If you’re driving a Subaru Impreza and experiencing vibrations, strange noises, or difficulty turning, it’s possible that there’s an issue with your car’s axles or wheel bearings. These two components are crucial for the proper functioning of your vehicle, and if they’re compromised, it could lead to serious problems. In this article, we’ll explore what axles and wheel bearings do, what the common symptoms of a problem are, the possible causes of these issues in a Subaru Impreza, how to diagnose the issue, and potential solutions for fixing it.
What are axles and wheel bearings?
Axles and wheel bearings are important parts of a car’s drivetrain system. The axle is a steel rod that connects the wheels on an axle and is responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the wheels. On the other hand, wheel bearings enable the wheels to spin smoothly by minimizing friction between the wheel hub and spindle.
What are the symptoms of a problem with axles or wheel bearings?
If there’s something wrong with your Subaru Impreza’s axles or wheel bearings, you may notice some common symptoms. These might include:
- Vibrations coming from the front of the vehicle, particularly when accelerating
- A grinding, whirring, or clicking noise, especially when making turns or driving at low speeds
- Difficulty turning or steering, which can be either tight or loose
- A feeling of looseness in the steering wheel
- Uneven tire wear
Note that not all of these symptoms are unique to axle or wheel bearing problems, and they may be indicative of other issues as well. It’s essential to have your car diagnosed by a professional mechanic to pinpoint the exact cause of your problem.
Common causes of axle or wheel bearing problems in Subaru Impreza
While axles and wheel bearings are usually durable and long-lasting components, there are several factors that can cause them to fail prematurely. Some possible problems in Subaru Impreza with axles or wheel bearings include:
- Poor maintenance: If you neglect to have proper car maintenance, it can lead to problems with the drivetrain components, including the axles and wheel bearings. Regular oil changes, for example, can help ensure that the bearings are lubricated properly.
- Accidents or collisions: A collision resulting from an accident can damage the axle or wheel bearing, bending or cracking the components or knocking the car out of alignment.
- Wear and tear: Over time, the axle or wheel bearing parts may start to wear out, which can cause the symptoms listed above.
- Poor quality or aftermarket parts: If low-quality parts are used to replace failing bearings or axles, they can wear out much faster than OEM components.
How to diagnose the issue
Diagnosing an axle or wheel bearing issue is usually best left to professional mechanics since several different parts can cause the symptoms listed above. Typically, a mechanic will test drive the vehicle and listen for any noises while making turns or accelerating. They may also use tools like stethoscopes or vibration analyzers to pinpoint the issue’s location better. In some cases, the mechanic may also need to remove the wheels or axles to look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or wear and tear.
Potential solutions for fixing the problem
The solutions for fixing axle or wheel bearing problems depend on the extent and source of the damage. If the issue is caught early, a mechanic may advise replacing the bearings, which can help extend the part’s lifespan. If the axle is damaged beyond repair, a replacement may be necessary, which can be costly. Finally, in some cases, fixing axle or bearing problems may require additional work, such as realigning the wheels or replacing additional drivetrain components to ensure that everything is working together correctly.
How much does it cost to replace a Subaru Impreza’s axle or wheel bearings?
The cost of replacing an axle or wheel bearings depends on the extent of damage and who does the repair. On average, replacing wheel bearings can cost between $150 and $400, depending on the parts and labor involved. Replacing an axle can range from $400 to $1,000 or more, depending on whether you replace one or both axles and other factors.
Can you drive on bad wheel bearings?
You can still drive on bad wheel bearings, but doing so can be dangerous since it can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle. Driving on compromised bearings can cause the wheels to lock up, making it difficult to steer or stop the car, leading to an accident.
How can I prevent axle or wheel bearing problems in my Subaru Impreza?
Regular upkeep and maintenance can help you avoid axle or wheel bearing problems in your Subaru Impreza. Make sure to keep up with your vehicle’s owner manual’s recommended maintenance schedule and follow the manufacturer’s specifications for parts and lubricants. Additionally, avoid hitting potholes and other rough terrain that can cause damage to your car’s wheels or axles.
Can I fix an axle or wheel bearing issue myself?
Fixing an axle or wheel bearing issue yourself may be possible, but it can be complicated and potentially dangerous. It’s recommended that you have the car diagnosed by a professional mechanic to avoid causing more damage or an accident.
In conclusion, if you’re experiencing issues with your Subaru Impreza’s axles or wheel bearings, it’s essential to act quickly to avoid further damage and improve safety. By understanding what these components do, what the symptoms of a problem are, the common causes of these problems in a Subaru Impreza, how to diagnose them, and potential solutions for fixing them, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about taking care of your car.