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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wheel bearing failure

245

Comments

  • jp01innyjp01inny Posts: 2
    FYI... I just had to replace BOTH rear wheel bearings on my 2005 Outback wagon @ 32,000 miles. :surprise: This is a little bit disconcerting for the mileage. Also, our family has had 3, 1998-2003 subaru's all over 80,000 miles and with no previous wheel bearing problems. :) My cousin has a legacy also without wheel bearing problems. I am really glad it was covered under warranty. I'm chalking it up to first year new body/mechanical style glitches. I hope there aren't other problems. But I have Subaru Gold 100,000 mile warranty just in case. (should have bought an '06?? ;) could the rear have been improperly tied down in transit? :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bearing failures were actually more common before, especially on 2002 and earlier Foresters and 2001 and earlier Imprezas.
  • seanuseanu Posts: 7
    About 5 weeks ago, I received a notice from Subaru about a known problem with my 2005 Outback rear wheel bearings. I don't have the exact wording handy, but the gist was that if they get noisy, bring the car in for a free repair. Low and behold, 2 weeks ago, I noticed a noise that could only be tire noise or wheel bearing related. My wife brings the car in this week, and sure enough the bearings are bad. Dealer is waiting for parts, but repair will be under warranty. Car is at 56k miles. Hopefully the new bearings will have a bit longer life.

    Sean
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yeah I got the same notice. I'm not sure how far they extend the warranty, I think 100k miles.

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Sean,

    My 2007 forester had four wheel bearings replaced within the first 13,000 miles..Thanks to a great atty. (Brian bickel law firm) Subaru bought my car back at full price and paid my atty. fees...I would sell that pile asap! good luck..

    Erik... :lemon:
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Funny! when the dealer replaced the bearing on my new forester the service adviser called in the parts mgr. and they both gave me a line of bull about how they have'nt had to replace any wheel bearings on a forester in fifteen years! what a bunch of liars and losers..

    Erik :P
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You had a bad dealer, don't hold that against SOA....

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike,

    Sorry but to burst your subaru love bubble but the area rep and subaru customer service were just as bad..I am very shocked that subaru is finally starting to admit that their cars have serious wheel bearing issues.There were alot of owners out there wanting to petition the ntsb about it...Well, my subaru nightmare is finally over hopefully it will fade quickly from memory...

    Erik :sick:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's been a known issue on the imprezas from 92->01 and on the Foresters from 98->02 well documented in the Subaru community. They used ball bearings instead of the roller bearings found in the Legacy. SVX also had issues with their bearings due to over-torquing at the factory and/or dealers.

    How were they "bad" you should qualify that. Did they refuse to replace the bearings? Doubtful. Chances are the dealer who replaced them, did not re-install them properly (over torquing of the bearings kills them off the bat).

    I don't have a "love bubble" for Subaru, heck I only own 1 Subaru right now along with my Armada and my next car will likely not even be a Subaru (unless the next legacy grows in size). I just don't like folks coming on here with un-quantified statements making claims against manufacturers and/or other users.

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike,

    YOU are the one coming onto this forum making UNQUALIFIED statements,as a host on this forum you should be ashamed.You and the rest of your cronies on this forum were no help whatsoever when i only came here for help and insight into my problem forester..So mike, you are now claiming to be more knowledgable than two subaru dealerships,a regional subaru rep and soa customer service? what a crock! get a life! :P
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Since you don't know my background, yes, I'm more qualified than those folks listed. I won't write up a resume here but let's say in the Subaru community and at SOA, I'm well respected and my reputation for knowledge of Subies.

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike,

    Since you obviously didnt read my earlier posts why are you even bothering to comment now..? The first mechanic that attempted to repair my forester was a shop foreman at the dealership with twenty five years of experience working on subarus..How many years experience do you have?Maybe you can start a new career repairing all the subaru lemons since you're so well respected by soa! The mechanic at the second dealer was also a very experienced troubleshooter,he had the car for four days and still coudlnt fix it either..What was your earlier suggestion?that they both over torqued the bearings? It doesnt matter what type of bearings subaru uses they all have above average failure rates.

    :P
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have 10+ years working on Subarus and own my own performance shop that works not only on the run of the mill subies, but also racecars that put up with a lot of bearing pounding on the track. Did they replace your knuckles? Generally if a wheel bearing fails more than 1x or if there is excessive wear on on the knuckles where the bearings are pressed in, they also need to be replaced. These are mechanical components, there is no mystery to how they work.

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike,

    Like i said before the service mgrs and mechanics ignored my theories of cvc joints or other components causing the problem..They used a device called the "EAR" that pinpoints the problem..Do you own one of these? Excessive wear on a knuckle on a car that has less than a thousand miles on it?Over the last twenty five years i have owned more than ten cars with over 100.000 miles on them and never had a bearing failure or had to replace a transmission..You must be a busy man working on all that subaru junk...
    :lemon:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    FYI, on Subarus and any car that has sealed style bearings, if the bearing fails the bits and pieces wear on the surface where the bearing is pressed into the knuckle. If the bearing failed and they put a new one in w/o properly inspecting and likely replacing the knuckle, then any future bearings that are pressed into their place will also fail.

    On a side note ALL MECHANICAL PARTS CAN and DO FAIL, no matter if it's the best brand or the worst brand.

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike, i have to give you credit at least your excuses are more creative than subaru and their staff.I am a small business owner myself.Everything i make has an unconditional guarantee,if what i make is defective or cannot be repaired the first time to my customers satisfaction it is immediately replaced or they will recieve a full refund.I make no excuses for my products and i dont have to lie or decieve anyone to sell my products.Wouldnt it be nice if subaru treated its customers the same as i do..
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Same here, we've gone to far lengths to make our custys happy as well. Unfortunately big business doesn't always work that way. I'm not sure you would have had any better results with other auto-manufacturers, unfortunately. I've heard similar stories from just about ever manufacturer across the board about warranty repairs, except for the luxury lines, but usually those people trade or lease their cars after 2 or 3 years so little issues they don't care about. :(

    -mike
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    Mike,

    When i took my car to the second dealer,on every occasion there were two or three newer 05,06 and 07 outbacks sitting in the service area with their engines removed..Any ideas on this?? because at one point i considered trading my forester for an outback but soa reneged on the offer.. :confuse:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No idea, maybe that dealer pulls engines because they don't have very good diagnostic skills? or feel they have to pull it more often? Very rarely have I heard of any wide-spread engine-grenading issues, especially on 03+ engines. We all know about the head gasket issue on the pre 03 2.5L engines, especially the DOHC ones.

    -mike
  • gearhead8gearhead8 Posts: 12
    Graham,
    I think you are confusing the wheel bearing wti the CV joint. CV joint ofter fail as a result of a brolen boot that allows the CV bearing grease to become contminated with water and abrasive dirt.
    The wheel bearing seals are located in a more protected area at the wheel hub, where damage is less likely.
    If the vehicle is driven off road, CV joint boot damage can occur very easily. Anyone who drives off road must frequently inspect the CV joint boots or suffer the cosequnces of expensive CV joint replacement.
    gearhead4
  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    If you have had a wheel bearing failure on a Subaru. Please report it to the National Safety and Traffic Administration at
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm

    I suspect Subaru has a manufacturer defect that is causing the bearings to fail prematurely. My legacy bearings failed at 68,000 miles
  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    Hello, anyone know what is the expected life of sealed wheel bearings on a subaru?
    My front ones failed at 68,000 miles and seems to be too early.
    Thanks...
  • erik9erik9 Posts: 25
    You are one of the lucky my 07 forester bearings failed almost immediately..Ultimately the car was a lemon buyback..Read all my past posts..

    Good luck! :lemon:
  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    If you have had a wheel bearing failure on a Subaru. Please report it to the National Safety and Traffic Administration at

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm

    I suspect Subaru has a manufacturer defect that is causing the bearings to fail prematurely. My 2001 legacy bearings failed at 68,000 miles
  • andy_mclandy_mcl Posts: 1
    Just had a bearing (RHR - remember we are on the other side of the road!) replaced on a 2004 Outback at 107,000 kms (about 67,000 miles) and was a bit surprised. As others have said, I've never had a wheel bearing fail before and I've had a lot of vehicles older and with more mileage than this one. I've seen some posts indicating SoA is extending the warranty on wheel bearings in the US.
    Is this correct as Subaru Australia deny that there is a bearing problem?
    The dealer tried to tell me that I probably hit a very large pot hole on the road somewhere but I think that's just smoke. just wondering when the other one is going to fail now!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Only the 05 Legacies rear bearings (that may be your 04 though) got the warranty extension.

    Have you driven through water that came over the hub, that is also a way for them to fail.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had two rear ones replaced, under warranty, no questions asked. Fitzgerald Subaru - I recommend them.

    Bearings on our Mazda 626 failed and cost us a bundle.

    So I had the opposite experience - Subaru took care of us, Mazda charged us a bundle.
  • At 15,000 miles had the left front wheel bearing replaced on my 2006 legacy Outback. A surprise as I never had "any" issues with the '97 Ford Explorer it replaced. Thought it a fluke.

    Today, at 32,050 miles, I am having both rear wheel bearings replaced; both jobs on warranty. Very dissapointed. Have also had Chevy, Chrysler, and Porsche products with no significant issues. "93 Ford work truck still hasn't fallen apart.

    Your collective posting suggest that what I believed to be an exceptionally reliable may pose to many problems in future. Is it time to explore Toyota & Honda? I need a pretty much go any where any time vehicle.
  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    Please enter your wheel bearing failures with the national highway and transportation agency. If they get enough premature wheel bearing failures, they may ask Subaru to recall the vehicles because of a manufacturer defect. My front bearings failed at 60,000 miles and sealed bearings should last around 120,000 miles.
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The rear wheel bearings are a known issue on the 05/06 Legacies. They are covering the warranty to 100k miles on them.

    -mike
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