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Old 28th June 2012, 10:45   #1
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Default Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

I could not find an apt thread hence started a new one. Appreciate it if the mods can keep this open until I get some responses as its slightly urgent.

I have an Aveo Sedan model. At 28k KM it all started with a humming sound that appeared to come from the front wheels.
The Chevy service center said that the front wheel bearings are gone and need to be replaced. I agreed and they replaced it.

Now at 36k km again same problem. Got it checked by 2 local garages everyone came up with different analysis.

1. Sound is coming from the tyres , they are unevenly worn and need to be replaced
(This one I doubt, cause I verified with a Tyre shop and they said the tyres can go another 15k Km)


2. Sound is because your Front shocks are gone bust, the oil etc has completely leaked out and need to be replaced.

Now the sound is at its peak when I am driving at 25 kmph speed. anything above that speed drowns the sound.

I dropped it at the Chevy service centre, The service engineer said its mostly because of the wheel bearings, he is going to confirm and give me a call.

Question that I have to the experts.
1. Does the wheel bearing come with any warranty ? how can it go again for the 2nd time within 8k KM ?

2. How do they know the bearings are gone, I dont think they are going to open up the wheel bearings just to analyze, as I believe its a big task requiring a lathe job etc..

Anything else I need to look for ?

Thanks
Fillmore
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:53   #2
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

First, swap the front and rear tires and check the sound.

Do you feel any vibration on your steering wheel as well ?

Wheel bearings don't give away so fast. So, i doubt that.
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:58   #3
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

front shocks?
for humming?


After a drive, park your car and feel the hubs with your bare hands, all four.
If, say the front ones are inordinately hot, then your bearings are gone again.
However, this may be the outcome for something else, if in 8k kms theyve gone bad again.

Did you get the old bearings back when you got them replaced, or did they do a fix-up?
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Old 28th June 2012, 11:14   #4
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpzen View Post
First, swap the front and rear tires and check the sound.
I did swap the front and rear wheels about 2 months back.
But this sound was not there after the swap. it surfaced 3 weeks ago

Its an Alloy wheel and I did balancing + alignment
There is no steering shake even at 100kmph

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
After a drive, park your car and feel the hubs with your bare hands, all four.
In fact I did this, after a 1hr drive I touched the Front and back alloys
There is a temperature difference, front is slightly warmer. But it is not Hot such that u cannot keep your hand pressed to it.

Yes I got my old bearings back, I still have it with me. They said they replaced it.

Mine is mostly city driving on regular roads.

As for the shocks. One of the tyre shop guys rotated each wheel while it was jacked up. The rotation was fine, but when he held and shook it there was a slight play of say 0.5 Inch. he said it should not shake so much and showed me that the shocks were leaked out and the bushes had gone.


Thanks for your responses.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:00   #5
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

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Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
I did swap the front and rear wheels about 2 months back.
But this sound was not there after the swap. it surfaced 3 weeks ago

Its an Alloy wheel and I did balancing + alignment
There is no steering shake even at 100kmph
.
I think, tires are the culprit here.
How old is the car or the tires ?
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:01   #6
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Dear fillmore - front wheel bearings can be checked by only one way in a front wheel drive car.

The incorrect way is as follows - people jack up the wheel and rotate it. This also rotates the drive shaft so you cannot isolate wheel bearing noise from driveshaft related noise.

The correct way is as follows - you need to remove the stub axle and brake disc assembly out of the car. In this case, the drive shaft is naturally not connected to the hub. Once out, put the assembly horizontally on an absolutely clean surface and then rotate the disc by hand. If you can hear grinding noise or have rough feel, most probably the wheel bearings have eroded. There was a case of a small marble, which was wedged between the brake disc and its dust cover. It perplexed us for quite some time before we discovered it and had a hearty laugh. Root cause analytical capability is extremely important.

Important, please read and implement - as wheel bearings are press fitted in the hub, garages and even official dealerships are known to very regularly send the assemblies out to "turner shops" which have some sort of a rudimentary fixture to press-out and press-in the bearings. This is an extremely disorganized sector activity, generally conducted in a very unclean environment. I have seen people hammer out old bearings and hammer in new ones, which is absolute nonsense. The new bearing is finished before it starts its life in your car. I am surprised it lasted for 8000 kms. In such cases, the service advisor at the dealership will only fill out your job card and make your bill, because that is what the process expects him to do! Be careful, stand on somebody's head, make his life miserable, understand the process as explained in the reference manual and then get the job done properly. It is easier said than done because that somebody must be willing to listen to you in the first place. Therefore, best of luck.

I am insulated from all such nonsense as I know what to do, how to do it and where to do it. I had to develop my own system because nonsense done in garages will not change. .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

PS - there is another way to check wheel bearing condition for rear wheels of front wheel drive cars also.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:50   #7
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Thanks for that post DB!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
PS - there is another way to check wheel bearing condition for rear wheels of front wheel drive cars also.
Please do share, would be keen to know.

Thanks,
R
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Old 28th June 2012, 14:03   #8
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear fillmore - front wheel bearings can be checked by only one way in a front wheel drive car...
@Behram thanks for this information. Need to see what the service adviser has to say.
Just got off a heated call with him. I gave the car yesterday morning at 9AM. today its 2pm and still they have not completed the analysis.

He says he will call once it is done.

Totally pathetic service at Kropex Bangalore. Need to escalate.
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Old 28th June 2012, 14:33   #9
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Default re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
@Behram thanks for this information. Need to see what the service adviser has to say. Just got off a heated call with him. I gave the car yesterday morning at 9AM. today its 2pm and still they have not completed the analysis. He says he will call once it is done. Totally pathetic service at Kropex Bangalore. Need to escalate.
Dear Fillmore - it will be a very interesting analysis, I presume. .

Its the same old story everywhere. First of all, in a majority of cases, the base understanding of the product (product clarity) is low. For the meagre amount of money offered, they get only this crowd. Then the attrition rate at dealerships is so high, there is little to no commitment. A guy gets 1000 rupees more from a dealership across the road, he disappears, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Consider yourself lucky if you get to have another heated argument with the same guy, means he is still hanging around, otherwise you will be starting to shout at another guy who knows nothing, not even the history of your car and its wheel bearings. In such a situation, expecting a healthy root cause analysis seems to be asking for too much! Sad.

Dear Rehaan - hello after a very long time. I'll post the rear wheel bearing analysis shortly. I had started a thread on "why customers get bad experiences at dealerships", which seems to have died a natural death. Can you see if it can be revived?

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 28th June 2012, 22:03   #10
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
have seen people hammer out old bearings and hammer in new ones, which is absolute nonsense.
Hammering in a new bearing is the method many mechanics and fitters have adopted out of ignorance. Wrong methods eats away the life before it really start. Right fitting helps to get more from any bearing.

The following link gives a fairly good info on bearing installation by SKF a bearing manufacturer.
http://vsm.skf.com/en-US/Resources/~/media/Files/enUS/Automotive/457809_2010.ashx

The link below also is worth a read on bearings. By NBC another bearing manufacturer.
http://www.nbcbearings.in/nbcpdf/SRBMM.PDF

Last edited by rajeev k : 28th June 2012 at 22:08.
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Old 30th June 2012, 08:55   #11
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Problem finally solved.

Chevy service engineer finished his diagnosis and told me that the right front bearing is worn out and the humming/rumbling sound is coming due to that.

Had a heated argument with him because I replaced the bearings less that 8k km's back. So finally he agreed to replace it free of cost under warranty.

Bearings replaced and went for the test drive. Reproducing it was easy cause the sound resonates at its max between 20 - 30 kmph speed.

Came to 25kmph and the sound is back, very much there .

Service Eng calls up their super expert, and goes for one more drive. This guy now confirms that the sound is due to the unevenly worn out Goodyear stock tyres. Finally after assurance from him I leave the service center.

Decide to get it fixed once for all and switch over to Micheline XM2.
Took out with the new shoes on and .. Thank God !! the sound is gone.

The ride is way better and smoother than the stock Goodyears. Even did a spin on the NICE road, 100kmph also was pretty decent no much road noise.

Thanks to everyone for their inputs !!!
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Old 5th July 2012, 08:48   #12
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Dear All,
I have this humming issue in my six month old, 3.5k kms run WagonR VXi. The description is as follows:
As I shift to third gear, at around 35-40kmph, there is this humming noise which is heard when a bus travels at a high speed(not volvo buses :P) and this humming totally disappears once I cross around 50kmph. Is it a bearing issue? It is going for the second service today and hence I would appreciate your inputs From what I have read in other posts, bearing noise seems to increase with speed. However, there is no noise or wobbling or such vibration even at 110kmph. Also I tried different air pressures but it didn't seem to help.
Any Inputs? Is it a faulty bearing?
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Old 5th July 2012, 13:28   #13
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
Problem finally solved.

Decide to get it fixed once for all and switch over to Micheline XM2.
Took out with the new shoes on and .. Thank God !! the sound is gone.

The ride is way better and smoother than the stock Goodyears. Even did a spin on the NICE road, 100kmph also was pretty decent no much road noise.

Thanks to everyone for their inputs !!!
Bro,

Take your car to a service station and get one simple test done to prevent problems in the future.

Get the rear shocks checked for damage. should not take more than 10 minutes per shocker. compare your existing shocks with new ones. if the difference is significant then get them replaced.

i had a similar problem in my Fiesta diesel, my rear shockers had gone stiff and were compressing unevenly. that caused my rear tyres to develop a heel and toe uneven wear pattern , which did not cause a problem initially, but when the tyres were rotated and rear ones brought forward they caused this humming noise and caused further damage to the tyres and ultimately shortened the life of the tyres.

cheers,

Varun.
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Old 5th July 2012, 21:13   #14
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
I have seen people hammer out old bearings and hammer in new ones, which is absolute nonsense. The new bearing is finished before it starts its life in your car.
.
Hello Sir,

You are right. Most of the garages, hammer it in and out.

But, could you please share what is the real procedure of changing the bearings?

Thanks,

Dhanush
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Old 5th July 2012, 22:08   #15
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Default Re: Peculiar Wheel Bearing Issue

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Hello Sir,

You are right. Most of the garages, hammer it in and out.

But, could you please share what is the real procedure of changing the bearings?

Thanks,

Dhanush
The right procedure is to use a bearing puller tool. Since these tools are manufacturer / application specific the instructions on their usage differ but essentially their purpose is to pull the bearing out without damage to the bearing.
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