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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wheel bearing failure

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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    This is only a wheel bearing we are discussing here, not a CV joint or boot. Five hours to replace a wheel bearing? What, was it an amateur technician doing the work? I say you were overcharged. If their shop rate is $104 an hour, they darn well better be doing quality, efficient work. Five hours does not meet criterion number two.

    As with what juice said.... that was the only work they did?
  • It was a left front wheel bearing nothing else. I do a little of my own work but haven't messed with WB's in about 25 years and wasn't sure of my abilities anymore. The shop also wanted $400 to do front breaks and rotors but I plan on doing the breaks myself this Friday. I guess I will have to start looking for another shop. Thanks for your input.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Well, I have not replaced any wheel bearings on a Subaru, but I replaced a couple half-shafts (bad CV joints), so I know the work that goes into tearing down the system to the point you can replace the bearing. The whole axle replacement job took me about an hour and a half for each side. So, assuming that long, maybe an extra 30 minutes to replace the bearing itself, where did the other three hours go?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Guys I think we may be missing something here...

    Axles/CVs on a Subaru is relatively quick and easy.

    Bearing on the other hand is a PITA.

    The whole entire assembly of the knuckle and hub must be removed from the vehicle, then you need to press the bearing out. If the wheel bearing is shot to the point where it damaged the knuckle then you have to replace that as well. It's not a simple pull out the bearing thing, at least on all but the 05+ legacies.

    However with that said the price is usually in the $300-400 range, I've seen it at dealers as high as $600.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks for the insight, mike.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Indeed. I did not realize the bearing required a press, though I stand by my statement that tearing down the car to the point where the bearing can be removed is fairly quick. It still makes me wonder about five hours worth of labor. $3-400? I could accept that.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I thought newer models were sealed up so you just replaced the whole thing rather than pressing a new one in, but mike has lots more experience working on cars so I'll defer to him.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The 05+ Legacies have a new style bearing that doesn't require a press.

    I would think the Tribeca and 08+ Imprezas have this style as well.

    -mike
  • Guys, just a insurance fight over recent repair, a deer slammed my front end drivers side against wheel, needed replacement of the corner panel, drivers door, un-wrindkle the hood, driver headlight. All cosmetic work was great, left collison shop to a load road noise in front wheel. Found out the wheel bearing on front drivers side where deer hit needed replacement. Had the big fight, goe through ranks , to get them to cover repair. The 2nd level adjuster told me to ask anyone in the industry. They said no way accident caused wheel bearing damage. It was a 2004 grand am 41,000, has a sealed bearing , no outward damage to tire or bearing. 2nd level adjuster said 99.9 % not caused by accident , just normal wear, wearable part . Did the bearing just wear out right after the accident and as soon as I left collision center ??? Well they paid it but told me so!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If it happened within a week or so, I'd say the accident caused it to fail.

    For sure it puts stress on the bearing.
  • 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
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