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1999 Forester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I've owned my Forester for a couple of years now and it was recently taken for its MOT and it failed on a couple of things (easily sorted) however the tester issued an advisory saying the differential bearings were badly worn. Now the problem is I wasn't there at the time of it getting tested BUT I think that it is actually the rear wheel bearing that needs replaced (wheel has excessive movement when jacked up and wobbled). The noise it makes while driving is a rumbling, grating noise that increases with speed - sounds a bit like a train!

So my question is, do you think the tester could be wrong and may have mistakenly diagnosed the problem as the diff when it's actaully the wheel bearing (no mention of wheel bearing in MOT advisory). Also, has anybody had diff issues before? I changed the oil today and there was no sign of any lumps of metal and everything looked ok through the drain and filler holes.

If it is the diff, how hard/expensive is it to fix, and how hard/expensive is it to come across a second hand diff?

Cheers,

Rossco.
 

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2003 2.0 Forester X
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75 Posts
Go for the cheapest fix first, the wheel bearings, if that does not solve it then the alternative will hurt your wallet

Hi all,

I've owned my Forester for a couple of years now and it was recently taken for its MOT and it failed on a couple of things (easily sorted) however the tester issued an advisory saying the differential bearings were badly worn. Now the problem is I wasn't there at the time of it getting tested BUT I think that it is actually the rear wheel bearing that needs replaced (wheel has excessive movement when jacked up and wobbled). The noise it makes while driving is a rumbling, grating noise that increases with speed - sounds a bit like a train!

So my question is, do you think the tester could be wrong and may have mistakenly diagnosed the problem as the diff when it's actaully the wheel bearing (no mention of wheel bearing in MOT advisory). Also, has anybody had diff issues before? I changed the oil today and there was no sign of any lumps of metal and everything looked ok through the drain and filler holes.

If it is the diff, how hard/expensive is it to fix, and how hard/expensive is it to come across a second hand diff?

Cheers,

Rossco.
 
G

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Differential is not tested as part of the MOT, the same as inner cv boots..
I expect he means bearings as he wouldn't be able to test for bearing movement in a diff.
The rear wheel bearings are cheap enough to fix but are a job for a garage unless you are handy with spanners and have a decent press..
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
If the wheel is moving at all when jacked up get the wheelbearing replaced ASAP. Thats definitely what is wrong with it and it is crucial you get it replaced soon, if its gotten to the point that it has noticable play in it then its completely destroyed, you'll probably need the hub replaced as well.
 

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1999 Forester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for the info guys. Going to take it to the garage tomorrow to get the wheel bearings replaced. Hopefully that will solve the problem!
 

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03 Forrestor X
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3 Posts
Differential or Drive shaft

Hi all,

I've owned my Forester for a couple of years now and it was recently taken for its MOT and it failed on a couple of things (easily sorted) however the tester issued an advisory saying the differential bearings were badly worn. Now the problem is I wasn't there at the time of it getting tested BUT I think that it is actually the rear wheel bearing that needs replaced (wheel has excessive movement when jacked up and wobbled). The noise it makes while driving is a rumbling, grating noise that increases with speed - sounds a bit like a train!

So my question is, do you think the tester could be wrong and may have mistakenly diagnosed the problem as the diff when it's actaully the wheel bearing (no mention of wheel bearing in MOT advisory). Also, has anybody had diff issues before? I changed the oil today and there was no sign of any lumps of metal and everything looked ok through the drain and filler holes.

If it is the diff, how hard/expensive is it to fix, and how hard/expensive is it to come across a second hand diff?

Cheers,

Rossco.
Hi
I have just posted a similar problem to what you have described. The noise is exactly the same in my Forester except I have had it up on jacks and the wheel bearings seem fine. However. The right hand drive shaft has a bit of play in it especially where it joins the dif. Also there is more free play inthe right hand wheel than the left when you rotate them back and forth.
My question was. Is it the dif or the drive shaft?
You said that you took yours to the garage to get it repaired.
What fixed it in the end please.
Andy
 

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2002 SG XT Auto
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3,490 Posts
The wheels don't have to wobble for the bearings to be knackered.
There will be a little 'slop' in all the areas you mention. Same on mine. It's just how it is. If you're worried though, have it checked.
 

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none none
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Hi
I have just posted a similar problem to what you have described. The noise is exactly the same in my Forester except I have had it up on jacks and the wheel bearings seem fine. However. The right hand drive shaft has a bit of play in it especially where it joins the dif. Also there is more free play inthe right hand wheel than the left when you rotate them back and forth.
My question was. Is it the dif or the drive shaft?
You said that you took yours to the garage to get it repaired.
What fixed it in the end please.
Andy
For the bearings to have play they have to be VERY worn, you really don't want them to ever get to that point. Once theres visible play in the bearing, you'll start to wear the hub, and then eventually the actual knuckle, and if it gets really bad it could damage the abs sensor, axle, or worse!
 

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99 Forester
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2 Posts
Front Diff Bearings

I recently took my 99 Forester (AUTO) 140K to the dealer because I heard a slight grinding noise at slow speeds. They told me I needed to change the bearing(s) in my front diff and one of the rear wheel bearings too. One dealer quoted me 1,500 for front diff bearing job and the other dealership 500 for the same job. This is a huge price difference... What should this job cost? 1,500 seems a bit extreme.

Also would it be more cost/effective or even possible to find a used front diff and just switch it out. Are front diff bearing(s) a usual problem with a forester at 140k?
 

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1999 (UKDM) S-Turbo (LT) 4EAT
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217 Posts
I recently took my 99 Forester (AUTO) 140K to the dealer because I heard a slight grinding noise at slow speeds. They told me I needed to change the bearing(s) in my front diff and one of the rear wheel bearings too. One dealer quoted me 1,500 for front diff bearing job and the other dealership 500 for the same job. This is a huge price difference... What should this job cost? 1,500 seems a bit extreme.

Also would it be more cost/effective or even possible to find a used front diff and just switch it out. Are front diff bearing(s) a usual problem with a forester at 140k?
I can't say I've heard of front diffs going bad, mines done more miles than yours and is fine. I have had three rear wheel bearings in three years though, so I'd suspect that's the problem. Get the wheel bearing changed first and see if it's still noisy. I'm presuming (with my cynical head on - hard times for the motor trade these days) that the $1500 quote was from the dealer who diagnosed it and the $500 quote was from you contacting another dealer without them diagnosing it. Either way, the cheaper dealer is probably the best one to go with. I don't know what the price would be for a rear wheel bearing change in the US but here in the UK, it usually costs me about £100 including the price of the bearing.
 

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05 XT2.5
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1,995 Posts
I can't say I've heard of front diffs going bad, mines done more miles than yours and is fine. I have had three rear wheel bearings in three years though, so I'd suspect that's the problem. Get the wheel bearing changed first and see if it's still noisy. I'm presuming (with my cynical head on - hard times for the motor trade these days) that the $1500 quote was from the dealer who diagnosed it and the $500 quote was from you contacting another dealer without them diagnosing it. Either way, the cheaper dealer is probably the best one to go with. I don't know what the price would be for a rear wheel bearing change in the US but here in the UK, it usually costs me about £100 including the price of the bearing.
That's a good price - the bearing is over £60.
 

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99 Forester
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2 Posts
Diff or bearing?

Your exactly right on the two different dealership quotes. They want 120 to change the rear wheel bearing, which I thought was reasonable.

Good point, it is hard times for the auto industry. I do however believe that the front diff bearing is going bad and i'll explain why. Sometimes when I put a heavy load on the engine such as climbing a steep hill, my car produces a really stinky smell. Its hard to explain but it smells like a cross between radiator fluid and a belt. I had the car diagnosed, including a head gasket leak (radiator pressure test exc.) and everything comes out clean. Engine does not have any significant leaks (b/c when I bought the car they replaced many seals and gaskets in the engine including the head gasket) MY THEORY is a shot in the dark but does anyone think it is possible for a front diff bearing to heat up so much that it boils the oil around it releasing the vapors I have been detecting under heavy loads?
 

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03 Forrestor X
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3 Posts
Wheel Bearing or Differential Solved

I took my Forrester to the garage in the end.
It was the wheel bearing.
Apparently there is a problem with the rear right hand wheel bearing.
The guy in the garage knew exactly what was wrong as soon as he heard the noise. He has never changed a left hand one.
It cost me £250 in the end, in Broughty Ferry, (near Dundee), Scotland.
Thanks for your help
Andy

:banana:
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
No....basically, the front diff bearing is behind seals, and if it was getting that hot it would have failed completely by now!

Simon
 

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99 stb
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488 Posts
I took my forester to the garage in the end.
It was the wheel bearing.
Apparently there is a problem with the rear right hand wheel bearing.
The guy in the garage knew exactly what was wrong as soon as he heard the noise. He has never changed a left hand one.
It cost me £250 in the end, in Broughty Ferry, (near Dundee), Scotland.
Thanks for your help
Andy

:banana:
sounds steep!
did they do anything else?
 

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2004 FXT 5MT
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367 Posts
We are guessing mine just blew a bearing in the Front Diff.
Loud knocking noise.
Raised up on a lift, put in park, slowly and carefully stopped each front wheel.
Noise continued after each front wheel was stopped completely while the oppsosing was still rotatating.
THoughts?
 
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