Front Seat(s) / Squeaking Sound – 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy / Outback

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NHTSA ID Number: 10202842

Manufacturer Communication Number: 12-228-21


This bulletin provides a service procedure to address customer concerns of a “squeaking” -type sound from the front seat(s).


NUMBER: 12-228-21
DATE: 10/27/21



This bulletin provides a service procedure to address customer concerns of a “squeaking” -type sound from the front seat(s). This is caused by a lack of lubrication on the seat hinge. In some cases, sound can be heard even after the work procedure in TSB 12-253-18 has been previously performed. If the sound matches the characteristics described, follow the outlined work procedure provided below.



REMINDER:  Customer satisfaction and retention starts with performing quality repairs.


STEP 1)     Confirm customer complaint and verify the sound characteristics.


STEP 2)     CAREFULLY remove the affected front seat(s) as per the applicable Subaru Service Manual: Body & Electrical/WIRING SYSTEM > SEATS > Front Seat > REMOVAL. IMPORTANT:  take the proper precautions to protect the door opening / sill trim panels from damage during seat removal and re-installation.

NOTE: Refer to the applicable Service Manual and review: General Description > Repair Contents > Action required before & after Battery Disconnect. Additionally, record any stored seat position(s) before proceeding. Relearn any seat position memory after work is complete. If the power rear gate (PRG) height has been customized, that position must also be noted and relearned.


STEP 3) CAREFULLY remove the outer seat hinge cover by first removing the mounting screw located on the back outer corner of the seat. Release the clips and claws in the direction indicated below. This will expose the rear pipe and spacer washer on the outside    section of the seat frame.


STEP 4) Prepare a foam brush with WD-40® Specialist Gel Lubricant Spray (MFG #300103).  The lubricant packaging is outlined in green below. Saturate the foam brush with the lubricant. Both the lubricant and brush are available from most hardware supply outlets and/or online resources.

CRITICAL: DO NOT use any silicone base lubricant (EXAMPLE is outlined in red below). Use of a silicone base lubricant may damage the surrounding electronic components.


STEP 5) Press the saturated foam brush pad behind the washer on the rear pipe. Confirm the lubricant is distributed thoroughly around the pipe and behind the washer. Clean any excess lubricant within the seat frame area. Perform this procedure on BOTH the inside and outside sections of the seat frame.


STEP 6) CAREFULLY reinstall all components in the reverse order of disassembly.



  • Front Seat Mounting Bolt Torque: 53Nm (5.4kgf-m,
  • Whenever reconnecting the ground cable terminal to the battery sensor, torque to 5Nm (5.5ft.-lbs. or 66inch-lbs.) while supporting the sensor with the other hand as outlined in the applicable Service Manual under: STARTING/CHARGING SYSTSEMS > Battery Sensor.
  • Relearn any seat memory or power rear gate (PRG) height settings.


10 Affected Products




1 Associated Document

Manufacturer Communications

NUMBER: 12-228-21
DATE: 10/27/21

MC-10202842-0001.pdf 1373.701KB

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