Last post on Nov 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM
You are in the Subaru Crew
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Impreza, Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Subaru Legacy, Coupe, Sedan, Wagon, SUV
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
Your Community Leaders are ateixeira and rsholland.
#208 of 19336 Forester Wheel Bearings
Aug 12, 2002 (9:35 am)
I've got a 1999 Forester S, bought used with 35K, records check indicate that I am the second owner. When we saw it on the lot, it had a bad passenger side rear wheel bearing, dealership (non-subaru) had it fixed. We came back and drove it, negotiated, bought it and an extended warranty. Bearing went out 2 months later, took it to the shop that the dealer sent it to, they replaced it. Replacement went out 2 days later, back to the shop, was told that it was very difficult to get the seals in place properly and the mechanic had accidentally gotten the seal slightly pinched under the bearing. 3rd replacement went about 20,000 miles. Only reason we went back to the shop was because they did the original work and had some responsibility for it.
Switched to dealer, had the 4th bearing put in about a month ago using extended warranty and now it is making an all too familiar noise. Taking it back in under dealer parts warranty on Wednesday. This will make 5 bearings in 1 year and 25,000 miles. Obviously, I am concerned and will restate my concerns to the dealer. From what I read here and in other forums, it appears that there is an issue with wheel bearings in the earlier Forester model Subaru vehicles.
Is it just a problem with inferior parts, or is there a deeper design problem?
Aug 12, 2002 (9:45 am)
It is an issue with the installation of the bearing, more than anything. They changed the new ones to a design that is more fault-tolerant, the "fault" being improper installation.
That shop may not be in business for too long, given the shoddy work. I bet they overtorqued the bearings during the replacement.
Since you have that warranty, let the dealer do it and ask them to double-check on the installation tips from SoA. Done right, they will last. Mine are all original after 47k miles, and I have towed and been off road at the beach and in the Pine Barrens. Not to mention I have Plus sized wheels and tires, which puts extra stress on the bearings.
Installed properly, they will not fail.
Aug 12, 2002 (1:44 pm)
Hi! I can't really advise you on this, other than to suggest you bring it into the dealer and have them check it out.
Aug 12, 2002 (1:45 pm)
Please ask the Rep. at Subaru to review the case with me? I'd like to review all of the factors involved.
I'm sorry you are having a problem and I'm sure we can do something to make you happier.
Aug 12, 2002 (1:48 pm)
Sorry for the problems you are having. If the bearings are installed improperly, the housing can be damaged. If the housing is not replaced, all future bearings would be subject to failure. You may want to have this checked out and go back to the place that did the work originally.
The dealer should be able to help you and explain it in more technical detail than I'm able to.
#213 of 19336 Wheel bearing problems (as well as others)
Aug 12, 2002 (2:15 pm)
I have a '00 Forester (^&k miles) that has had at least 3 wheel bearing failures - I would have to look at the service records to come up with an accurate count and I think it is in the process of failing again
It is always the right rear bearing that fails. The 1st failure was covered under warranty, the 2nd failed very quickly and was replaced under warranty again. The 3rd failure was also covered under warranty, but now the deal is that the replacement part warranty I was offered is unacceptable - the dealer wants to give me 10 or 12k miles coverage.
I say that is unacceptable as it is clearly a defect in the design of the vehicle, the part or the installation process.
I also have had continuous problems with my check engine light. It first came on at <1k miles. It has been replaced under warranty and under recall. Every time I have the problem I get a different explanation -- tighten the gas cap being the least expensive. Three days ago I had the car in for service - this time the check engine light is said to be caused by a bad catalytic converter - they ordered the part and expect me to pay for it. The previous time the light went on it was the emissions canister - or something like that that cost about $80 plus labor to replace. Long story short - I didn't pay and they replaced it as a goodwill gesture. I also have had to have the tires replaced several times due to excessive wear. Seems the alignment had problems - although I paid to have a 4 wheel alignment done when I replaced the tires the first time. My car was built in July of 99 (so is it really a 2000?) and so the alignment specs for the 2000 version were wrong for my car. The dealer did a free alignment when the most recent tires went on. We will see.... I had hoped to get 130k miles out of this vehicle but I am not sure if I'll make 80k. Does any one have any ideas to share?
Aug 12, 2002 (2:24 pm)
I'm sorry for your problems also. I really can't comment without a lot of information, but somethings jump out at me. Please call us at 1-800-SUBARU3. I'm sure we will try to help you.
Regarding the parts warranty - it is 12 months/unlimited miles no matter what the dealer says if it is our part. The Rep. can review that with the dealership.
Please give us a call.
#215 of 19336 More Forester wheel bearing problems
Aug 12, 2002 (6:03 pm)
I have a 1998 Forester S I purchased used with 43,000 miles. I've been driving it for two years now without any problems and really have liked my Forester. Unfortunately like so many other Forester owners, I now have experienced right rear wheel bearing failure. This happened when my Forester had 52,500 miles on it. I was also told that my crank seal is bad and leaking on my timing belt and would also need to get this fixed and replace the timing belt (around $500). I went ahead and had the dealership fix the right wheel bearing but was told this was not covered under any warranty -extended or not so I had to plunk down over $300 for this. I researched this problem on the web and low and behold between what is on Edmunds site and Cars.com - there are lots and lots of frustrated/irate Forester owners who have been stuck with recurring and often costly wheel bearing repairs.
My question is this - how can one reasonably feel safe that this problem won't keep recurring as it seems to for so many? I simply can't afford these type of repairs and have lost a great deal of confidence in driving my beloved Forester. It appears that installation is an issue but also the wrong type of bearings specified/installed in the first place. I'm very disappointed in the way Subaru is dealing with this problem - forcing the customers to go to extreme lengths to plead their case when they know this is a problem that is not the customer's fault in the least. I traded my Ford Explorer in for this Forester because of the problems associated with tires and safety. I had always heard Subaru stood behind their products but I'm doubting this given their approach at solving the wheel bearing problems(at least Ford owned up to their problems and reimbursed owners for a new set of tires.)
I'm seeking advice on whether to trade the Forester in at this point and cut my losses or take my chances that these problems won't keep recurring and have several more years of happily driving my Forester.
Aug 12, 2002 (8:27 pm)
Just one different data point -- I own a 98 Forester S with 74K miles and my bearings are still fine.