Rear wheel bearings

I have a 1999 323I BMW. Have a grinding noise in the rear. The mechanic said I need new bearings, and at the same time replace the rear brakes. Did not mention repacking them.
He said it would take 5 hours to replace the bearings, which seems excessive to me.
Anyone have any experience with this? Or know a site where I can look up average prices for BMW repairs?
TIA
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I looked up the "flat-rate" at AllDataPro, and the time shown for replacing both rear bearings is 4.8 hours. Your car is not under warranty, but if it were, the factory would credit the dealer 3.9 hours to do the job. All this means a good mechanic can do the job in less than 3 hours.
What you get charged is completely dependent on the repair facility.
Bob
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These aren't designed to be regularly repacked, and modern grease lasts a lot longer than it used to be. You might as well replace them for the time it takes.

The Chilton's book says 4.8 hours. This means a dealer will charge you for five hours, but it will actually take a good skilled mechanic about two and a half.
I did the rears on a slightly older 3-series last year for a friend, and it took me about four hours. But I'm not a skilled mechanic, and I'd never done it before.

Ask the shop if they're going to charge you for estimated or actual time. The Chilton's book will give you estimated times to perform various jobs, but they all have a substantial amount of padding in them. Occasionally they turn out not to have enough padding, though. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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wrote:

I don't think that it is common practice to replace wheel bearings in pairs because they usually last for several lifetimes. See how much they will reduce the cost to replace just one.
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Good point. If you only have a 100k miles or so on the thing and a bearing has failed already, I wouldn't see any reason to replace both of them. If you've got two or three times that on the car, I'd tend to feel better about doing the pair because you're starting to approach the normal bearing lifetime. That said, I have had 480,000 miles with only one bearing replacement. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The left rear bearing on my '98 failed recently so I just went through this. My advice: unless you're really anal about the car and have the money to throw around, have the tech figure out which bearing is failing, replace it, and call it a day.
As for the brakes, unless the shop told you that they will give you a labor credit for doing the brakes at the same time (and most shops that quote book labor will not do this), consider the brakes a separate issue and replace them only if they are below spec at this time. Otherwise you're just making it easier for the tech and lining the shop's pockets.

It takes about 2.5 hours per side for an experienced tech with the "special" tools to do this job. If you can get a shop to charge you time and materials, great, but all dealers and most indy's now charge book labor. That's just the way it is.
-Doug
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Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI
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Thanks guys for the great help!
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Jack the car and determine the play in the bearings. Hands at 6 and 12 o'clock, try and move the wheel toward you--push bottom hand, pull top then reverse process. Do the same at 9 and 3 o'clock. If there's only slight play I would replace the brakes (after making sure they are in need). That noise could be brakes only..

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