Wheel Bearing Failure

2005 Subaru Outback

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Subaru dealer.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
75,750 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace hub assembly (1 reports)
  3. replace wheel bearing (1 reports)
2005 Subaru Outback wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2005 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 212014

Outback LLBean 3.0L 6CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,172 miles


Replaced 3 bearings at 70k, two at 85 k, and the other two failing at 91k miles. Dealer mechanic says nothing else is wrong and its just a fluke that they are failing. I see recalls for some of my model year for the rear bearings, but my car was "not affected". wtf? Still, the recall only covers noise in the rear bearings, not "popping" in all four- which is potentially dangerous from what I am told. Unless that dealer was feeding me a line of bull. But the car IS making noise, and the tires/alignment are all failing/getting out of alignment very quickly (alignment every 15k miles, tires still only lasted 30k miles, lots of wobble). Anyway, the bearings only got 10k - 30k miles on them (replaced at different times), which seems quite substandard to me. I can't find any reason why they would fail so fast. We do almost exclusively freeway driving, nothing wild, no off-road. GAH! Otherwise I love the car. Never had any problems with our old Fozzie, which got over 300k on it before replacing it. :(

- bepoore, San Leandro, CA, US

problem #4

May 232014

Outback LLBean 3.0L 6CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,394 miles

Had replaced 3 of the 4 bearings in December or January, and again had a problem by May. Dealer replaced both rear bearings, and waived all but $100 of the cost. By August, the front were showing signs of "popping' again, according to another dealer.

- bepoore, San Leandro, CA, US

problem #3

Dec 012014

Outback LLBean 3.0L 6CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

We bought this car in October, seemed pristine. Had been kept mostly covered on the East Coast. Had about 66k miles on it. A few days later it started whining, took several mechanics to pinpoint it (a month or so later) to the wheel bearings- one front, one back. Dealer said they should have caught it during intake and replaced them for free. They should not have failed so early, either. Will add another complaint, but they also failed again within a few months, and the dealer replaced all four, and they were "popping" again within another few months.

- bepoore, San Leandro, CA, US

problem #2

Jul 192013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

This is not the first time that the bearing hub has failed on this car! both rear wheel hub assemblies were replaced about 48,00 miles ago! then my wife and I broken down in Arizona with one recently bearing hub assembly with less than 3000 miles on it! We had to order the replacement part in Arizona and wait there for four days to replace the assembly! we pay $98 for the assembly and $122 labor. (we took the removed part with us back to California and the mechanic that installed the part give us full cost refund including the labor cost for that particular side ( We know this mechanic for a long time). Now we just replaced the other side at 6000 miles! Please note that both assemblies were purchased at NAPA auto parts (Timken Brand?)... and both assemblies eventually failed even when replaced by two different mechanics. So this time I purchased the replaced the hub assembly from MOOG Brand ( Rock Aut0o online) just to try a different brand.( I turned in the failed part back to NAPA for warranty and they provide me a new replacement part no questions asked ,so I am keeping this part as spare for now.) I have been a mechanic for many years (Baja race driver) but I am so busy at my regular job (60 hour plus) that sometimes I just do not have the time to work on my cars...This time I replaced the hub assembly myself. this were my findings: First: after removing the hub assembly I discovered that the area that joins the hub assembly and the brake support plate to the axle where severely rusted! there is no seal or gasket from preventing any water or dirt entering into the hub area from behind the axle shaft, and appears that there is no drain hole at the joint area between the hub assembly and the brake support plate!! this my not cause damage to the sealed bearings in the hub assembly, but the progressive rust can eventually create other problems on this area of the rear axle of the vehicle. I cleaned the parts and applied a Teflon base grease between the join of these parts to prevent further water contamination and additional rust to form. Second Finding: the nut that secures the drive shaft to the hub assembly was super thigh !! like if to make sure that you will not lost the hub assembly from the drive shaft! keep in mind that the hub assembly is secured to the rest of the power train by four bolts and no by the nut that secures the drive shaft to the hub assembly. No need to over torque this nut ! this nut only prevents the drive shaft from sliding out from the Hub assembly ...since the drive shaft and hub assembly are splined for for traction the nut is just a retainer basically. Over torqueing the nut could create a "preload effect" to the bearings inside the hub assembly causing additional friction and heat that will lead to early failure, this is why the nut gets secured in place by creating a light bent at the top end of the nut right into the drive shaft slot to prevent the nut from eventually coming loose . torque the nut to manufacturer recommendations and that is it!! ( I think this could be the main reason why my bearings failed so early! the bearing were preloaded by over torqueing the drive shaft nuts! Again the replacement job is almost as easy as replacing the brakes in your car...all takes no special tools except that you need to have the large socket to remove the drive shaft nut. it takes about one hour per side. You my contact me at my email if need additional help.

- wolfman54, Frazier Park, CA, US

problem #1

Oct 012011

Outback XT 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I cannot understand why these repairs needed to be done at this low mileage, and that they are such significant and well known problems for this year and model and Subaru does not even offer any response!

- spindrifter, Weymouth, MA, US

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