how to tell if it is the wheel bearing that is bad???


Old 11-22-10, 06:22 PM
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how to tell if it is the wheel bearing that is bad???

2000 Impala, 130K miles, drivers side wheel bearing hub was replaced a couple of years ago, passenger side never.

problem is when making right turn, really most noticable when for example using exit ramp from interstate and bearing to the right. no noticeable noise but you can feel a type of shake I guess you could say.

I am thinking it is maybe the wheel bearing on passenger side that has never been replaced.

Question is, how would you go about checking that it is or is not the wheel bearing without tearing it all the way down. Is there a way to check this?

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Old 11-22-10, 08:32 PM
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if it has hub bearings like the rest of them chevys, then jack that side up, grab wheel at 6 and 12, and try to move it back and for. not slide, push and pull sequantially on top and bottom. if you have play, repalce hub bearing. if you have play on 3 and 9, it's tierod ends.

sounds more like CV joint or ball joint.
Old 11-22-10, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Hello kmeyer301,

Easiest way to check your issue.

Put the vehicle on a level surface. Put the vehicle in park and apply the parking brake.

You will need a floor jack and at least a 3 foot long pry bar.

Now you may or may not need the pry bar depending on the severity of the wheel bearing degredation.

Jack up the side of the vehicle that has the suspect bearing issue. Jack the vehicle as close to the wheel that is in question as possible. Lift the vehicle till the tire is 3 inches off the ground.

Slide the pry bar approx 6 inches under the tire. Pry up with the bar. At the same time be pushing on the top portion of the tire with your other hand.

Use a rocking motion with the pry bar and feel for movement.

Typically the front hubs on the impalas wear out between 110k to 140k. That is the most common range from what I have seen.

Let me know if this helps. As a side note, you can also test ball joints this way for deflection but you need the help of a friend.
Old 11-22-10, 08:42 PM
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sounds awfully like ball joint test. as it creates up and down movement, and if it clicks, or displacement is observed between hub and control arm, then ball joint is "getting there". also done by wedging pry bar between hub and control arm, and rocking it up-down.

but what do i know.
Old 11-22-10, 09:04 PM
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I agree with what has already been posted.

Support the car on jack stands. Never use just a jack to support a vehicle.

Grab the wheel at 12:00 and at 6:00

Push in on the wheel at the 12:00 position while you pull out on the 6:00 position.

Shake the wheel like this few times in rapid succession.

Any play or slack you feel in the wheel is too much, and means the bearing is defective and must be replaced.

Another possibility that must ruled out is an inner cv joint.
Old 11-22-10, 09:27 PM
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whl brng

Usually a brng will make more commotion when you turn in a direction that puts more weight on it. This doesn't seem to be the case here.
Old 12-13-10, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
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Checking for play is okay for advanced failures. Spalled wheel bearings make noise long before there is play in the bearing. I've read through hundreds of dealer narratives related to bad wheel bearings replaced under warranty. The noise is often described as a humming, whirring, or growling noise, most noticeable at roughly 30 to 50 mph. I've never known the problem to result in a shake.

It's a bit of an art to diagnose bad bearings. Other noises can be misinterpreted, such as a noisy tire, or a problem developing in the transmission or rear axle.
Old 12-17-10, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 15
Making a slight right turn puts weight on the left front bearing and left turns tranfer weight to the right side. A fairly sharp right turn under even slight acceleration will cause a bad right outer cv joint to make a popcorn type noise. nuff said?

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