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Premature (rear) Wheel Bearing Failure



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Hi all- New to this forum, but not to Toyota. My last vehicle was a '88 3.0L 4x4 pickup with 260,000KM that lost a valve spring and ruined a piston or two. She was VERY reliable up until that point. I just bought a 2003 Corolla CE (5 speed manual) that was within my price range with only 55,000KM and unfortunately,I test drove while it was raining heavily default_sad . I didn't notice the noise until after I was driving it home, and thought (hoped) it was tire noise. To make a long story short, ToyMoCo wanted $450 for the hub assembly, and I got it aftermarket for $150 and installed it in an hour-not TOO big of a deal, but I was cruising around on Autosurvey.org, and I noticed that there are a substantial amount of Corolla owners having this same sort of premature rear wheel bearing failure. Anybody else have problems like this, and if so, is there a recall program? I was a little disappointed about this, knowing firsthand Toyota's reliability record.

Personally haven't heard too much on premature wheel bearing failures - but may be region specific. Only thing that I've heard that was semi serious were upgraded syncros and bearing for the transaxle for the first model year of the 9th gen (2003). Not all people had problems, but it was enough for Toyota to make a running change for the following model year (2004) - standard transmission only.

mine has been rumbling/howling, I do not know if it was from front or rear.

How did you determine that the problem was from the rear ??

What are the procedures to remove the (rear) hub assembly ??

Hi all- New to this forum, but not to Toyota. My last vehicle was a '88 3.0L 4x4 pickup with 260,000KM that lost a valve spring and ruined a piston or two. She was VERY reliable up until that point. I just bought a 2003 Corolla CE (5 speed manual) that was within my price range with only 55,000KM and unfortunately,I test drove while it was raining heavily default_sad . I didn't notice the noise until after I was driving it home, and thought (hoped) it was tire noise. To make a long story short, ToyMoCo wanted $450 for the hub assembly, and I got it aftermarket for $150 and installed it in an hour-not TOO big of a deal, but I was cruising around on Autosurvey.org, and I noticed that there are a substantial amount of Corolla owners having this same sort of premature rear wheel bearing failure. Anybody else have problems like this, and if so, is there a recall program? I was a little disappointed about this, knowing firsthand Toyota's reliability record.

I haven't heard of too many people having that problem.

 

I would think a worn wheel bearing would be noticeable.

Hi all- New to this forum, but not to Toyota. My last vehicle was a '88 3.0L 4x4 pickup with 260,000KM that lost a valve spring and ruined a piston or two. She was VERY reliable up until that point. I just bought a 2003 Corolla CE (5 speed manual) that was within my price range with only 55,000KM and unfortunately,I test drove while it was raining heavily default_sad . I didn't notice the noise until after I was driving it home, and thought (hoped) it was tire noise. To make a long story short, ToyMoCo wanted $450 for the hub assembly, and I got it aftermarket for $150 and installed it in an hour-not TOO big of a deal, but I was cruising around on Autosurvey.org, and I noticed that there are a substantial amount of Corolla owners having this same sort of premature rear wheel bearing failure. Anybody else have problems like this, and if so, is there a recall program? I was a little disappointed about this, knowing firsthand Toyota's reliability record.

I haven't heard of too many people having that problem.

 

I would think a worn wheel bearing would be noticeable.

i've got the noise too, not sure if it's the tires or the bearing/hub...i've had the dealer look at it before while it was under warranty, the 1st time they replaced the wheel bearing, the next time they replaced the transmission or something...but the noise is either coming back or never really went away...it's getting pretty bad now...the tires don't show any feathering...and i will try to jack the car up and see if the wheel is loose...if not, then it's most likely the tires...

 

 

I got a really stupid question. What does a worn out wheel bearing hub sound like? My 98 has a sound coming from somewhere from the wheels and it sounds like a dull wheezing sound. I can only hear it when I'm coasting along side a curb and the sound is reflected back at me. I really don't think its the brakes.

A worn wheel bearing can sound like anything from a low pitched grinding, groaning sound to a high pitched whistling to chirping sound. At the early stages, pretty hard to pickup, but you will definitely not miss it when it finially goes bad. As for that dull wheezing sound, I get that same sound from mine on many occasions, sound is from the brakes - nothing to worry about.

A failing wheel bearing is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. However, if you hear grinding or whistling from the wheels, it's time to have it looked at.

I saw a brand new Cobalt today drive past as I was waiting to cross the street. It still had 30 day tags on it and the passenger's side rear wheel bearing was making this rather loud crunching/grinding noise, obviously indicating that it was bad. I was talking to one of my Engineering buddies on the phone at the time and when I told him what was driving by, he said, "Now that is quality".

I laughed and didn't think anything about it. But man, last week bhp was complaining about having to replace a wheel bearing at 90k. Think about how this poor girl is going to feel when she finds out she needs a new wheel bearing on her brand new $20,000 Cobalt. She won't have to pay for it, but still. That would seriously make me doubt the quality of my automobile, and it would certainly make me feel as if I'd might have made a less than stellar choice.

I got a really stupid question. What does a worn out wheel bearing hub sound like? My 98 has a sound coming from somewhere from the wheels and it sounds like a dull wheezing sound. I can only hear it when I'm coasting along side a curb and the sound is reflected back at me. I really don't think its the brakes.

Sounds like driving on snow tires, speed dependant. THe freeplay may or may not be present in the wheel,

but if you spin the tires while the car is ramped up, the wheels will wobble.

The bearing problem is pretty common on front and rear bearings on the newer corollas according

to my mechanic.

At times, the hub has to be replaced also.

With mine, it was a "droning" sound, that rose and fell with vehicle speed, which is why I attributed it to tire noise. I jacked it up and gave it the free play check (grabbing the tire top and bottom and seeing if there was any movement), and there was none. Rotated tires, no difference. I took it to my mechanic, he diagnosed and fixed it for me...if the other rear bearing goes, I will do it myself, as it is a very straight forward procedure. I assumed that a special bearing press was needed, but the whole hub assembly is held in by 4 bolts...the hardest thing is pulling the brake drum off default_tongue

The front assembly, now, I wouldn't want to attempt that....

bhp02, if you are talking about the rear bearing, the whole hub assembly has to be replaced...not like the old days when you could pull out the bearing, clean and repack it, and tap in a new oil seal, unfortunately:(

Took my 05" CE auto in for regular tire rotation Monday. Returned Wednesday because of low-pitched whine/wobble sounded like wheel bearing. Apparently rotors wearing prematurely,(64,000 miles) and slightly out of align. Repairs done, but whine still there....told tires are cupping. Steering worse after alignment. Car pulls right within two seconds. Held straight line for over ten seconds before. Did I get hosed? default_sad

With mine, it was a "droning" sound, that rose and fell with vehicle speed, which is why I attributed it to tire noise. I jacked it up and gave it the free play check (grabbing the tire top and bottom and seeing if there was any movement), and there was none. Rotated tires, no difference. I took it to my mechanic, he diagnosed and fixed it for me...if the other rear bearing goes, I will do it myself, as it is a very straight forward procedure. I assumed that a special bearing press was needed, but the whole hub assembly is held in by 4 bolts...the hardest thing is pulling the brake drum off default_tongue The front assembly, now, I wouldn't want to attempt that....

 

bhp02, if you are talking about the rear bearing, the whole hub assembly has to be replaced...not like the old days when you could pull out the bearing, clean and repack it, and tap in a new oil seal, unfortunately:(

Took my 05" CE auto in for regular tire rotation Monday. Returned Wednesday because of low-pitched whine/wobble sounded like wheel bearing. Apparently rotors wearing prematurely,(64,000 miles) and slightly out of align. Repairs done, but whine still there....told tires are cupping. Steering worse after alignment. Car pulls right within two seconds. Held straight line for over ten seconds before. Did I get hosed? default_sad

 

With mine, it was a "droning" sound, that rose and fell with vehicle speed, which is why I attributed it to tire noise. I jacked it up and gave it the free play check (grabbing the tire top and bottom and seeing if there was any movement), and there was none. Rotated tires, no difference. I took it to my mechanic, he diagnosed and fixed it for me...if the other rear bearing goes, I will do it myself, as it is a very straight forward procedure. I assumed that a special bearing press was needed, but the whole hub assembly is held in by 4 bolts...the hardest thing is pulling the brake drum off default_tongue The front assembly, now, I wouldn't want to attempt that....

 

bhp02, if you are talking about the rear bearing, the whole hub assembly has to be replaced...not like the old days when you could pull out the bearing, clean and repack it, and tap in a new oil seal, unfortunately:(

You might have gotten hosed. The bearing failure will aggravate the brakes and rotors causing premature failure,

vibration and sound. The bearing problem is very difficult to diagnose as the wheels may not "shake" when you

apply pressure to it. When you examine the old bearing/hubb assembly after removing it from the car, it is still hard

to determine that the bearings are failing. In my case, it was by trial and error, putting in a new hub/bearing, which

fixed the problem.

Now I am waiting for other bearings to fail. What gets me is that bearing failure is quite rare in most cars, even

of less quality than toyota. The technology/design has been around for ages for making them so that they

don't fail even at 200k miles. Other steering/suspension compenents usually fail first.

Forgot to mention that doing alginment on a car with failing bearings is really stupid, dump, and maybe dangerous.

My mechanic put it on a hoist and turned the (rear) wheels by hand while listening with an automotive stethescope.

5th Beatle, I think you may have the same problem as I did...I also thought it was tire noise, but if rotating them made no difference, so I'm thinking it's definately wheel bearing related. (hopefully a rear one)

Wheel bearings are fairly easy to change. If you dont want the old ones - they can be carefully pried out.

A good press is usually used to insert new ones, but I use a gentle tap evenly around the edge when installing.

It works for me.

Bikeman, the new bearings are sealed, and come as a whole hub assembly; they aren't meant to be taken apart....

Wheel bearings are fairly easy to change. If you dont want the old ones - they can be carefully pried out.A good press is usually used to insert new ones, but I use a gentle tap evenly around the edge when installing.

 

It works for me.

So exactly how do you change the rear wheel bearings ??

I've only changed them on non-sealed, greased types... the old fashion types.

The front looked to be quite messy as the hub is pulled to get at the bearings.

I haven't done them yet but they seem to be easier than the fronts. The bearing and hub appear to come as an assembly and the assembly is probably just bolted to a flange.

So exactly how do you change the rear wheel bearings ??I've only changed them on non-sealed, greased types... the old fashion types.

 

The front looked to be quite messy as the hub is pulled to get at the bearings.