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Old 02-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default How to tell if wheel bearings are bad?

So last week I finally decided to take my car in and get it looked at, due to a squeaking sound coming from the back that I can't find. They told me that they couldn't be sure of where the squeaking sound was coming from, but they did let me know that both rear wheel bearings were going bad and that they might be creating the sound.

My questions are, how do you diagnose a wheel bearing that's going bad? He said it had too much play in it when he moved it, I forget which direction.

Also, could bad wheel bearings be causing that squeaking sound? I usually hear the sound when I brake, it gets louder. But sometimes it's there when I'm not braking.

They quoted me $188 for both rear wheel bearings, parts and labor. Does that seem fair?
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #2
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I get that kind of sound when I'm doing normal braking too from the rear. I'm pretty sure my wheel bearings are bad too as well as the rest of the bearings back there.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #3
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That's not a bad price. I called a shop earlier and the price was roughly the same with me supplying the parts.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
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BUMP! Any more ideas on my situation?
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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One good way to tell if a wheel bearing is bad is by taking hold of the wheel at 6 and 12 o'clock and attempting to shake it while the wheel is lifted off the ground.

The amount of 'wiggle' room that your wheel has is play. no play in the wheel. or such a small amount that you arent even sure if you moved the wheel or if you are just shaking the whole car.

If you do have play in your wheel, you need to replace your wheel bearings or hub. If there is no play in your wheel, that doesn't necessarily mean your wheel bearing is good.

When you rotate the wheel by hand, and experience roughness or noise, this too can indicate bad wheel bearings.

also... you can eliminate it being just ordinary brake noise if it makes sounds even when not braking..
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by soundengineer View Post
One good way to tell if a wheel bearing is bad is by taking hold of the wheel at 6 and 12 o'clock and attempting to shake it while the wheel is lifted off the ground.

The amount of 'wiggle' room that your wheel has is play. no play in the wheel. or such a small amount that you arent even sure if you moved the wheel or if you are just shaking the whole car.

If you do have play in your wheel, you need to replace your wheel bearings or hub. If there is no play in your wheel, that doesn't necessarily mean your wheel bearing is good.

When you rotate the wheel by hand, and experience roughness or noise, this too can indicate bad wheel bearings.

also... you can eliminate it being just ordinary brake noise if it makes sounds even when not braking..
Thank you for the helpful tips. I am almost 100% confident it's not the brakes. It was making this same sound a month ago, I replaced all 4 rotors and pads and the sound is still there. The sound usually intensifies when I slow down or apply the brakes, but half the time it's still there even when I'm not using the brakes. Do you think the sound is coming from the wheel bearings? And does $188 all parts and labor seem like a good price to you?
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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when my wheel bearings went out then made a distinctive grinding noise, but I was dumb and let it got so I had to replace my axles as well.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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when my wheel bearings went out then made a distinctive grinding noise, but I was dumb and let it got so I had to replace my axles as well.
How long did you let it go for? I had it diagnosed as bad last week. Put maybe 300 miles on since then. I'm thinking I should get them done this Friday.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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Thank you for the helpful tips. I am almost 100% confident it's not the brakes. It was making this same sound a month ago, I replaced all 4 rotors and pads and the sound is still there. The sound usually intensifies when I slow down or apply the brakes, but half the time it's still there even when I'm not using the brakes. Do you think the sound is coming from the wheel bearings? And does $188 all parts and labor seem like a good price to you?
considering I just went through a recent sudden catastrophic wheel bearing failure....
$140 Tow Truck
$75 in Bearings(did both at the same time)
$75 to press both of them on the axles

I did all the labor of getting the axles out myself and putting the axles back in after wards... plus the cost of a gear oil change

I'd say $188 is a pretty good price.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight '01 View Post
So last week I finally decided to take my car in and get it looked at, due to a squeaking sound coming from the back that I can't find. They told me that they couldn't be sure of where the squeaking sound was coming from, but they did let me know that both rear wheel bearings were going bad and that they might be creating the sound.

My questions are, how do you diagnose a wheel bearing that's going bad? He said it had too much play in it when he moved it, I forget which direction.

Also, could bad wheel bearings be causing that squeaking sound? I usually hear the sound when I brake, it gets louder. But sometimes it's there when I'm not braking.

They quoted me $188 for both rear wheel bearings, parts and labor. Does that seem fair?
wheel bearings will not make a squeaking noise. more often than not, they'll emit a "howling" kind of noise. imagine an a-10 cruising just above ya. that's the sound most wheel bearings will make.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #11
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wheel bearings will not make a squeaking noise. more often than not, they'll emit a "howling" kind of noise. imagine an a-10 cruising just above ya. that's the sound most wheel bearings will make.

when mine suddenly let go... I had no noise previous....and then I had a big grinding/squeaking combined noise that definitely was a "rotational" rhythm to it...

so they do "squeak"...but usually not in the way it is being described in the first post..LOL

it almost always sounds more like grinding...
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:06 PM   #12
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when mine suddenly let go... I had no noise previous....and then I had a big grinding/squeaking combined noise that definitely was a "rotational" rhythm to it...

so they do "squeak"...but usually not in the way it is being described in the first post..LOL

it almost always sounds more like grinding...
Well let me tell you. Mine do squeak, and it sounds like it's the freaking brakes, because they get louder when I get on the brakes. But it has that "rotational rhythm" to it, gets slower as I slow down, faster as I speed up.

AND! There is another noise I forgot to mention previously. More like a creaking sound, almost reminds me of old wooden floor boards. This noise comes when I'm going 5-10MPH while braking, right when the car comes to a stop I can hear this groaning creaking sound from the back, not exactly a grind though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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and this is what happens when a Timken Tapered Bearing has Catastrophic failure..LOL
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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considering I just went through a recent sudden catastrophic wheel bearing failure....
$140 Tow Truck
$75 in Bearings(did both at the same time)
$75 to press both of them on the axles

I did all the labor of getting the axles out myself and putting the axles back in after wards... plus the cost of a gear oil change

I'd say $188 is a pretty good price.
+1 on the $188. At least that would eliminate that as a source of the problem if it wasn't the problem...

That price seems perfectly reasonable.

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Old 02-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #15
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Thanks for the help guys. I will be getting these things replace on Friday.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:48 PM
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