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2 bearings failed on subaru outback- no accidents!

So ive had a major issue with the used 2005 subaru outback ll bean edition i recently bought with 122k miles.

I got a deal on the vehicle with the disclaimer that it had road noise. This turned out to be a bearing (im not a mechanic btw). After the bearing got replaced i began having another problem… this turned out to be the front control arm assembly.

I recently had some new tires put on the car. A couple days after getting them (maybe right after… i didnt get a chance to test them on the highway for a few days) and i get terrible road noise again. This turned out to be a rear bearing. I get that fixed and now i have a headlight out.

My question is… it seems like everytime i have something fixed they send it back with a new problem… wait… not seems like… they definitely send it back with a new problem. Not talking about soon after the repair. Immediately after. Could the tire discounters have ruined my bearing while changing the tires? I read that bearings dont fail unless they were installed improperly or there was a wreck. Especially a rear bearing.

Now they open up my car and my headlight is out! Crazy

You bought a 11 year old vehicle with known noise problems and 122000 miles on it with most likely as little maintenance as possible. Replacing tires did not cause your bearing problems.

This is a case where you should find a independent shop and pay for a serious inspection to see what else is wrong .

Stuff happens on an old car. Changing the headlight is cheap if you do it yourself. You will probably need to change the side markers and tail lights soon, too.

There’s a reason you got a “deal” on it! As mentioned, please find a competent independent mechanic to determine what else might be wrong before spending more money. AWD vehicles are more expensive to keep running if something goes wrong.

Have your other wheel bearings checked. If 2 failed then the other 2 are probably on the way out as well.

There’s no logical reason to conclude that having new tires installed caused your other problems .

“You have read that wheel bearings don’t fail unless there was an accident or they were installed improperly” Crazy is the right word.

Wherever you read that opinion…they are full of it and you should take any information from there with a grain of salt.

Pot holes, rough roads, and just plain wear and tear will cause wheel bearings to fail. They are a common wear item on any car, as are the headlight bulbs and control arm bushings.

At 122K miles on this vehicle…even with a good maintenance history…there are many other things that could be expected to fail in the near future. Tie rod ends, ball joints, struts, sway bar links and bushings, water pump, alternator, serpentine belt, timing belt, …just to mention a few.

Not that you need to go out and have all these replaced now, but at some point some of these parts will fail from age or wear and tear.

It’s just part of owning a older car.

Finding a good reliable mechanic that you can trust will help you in the future. He/she will be able to inspect your car when you bring it in and they can head off major problems before they fail on the road. If you are going to a Quick change oil shop, or a chain repair shop…they will be less capable of diagnosing the problems ahead of time. Their business model just does not include experienced…well trained mechanic’s.


Gotta agree. If you buy a less than stellar maintained older vehicle, you will likely have clusters of problems showing up until it is restored again. That’s why people get rid of cars-because the problems mount and they don’t want to deal with them. This is a good opportunity to develop some mechanical skills or continue paying the $100 an hour labor rate for repairs along with the downtime.

Ever watch the local evening news during heavy rains and see all of the motorists slogging on through bumper deep water?
Think about where some of that muck ends up; in wheel bearings, suspension components, steering components, and so on.

Eventually problems will start to surface and those problems are not confined to one part. More than likely this car has been through the same treatment at some point.

Some may remember the post here some years ago about the outfit in WV? or VA? that “rebuilds” flooded Subarus and stands behind them but with no guarantees; an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Wonder how many wheel bearing or suspension issues those cars suffer over time… :frowning:

that discussion was priceless :naughty:

I remember somebody saying that buying a “rebuilt” Subaru with a branded title was a wise financial decision


Yeah I remember that one and even looked at the web site. I’m sure he would say all the bearings and front end parts were replaced-of course with other used parts from other flooded cars. Kinda like the infantry guys that had been in the field for weeks and the Sarge told them they would have a change of underwear-Charlie you change with Joe, and Sam you change with Pete . . .

I would have guessed driving through bumper deep water would not be an issue, thinking everything is pretty well sealed. Going 30 a couple of weeks ago on the interstate in a frog strangler storm can’t be too much different, can it?

Interstates drain well where I am. I don’t think you would submerge the suspension on an interstate unless you ran off the road.

Normally interstates drain pretty well but there is a low section on I 35W in Bloomington, MN that some years ago flooded and submerged cars in it. Anytime the storm drains are over-run, you gotta problem.

Those problems you are having don’t seem like show stoppers to me OP. Just normal problems owners with older cars like this experience is all. It’s possible I suppose a wheel bearing could be damaged by tire changers, but very unlikely. Chalk all this up to normal wear and tear and the rest to simple coincidence, get the problems fix as they occur, do the routine maintenance tasks suggested in the owner’s manual on schedule, and otherwise just enjoy your vehicle. It’s probably never going to be as trouble free as a new Camry or Accord, but should still have plenty of reliable use left.

I’ll add that I have two older vehicles, the idea that if one needs repairs I can drive the other while I fix the one that is broken. One time the fuel pump broke on one, and the next day the starter motor broke on the other, so I had to walk to the auto parts store to get the replacement parts … lol …

This is a negative of this car. I have replaced all the wheel bearings on my 2005 legacy(lower sister car). Headlight bulbs seem to only last 1-2 years maybe due to them always on.

My rear bearings were replaced on Subaru dime at 99k as they extended warranty due to high rate of failure.

I have 199k on mine.