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Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

 
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 05:56 pm
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Default Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

I know it's spring because that is the time when my PT starts acting up! My husband mentioned this week that he's heard a noise coming from the driver's side front wheel, kind of like a grinding noise. He noticed it when pulling in in front of the house.

Today we were out and because we are again having issues with the car threatening to stall in idle whenever the fan kicked on (we had the compressor and fan module replaced less than 2 yrs ago for this exact same problem), we had the air conditioner off and the windows open. Well, it was the first time I've heard the noise he was describing, and it did not sound good!

You didn't hear the noise when driving. It didn't even make the noise every time when stopping at lights/stop signs or slow turns, but did do it a few times. The worst was once again when we slowed to turned left on our street and then pulled in front of our house. Then it sounded AWFUL, definitely like something grinding.

Does this sound like the wheel bearing? We have 52,000 miles on it. We had the lower control arm bushings, or whatever they are called, replaced at 25K, but I don't remember why. That was something they told us needed to be done.

Is it safe to drive the car if it is making this noise? Of course it is Sunday, so I can't call the shop until tomorrow, and then have to see when they can get us in. My husband needs to get to work tomorrow, so if it is safe to drive with the tire doing that, he can drive it in and then drop it off at the dealer, provided they can work on it the next day. If it's not safe, then he'll have to make other arrangements to get in to work.

Also, is replacing the wheel bearings something that would be covered under the extended warranty (which we have), or will this be an out-of-pocket expense?
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 06:46 pm
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

Yes, it does sound like a wheel bearing problem, especially because it happens when going slow and turning. As far as the extended warranty; If it's the power train warranty it probably won't be covered. If it's a bumper-to-bumper warranty than it should be covered.
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 06:52 pm
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

Oh good! We have the 8yr/80K added care plus warranty or whatever they call it from Chrysler that we bought when we purchased the car, so it should be covered.

Do you know if it is safe to drive it if it's making that noise? The wheel isn't going to go flying off or anything, is it?
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Old 21 Mar 2010, 07:26 pm
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

I wouldn't go too far with it.

Is it dangerous to drive with a bad wheel bearing? - Yahoo! Answers
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 07:20 pm
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

If the problem was the wheel bearing, would the mechanic be able to see that when they put it on the lift? They don't just do a quick test drive to diagnose something like that, right? That would be something they are looking for when you describe a grinding noise in the front wheel?

When I spoke with the mechanic today, he said we needed new brakes and while the rotors didn't need replacing (yet), they need to do something to them (he was talking fast and I thought it was something about sanding, but I'm not sure). Based on the extremely short conversation, I got the impression that they test drove it, but maybe didn't hear the noise I was describing because he asked me if we were hearing it all the time (answer: no). When I asked about the wheel bearing, he made it seem like it wasn't that, and after they do the brake work they will test drive it again.

If it's the brakes, great, we'll get them fixed, but I worry it's really something else because we just had an inspection 2 months ago and there was NO mention of any problems with the brakes, or any indication given that we'd need new brakes shortly. Do brake problems crop up that fast? The inspection was done at the same place so if there was a problem they should have seen it.
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Old 22 Mar 2010, 07:53 pm
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewPTCruiserInPA View Post
If the problem was the wheel bearing, would the mechanic be able to see that when they put it on the lift? They don't just do a quick test drive to diagnose something like that, right? That would be something they are looking for when you describe a grinding noise in the front wheel?

Grabbing the wheel on both sides and then top and bottom, if the bearings were bad enough the wheel would have play in it. A slow drive turning left the right a couple times would also show an experienced mechanic that there's grinding from one side or the other.

When I spoke with the mechanic today, he said we needed new brakes and while the rotors didn't need replacing (yet), they need to do something to them (he was talking fast and I thought it was something about sanding, but I'm not sure). Based on the extremely short conversation, I got the impression that they test drove it, but maybe didn't hear the noise I was describing because he asked me if we were hearing it all the time (answer: no). When I asked about the wheel bearing, he made it seem like it wasn't that, and after they do the brake work they will test drive it again.

It's called turning down the rotors which is like sanding them down with a machine that skims a 1000th of an inch at a time off the surface.

If it's the brakes, great, we'll get them fixed, but I worry it's really something else because we just had an inspection 2 months ago and there was NO mention of any problems with the brakes, or any indication given that we'd need new brakes shortly. Do brake problems crop up that fast? The inspection was done at the same place so if there was a problem they should have seen it.
2 months ago they should have spotted that the brakes were going bad but it all depends on what kind of inspection they did. re-reading your first post, I would guess you'll still hear the noise when they get done with the brakes and they'll finally do a through job of looking at the bearings.But I have been known to guess wrong so wait and see when they are done with the job at hand.
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Old 07 Apr 2010, 07:16 am
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

The problem turned out to be the brakes. They said the brakes were low and they had to resurface the rotors. We have not heard any of those noises since they fixed it.
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Old 07 Apr 2010, 07:26 am
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Default Re: Does This Sound Like Wheel Bearing Problem??

Too late now, but I would've said get new rotors instead of resurfacing, but glad the noise is gone and it wasn't serious.
Thanks for getting back with what it was - lots of folks never post back and we're left wondering ....
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