bad wheel bearing ???


Asked by Nov 03, 2015 at 06:17 AM about the 2001 Subaru Outback Base Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

While making a sharp left hand turn i can hear a grinding sound , that sounds like it is coming from the drivers side wheel , I am thinking it is a bad wheel bearing but how do i tell if it is i try jacking the car up and wiggling the wheel back and forth and it seems pretty soild, I thought that if i take off the wheel and the brake and caliper that would let me know < should i be able to spend the wheel freely at this point or do i have to take off the axle so i can spin the hub itself??? also does anyone know what size the axle nut is on this vehicle > the noise seems to happen when i am slowing down and turning I will also check my brakes when i take t he wheel off. ThanksI

15 Answers


and also the noise does not happen when i am backing up


Check wheel baring by jacking the vehicle up & by grabbing the top and bottom on the tire, try to put force back & forth and look for play. But I am suspecting the front drive axle, bad CV joint. They will make noise like you describe, You can check by the car jacked up, and one hand on the shaft & the other to rotate the wheel back and forth slightly. If there is play there you will see it.


If the drive axle is bad, (CV joints) recommended to replace the wheel barring also.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

A bad wheel bearing usually makes a whirring or whining noise that gets louder as speed increases. A bad CV joint will make the grinding noise you describe, especially on turning the wheel. On a 14 yr old car, you should be concerned about the CV joints, wheel bearings, ball joints and tie rod ends: all are consumable parts. Also, as a last resort, it could be the steering box.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Kenny's spot on: Subie WBs generally get louder with speed and time, rather than grinding when turning very slowly. As your wrench is checking half-axle play ask him/her to check brake rotor backing plate clearance, as a rock stuck in there can actually make a similar sound to a grinding joint. It's unlikely to be a BJ or TRE...and VERY unlikely to be the rack. Most noisy WBs will NOT show play during a static (raise and shake) test unless wear has progressed to the point of bearing mechanical failure (in which case don't drive on it!). A fair percentage of both new WBs and axles are defective out of the box. Fortunately they're symmetric, so you can swap around good parts and only have to cover duplicate labor. Good luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for your input tomorrow I am going to take a look at the total braking system I know the back brakes are completely shot have some new pads and rotors coming any day now . but will check out the front brakes in the am


I went to the local repair shop OK OK it was a Monroe Muffler location and they want $297.00 to replace one bearing , one bearing wow that is a lot of money considering the bearing itself only cost $32.00 i bet they at least double that price and i think the labor is way too high . I could do it myself except I have no way to press out the old bearing and only have the one vehicle


Hi Kinker- sure, I know it seems expensive, but, we have a 2009 Toyota Prius and the right wheel bearing went out on that car. Now, you might think it's less expensive to repair, its NOT. The cost to repair was nearly $500. Fortunately, we have mechanical breakdown insurance on that car and only had to pay $100. It's a labor intense job and without the tools and expertise, it's not easy. Look at it this way, you don't have car payments on your 2001. It's either do it yourself on a weekend or have it done. Good for you that you know what to do. Can you take public transit?


yes i can I may also go talk to my local garage and ask them if i could just bring down the spindle with the new bearing and have them press the old out and the new on in, i am looking at my braking system today and also at the axle ( I know when i make a hard left turn the noise comes from the LEFT side of the car, maybe i got a bad cv joint, although it doesn't make that "clicking" sound like they do when they are going bad ) I will let you know what i find out


i can do the axle myself if that is the problem


Pressed-in bearings require 3 hr labor charges. The newer one- piece bearing/hub costs twice as much but take only an hour. So old: $350; new $180.


That's inc the part. Problem is the new ones aren't as durable...but as small consolation don't use an outer ABS ring.


I took my braking system apart and found out that the brake backing plate was rubbing against the rotors as they were turning I install new brake pads and am installing new rotors and pads on the rear just got thru and took it for a short drive all seem quiet but will keep a close eye on it.. I dropped the caliper bracket bolt behind the hub assembly and could not get it out but I asked my son and he was able to reach right in there and get it . I then tape the bolt to the socket so that it wouldn't fall off again it worked a lot better this time with my son helping me .


Ta dah!! I love it when I guess right...glad you got off so cheaply.


thank you I hope that will take care of it for now

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • coolant effect on main bearings 2 answers

    I'm told that coolant in your oil will destroy your main bearings. I'm considering doing the head gasket job but don't want to find out about the bearings going bad after spending $$$$$. How would I...

    2001 Subaru Outback Base Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • How long can you drive car once you start hearing that a wheel bearing is making a whinning noise? 9 answers

    My 2008 Subaru Outback started making a whinning noise from back when going faster than 30 MPH. If its a wheel bearing how long can it go before wheel falls off?

    2008 Subaru Outback Basic


    Maintenance & Repair

  • how do i change left rear bearing? 3 answers

    the left rear bearing blew out so hard it stopped the wheel from turning. igot all of the ripped up stuff out,but I cant get the old outer casing out. It seems be frozen in there. I know it's suppos...

    2000 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • So many problems--is it normal? 28 answers

    My 2000 Outback has 144,000 miles, and I've had to put SO MUCH money into it! Here are a few repairs: Two new front axles (right and left), new CV Boots, new axle boots, catalytic converter, head ga...

    2000 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Oil consumption high and wheel bearings worn at 29.000 miles 2 answers

    Oil consumption high and wheel bearings worn at 29.000 miles on my 2015 Forester. The car since new uses a quart of oil between each scheduled oil change, I complained but they told a story about m...

    2015 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Premium


    Maintenance & Repair


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 29,745 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,200.


Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 5,630
#2 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,690
#3 FordNut
Reputation 1,490
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
255 Great Deals out of 22,793 listings starting at $1,499
Used Subaru Legacy
208 Great Deals out of 16,089 listings starting at $1,300
Used Subaru Impreza
177 Great Deals out of 13,342 listings starting at $1,817
Used Honda CR-V
813 Great Deals out of 59,368 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota RAV4
644 Great Deals out of 61,987 listings starting at $2,450
Used Toyota 4Runner
316 Great Deals out of 20,547 listings starting at $2,295
Used Toyota Highlander
476 Great Deals out of 25,071 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord
814 Great Deals out of 81,613 listings starting at $899
Used Toyota Tacoma
614 Great Deals out of 35,124 listings starting at $2,155
Used Toyota Camry
1,094 Great Deals out of 96,265 listings starting at $1,250
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
38 Great Deals out of 1,139 listings starting at $1,500
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
843 Great Deals out of 68,676 listings starting at $864
Used Ford Escape
1,119 Great Deals out of 90,857 listings starting at $1,295

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 21,258 listings starting at $23,911
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
55 Great Deals out of 976 listings starting at $19,924
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
56 Great Deals out of 1,236 listings starting at $13,990
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
54 Great Deals out of 1,408 listings starting at $11,500
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 951 listings starting at $8,995