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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wheel bearing failure

135

Comments

  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    Unfortunately, my failure occurred on 2001 subaru legacy so I had to pay out of my pocket. I suspect the 2001-2006 all had similar problems with wheel bearings so please report to subaru and NHTSA. Hopefully, with enough complaints subaru will recall more models.
    Thanks.....
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wait you are complaining about a wheel bearing issue on a car that is 7 years old????

    Jeez, you guys have some high standards.

    -mike
  • agent86agent86 Posts: 9
    As I said before, according to my local independent mechanic, sealed bearings are suppose to last on the avg, 120k miles and replacing them aint cheap, like $800 a pair. I hope the rears ones make it to 120k.
  • ross25ross25 Posts: 1
    I have an 1996 Australian Outback with @ 120,000 miles (192,000K) on it and no bearing problems (touch wood!!!).

    But my 2003 Impreza had a RHR bearing fail at 57,000 miles. It was replaced under 2nd hand warranty by a Subaru trained mechanic at a Mazda dealer. It lasted about 2,500 miles before it failed. It was replaced and failed before it even left the workshop and then they found the LHR bearing was also failing and had to replace it as well. I am now another 2,500 miles later and have my fingers crossed.

    I spoke to my local Subaru specialist (who Subaru Australia threatened legal action to remove 'Subaru" from his business name) and he advised he uses older model bearings now as they fail less often than the new ones. I suspect they may be aftermarket bearings as well. Go figure.

    Ross
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think mine failed prematurely, they lasted a lot longer than the wheel bearings on our 626, for instance.
  • 242,000 miles still goes like a bat leaving the hot place, leaks more eng. oil from rear crank seal and front camshaft seals than it burns, BUT the Transmission.....
    Nothing happens when R is selected. No drive. Fluid is clean and up to level; no warning lights or error codes in the TCU. Change up 1 to 2 is a bit harsh when the fluid is cold but otherwise the transmission behaves normally..BUT
    The FWD and RWD have always fought it out in low speed, tight turns forward or reverse. I have the second failure(first was about 100,000 miles ago) of the rear drive adaptor in the auto box rear extension housing. It is an adaptor welded onto a machined gear-wheel that takes the drive out of the back of the auto box to the prop. shaft. The weld fails under highway driving conditions so how Subaru gets it to stay together for their rally cars I do not know, unless they have a trick, one-piece machined item, if so it should be going in all their cars unless it is designed to be the weak link??
    Anyone ever come across this before /are these problems linked/can I fix the reverse drive problem? (I can restore the AWD by installing a new adaptor/gear unit in the back of the 'box.) :sick:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    As I said before, according to my local independent mechanic, sealed bearings are suppose to last on the avg, 120k miles and replacing them aint cheap, like $800 a pair. I hope the rears ones make it to 120k.

    $800 a pair is a bit stiff. I think most dealers I know charge about $200-250 and it's a $30-50 part. They don't need to be replaced in pairs either. I agree 120k miles is about right, but lots of factors can effect the lifespan, most noteably, going through puddles that are above the bottom of the bearing line. This unfortunately will cause accelerated failure because the hot bearings draw in water when you drive through a puddle (that submerses the seal) and will begin to breakdown your bearings.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would pickup a used '95 trans. It would me much less expensive than trying to fix what you have. This would also fix the issue of the fighting center clutch packs.

    I believe that is built that way to snap to prevent internal damage to the diffy/trans. Their rally cars bear almost no resemblence to street driven cars. :)

    -mike
  • jk764jk764 Posts: 17
    I have a 2005 Outback - 30,000 miles. When I drive over 40 mph the car is really loud. I think I have bad rear bearings.

    Here is the issue: the lease is up. Residual is $13k. I'd like to buy the car because it is otherwise in fantastic shape (garaged / only 30k miles). Do I negotiate for a lower buy-out cost and have them replace the bearings? Is the buy-out cost even negotiable?

    Or do I just trade it in. Please help!
  • Thanks Mike. I have got myself a low mileage trans from a wrecker. What troubles me is that this is the second, similar failure; the original trans did 140,000 miles before the rear drive adaptor sheared; the used replacement trans has managed 150, 000 miles before the rear drive adaptor failed and reverse gear failed. It seems that :( Subaru transmissions are a liability after 150, 000 miles, in contrast to the rest of the vehicle.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The 05 Outbacks/Legacies have a known issue with the rear bearings, you should have gotten a notice saying that the warranty on the rear wheel bearings is extended to 100k miles. Get em replaced for free.

    -mike
  • Please excuse lack of message in post 73, cat and I fighting for keyboard. Have just over 32,00 on factory tires on my '06 Outback, looking for recommendation for replacements. Drive on streets, freeway, dirt, sand, rock, ice, snow, and what ever. Looking for best compromise for this type of use. Anyone have a recommendation? Thanks, eth.
  • Make that 32,000 miles. Anyone want a cat? eth
  • I fixed the blank post but sorry can't help you with your cat troubles. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They should be under the standard warranty anyway, just replace them.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Regarding wheel bearings and transmission issues:

    I had zero problems the transmission or wheel bearings on a '96 Outback with 220,000 miles. I did not baby it, either, though I did maintain it well. I towed vehicles twice its weight, sometimes up slippery drives, pulled stumps, extracted countless vehicles from ditches.... That car was worked.

    I had to deal with some seal/gasket issues on the engine a couple times, but all in all it was a good car. I guess the wheel bearing design became less reliable over time - there's nothing like leaving a good thing alone. :P

    As for that transmission, I just have to wonder if it was something else not working properly and the sheared part in the transaxle was merely the symptom. Put undue stress on something long enough, it is going to break.
  • I have had one front wheel bearing let go in 244,000 miles on my 95 Legacy, and that was due to water ingress after driving through winter floodwater. It was a pig of a job that I did myself and I can well understand 5 hours labor charge :) to have it done by a dealer.
  • Re: post# 61-

    Just wanted to say thanks for the info on the warranty extension on 05 Outback wheel bearings (mine are growling at 65K) and do a minor clarification if I may...just called my local Subie dealer, who told me not all 05s have the warranty extension- it depends on the last 8 digits of your VIN, so be sure to call your favorite dealer with your VIN handy before making a service appt. I guess I'm lucky- mine has the 100K extension.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No problem, mine is going in tomorrow to get a rear done as well. I have the extended BtoB warranty but it is being covered under the recall/TSB so I won't have to pay the deductable :)

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case, Welcome to the Subaru Crew!
  • What part of the country can you get $250 for replacing wheel bearings? I checked with another subaru dealer and they wanted the same, about $400-500 dollars.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The parts are $50 for the wheel bearings.

    The install takes no more than 2-3 hrs.

    In my book that's $250-300 max for the wheel bearing replacement.

    Dealers will rip you off obviously....

    :)

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • My Subaru (our fourth since 1998, of which we still have three) is an '05 Legacy Outback with about 48K miles (& 11K since all brakes replaced). We have loved the vehicles, especially in our climate and geography, and the cars have by and large been reliable. The '98 needed replacement gaskets at about 110K, but don't they all. I have never had a wheel bearing failure in 35 yrs of hard driving. I now get a fairly loud and high pitched screeching noise, sounding like metal on metal. I hear it most of the time, regardless of the application of brakes. It cycles faster as the car accelerates. It appears that the noise is not present while driving in a straight line, but appears to return when the wheels are turned. Wheel bearing failure? Something else-center differential problem? The performance seems about the same. Any thoughts? One of the posters states that the warranty has been extended on certain 05 Legacy Outbacks, but no explanation known for difference in treatment. We purchased extended warranty from Subaru, and we expect/demand that the warranty will cover the problem. Will the dealer have seen this problem before? Can I trust my local neighborhood mechanic, who seems like a good guy? Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's how the failing wheel bearings on our Mazda 626 sounded. Speed dependent, just like yours, the pitch would change.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you have the extended warranty it will be repaired without question. If your VIN (as mine did) falls into the ones effected in 05 by the rear wheel bearing issue, then it will be covered under the original warranty (as opposed to the extended that may have a deductable).

    It's a fairly easy job that most dealers can do without messing up your car. Your neighborhood mechanic probably can't do the job if you want it covered by Subaru since it would need to be done at a Subaru Dealer.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • I drive a 92 Subaru Legacy and I'm pretty sure that today my rear left bearing went. I first heard it pulling in to the driveway and it sounded like something dragging. Now I can hear it while driving at a slow enough speed. The Holidays, etc, and I'm broke. How long can I drive on a toasted bearing?
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    I'm not a mechanic by any means, but usually a wheel bearing will show beginning signs of failure for awhile, not sudden like yours. Sounds to me like a spring holding a brake shoe might have failed and the shoe is dragging in the brake drum. One of the regulars here can probably give you a better diagnoses.
    Jim
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It could be either the brake shoe of a rear drum brake, a brake shoe of a parking brake, or a bearing. If it is the bearing you are usually ok for 100-2500 miles depending on how bad it is. I'd plan on getting it fixed/looked out soon though.

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd fix it ASAP...the increased friction may kill your gas mileage.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I did some work on my LGT. I had 2 bad LCA Bushings so we replaced them. When you do that you also need to do the ball joints so I put in the AVO LCA Bushings, Whiteline's roll-center kit which includes the Ball Joints and tie-rod ends. Also added he Whiteline front sway bar and kartboy end links. And finally a Whiteline Strut bar.

    Well when we went to put the ball joints back on one side the knuckle cracked. So we replace that. Oddly we had to press out the bearing even though the LGT has a bolt in bearing/hub setup. After putting it back together, the bearing appeared bad, so we had to replace that. My thought was that the bearing was going bad all along and overheated the knuckle,making it brittle.

    So the bottom line is that the bearings should get done ASAP. I also paid $200 to get the bearing/hub replaced!

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
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