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

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