Midas & My Opinion

We have a 2003 Regal. When I purchased the car the dealer (Rogin Buick) told me the front wheel bearings were not defective but would need to be replaced soon, as per his mechanic. In fact, he told me he'd split the cost of replacing them and he cut me a check for $200 to cover his half. I got a great deal on the car and an honest interpretation of the cars' condition. Happy with the sale and the car.

He made arrangements with the Midas Muffler across the street to replace the bearings ... winter in Michigan I was happy to not be out in the elements.

Timeline: February 2011, both front wheel bearings replaced.

Today: I have had the right one replaced 3 times and the left one once, now the left is going bad again.

At the time of replacing the second wheel bearing I asked the guy at Midas if he would consider upgrading the wheel bearings and I'd cover the additional. He assured me that the wheel bearings were "top quality" and that there wasn't an upgrade from their bearings.

Today I got off of the phone with Midas and he told me that they are out of warranty and that he has no idea why the wheel bearings are being eaten up. I had another shop verify that there was nothing wrong with the front end of the car to be sure that it wasn't the car causing the issue.

Finally, I asked him (Midas salesman) what brand of bearings they were using. He replied .."Duralast".

I was stunned. This is the house brand for Autozone. In fact, the brand says available only at Autozone.

Lesson learned.

Qualifier: The car is driven 4 miles one way to work and 4 miles home. Maybe there are 20 miles put on the car over the weekend or an occasional trip to the in-laws. The mileage speaks for itself on these bearings, their Durability and Lasting.

Had it not been winter then Midas wouldn't have gotten the business to start with. The dealer had glowing remarks for them because he had a lot of other work done by them for his used car lot. I trusted him on that. I don't fault him for it, I just think they were OK for a dealer to prep a used car for sale but not for the consumer.

So, Timken bearings are what I had hoped to upgrade to and that is what I will put on the car ... myself.
 
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92sub

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87GN (gone), 2011 CXS (gone), 98 Regal GS
Curious how the tech new the bearings were 'almost' bad in the first place. I've never heard of such a diagnostic possibility when it comes to bearings......must be that magic wand I hear about occasionally.

In regards to the bearings I generally agree that OEM and certain 'quality' suppliers are the only way to go. However, just for fun I replaced the wheel bearing on my 1999 Aurora with the cheapest chinese part available on eBay.....$35 shipped I believe? Been going strong for over 2 years and 30K miles now.

I recall an S10 truck that was eating bearings....found the powertrain ground was poor and it was passing current through the bearings. They didn't last very long. I'm not saying that's a possibility in your Regal but I would have suspected even cheap garbage to last a little while so it's the only external source of bearing failure....other than improper installation....that I can think of.
 
I remember Ford pickup (in the 80's) trucks having the same problem with U Joints on the drive shaft ... poor ground and the needle bearings would get pulverized. 3 copper braids fixed the problem.

As for the original diagnosis from the dealer ... I took it as a good thing that he checked the car over so well before I bought it for my wife. 115,000 miles he was looking for points of failure. Magic wand? I dunno. That's the info passed on to me.

I found this to be very interesting and believe it to be germane to the issue:

http://vsm.skf.com/~/media/Files/enUS/Automotive/TechTips/TT10_003.ashx

My brakes are fine ... everything is new on the car from the sway bar, links, 2 new lower control arms and rotors. (You did the sway bar too, no??) I believe the above pdf file hit the nail on the head.

There is "quality" and then there is the rest. I have no confidence in Chinese quality control. The only thing I buy from AutoZone is oil, filters & cleaning materials.
 
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