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2017 Forester needs rear wheel bearings - is this common for Subarus?

I need rear wheel bearings at 49,000 miles and mechanic said it’s common with Subaru in general. Is this true?

Maybe, maybe not, but you need one. Things that could cause premature bearing failure: towing trailer, heavy payload, a lot of curving, or high speed curving and maybe rear wheel alignment, and suspension modifications.

Wow, 49,000 miles in two years. Our Forester needed them at about 80,000 miles, so no, it’s not unusual, but a bit early in your case.

Your wheel bearings should still be covered under Subaru’s 5 year 60,000 mile drivetrain warranty. Did you take it to your dealership for service?

Has anything else odd happen to your vehicle? A hit-and-run driver hit my 1998 Legacy’s right rear bumper from the side and my right rear wheel had multiple problems including 2 rear wheel bearing replacements (I replaced the Subaru last December). So I think there was some problem that my mechanic never caught.

Yes, I was gently rear-ended and needed the rear bumper replaced. I wonder if that’s what caused this? It would be great if it’s covered under the 5-year drivetrain warranty, though I’m sure they’d realize the bumper had been replaced.

Did you ask your Subaru dealer if the wheel bearings could be replaced under warranty? A new rear bumper cover is not unusual, it is not sufficient evidence to decline the Powertrain warranty.

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In my case it was not a gentle crash. My Legacy’s rear was pushed around 4 feet and pieces of the other person’s car (headlights, side view mirror) were spread over the parking lot. The video shows that they didn’t slow down after the crash. The damage under the bumper was greater than expected when the body shop removed it, but no one thought there was any damage to the chassis. In the case of KarenStern, if she has all repair records I don’t think the crash would invalidate any warrantee.

Ironically this is one reason I bought another Subaru. The body shop told me that Subaru still made brand new parts for 18 year old cars and I got a brand new bumper.

I don’t intend to say anything about the accident, but I’m sure they’ll be able to tell the bumper was replaced. I’m not sure what’s covered under warranty and what voids the warranty

According to Subaru, this is what’s covered (see last item):

Powertrain Limited Warranty

POWERTRAIN COVERAGE for all models is 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Subject to the exclusions listed in this warranty, it covers the major powertrain components listed below.

Powertrain Coverage Components:

Engine block and all internal parts
Cylinder heads and valve trains
Oil pump, oil pan
Timing belts or gears and cover
Water pump
Intake and exhaust manifolds
Oil seals and gaskets

Transaxle/Transmission and Differential:

Transaxle/Transmission case and internal parts
Torque converter
Electronic transmission control unit
Seals and gaskets
Axle shafts and constant velocity joints [except boots][3]
Propeller shaft
Wheel bearings


Driving through deep rain water can ruin wheel bearings and can also ruin a number of other components including an engine or transmission.

The body repair shop said if the dealership gives me a hard time, he’ll help me go through the insurance company.

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Wow, thank you for this

Don’t submit an insurance claim before you exhaust the possibility of warranty coverage through the folks at Subaru’s Corporate Customer Service.

Absolutely! But the good (possibly bad) news is that I no longer use that insurance company

How long ago was this bumper cover damage ? And did the other person’s insurance not cover the damage because that is who should be contacted for discovered damage after the initial repair.

It was in August and the noise started maybe a month or 2 after? But it was a no fault accident so the other insurance paid 1/2

Occasionally a wheel bearing fails simply because it had a small defect that went undetected. Yours is failing way to early to be a common problem, no manufacturer would use a bearing that commonly failed this early.

If it has anything to do with the accident, I would have that wheel checked for out or round or bent out of plane, i.e checked for wobble while running. That would put a strain on the bearing. Also look at it from the rear to make sure the top of the tire does not lean in or out excessively, both rear tires should be about the same.

The accident wouldn’t have affected the wheels, it was just a tap in the parking lot but I was hit by a truck. And no, I didnt go through deep water, either

I’d still check, the wheel could be bent for another reason.