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Old 11-16-2009, 11:58 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 152707
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Western MA
Default Chirping, grinding, and squeaking: wheel bearing?

When I drive the car I get a fairly consistent squeaking/chirping noise from the front drivers side wheel area. It sounds to me like a bearing that has gone bad. When I slow down and drive at 10mph or less (which I do when I'm pulling into the lot at my apartment) the squeaking and chirping will turn into a louder grinding type noise every so often, and then go back to squeaking. Sometimes this louder noise seems to be caused by turning, but other times it happens in a straight line as well.

Either way, when I first bought my car I had it checked out by a dealer, who confirmed what the previous owner had already told me, which was that the drivers side front wheel bearing was going bad. The dealer also tightened the axle nut as they said it was a bit loose. The car does have a new axle though, the previous owner replaced it fairly recently.

So I schedule to have the wheel bearing replaced at a close by shop with a good reputation. After calling a few times today I find out that they accidentally replaced the wrong wheel bearing. So after getting to the bottom of that they agreed not to charge me for any of that work. But when they looked at the driver's side/left wheel bearing they told me that there was some sort of bent shielding that was causing the noise, and they put it back into place. They also tightened the axle nut again and said that they couldn't find any play in the wheel bearing. The mechanic said he drove it and it was fine.

When I went to pick it up I was again told it was fine, and that I wouldn't need to replace the wheel bearing. I was also told that the disc rotors were badly worn and they may be causing some noise.

It all seemed plausible to me, but the noise came back after about 3 miles of driving. So am I right in thinking that the wheel bearing is still bad? It could be something else, I'm just not sure what, and I know it is difficult to diagnose over the internet, but any input or help would still be much appreciated.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to give a good perspective.
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Last edited by Pinned; 11-17-2009 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 85008
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: VA
03 wrx


sounds like they know what they are talking about .. wheel bearings usally make noise and then keep making noise ... not really a sometimes thing
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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Member#: 114353
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Cincinnati Area (NKY)
97 Legacy,
05 BMW M3


If it is more apparent while turning it could also be the cv joint on the axle.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Member#: 152707
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Western MA

It was a wheel bearing and hub, caused by an axle nut with a washer that was too large to bottom out against the hub/bearing.
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