Last post on Nov 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM
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Your Community Leaders are ateixeira and rsholland.
#19327 of 19336 Re: Advice on a Trip to Dealer? [stackman1]
Oct 03, 2013 (2:28 pm)
I am having trouble buying it. Can't fix what I can not see. Gauges are necessary for diagnosis. Your last lines say what I am thinking. No is the answer to your final question.
#19328 of 19336 2004 Forester XT Wheel Bearing - $485
Nov 07, 2013 (7:39 pm)
I have a drone-type noise coming from the back. Worse at higher speeds. Dealer diagnosed it as a failing right rear wheel bearing and quoted $485 to replace it. Car has 90,000 miles.
Is this a rip off? What should something like that cost? Does anyone know a good independent mechanic in North NJ?
#19329 of 19336 Re: 2004 Forester XT Wheel Bearing - $485 [samiam_68]
Nov 08, 2013 (7:48 am)
I wish he was wrong for your sake......but he most likely, 99% is correct! This is a headache job. Especially on the older ones. Left best to a good experienced Subaru guy/gal. Installing the seals, bearing and shaft is very precise. Not done right, water gets in real easy and destroys that bearing. Contrary to Subaru's ads.....keep the car out of the mud and water!
I have changed these things more than I care to in our fleet units. To date the replacement units have averaged 40K miles. True we buy mostly from rockauto.com. The last set came from the "top of the price and brand list." The clock will tell us! Does not matter whose name is on the box, the bearings are either NTN or Koyo. Discussion here lately has been about parts grade. We are hoping the higher price will be buying the higher parts grade. Manufactures do sell the poorer grade stuff at a lower price, but with rebox/resellers in the picture, it is hard to see who might be price gouging. There is a history of even Subaru dealers getting some poor quality stuff. I suggest you search my other write ups on this subject. Very long and informative on this big Subaru headache.
$485 sounds a bit right, but I would be more concerned about how many years the person doing the repair has under his/her belt. I have 40 plus years and 40K miles is the best I am getting? Our cars are snow birds with 250K- 320K of service each. All seals must be seated carefully. All seal mating surfaces must be clean, smooth and free of rust. That includes the halfshaft mating surfaces! I had to replaced those shafts recently because of rusted surfaces. If you have to replace a halfshaft, the best value for the dollar has been A1 Cardone NEW! Rockauto again.
Needless to say, this has been one of the rubs with Subaru and has put Toyota on the list for newer replacement units.
#19330 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [ateixeira]
Nov 16, 2013 (7:44 pm)
I put in new rear wheel bearings today, WOW! noise is gone and it sounds like a new car again (except for the front window whistle).
The low hum started at about 150k miles, and at 172k, was getting to be a pretty noticeable buzz. I still had no noticeable play in the wheels.
I replaced them with the updated Subie roller bearings, much more robust than the ball bearings that were original. The 2 Subaru bearings and 6 seals cost $170, an additional $20 for a machine shop to remove the old bearing race from the hub, and $110 for a Harbor Freight wheel bearing adapter kit. The kit is about a B-, the screw portion is rather weak, but is 3/4" x 16 thread so additional bolts can be bought to keep the rest of the well built parts going.
So $300 and 8 hours of time for a DIY bearing replacement. Step by step instructions are available on subaruforester.org.
#19331 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [once_for_all]
Nov 18, 2013 (10:33 am)
Nice work, John! Hopefully... these new bearings (roller style) last as long as you'll care for them to last.
#19332 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [xwesx]
Nov 19, 2013 (10:34 am)
Thanks! with the reduced cabin noise, it is giving me a notion to keep it a bit longer, rather than pop for the 2014 CrossTrek that I've been eyeing. The Forester should have another year or two in it before the next major (timing belt and components). In the meantime, nothing wrong with giving Subaru some time to figure out a better, more productive hybrid system.
#19333 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [once_for_all]
Nov 19, 2013 (11:00 am)
That's where I am, too. Granted, my car isn't "old" by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm also not planning on it going anywhere until Subaru offers something that's worth the plunge again (or another manufacturer offers something that takes Subaru out of the running).
#19334 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [xwesx]
Nov 20, 2013 (12:40 pm)
I've been eyeing the CMAX also. I'd like something that plugs in to get the free mpg that my solar panels dish out.
Looking at the BMW i3. Among others. Lots to look at in 2014, 2015.
#19335 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [once_for_all]
Nov 25, 2013 (8:44 am)
I checked out the CMAX with the family at the car show, the rear seat is low and kind of stiff. They didn't find it comfortable and walked away before I could even defend it.
Try it out and make sure your family finds it comfortable.
I'm sure you're aware of the lowered EPA numbers, too.
Still, it has a bigger gas tank than any Prius and should be more fun to drive. I was kinda bummed the fam vetoed it.
#19336 of 19336 Re: 2003 wheel bearing noise, Forester [ateixeira]
Nov 27, 2013 (1:06 pm)
Good point. My backseaters are a few months behind me, generally. I'm into comfort, mpg, low noise, and little maintenance these days.
I can remember how 30 years ago it was speed, looks, noise, and constant tinkering. We sure change over the years.