguar, MG), but I'm of the mind the steering issue (in sound, at least) is being caused by the broken engine shield flapping along the road. But I'm unsure if the steering issue is related to the broken engine shield, or if a steering component was damaged in the snow, or is otherwise in need of replacement.
Last edited:
Check the steering rack mounting, tie rods and all control arm bushings.
Check all the wheel bearings for smooth rolling and the correct torque, including the wheel nuts.
Check / repair / replace what the previous owner "attempted" for a repair.

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