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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
I searched the forums and could not find my exact symptoms. My 2000 H4 2.5 AT OBW started making what I assume is a failing wheel bearing noise. It is not constant and I only started to notice it around 70 mph or higher. Yesterday I thought I was on a piece of "washboard" road surface due to the loud strumming humming noise, but it kept up on the smoother pavement. It comes and goes and I am aware of it a lower speeds now too.

The left (driver's) side rear wheel and rotor were hot. My wife thought the sound was coming from the left rear as well. I had brake problems there last year and believed I solved that problem when I replaced the caliper pins. I think I felt a slight "tug" when I used the brakes as well. It may have just been the AT downshifting. I'm in hyper-vigilant looking for symptoms mode now. :confused:

Would a failing bearing cause the hub to heat up? I'm pretty sure it has the classic intermittent moaning bad tire-like sound. I plan on jacking it up in the next day or so to give the wheel a wiggle and the caliper a pinch but wonder what else I should look for or do that might help me tell if it is the wheel bearing or the caliper? Or neither?

How long can I drive on this without updating my will?
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
The bad news: yup sounds like classic rear wheel bearing failure.

The good news: While it is always good to keep your car properly repaired, I made it about 30k miles in my old '98 with a bad bearing. Traded it in. Your results may vary.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll start working on it next week because my soon to be 16 year old daughter is going to inherit this car and I don't want it to freak her out while she's learning to drive, which is freaking me out enough already. I'm going to ask her to help me with the repairs explaining how it will make her feel like more of the car's owner. I'll drive my wife's 2011 for now.

Of course any other opinions on this or the actual problem are still encouraged. :)
 

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2000 outback limited
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I just replaced my passenger side front bearing. Did it myself. Wasnt hard. Mine was weird too, making grinding noise, sometimes it didnt, sometimes it clunked. I probably let it go for a couple weeks. I had to replace the hub with the lug stems because it was all worn and gouged on the smooth end that fits into the bearing. The bearing chewed it up. Its an easy job to do yourself. Jack up the car, remove tire, 2 bolts to take the caliper off the rotor, remove axle nut, dont bother trying to remove the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint in place. They are all rusted and no matter how much pb blaster and breaker bar you use it wont budge. Instead take the cotter pin out of the nut and bolt below the ball joint and remove that nut. Remove the two strut bolts which hold the strut to the wheel knuckle and you you can remove the entire knuckle which has the hub and bearing inside it. You may have to bang the area where the ball joint is a few times with a small sledge. The drivers side of my car was rusted good. Pasenger side came free no problem. I went to my local subaru dealer which is subarupartsforyou.com and purchased a new oem subaru bearing for $80. I asked the shop if they could press out the old and put in the new and he they did it for me with a smile. I was really happy with the service. He brought the hub out and showed me the damage so i went across the street to autozone and got a new one for $65. Subaru OEM is $150. He said aftermarket would be fine. I do my homework before buying any parts. Some stuff you can get away with but most of the time OEM works out much better. The shop charged me $20 to press out the old bearing and press in a new one! I also installed a new sway bar (mine was broken on the bend), 2 new CV axles up front (torn boots and had steering wheel vibration), pads and rotors. My 2000 outback is driving SUPER SMOOTH right now.

I wouldnt have been able to do any of it if it werent for the awesome people on this forum! I'll never bring any of my cars to a mechanic again. I have been going to my local service station for gas and coffee for 6 years and know the owners well. They quoted me $300 plus parts for the bearing. HAHAHAH. I did the job myself for the first time in 2 hours that included replacing the CV axles, pads and rotors. Total cost $100 for the bearing job and some greasy hands. The two axles cost me $380 and swar bar $75.

Good luck with your bearing, but seriously dont wait. Fix it.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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The wheel bearing could get hot as it fails, but I have driven on bad wheel bearings on my '03 for a loooong time, 1 front and 1 rear, and neither got hot. If it is the bearing and getting hot, it is probably very close to catastrophic failure.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #6
I ordered the OEM bearing and it will get here early next week. I'm not driving it until the job is done. I'm holding off on the hub until I get it taken apart and see if I need it. I'm not starting the work this week because my job actually expects me to work to earn money - I know right? (teenaged daughter influenced comment) And it is going to be around 90 degrees today. If it needs the hub it can sit on the jack stands until it gets here. I've got two other vehicles to drive in the meantime.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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How hot is hot? Smoking tire hot?

Check pad wear, that will tell you if your caliper is hanging up. If it is angled, it's hanging up somewhere..
 

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2000 outback limited
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the caliper pins/pistons have a tendency to get rusted and sieze up. When I had everything apart I took the other 2 bolts off the caliper to seperate it. I took the side without the brake fluid hoses and put them in my vice and banged the siezed piston with a hammer and soaked it with pb blaster until I was able to pull it out with a pair of vice grips. I sanded down the piston with metal sandpaper then greased them up and put them back in the caliper. Brakes work perfect now. My father in law just had the same issue with a 2005 toyota highlander.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #9
It is spit sizzlin' hot. I had an overheating problem on both rear rotors and replaced the caliper slide pins, bolts, rotors, and pads about 6 months ago and the problem was solved. I used plenty of grease and brake cleaner. I also sanded the "ears" of the pads down enough so they slid on the clips easily. The inner side of the caliper was amazingly clean and rust free for a car that had over 150,000 miles on it at the time. I'll check the caliper and pads when I take it apart next week. A seizing caliper could cause the wheel to overheat but the addition of the classic failing wheel bearing sound leads me to believe it is the bearing. I jacked it up this morning and there wasn't any real lateral play, but when I turned the wheel I could hear a slightly gritty noise. I've heard these 2nd generations have a reputation for eating wheel bearings.

I do a lot of off-road type driving by zipping through the rough and poorly repaired streets of Baltimore. LOL I'm sure it hasn't help the running gear.
 

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if you hear that gritty noise its prob def the bearing. Not much else turns when you rotate the wheel, just that and the axle.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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You do have a bad bearing, maybe because of the overheating event when you caliper seized up. I expect you still have a brake seizing issue. Does the 2000 have the inner 'top hat' emergency brake? If so, that's where I would look. Although I have nothing but intuition, I doubt that a bearing that can turn with a 'slight grind' would cause that much heat.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #12
Yes it has the drum emergency brake. I backed that way off (like 7 clicks to activate it) with the star wheel and it still gets hot. I'll pull the rotor and have a look at the drum and pads when I get to it next week.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #13
Just for kicks I took a short drive, about ten miles, and took the hub temperatures. The left (driver's) side rear was 350 degrees Fahrenheit! The front left: 169, Front right: 155, and Right rear: 135. It was a local drive so there was quite a bit of braking.

I didn't hear the wheel bearing until around 50 Mph and it cut out during turns. I did notice a slight lag or tug during breaking. So I wonder if the heat has damaged any brake components.

I have to head out now, in another car of course, and won't have time to take it apart until at least Monday, which is a shame because it is nice weather here today.
 

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Yes, you are getting way to hot. Don't drive it, you are at risk for some serious problems.

I still suspect the ebrake is hung up in there. This can happen even with the star backed way off. First thing is to jack up that side and see if the tire spins without resistance. Check now and after wheel bearing is replaced.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #16
It spins with a hard push, no where near as easily as the opposite side. It seemed like I needed to break it loose, so the E-brake theory is sounding more plausible all the time. I'm taking it all off when the part gets here (Tuesday according to UPS).
 

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I don't think I'd keep that rotor.

probably want to flush the brake fluid too. at least an aggressive bleed on the bad side.
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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The grease in that bearing has to be cooked as well...
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #20
Upon inspection the wheel bearing and hub were fine.

The heat and noise were coming from the left rear caliper dragging. I rebuilt it last Fall and it was still moving in and out perfectly when off the mounting. But the brake line was collapsing and causing it to seize against the rotor. So I did the rear brake lines. They looked old when I replaced the pads, rotors and rebuilt the calipers in the Fall. I did a new set of pads as well, because I'm sure the heat was not good for the old ones. The brakes don't feel any firmer but work just fine. Next time I might go with the braided lines. This time it was Autozone's best. lol

I took a long test drive on the highway and lots of in town stopping along with bedding the pads. The rotor/hub temp went down from 350F to 149F. I also noticed the last of the intermittent steering wheel shimmy did not rear its ugly head for the 20 minutes I drove. Could it be...?
 
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