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Rear Bearings for Mustang GT

I’m about to pay $800 (more or less) for rear bearings for my 2001 GT. It’s never had work on bearings, and at the last check, my mechanic said he could hear the noise and repair would be coming. I hear a noise (that sounds like tire or road noise to me) that increases and decreases with speed. What I’ve read about bad bearings mentions screeching. This is not a screech, at this point anyway. But I’m going to do the repair because the car is old and has 167+ mileage, although otherwise great. Is $800 and a “couple of days” work fair?

Road noise or rumbling is what I’ve experienced with bad wheel bearings. “Screeching” would tell me the balls or rollers have stopped rolling and the car SHOULD NOT be driven. Get other estimates to see if $800 is too high.

Sounds like you’re not just talking about wheel bearings but maybe differential bearings–the 2 pinion bearings and 2 carrier bearings inside the case. This requires disassembly of the differential. $800 seems more than fair for a complete job like this.

My impression of the symptom description was that it suggested just the wheel/axle bearings.

I’m with insightful on this. Get a second opinion and quote. I don’t think you’re getting taken, but with all expensive repairs it’s a good policy to get a second opinion.

$800 parts and labor seems within the ball park for rear bearing replacement, both sides. I’ve never had a rear bearing on a rear wheel drive vehicle go bad, but I’ve had front bearings on FWD go bad, and they didn’t make a screeching noise. They made a very definite growling noise that got noticeably louder the faster I drove. Sort of sounded like driving on a road with a very rough surface, only louder. You’ve probably driven on roads where the road crew has purposely used a machine to rough up the surface prior to putting down a new surface coat, sounds like that. I’ve also had a rear wheel bearing on a FWD go bad, and the most noticeable symptom was a sort of waaaaah — waaaaah – waaaah sound during low speed turns, like in a parking lot. What a bearing noise sounds like I guess depends on whether it is a driven wheel and how much weight is on it I guess.

I would suggest dropping the driveshaft and determining if a dry, worn U-joint is the cause of the noise. Joints can be bad without being loose and this would apply especially to the front one.

In Sep 2006, I bought my 98 GT convertible in L.A. On my drive back to Salem, OR, I could hear a slight whine and rumble, but thought it was normal. By Sep 2011, at 129,000 mi, I was convinced it was a drive-train issue and elected to have the wheel and differential bearings replaced. Upon tear down, the mechanic showed me the diff bearings which were chewed out. Ever since, no more noise. none. Nada. Cost? $600 out the door. You do not have to replace the wheel bearings if they are good; I did so because to do so later, would have cost another $200. Submitted 5/4/2014.

Interesting post @LAWPILOT … Just curious if anyone knows how a mechanic would decide if a noise was the diff bearings or the axel bearings? Put it on the lift, put it in gear, and listen w/ a mechanic’s stethoscope? Or do faulty diff bearings make a distinctly different type of sound than faulty axel bearings?

I would hook up my electronic chassis ears . . . 6 channels . . . and take the car for a drive, switching between different channels to narrow it down

In my experience, listening for a bad bearing on the lift doesn’t work, because the bearings aren’t under a load

This job is called rear axle bearings. The parts for both sides, axle bearing and seals (USA made) is 82 dollars and the labor is three hours or 240 bucks. Add some diff oil and your total is about 350 bucks.

Thanks for all the responses! I went into this repair feeling much better about the charges and came out with reinforced confidence in my mechanic, who used to work on my car when I took it to the dealership! Anyway, it turned out to be differential bearings. For both side rear bearings, it came to just under $800 with $450 of that for labor. No more noises! Thanks, again to everyone who offered responses.