How to Change the Wheel Bearing on Your 1998 Subaru Outback

Are you experiencing a grinding or whining noise coming from your Subaru Outback’s wheels? It might be time to change your wheel bearings. Don’t worry! Changing your wheel bearings doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and a bit of know-how, you can replace them in no time. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of changing the wheel bearings on your 1998 Subaru Outback. 🚗💨

Key Takeaways

  • Wheel bearings support your vehicle’s weight and allow your wheels to rotate smoothly.
  • A bad wheel bearing will cause a grinding or whining noise, and can lead to more serious issues if not addressed.
  • You can replace the wheel bearings on your 1998 Subaru Outback with the right tools and know-how.
  • Take precautions to ensure your safety while working on your vehicle.
  • Regular maintenance of your vehicle’s wheel bearings can prevent future issues.
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Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before we get started, let’s gather the tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Bearing packer tool
  • New wheel bearings
  • New seals
  • High-temperature wheel bearing grease

Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to get started.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Wheel Bearings

Step 1: Safety First

Before you start working on your vehicle, make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Always work on a flat surface and use jack stands to support your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in park and the emergency brake is engaged.

Step 2: Remove the Wheel

Using a lug wrench, loosen the lug nuts on the wheel you need to work on. Then, use a jack to lift your vehicle off the ground and place jack stands under the frame for support. Remove the lug nuts and take off the wheel.

Step 3: Remove the Brake Caliper and Rotor

Remove the brake caliper by removing the bolts that secure it to the rotor. Once the caliper is removed, hang it up with a wire or bungee cord, so it does not hang by the brake line. Remove the rotor from the hub by pulling it off.

Step 4: Remove the Hub Assembly

Remove the hub assembly by removing the bolts that secure it to the steering knuckle. You may need to use a hammer to knock the hub assembly loose from the steering knuckle.

Step 5: Remove the Old Wheel Bearings

Remove the old wheel bearings from the hub assembly. You can do this by gently tapping them out with a hammer or using pliers to pull them out.

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Step 6: Install the New Wheel Bearings

Pack the new wheel bearings with high-temperature wheel bearing grease using a bearing packer tool. Then, insert the new bearings into the hub assembly. Make sure they are properly seated and secured.

Step 7: Replace the Hub Assembly and Rotor

Replace the hub assembly and rotor onto the steering knuckle. Tighten the bolts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications.

Step 8: Replace the Brake Caliper

Replace the brake caliper onto the rotor and tighten the bolts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications.

Step 9: Replace the Wheel

Replace the wheel and tighten the lug nuts. Lower your vehicle and tighten the lug nuts again to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications.

Congratulations! Your new wheel bearings are installed, and your Subaru Outback is ready to hit the road again.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance of your vehicle’s wheel bearings can prevent future issues. Here are some tips to keep your wheel bearings in good condition:

  • Have your wheel bearings inspected regularly by a professional mechanic.
  • Check your wheel bearings for signs of wear and damage, such as rust, pitting, or cracking.
  • Keep your wheel bearings properly lubricated with high-temperature wheel bearing grease.
  • Avoid driving through deep water or through potholes, which can damage your wheel bearings.
  • If you notice any noise or vibration coming from your wheels, have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my wheel bearings need to be replaced?

If you hear a grinding or whining noise coming from your wheels, it’s likely you have a bad wheel bearing. Other signs include uneven tire wear, vibration in the steering wheel, or a loose feeling in the steering.

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How long do wheel bearings typically last?

Wheel bearings can last for many years, but they can also wear out more quickly if they are subjected to harsh conditions, such as driving in rough terrain or through deep water. It’s important to have your wheel bearings inspected regularly to catch any issues early.

Can I replace just one wheel bearing, or do I need to replace both?

It’s recommended to replace both wheel bearings on the same axle, even if only one is showing signs of wear. This ensures even wear and proper balance.

Can I replace my wheel bearings myself, or should I take my vehicle to a professional mechanic?

If you have experience working on vehicles and have the necessary tools, you can replace your wheel bearings yourself. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to ensure the job is done correctly.

Now you’re armed with all the information you need to change your wheel bearings on your 1998 Subaru Outback. Remember to take precautions to ensure your safety, and don’t hesitate to contact a professional mechanic if you’re not confident in your abilities. Happy driving! 🚘

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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