How To Replace A Hub Assembly

Got a failing wheel hub assembly? It’s very important to replace it as soon as possible. The longer you let it go on, the more dangerous it’s going to be for you to drive on the road.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and replace the wheel hub assembly, you came to the right place. We’ll guide you through the process of replacing the wheel hub assembly on your Subaru.

Do I Have To Replace Both Wheel Hub Assemblies?

You don’t have to replace both hub assemblies on the same axle. If your other hub assembly has racked up about 100,000 miles, then it can’t hurt to replace that one, too. But it’s not necessary.

Ordering A Replacement Hub Assembly

Subaru OEM hub

The first thing you want to do is to order a replacement hub assembly. If you’re trying to decide between OEM and aftermarket wheel hub assemblies, this comparison guide can help. It explains why OEM hub assemblies are a much better investment than aftermarket hubs.

At Subaru Parts Plus, you can find a genuine OEM replacement hub assembly at wholesale pricing. Check out our catalog and then look up your Subaru model to see if we carry a hub assembly for your car.

Once you have your new wheel hub assembly, follow the steps below to replace the old one with it.

How To Replace The Wheel Hub Assembly On Your Subaru

Replace subaru hub

Image Credit: George Melnik

The wheel hub assembly replacement process may vary between models. But the concept remains the same. We based this set of instructions on the Outback, but you should be able to follow it with another Subaru model.

  1. Lift your Subaru just enough to get the wheel off the ground.
  2. Remove the wheel in front of the bad hub assembly.
  3. Loosen the axle nut, but don't remove it.
    1. Stick a large screwdriver or something similar in the fins of the rotor to lock the hub in place. You can put the screwdriver in the rotor so that it passes through the brake caliper window, or so it contacts the caliper when you are loosening the axle nut.
    2. You can use an air gun or breaker bar with a 32mm socket to loosen the nut. The air gun is much easier to use. If you don’t have an air gun, the breaker bar will work, but it’ll be difficult.
  4. Remove the caliper. Support it with a wire or cord so it's not hanging from the brake line.
  5. Remove the caliper bracket.
  6. Remove the rotor.
    1. Spray some rust penetrant on the hub assembly where it meets the rotor to make it easier for the rotor to come off.
    2. If the rotor is stuck on, you can whack it with a hammer. Use a scrap piece of wood to protect the rotor.
  7. Finish removing the axle nut.
    1. There may be a washer behind the axle nut. Just remember to put it back in while installing the new hub assembly.
  8. Push the axle out of the hub assembly.
    1. It may be stuck. In that case, use a rust penetrant to loosen it up.
    2. You can do this with a hammer and a chisel. Don’t hammer the axle directly because it can ruin the threads and you won’t be able to get your axle nut back on.
  9. Remove the wheel hub assembly.
    1. Unfasten all the bolts holding it in place. There should be 2 bolts at the top, and 2 bolts at the bottom.
    2. Be careful not to break the ABS sensor behind the wheel hub assembly.
    3. If the wheel hub assembly is stuck, you can hammer it out. Be careful not to break the axle or the ABS sensor.
  10. Install the new wheel hub assembly in the reverse order of removal.
    1. It’s a good idea to take pictures through the removal process to make sure that everything goes back on the right way.
    2. You may want to clean up the bolts before installing the new assembly. This ensures that the new assembly will work well and won’t get stuck when you need to remove it in the future.
  11. Make sure you torque all the nuts to the correct spec when you tighten them.

Please contact us if you have any questions about:

  • Finding the right part number for your Subaru model
  • Replacing the wheel hub assembly on your Subaru