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Rear Axle/Hub/Bearing Alignment Maintenance
About 2-2.5 years later the sound had returned. I had moved in the meantime and my new mechanic said this was a fairly common problem with Foresters and that it would need to be fixed periodically but that getting the rear wheels aligned in addition to the front from time to time would help. He said this was because instead of the rear wheels being pulled along as in a FWD vehicle they provided power and when they got out of alignment they wore out the hub very quickly. So i repaired it again and started looking for a Haynes or Chilton book for the Forester so that I could look into repairing/replacing the hubs and bearings myself. There is no aftermarket book on the '99 Forester and the parts are the bulk of the cost of the repair (at least at my last mechanic).
Now, it's about 4 years later and I know I need to get the issue addressed again soon. So my questions are as follows:
1) Is this a common problem with Forester's?
2) If you've dealt with this as well, how do you handle it?
3) Is there a way for me to do this maintenance on my own to save a little?
4) Does anyone have any suggestions for good mechanics in the NoVa area (specifically Eastern Loudoun county)?