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Wheel Bearing Estimate- thoughts?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 joylars

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:12 AM

Hi all of y'all who are more saavy than I about subaru repair!

I have a 98 Subaru Outback Wagon LTD.

I got an estimate from the dealer of $550 parts/labor to replace my squeaky front wheel bearing. The mechanic said that the last time he did one of these on a car of this age he found upon taking it apart that he also had to replace the hub and axel (which would cost $500 more, and take 5-7 days to get the parts unless we had them overnighted at high cost).

I could use some feedback on the average cost for such a repair. Does this seem high?
Would it be the sort of repair a small local shop could do properly?
Thanks for any thoughts you might have,
Kris

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:21 AM

"a car of this age"?!?!

Wow - some people's idea of old cars sure is whack. You have a 98 (and you should have posted in the "new generation" forum). I've seen plenty of wheel bearings last into the 250,000 mile range on 80's Subaru's!

Get the bearings and install them yourself. Probably be about $50 in parts (per side), and I doubt there will be problems with the hub or axle. For the price they are asking you could buy any needed tools, the parts, and still save money.

GD

#3 SmashedGlass

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 12:08 PM

You have to be leery of anything through the dealer. Parts, labor, even something as silly as a hat or tshirt..........they are the most expensive people I've ever seen for anything. I always recommend the dealerships as your very last resort-only go to them if you absolutely can't get something somewhere else.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 12:21 PM

I always recommend the dealerships as your very last resort-only go to them if you absolutely can't get something somewhere else.


Not with Subaru - many of their parts there is no decent aftermarket versions of. You can get the parts, they are just inferior. Also the Subaru dealers tend to be very reasonable on PARTS. Labor of course is another story and most shops tend to bid older cars very high - they have less recent experience with them and they don't like to wrench on high-mileage stuff as they are more prone to "collateral breakage". Also they are typically owned by poor, whiney folk that can be more trouble than they are worth (literally $$$).

GD

#5 daeron

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 01:21 PM

Not with Subaru - many of their parts there is no decent aftermarket versions of. You can get the parts, they are just inferior. Also the Subaru dealers tend to be very reasonable on PARTS. Labor of course is another story and most shops tend to bid older cars very high - they have less recent experience with them and they don't like to wrench on high-mileage stuff as they are more prone to "collateral breakage". Also they are typically owned by poor, whiney folk that can be more trouble than they are worth (literally $$$).

GD

+ a billion.

With ANY foreign automobile, there are always parts that you do not want to buy aftermarket. You CAN, but there are too many situations to list where it is foolish.

That is one of the greatest benefits of having forums like this to find and join upon purchasing a "new-to-me" car.. discovering which bits are "Dealer-only" parts.

#6 Reveeen

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 01:45 PM

Front wheel bearing:
Koyo W0133-1653046
Coverage: Different models, '90-'04
$50-80
There are 2 seals, likely around $15 each (inner and outer)

This is a press-in part, labor estimate 3 hours (job goes well=2 hours, not so nice=4 hours)

So, $500 is in the ball park, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less.
The Hub and the Axle could be damaged (depending on the length of time it has been driven "squeaking"), this is a spot call by the mechanic looking at your parts.

Would it be the sort of repair a small local shop could do properly?

This one is a tough call. Most domestic stuff has replaceable hub assemblies, the reasoning behind this is it makes the job of repair, and assembly on the factory floor, idiot proof. Someone repairing imports, Japanese, and European, can deal with this, but will likely charge as much as the dealer (if not more).

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 02:43 PM

So, $500 is in the ball park, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less.


Even spendy dealer shop time (Infinity, Lexus, etc) is around $80 an hour. Their quote (even assuming a 4 hour job) puts it right at $125 an hour - that's outragous.

GD

#8 Reveeen

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 02:54 PM

Even spendy dealer shop time (Infinity, Lexus, etc) is around $80 an hour

It all depends where you live.............

$110/hr is not uncommon here, running to $135/hr. between the insurance, and the EPA, I would not want to be in the garage business at this time.

Their quote (even assuming a 4 hour job) puts it right at $125 an hour

$550-$120 (parts)=$430
Most dealers have a "shop supplies" charge of 10%
$430-$55=$375
$375 divide by 4
$92/hr

#9 mikeshoup

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:03 PM

It all depends where you live.............

You're in Canada, he's in Iowa. Big difference in shop costs. Most shops here in Denver charge $65/hr

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:13 PM

You're in Canada, he's in Iowa. Big difference in shop costs. Most shops here in Denver charge $65/hr


Yeah, stuff's expensive in Canada from what I saw in victoria and vancouver. But that was a small section of the country as a whole and prices probably vary quite a bit. Might be cheaper in the frozen north.

Indeed though - $65 is about going rate here too for regular shops - dealer is around $75 to $90 depending on *which* dealer and what they are working on.

GD

#11 The Dude Abides

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:22 PM

Howdy fellow iowan. All we need is a few hundred more suby enthuasists and we can have our own little world like washington and oreagon.

Since you are from iowa and i saw desmoines like me. I assume you went to ramsey. Do Not Go to ramsey. Its the kinda dealership that sticks it to ya real good with a smile on their face. There are lots of other places that would work on a subaru. But if your at all mechanically inclined i would do it yourself youll save some bucks. Some of the smaller garages are good. Drake garage is good. There are others. I cant think of there name off the top of my head though.

Ben

#12 Reveeen

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:33 PM

stuff's expensive in Canada

I have a small truck garage (2 tractor trailers side by side) water heat in the floor, R22 building, oil fired, heat cost is average (over 12 months) $2200/month, insurance $1650/month, electric $1200/month, taxes, business+property $1000/month, the list goes on...............

#13 joylars

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 10:47 PM

Thank you for the good advice GD! Re: the age--- I just figured everyone thought 98 was old these days. Not me!

"a car of this age"?!?!

Wow - some people's idea of old cars sure is whack. You have a 98 (and you should have posted in the "new generation" forum). I've seen plenty of wheel bearings last into the 250,000 mile range on 80's Subaru's!

Get the bearings and install them yourself. Probably be about $50 in parts (per side), and I doubt there will be problems with the hub or axle. For the price they are asking you could buy any needed tools, the parts, and still save money.

GD



#14 joylars

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 10:56 PM

Thanks for the local advice Ben--yeah I noticed a severe lack of subarus in this area (I came here from Montana via Minnesota). I did go to Ramsey--and they even charged me for the estimate. That really turned me off. Thanks for the sound advice. Someone recommended L&S to me today, so I will see what they think. I am not so mechanically inclined, sadly.

thanks again

Howdy fellow iowan. All we need is a few hundred more suby enthuasists and we can have our own little world like washington and oreagon.

Since you are from iowa and i saw desmoines like me. I assume you went to ramsey. Do Not Go to ramsey. Its the kinda dealership that sticks it to ya real good with a smile on their face. There are lots of other places that would work on a subaru. But if your at all mechanically inclined i would do it yourself youll save some bucks. Some of the smaller garages are good. Drake garage is good. There are others. I cant think of there name off the top of my head though.

Ben



#15 yzerman19

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 10:58 PM

98 eh? I'm not familiar with your model but:

On my 90 Loyale I took the knuckle apart, bought my own bearings. ($40 each side)

I had Midas press the bearings in/out for me (I don't have a press) $40.

I reassemled the knuckle and TA DA!

Hope this helps.

#16 nipper

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:40 PM

IN the US i paid around 400 for frt wheel bearing and a hub.

If its been driven a while on the bad wheelbearing (violant shaking in the frt) then you can need a hub. I did that once, but the axle was fine. Axle isnt always bad even when the wheel is about to fall off.


nipper

#17 bheinen74

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 01:55 PM

agreed. I am in iowa too, and have a 3 car garage, and access to lots of tools. my shop is open.........

anyways, yeah Ramsey sucks. there was a 99 outback limited witha bad headgasket, the guy took it to ramsey, and ramsey said cheaper to sell it than fix it. the guy listed the outback on craigs for 1000 bucks. that was a few months ago. I see the same car advertised, fixed up now, for 5500 and its a sweet nice car.

Ramsey charged me about 8.75 per oil filter, and 1.10 for the crush washer for my leg turbos. the fuel filter waw 35 and it was the wrong one. they are bad. I order mine from a dealer on west coast, pay shipping and its still cheaper than ramsey.

Howdy fellow iowan. All we need is a few hundred more suby enthuasists and we can have our own little world like washington and oreagon.

Since you are from iowa and i saw desmoines like me. I assume you went to ramsey. Do Not Go to ramsey. Its the kinda dealership that sticks it to ya real good with a smile on their face. There are lots of other places that would work on a subaru. But if your at all mechanically inclined i would do it yourself youll save some bucks. Some of the smaller garages are good. Drake garage is good. There are others. I cant think of there name off the top of my head though.

Ben



#18 psylosyfer

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 01:19 AM

I guess I'm lucky, Our local shop is good and charges $45 hr.
Wheel bearing on my 91 Loyale. about $45 for the bearing, $5&7 for the seals,
$20 for a used hub (mine was shot) and $45 for the local shop to press off the old and on the new, $122 total.

#19 psylosyfer

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 01:25 AM

By the way, Aren't Canadian dollars less than U.S. dollars?
When buying a book (for example) it usually has two prices, i.e. $6.95 US, $10
Canada.
So more isn't as much more as it would seem! If this applies to all purchases.

#20 Reveeen

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:22 AM

By the way, Aren't Canadian dollars less than U.S. dollars?


It varies.............difference is about .06 at the moment.

#21 daeron

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:39 AM

It varies.............difference is about .06 at the moment.

Go US Economy!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!:banana:

EDIT I am such a troll sometimes :grin:

#22 Reveeen

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:46 AM

Go US Economy!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!:banana:


We are all in the same boat. What would you expect when we sent all our manufacturing jobs to Mexico, and China? (no banana, well, maybe a banana up the back side?)




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