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Subaru Impreza - Wheel Bearing Failures
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Old 17 Sep 2007, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Subaru Impreza - Wheel Bearing Failures

I am looking for advice on a wheel bearing problem.

I have a 1999 Subaru Impreza. It is a demo car purchased from a dealer in January 2000. From 2000 to 2002, I had three wheel bearings replaced under warranty over a period of three years. This work was done at two different dealers, dependant on where I was working at the time. I think that they were all rear driver's side, although on the second failure the dealer said that the wheel had never been removed before.

This summer I had the car serviced at my local garage, which is not a Subaru dealer, but they state that they are Subaru specialists. (I think that they had a dealership at one time but are not large enough to sustain it.) I had thought for some time that the wheel bearing was noisy (I had been trying to convince myself it was road noise). I had the garage check it, and they said that it needed replacing, which was done at my expense.

The next day, I drove from Devon to High Wycombe and back for a job interview. (I do software contract work.) This was mainly motorway driving on the M5 and M4 and there were no problems. The “road noise” had gone away so I have no doubt that the wheel bearing needed replacing.

The following week, I drove up to Cheltenham (again for a job interview), and on the return journey the “road noise” started again on the M5. I drove on to the nearest exit and quickly parked in a side road. By this time the wheel bearing was making grinding noises. The AA relayed back to my home, and the garage replaced the wheel bearing again, at their expense. They obtained the new bearing and all the fitments from a Subaru dealer. They also had to replace the break shoes as grease had leaked into them.

That was about a month ago. I got the job in Cheltenham and have driven up and back for the last two weeks. However, early this morning (Monday, 17 Sep. 2007), while driving along the A38 dual-carriageway on my way to Cheltenham, the noise started again quite quickly. As I was only about 20 miles from my home, I pulled off the A38 intending to make my way slowly home. It became quickly apparent that this was not a viable option, as the wheel was making a noise as though I had run over a loose manhole cover.

Again I had to be relayed home by the AA. I have again left the car at my local garage and hired a car (part paid for by Relay Plus) and driven up to Cheltenham to work for the week.

So I am looking for advice, suggestions, diagnostics, etc. of what the problem is and what the solution is. At this point, I am looking to get my car back on the road and in a state in which I can feel confident about. Not constantly worrying that it will go wrong.

Has anyone else had the same problem and was it satisfactorily resolved?
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Old 17 Sep 2007, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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sounds highly likely that either the stub axle or the bearing housing are worn/ovalled and therefore causing the bearings to fail within a short time
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