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97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First off, Happy Holidays!

Like usual the holidays is the time where all the gift$$ that I get are gone before I even see them. Such is the case as this time the Subi decided to take part of the holiday spirit by doing its part, two defective rear wheel bearings in bad shape.

The noise is unbearable, super loud such that it seems is about to take off like an airplane sound. People looking /pointing at me and having a good laugh.

One mechanic quoted me for 750.00 parts and labor, and another one (cheapest I could find), for 535.oo and that is honoring Veteran discount.

I would have done part of the labor but I got a broken left wrist where the cast was taken off about a week ago after two months having the left arm fully immobilized (misery at its best).

Does the 535.00 parts and labor seems a fair price for a 2000 Subaru Impreza RS, both rear wheel bearings?

What is crazy is the car has only 60,000 miles and already the bearings go bad, so much for quality Subi parts. On the other hand, I got this beater Mazda 1990 I use for work and still as good as new with 200,000 in the odo.


I kill threads!
2000 Ver 6 STI - 1996 Gravel Express
3,762 Posts
What is crazy is the car has only 60,000 miles and already the bearings go bad, so much for quality Subi parts. On the other hand, I got this beater Mazda 1990 I use for work and still as good as new with 200,000 in the odo.
Items failing early tend to be due to the driver, not so much the car. Crap like your ugly deep dish wheels, spacers, etc will cause bearings to go faster. My car is at 106k and the wheel bearings are still fine. My OBS is at 140k and it's wheel bearings are fine. Course they've been wearing stock wheels or wheels that have the same offset as stock.

Anyways, $500+ is normal, if you're going to a dealership for it. Me, I'd suggest getting a price from a regular shop and finding the bearings elsewhere.

97 2.5 obs, 98 Legacy GT Daily
1,453 Posts
Well do some research and decide for yourself if its a good estimate.

Below is a vendor who sells wheel bearing kits. $137 for the rear pair plus the install kit $88 so a little over $200 in parts (koyo). If your mechanic is using oem parts the price is sure to be way more than that for parts. Plus there is always the chance you might need new hubs as well. Add in more money. Then add in labor.

Oh and theres a chance of your alignment being thrown off too. more $$

And like Krotch said any wheels wider than stock or spaced out wheels will put more strain on the bearings and cause them to wear out faster.

Also I highly doubt your Mazda has the origional wheel bearings

97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is not a dealership. :rolleyes4

The car is completely stock, babied all the time, its automatic with no mods. Its driven like Driving Miss Daisy's car, and the usual highway miles. Here in FL roads are flat and perpendicular like a grid, no crazy twisty turns and so on.

I still dont get it how they failed so quick. Have gone through my fair share of cars, from Toyota Corolla 1.6, Mustangs, beater Sentras and multiple Escorts LX / GT, Volvos, a beater Gran Torino, Mirages etc, and its the first car to get such job. Of all this is the one with the lowest miles, a 2000 with 60,000. Always garage kept. I could have done it myself most of the work, but just came out of a broken wrist two months on a cast. My freakin whole left side still goes numb every now and then, or sporadic pain.

I was under the impression for been a Subaru that its strength would be the drivetrain, and so it seems the opposite. Besides that the car is solid all around, freezing A/C, good handling, nice ride, motor never overheats, in fact is super quiet. At the beginning I used to crank the ignition with the car running.

I guess is average the price, and mostly so now during the holidays that people want to leave early, or not work at all.


2000 Impreza RS <Red>
1,197 Posts
I'm pretty sure there was a tsb for defective rear wheel bearings in RS's from something like 99-02. It is a defective bearing flaw of some sort, causing premature failure. All I know is, both of my rear wheel needed replacing.

I think $535 for both sides is a solid deal. Just hope your lateral link bolts aren't seized.

2001 Miata SE
571 Posts
I tried to copy the TSB about the rear wheel bearings, but this is the best I could do with my nonexistant computer skillz.

IMPORTANT - All Service Personnel Should Read and Initial
NUMBER: 03-50-02
DATE: 12/23/02
APPLICABILITY: 1998 - 2003 Forester
1993 - 2003 Impreza (excluding WRX)
1990 - 1999 Legacy
SUBJECT: New Procedure for Replacing Rear
Wheel Bearings
Ongoing studies of vehicle repairs and service procedures have helped us identify a new rear wheel
bearing replacement procedure for the vehicles described above. Additionally, several design
changes have been made to increase the durability of the original equipment caged ball bearings in all
types of operating conditions.
The installation of secondary dust shields to the axle (August 2000 vehicle production), and changes
to the wheel bearing itself represent some of the results of continued study. The most recent
production changes were:
1. Material change of the grease.
2. Treatment changes to the rear ball bearing & inner race.
3. Initial preload applied in production changed.
These changes took place effective August 21, 2001, starting with the following VIN’s:
Impreza Sedan 2*517136
Wagon 2*817579
Forester 2*735724
To reduce the possibility of repeat premature failures, Subaru is introducing a new procedure to
service the rear wheel bearings of the models listed above that entails replacing the rear wheel
bearing on the vehicle.
This new procedure will eliminate the heavy forces needed to service the rear wheel bearings that
occur in using a hydraulic press. This smooth, low force installation eliminates the chances of
deforming the wheel bearing housing and increases the efficiency of repair.
Effective January 2, 2003, this new approved procedure must be used when replacing rear
wheel bearings for any repair submitted to Subaru of America, Inc. for reimbursement.
Bulletin Number:03-50-02; Date: 12/22/02 Page 2
In addition, this repair procedure is required on retail repairs to be eligible for any Subaru
Replacement Parts Warranty.
A new special tool kit has been developed (supplied by Kent Moore, J-45697) to perform this
procedure on the vehicle. The new tools are designed to work only with tapered roller bearing. The
repair procedure is not listed in this bulletin but can be found in Subaru Service Publication Booklet
Number MSA5TT0201. This supercedes the old booklet of MSA5TT0001.
Subaru is also authorizing the installation of a taper roller type bearing, part number 28016AA030,
as the replacement part on the applicable Impreza & Forester models. This taper bearing is the
same bearing that is applicable to 99 model year & prior Legacy models.
If you have diagnosed a failed rear wheel bearing, repair it with the new procedure and check the
condition of the remaining side. Replace only if needed.
The new genuine Subaru rear wheel bearings are not to be packed with grease of any kind.
The bearing is ready to install out of the box.
The labor operation numbers for the replacement of the rear wheel bearing and its effective parts will
not be changed, however, the new time for one side replacement will be .8 hour and 1.5 for both

1999 RSTi coupe
402 Posts
$535 is actually really reasonable. I was quoted about $340 for one side from the dealer (yes i know) I ended up replacing both myself. Pulling the hubs and everything is relatively easy. Once you have both hubs pulled just find a place that will press the bearings for you ($80??) reinstall and enjoy a quiet ride again.
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