Subaru Outback Wheel Bearing Estimate


Hi all you folks who are more savvy about car repairs than I! I have a queston for you… I just got an estimate for repairing my chattering wheel bearing on my 98 Subaru Outback Legacy. I was quoted $550 parts and labor BUT he said that they may get in there and realize they must also replace the axel and hub with an estimated cost of $500 more (parts and labor)— The mechanic said that he had encountered such a problem in a car like mine on a previous occasion—and that repair would take 5-7 days, as they do not stock those parts. During that time I could not have my car back as they can not put it back together after disassembling the wheel. Is this too much money? Has anyone been through this repair? I’d appreciate any ideas or experiences so that I can make an informed decision. Thanks so much!


You don’t say who gave you this estimate, dealer or independent mechanic.

I suggest you get another, or several more, estimates and see how they match up.

Parts not in stock can be shipped overnight, or within a day or two, to almost anywhere on the planet. Why does it take 5-7 days?


MC is giving good advice.

  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.


If the part is a dealer only item then delivery of the part can take 5 to 7 days. This is usually the normal stock order delivery time to a dealer, with deliveries made on a weekly basis.

It can be overnighted, but this is expensive.

It’s hard to say on the complaint since I don’t quite see a wheel bearing chattering. They usually rumble, growl, or whine.

If this noise is a clicking or rattling type of noise I would be inclined to think the halfshaft is bad.


Thanks for the advice–Yes, they told me it could be overnighted at a hefty cost–too much for me. Interesting comment about the noise… it really sounds like little gremlins giggling and chattering. It is an odd sound. I will ask the next person I go to for an estimate about the other possible problem you suggest it might be. I appreciate your time!


Thank you Mc and Joseph as well! It was a dealer that gave the estimate. I will go get other estimates. Hopefully the possible extra parts are not ones only the dealer can order (yikes). It was odd, the dealer charged me for the estimate–no one has ever done that before–and I was also getting an oil chage while I had it in. I think you are right and I will shop around for sure.


You should ask your question here: There are guys there who have probably done this repair many times. I do know that rear wheel bearings on Soobs have had more than their share of problems. Odd for a company that actually makes bearings for others. Does it make its noise more or more loudly backing up? Tell the Subaru guys.


Hey thanks! the link is proving helpful.