: Post-Headlight recall problems



caddieboy
04-25-13, 11:13 AM
I took my CTS into a dealer I have never cared for, but was in a rush to get my factory recall headlight replacement (2009 base model). I regret this decision and looking for advice.

First, I have tried to find the reason for a noise that is speed related, and is not connected to the engine or pedal pressure. The tone goes up and down according to speed, seems to lessen slightly on a bend to the right. My guess was that something was rubbing against the tire. As very low speeds there is no noise, but when it starts, is is low in tone, and gets higher in tone the faster the speed. If I release the gas, and the car slows, and the tone gets lower. If I don't touch the gas but go down a hill, the tone gets higher as speed picks up.

Second, my high beams do not work in auto-mode all the time. It seems to be temperature related. Very intermittent, but seems to work better when the weather is cold, around freezing, and not so much when it is warm.

Note... My front bumper on the side where the noise seems to be coming from was hit in a parking lot, and resulted in a crack and scrub. There was no noise at that time, but the light fix does involve the removal and replacement of the bumper. I can't find anything that is rubbing up against the tire, having checked for anything loose in the wheel well and if anything is rubbing.

I might go to a different dealer which I trust, but was hoping to hear what the problems might be since I can't understand what these issues might stem from.

Thanks in advance!

Black'10CTS4
04-25-13, 11:39 AM
This might be a stupid question but... could it be wind noise from the bumper? I'm pretty stumped so I'm just wondering if the bumper has a big crack or is misaligned somewhere and causing a whistle. Or does it definitely sound like rubbing?

tinman
04-25-13, 12:08 PM
My first thought as well, Black'10CTS4. Wind noise. It is directly related to speed. Maybe put some painters tape over the cracks to see. Painters tape is easily removable and won't peel off your paint. Should stay on long enough for an experiment. Did you look under the front engine bay? Lower shroud related?

I dunno on the intermittent light problem.

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My first thought as well, Black'10CTS4. Wind noise. It is directly related to speed. Maybe put some painters tape over the cracks to see. Painters tape is easily removable and won't peel off your paint. Should stay on long enough for an experiment. Did you look under the front engine bay? Lower shroud related?

I dunno on the intermittent light problem.

Black'10CTS4
04-25-13, 12:25 PM
At first I was thinking the lights are an electrical problem but the HID high beams are actuated by a flipper, i'm starting to wonder if its just jammed up somewhere because of the accident and just unable to actuate. that would explain why it works when its cold, everything in there has shrunk. When its warmer, everything expands and jams up???

#1 Are they HID?

#2 Does anyone know if the non-HID's use an actuator?

caddieboy
04-26-13, 06:26 PM
Blacky, No, I don't believe the Base models came with HID high beams, but maybe. I guess I'll take it in to be looked at by my regular dealer and see how it goes.

As for the sound, I believe saying "tone" made it sound like it was a whistle. It's more of an ourboard motor sound, changing frequency by the speed of the car. I checked and lower than 25 MPH it's either too low a frequency to hear, or it just goes away. The bumper has *less* of a gap now, and the side of the bumper was unseated before, but I will test sealing the crack. I plan on getting a new bumper to replace it. I wish whoever hit me left a note. I'll check under the hood as well. And I think I'll inflate the tires to 35 PSI now that I've made some notes and see if that changes anything. Something tells me it's the tires because it's a rumble outboard motor sound as I mentioned. And very consistent.

like2drive
04-26-13, 08:03 PM
Could be a wheel bearing? I also have a base model and the right front bearing had to be replaced under warranty.

caddieboy
04-26-13, 11:28 PM
Did it sound like a boat engine? I think I'm off warranty. How much would a bearing replacement cost?

Gonjafishing
04-27-13, 12:00 AM
Wheel bearing is easy to do yourself a stealership will want 300 atleast from you ( the tech will probably put it on and have it operational in 30 mins) the bearing from a local store probably 100 dollars. Take off brake assembly as a whole ( 2 bolts) than take your rotor off and loosen bearing ( dont take it off yet) loosen the axle nut just before it comes off take a plastic hammer and hit the axle inwards makes life easy. Pull old bearing out put new one in assure your splines match up. Tighten bearing up than put the axle nut back on i believe it only needs around 100 ftlbs if that. Also make sure you have some type of bungee or strap to hold your brake assembly up you will have much more than bearing problems if it falls. also dont forget to pry the
Pad away from the rotor when you initially pull the brakes off or else it will be extremely painful putting them back on... And after all is said and done pump those brakes to the floor countless garage doors have fallen due to this mistake.
you will have zero brakes the first few pumps.....

This is how i did it in the SLS if i remember correctly hopefully it works for you.

Black'10CTS4
04-27-13, 02:44 AM
Outboard motor! Wow! That kinda sounds more like wheel bearing. I'll tell you how you can check for that but first, some background. Wheel bearings make the noise when rotated BUT its much worse if there's weight on it as well, so, say a car with a bad wheel bearing on the RIGHT side quickly swerves TO THE RIGHT, the car body will roll to the left and take some of the weight off that bad bearing. That weight coming off the bad bearing drastically reduces the noise. Opposite happens for a bad left side.

Get going around 55-60 MPH. Should hear it pretty clearly. Make sure you're in a safe location for this and swerve the car to the left. If it gets quieter, the left bearing is bad. If that dont work, try to swerve to the right a see if it gets quieter.

If you can hit some highway on-ramps and off-ramps, that will also work, if you can hit them at a decent pace, the noise will noticeably get quieter through the turn.

A new hub is a few hundred dollars for the part alone, I'm not sure what labor would be for that, but shouldnt take too long. BIG WARNING HERE!! DO NOT buy an aftermarket wheel hub!! I've had bad one's right out of the box. Had others only last 6-8 months. Friends working at dealerships have told me very common for them to swap out new parts-store hubs. Doesnt matter what brand or parts store. ONLY buy a GM hub!!

caddieboy
04-27-13, 11:02 AM
Thanks Two-Drive, Fisher and Blacky! My research in the meantime has led to a similar conclusion. Thanks for all the pointers and such. Although I love to DIY, anything involving the removal of brakes including brake replacement I tend to leave to the people who have done it a million times.

What did you mean by "Friends working at dealerships have told me very common for them to swap out new parts-store hubs." I risk *not* getting a GM hub from a dealership?

Should I limit my driving until I can get it looked at? I probably can't get it looked at for another week and drive 40 Miles per day or so, and the dealer I like is about 50 miles away. So about 250+ miles until I can have it replaced.

Black'10CTS4
04-27-13, 06:46 PM
That made sense in my head but after reading it again, not so much. lol

My friends have had numerous times when a customer bought a car in with a bad wheel hub. When they tell the customer that, the first thing the customer says is "that's not right, I just had that replaced 2 months ago, its brand new" They take out the Autozone hub and put a GM one in and there's no problem after that.

caddieboy
04-28-13, 03:00 AM
I kinda thought that might be what you were saying, but wasn't completely sure. Anyhoo, now I understand!!! Should I be OK for a week of driving? Or could my wheel fall off?

Black'10CTS4
04-28-13, 02:28 PM
Um, well...it's not good. It really does depend on when it started and how bad it is. I've driven on bad bearings before cause I had no way (time and/or money) to have them fixed. Figured it probably wasnt gonna fail in the next week or two.

That being said, IF it does fail, it could lock up that wheel causing you to lose control of the car or your wheel really could fall off. If you want to chance it, get it fixed ASAP and dont make any unnecessary trips at all.

caddieboy
05-31-13, 10:17 PM
So it was the bearings after all, and it seems once one goes, the other is soon to follow. They changed the loud one right away under warranty, but they can only do one at a time, so I'll go again in a month. Thanks for all your help and assistance!!!