CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Scion tC Front Wheel Bearing Replacement Cost

My car has been emitting a humming noise from the front-left wheel for a few months. It has become much louder in the past couple of weeks. It’s audible above 25 MPH and louder when turning right - regardless the speed, when the wheel is turned left, the sound disappears.



I assumed tread wear caused the noise, but last weekend during an oil change, the shop popped off the tire because they noticed the noise as well. They stated that the front-left wheel bearing needed to be replaced.



The car is a completely stock 2006 Scion tC with 54.000 miles. There have been no major repairs - just routine oil and air filters. The shop (Firestone) wants to charge $476.



I called the dealer - they want $486 since they will replace both the bearing and wheel hub. The mechanic said that a bearing can only be pressed in and out of a hub so many times. As I said, the car is completely stock… so it can only handle being inserted at the factory and that’s it?



My main question is - is this a fair price? I’m in the western Chicago suburbs. If so, I’ll have it done, but I would like some confirmation before spending this much money.

In the first place the bearing is bolted on, not pressed. Secondly do not use chain stores and you also dont need the dealer for this. Find a good independent shop and you’ll probably find the price better. Looks like they’re gonna charge a little over 200.00 labor to install. msrp for the part is around 240.00, thats for oem. It’s probably a bit cheaper aftermarket.

Front wheel bearings on a Scion tC are, in fact, pressed in, not bolted in. Toyota does this on numerous vehicles, probably to cut cost, but it makes replacement much more difficult than it needs to be. A new bearing and hub costs about $150 in parts, and the knuckle probably has to come off, so this isn’t the fastest repair in the world. $476 seems a tad high, but not ludicrous for this car…

my bad. Dont know why but I kept thinking Saturn Ion.

Update: I called around, a couple of shops quoted me at $450. I finally called the shop that I should have called in the first place, described the symptoms and he knew exactly what the problem was with a couple quick questions. His quote? $376.40 ($109 for the part, 267.40 for 2.8 hours of labor).

eraser1998 is correct in that the front bearings are pressed.