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Wheel Bearing or CV Joint???

07-09-2005, 04:20 PM
Just this past week I noticed a very small tick, tick, tick noise when turning left. No noise when I turn right.

I took the front brakes apart and removed any rust on the rotors that might be coming in contact with the pads.

Ran the van while up in the air with the wheels off and the rotors snugged down with three wheel nuts.

Turning the steering wheel left to right, no noise.

No noise when on four wheels under full acceleration either.

My thinking is its a wheel bearing that only makes the noise with the weight of the van on it and with a thrust applied to it (ie: left turn?).


07-10-2005, 08:28 AM

Usually I would suspect a CV joint before the bearing due to the fact that a bearing will make noise when going straight and go away when you turn the wheel slightly. The CV joint usually will start with a small tick, tick when going straight and you will not hear it under acceleration. Of course bearings can make strange noises and no two are quite alike. My vote is CV joint at least based on what you describe.


07-11-2005, 04:52 PM
....The CV joint usually will start with a small tick, tick when going straight and you will not hear it under acceleration....Lynn

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for the reply.

Took the van on a small cross country today in 98 degree weather!

Figured that if it was a bearing or a CV it would certainly get worse.

The tick, tick, tick is still there and not any worse, but it doesn't happen on straight aways, only on a left turn and it sounds like it is coming from the left front wheel. I don't think it is a wheel bearing either for the reasons you have stated. Bearings usually hum or growl before giving up completely.

As a backgrounder, I had replaced both CV's on our Isuzu in March due to a blown boot. It started out as a tick, tick, tick and got progressively worse; - in a hurry! I replaced both CV's so I wouldn't have to do it again (120,000Kms on the odometer at the time).

However, the boots look good on the van and no indication of a leak yet. Funny I didn't hear it when I had the van in the air with it in gear on a left or right turn either!

Maybe I should just keep driving and see what develops, ...OR?!



07-11-2005, 06:11 PM
If it's a bearing, it will get worse but it isn't going to leave you stranded anywhere. If it's a CV joint, it may eventually deterorate to the point where it catastrophically fail, but it will just result in you stuck on the side of the road somewhere. Danger wise, you are safe to leave either of them until they either wear out more or completely fail.

07-13-2005, 09:56 PM
...The CV joint usually will start with a small tick, tick when going straight... My vote is CV joint ...Lynn

Had it up in the air tonight (it's about 95 F in the garage BTW!). The noise is a small tick, tick, but it doesn't appear to be a CV. Both the left and right CV's (inner and outer) are nice and tight, no excessive lateral or end play that I could detect and both sides seemed the same. I'm wondering if it might be a wheel sensor for the ABS rubbing.

On slight right turns the left wheel does tick, tick a small bit, but only after the engine is up to operating temperature and the drive train is warmed up completely.

Maybe I'll just drive it until something falls off!

Ya Think???


07-14-2005, 05:44 AM

I know it is probably annoying just hearing it but if everything is tight one the axle shafts and the van drives OK I would just keep on driving until it either gets louder or manifests itself in a different manner. Otherwise, you are probably going to drive yourself crazy trying to find the source of the noise.

Regards, Lynn

07-30-2005, 04:05 PM
Hi Lynn,

Had the van up in the air this morning.

Removed the caliper, caliper bracket and the rotor and discovered the source of the scrapping, ticking noise.

Seems the rust scale on the inner part of the rotor next to the hub bearing had built up enough to rub on the bracket for the ABS sensor.

The bracket is sandwiched between the knuckle and the hub bearing.

Once I cleaned all the rust off and re-assembled everything the problem went away.


07-30-2005, 06:43 PM
Now Bob, you know that Pontiacs don't rust! Ha Ha

Glad you found the problem and it was inexpensive to fix. Strange that rust would cause such a problem but I guess anything is possible.



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