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Thread: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

  1. #1
    fre1102 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    I've got a groaning from the right rear on right hand turns. It used to be just right hand turns, and went away when straight. Now it's started when going straight, too, and only goes away when turning left.

    I've been under the car and the CV boots look good. I can't replicate the noise enough on stands to locate the source when under the car. Is there any other way to diagnose this short of disassembling the hubs?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    darkman's Avatar
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    See attached.

  3. #3
    AAIIIC's Avatar
    AAIIIC is offline Super Moderator
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    Jack that corner of the car up, grab the tire and 12 and 6 o'clock, and try to wobble the wheel/tire back and forth. If there's any movement at all, the wheel bearing is bad.
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    fre1102 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by AAIIIC View Post
    Jack that corner of the car up, grab the tire and 12 and 6 o'clock, and try to wobble the wheel/tire back and forth. If there's any movement at all, the wheel bearing is bad.
    I did that--no movement at all 'in and out'--just some rotational play, like there's play in the diff.

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    rand49er's Avatar
    rand49er is offline All V1s should be maggied.
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    Oh, there's play in the diff, all right. EVERYBODY's got play in their diff.

    Except maybe lollygagger8.
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by fre1102 View Post
    I've got a groaning from the right rear on right hand turns. It used to be just right hand turns, and went away when straight. Now it's started when going straight, too, and only goes away when turning left.

    I've been under the car and the CV boots look good. I can't replicate the noise enough on stands to locate the source when under the car. Is there any other way to diagnose this short of disassembling the hubs?

    Thanks in advance.
    I like to use an infra red temp gun and compare temps side to side once the drivetrain is warmed up. Check your rear axle nuts for a loose axle nut causing vibration. Rear axle nuts should not be reused. Always replace with new if you can thread on by hand!

    Light weight after market CV boots have been known to expand under continuous high speed operation and will throw out the grease which should be quite visible and could cause a vibration.

  7. #7
    greg12m3 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    There doesnt have to be movement in the bearing for it to be bad in my experience. I just replaced my fronts and they had no play. Only noise when traveling above 20mph and turning(left made it louder, right made it quiter). I replaced both fronts with timkens for 300$ and the noise disappeared.

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    jcb250r is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    I have a noise also in my right rear wheel. I have tried diagnoise the 12:00 and 6:00 wheel shake on all of my wheels no play found, but it does make a noise wap wap wap noise intermittently. Also is popping code C0282 IDK

  9. #9
    darkman's Avatar
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    Re: How to diagnose a bad wheel bearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcb250r View Post
    I have a noise also in my right rear wheel. I have tried diagnoise the 12:00 and 6:00 wheel shake on all of my wheels no play found, but it does make a noise wap wap wap noise intermittently. Also is popping code C0282 IDK
    See attached.

    Other possibilities:

    1. We have had some reports of popping noises related to one or both of the rear wheels caused by under lubrication (from the factory) of the axle splines such that the spines become "welded" to the hub. This condition apparently creates excessive rigidity and noise. The remedy is to disassemble and lubricate.
    2. The limited slip differential can become noisy if the fluid deteriorates. This usually cause "chatter" that can be heard by doing slow turns with the driver's window down. The remedy is to change fluid and/or add some more limited-slip additive.
    3. The constant velocity joints on the rear axle can become noisy if lubrication is not maintained. This is usually caused by a torn rubber boot that allows the grease to come out. The remedy is to re-lubricate and/or replace the boot.
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