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2008 Outback 2.5i 5MT Newport Blue Pearl
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently, my 2008 OBW started making a grinding noise from the driver side rear wheel. It started when I would apply the brakes and then go away. No it occasionally does it without the brakes applied but does not last long. It will sometimes make noise when turning left but that does not sustain, it is mostly when the brakes are applied. It will also make the sound when backing up. Sticky caliper or wheel bearing? I am not sure.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,935 Posts
Intermittent grinding can be a loose wheel bearing. Our '06 had a bad front wheel bearing that was loose enough to grind the rotor against the caliper!

The good news is if it's a loose wheel bearing when you jack the wheel up and 'shake' it it'll be noticeably loose.

The method is, car on jack stand(s) so it can't fall, one hand on bottom of tire, one on top, push in on top and pull out on bottom, and reverse, and repeat.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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953 Posts
You should also take a couple of minutes to remove the wheel and check the brake pads. My 08 original pads were worn out at ~130k earlier this year.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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4,112 Posts
Also check for a sticky caliper pin or a stone between the rotor and the dust guard behind the rotor.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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597 Posts
Not certain about the 08's but you'll want to look at your emergency brake pads while you're in there.

Feeling of the wheel center after driving will also give you some clues as to where the problem is....if it's hot, probably a bad bearing, discolored rotors is possible sticking caliper, grinding could be any of the three but you should see damage to the rotor if there is grinding going on!

I replaced the hub assembly (bearing) not long ago and I went the more economical route purchasing the midgrade unit. Two months later, I started hearing the growling again and upon inspection the bearing was going bad. Needless to say, next one was the premium grade and no further problems.

CNY_Dave has a good suggestion on determining wheel bearing failure!
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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953 Posts
That's quite a bit of brake life out of this material. I'm surprised they went that long.
The life of the rear brakes seem to be about on par as with most of the cars I've owned (mostly front wheel drive passenger cars with mostly city commute driving). The fronts last a couple of years and the rears last much longer. In all the cars I've owned, I've never turned nor replaced a rotor or drum except the rotors once with a big heavy Honda Odyssey and naively with this Outback. The dealer said the rear pads and rotors needed replacement when I got the air bag warranty work done. The pads were worn but the rotors really were not, but shipping them back would have cost a big fraction of the rotors themselves so I just put them on the car instead. At least the dealer didn't get any of that money.
 
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