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Growling/Popping Noise: How to tell diff between bad CV joint vs. hub bearing?

01-05-2006, 05:07 PM
98 Malibu with 108,000 miles has had a noise for over a year now..but only when turning RIGHT at any speed. Tire shop said the noise sounds just like a CV joint problem but the CV boots all look good so they said to replace left (driver side) hub/bearing assembly. Did that, no joy. Chevy dealer had it up on a lift, rolled the tires...listened with stethoscope and says replace passenger side hub/bearing assembly. Now before I go spend another $125 and screw around changing another hub/bearing do I know it isn't a CV joint? The popping sounds from a CV joint would transmit to the bearings so I don't know how they could know for sure where the sound was coming from exactly. By the way, after one year of this noise ...the sound is now just beginning to occur while driving straight. I read this occurs with a CV joint failure.

The growling noise I'm hearing is really just a fast combination of a series of steady low pitch popping sounds. When you slow down to turn (right) into a parking spot, for example, it sounds more like a muffled "playing card in the bicycle tire spokes"...or might even call it a low pitch rattle.

01-07-2006, 12:25 PM
With a wheel bearing failure, I found the noise was constant and changed pitch with acceleration, but would not dissapear. Also if the wheel bearing is gone, you should be able to detect play in the tire.
To check, jack the suspected wheel into the air. With one hand at the top of the tire and one at the bottom, puch back and forth. There should be no play. If there is any play, that wheel bearing is shot.

What you describle sounds like a cv joint problem to me, unless there is something else rubbing, like rotor splash guard.

Good Luck,

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