22nd Feb 2004, 23:23

I have a 2000 Subaru Impressa. At about 50,000 miles the right rear wheel bearing went bad. The dealership replaced it and the new bearing lasted only 24 hours. They replaced it without charge, of course. About 6 months and 5000 miles later, the other rear bearing went out. I had it replaced at a tire dealership where I was purchasing four new tires. This repair lasted one week and they replaced the bearing again for no charge. It is another 5000 miles and 5 months later and now one of the rear bearings is going out again. It makes a loud humming noise as if I'm driving over a "singing bridge". I'm glad that I found this site with testimony about Subaru wheel bearing problems. I wanted to drive this car for 10 years, but can't be replacing wheel bearings constantly. Subaru should do something about this.

8th Jun 2004, 14:18

UPDATE 2: 06/08/2004 (I am original poster)

My right rear wheel bearing has once gone bad... AGAIN at 68000 miles. This is ridiculous. The thing that irks me most is that Consumer Reports keep this car as their pick and show good reliability. It makes me wonder how much research they really do. On Edmunds.com, you can find many more problems under user comments for the Subaru Forest wheel bearings (perhaps other Subaru's too?)

18th Jun 2004, 12:24

I too am replacing a wheel bearing on my 99 Forester. It has approx. 70,000 miles and it seems unusual for a bearing to fail with that few miles on it. At approximately 55,000 miles I had major engine work done on the vehicle due to an oil leak. Fortunately this was covered by Subaru under their power-train warranty. I like Subaru's, however at this point would reconsider purchasing another Forester..

19th Jul 2004, 22:50

I have a 2000 Impreza 2.5RS. I have had to replace the rear right wheel bearings twice now. First @ 25k miles, second time was @ 65k miles. I had the Legacy bearings put in this time...we'll see how long they last.

31st Jul 2004, 11:57

I have had my rt wheel bearing go out on my 1998 Forester, it has 55,000 miles on it. Had it done at another shop, not near a dealer, then Subaru would not pay for it, said I did not have proof they put in a Subaru part. Now the power steering is going out. I too wonder about Consumer Reports advice.

2nd Aug 2004, 07:43

I have a 1991 Legacy wagon, which I bought used in about 1998 with about 75k miles.

In October 2001 I had to have the right front bearing replaced. Then some time in 2002 a kind of rubbing sound developed in the left front wheel area. My mechanic said it was the wheel bearing, but when I took it to a tire shop to be replaced the owner said it wasn't the bearing. Not knowing what to do I told him to replace the bearing. The sound went away for a couple of days, but then came back, and is still there. Let's see: in about February of 2003 the right rear bearing had to be replaced, and then a couple of months ago it went bad again! And now the right front bearing is acting up again.

I'm getting a repair sheet from Subaru on replacement of wheel bearings, so maybe there will be something of value in that. Shows that they know about the problem.


21st Oct 2004, 22:29

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester. My wheel bearing is bad, again. I can't really remember if this will be the third or fourth time I will be replacing a back wheel bearing. To be honest I am really disappointed, I bought a Subaru because they are supposed to be dependable and this is not dependable, considering that if I don't fix this problem, my wheel could come off. The previous fixes have not been done at the dealer, but I plan to try that this time. If they don't plan to make amends, I will very likely sell my car, that I love, other than the wheel bearing problem.

30th Nov 2004, 05:53

I've read all the comments about the wheel bearing problems and it sounds so familiar. I too have experienced wheel bearing problems with my 1998 Forester at 48K on the left rear wheel and had it replaced at a tune of $300.00. Now the right rear tire is making the same awful noise. Unbelievable, These parts should outlast the car!. I say recall is in order and reimbursement of our expenses for the faulty design. I also have been dealing with a oil leak which cannot be corrected easily and I am not prepared to shell out over a grand for the repair. Were talking about a main seal which isn't a driveway repair. Hopefully this comment reaches the right people and they take action before this causes bodily injury or death due to a accident associated with this problem. Not to mention the environmental issues with oil dripping all over.

22nd Mar 2005, 17:20

I've replaced both rear bearings under warranty at 50000 miles. Less than a year later they have both gone bad again. Dealer tried to screw me saying I had to pay for them, saying I drove more than 12000 miles, but warranty is 1 year unlimited miles.

Now they say the linkage is frozen and they have to break a $400 bolt to get the bearing off. Any suggestions?

29th Mar 2005, 09:08

I was going to purchase a Forester; glad I checked here 1st...

22nd Jun 2005, 12:48

What the dealer said sounds like nonsense. My dealer also told me the warranty is 1 year, unlimited miles (and warrantys count on warranty work, i.e., the wheel bearing continuosly goes bad within in a year, you should never have to pay for it.)

I have not heard about the bolt before (I've sold my car, good riddance!). Look up your old receipt and bring him the warranty part. Try bringing it to another dealership. Also, call Subaru corporate if the dealer doesn't respond to your complaints, especially if they are breaking contract by not doing warranty work. That is ridiculous.

27th Oct 2005, 16:20

Interesting criticism of the Subaru Forester re. the claim the vehicle has problems with its wheel bearings. Since the criticism appears to be from a British citizen, let's look at what I know about a very British vehicle---and all of its problems.

I got my first Land-Rover (88" 2.25 litre petrol station wagon) on 16 April 1964. I was sixteen years old at the time my dad bought the car at City Buick in Long Island City, NY. Shortly thereafter the McKane family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah; two years later we moved to Missoula, Montana.

While I've loved Land-Rovers since shortly after getting my first one---and I always will love them---the reliability of the product (and other Solihull products of some years past) leaves much to be desired.

I was in the Land Rover parts business from 1974 to 1986. Had a business named McKane's Rover Imports, Inc. of San Diego, CA. During those eleven plus years we sold many rear axle shafts (591378 & 591379) for Series IIA & III Land-Rovers. (Yes, I realize the S-III 109" used the Salisbury shaft, but 109" vehicles were taken off the U.S. market at the end of the 1967 model year.)

Way too many 4 cylinder petrol (598473) exhaust manifolds would "crack." Way too many gear shift levers had the nylon ball come adrift from the bottom of the lever. Way too many speedometers and speedometer cables broke. And virtually every Rover product I've ever known or heard of has had major problems with oil leaks.

Land Rover (the product now called Defender) is a wonderful product on paper. It warms my heart as no other vehicle ever has or almost certainly never will. But the reliability of my original SII (24402456A) left very much to be desired.

My own 1972 SIII (25900379A) was a wonderful vehicle. But in some twenty-two years of owning it, I broke at least half a dozen rear half shafts. Had one rear diff basically fall apart. Had three speedometers in it and seven cables, if I remember correctly.

My next car will be a Subaru Forester. I've been driving a Saturn since 1999 when I bought that (SL-1) new. I like the Forester. I've considered that, a Honda CR-V or Pilot, and a Ford Escape. Never gave any thought to a so-called Land Rover Freelander.

When the day comes that Land Rover's products become as reliable as cars made by Toyota, Honda, Subaru, etc., then I will buy another "Land Rover" (Defender, please)!

If someone has excessive wheel bearing problems with any given car, perhaps the vehicle's driver does too much wading, or perhaps he/she drives too much in sand. I broke many main leafs in the front springs on my first L-R. But that was my fault---I used to love "flying" the vehicle through the air. (Rover 2000 SC's & TC's also had a probmel with the bonded neoprene piece on the bottom of their gear shift levers; the 2000's also had a problem with broken axle stub shafts; and they had many speedo problems, also. The TC had many cracked exhaust manifolds.)

Andy McKane

Missoula, Montana, USA.