97 Mazda Protege runs rough beyond 50 mph

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  #1  
Old 09-09-10, 07:46 PM
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97 Mazda Protege runs rough beyond 50 mph

I replaced the front brakes and rotors. Still runs rough, as in not smooth. Doesn't appear to be an engine problem.

Next, I had two brand new tires installed and balanced on the front. Same problem. It has a hobble effect after 50mph and has a continuous "wa wa wa wa wa wa wa" noise.

The rear tires appear to be in good shape. The rear drums could stand to be changed.

It does veer to the right a tad but nothing drastic.

Could this be resolved by something as simple as an alignment?
It's only been happening for about 3 weeks.

Any insight would be helpful.
 
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Old 09-10-10, 01:20 PM
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Definitely seems to be an alignment problem, plus I'd have them re-balance the tires. Guys at the tire store aren't perfect, so they can make a mistake
 
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Old 09-10-10, 02:18 PM
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Do you feel it in the steering wheel mostly? - or the seat, mostly? Ever put the vehicle in neutral when cruising, to see how it feels?
 
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Old 09-10-10, 03:50 PM
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(Quote) Still runs rough, as in not smooth.

Does it idle rough as well?
Does “Running Rough” means it “Hesitates” or “Misfires”?


(Quote) Doesn't appear to be an engine problem.

A computer scan for stored error codes could help prove if it is or isn’t an engine issue. A scan is free at Auto Zone, so you have nothing to loose by having a scan done. If there are codes post them for us to see.

(Quote) It has a hobble effect after 50mph and has a continuous "wa wa wa wa wa wa

(Quote) It does veer to the right a tad but nothing drastic.

Have you ruled out failing inner “CV Joints” or a "Wheel Bearing" issue?
 
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Old 09-11-10, 09:10 AM
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hobble effect?

To 'hobble means to walk unevenly, in an impeded manner -- or to cause this condition in some other entity.

ripped belt in a rear tire? causing a hump and wobbly drive?

did you ever have flatfix or equivalent poured into rear tire? as it gumms up inside, creates an unbalanced weight, and makes balancing impossible. it's like having a stuck or loose weight inside the tire.

assuming, you had NEW tires installed IN THE FRONT. as if you had used ones, then who knows.

jackstand a rear wheel; have a chalk in your hand and bring it very close to tread; spin tire; got any local marks on the tread? that's your hump and ripped belt. does not take much - hit a rock on the road, and here ya go...
 
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Old 09-12-10, 05:15 AM
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CV's or a bad tire/bearing as already mentioned would be my guess.
 
  #7  
Old 09-12-10, 05:57 PM
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I had my car in the shop while I posted this thread. They said my front passenger wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

Of course they wanted to charge over $500. I passed.

I did some research on wheel bearing issues and it seems to match the description of my probem. I jacked up the car to shake the tire to see if it moved back and forth. It didn't. Both front tires are pretty tight. (this was a suggested tip on another website)

Is there any other tips I can do to make sure it's a wheel bearing issue?
 
  #8  
Old 09-12-10, 06:19 PM
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While jacked up, spin the wheel. It should rotate smooth and quiet. And keep turning on its own.

If you hear or feel a "grinding" noise, then bearings are definitely bad!

Bearings are just little metal balls which the wheel rolls on. If they are perfectly round and everything is clean inside, then you get a smooth rolling.

If a little ball inside has disintegrated and there are metal particles inside, there will be a grinding noise as it tries to rotate over the "bumps" and particles.

Sort of like if you roll your hand over a paper towel tube on a table. It will roll smoothly. Next try that with a cube and it will make noise and be bumpy.
 
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Old 09-12-10, 06:42 PM
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If your front tire moves up and down or in and out while jacked up and you are trying to shake that might be bad inner/outer tie rods ends.

Would old struts/springs allow tires to wear unevenly thus nullifying any attempt to balance?

I also heard that cars are designed to drift to the right in case you fall asleep and you will not go into on-coming traffic on the left side. Just what I heard.

Wheel bearings may also squeek too if they are going bad.
 
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Old 09-13-10, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by n2learning View Post
Is there any other tips I can do to make sure it's a wheel bearing issue?
Yes. The hub area will become hotter if the bearings are going.
 
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Old 09-13-10, 05:53 PM
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(Quote) They said my front passenger wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

Get the car on a lift with the wheels off. Put it in drive and listen at both hubs with a mechanics stethoscope. Now compare the sounds. If the passenger side is truly defective you’ll hear a “Rough Scraping” sound, while the sound on the drivers side will be smooth sounding.
 
  #12  
Old 09-17-10, 06:36 AM
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Thanks everyone. Car is running smooth again.
It was a wheel bearing.

parts: $38.00
labor: $100.00 (my Unlce)
 
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