Rumbling Noise from wheels.


ddfreita
09-23-2009, 11:38 AM
2001 Chevy Malibu

I don't know specifically which wheel the rumbling is coming from, but if I get up to speeds of 30+ mph, I hear a rumbling noise that at higher speeds (50+) takes over a lot of the other sounds (radio, wind, etc). The thing is, that if I turn my wheel to the right a little, the sound goes away completely. But if I drive straight, or to the left a little, the noise is there.

I was doing some research online, and the things I found pointed to either a bad ball joint, or bad wheel bearings.

My question is, what could this be for sure, and what kind of repair cost am i looking at? Thanks.

intimadatorsquizz
09-23-2009, 12:48 PM
definately sounds like a wheel bearing.you just have to figure out which side it is.

manicmechanix
09-23-2009, 02:51 PM
I would rotate the tires just to see if the noise changed and if the tires could be the problem.

ddfreita
09-23-2009, 05:06 PM
definately sounds like a wheel bearing.you just have to figure out which side it is.

How do I find out what side it's on. And what kind of cost for repair am I looking at for this?

ddfreita
09-23-2009, 10:12 PM
I would rotate the tires just to see if the noise changed and if the tires could be the problem.

I really dont think its the tires, because there is a vibration in the wheel and floor of the car when the rumbling is occuring.

Ed_Strong
09-24-2009, 12:52 AM
How many miles on this vehicle?

manicmechanix
09-24-2009, 01:55 AM
I really dont think its the tires, because there is a vibration in the wheel and floor of the car when the rumbling is occuring.

Tires can cause that too. if you rotate the tires it'll give you an opportunity to yank on the wheel and see if there's any play too.

ddfreita
09-24-2009, 08:34 AM
How many miles on this vehicle?

Over 100k

They are directional tires, so I can't rotate unless rotate all 4. But I will try.

Also, no one has yet told me how much on average the repair costs for wheel bearings. What i found online points to around $500 repair job. Is this true?

jdmccright
09-24-2009, 01:39 PM
I agree...wheel bearings. It could be one side, it could be both. Front bearings are more difficult to replace since you must disconnect/remove the CV joints, spindles, steering knuckles, etc. The rears are somewhat simple since they are usually replaced along with the whole hub, but still have to get the rear brake assembly out of the way first. Thus, difficulty equals labor, which equals $$$. Could you do it yourself? Yes, but with some time and specific tools.

manicmechanix
09-24-2009, 03:15 PM
Over 100k

They are directional tires, so I can't rotate unless rotate all 4. But I will try.

Also, no one has yet told me how much on average the repair costs for wheel bearings. What i found online points to around $500 repair job. Is this true?

Well you'd want to swap the tires front to back even if they weren't directionals. It probably is the wheel bearing but not necessarily. And you might need a rotation anyway and it gives you a chance to check the front suspension. It might turn out it's a bad tire.

A lot of these cars had problems with the wheel bearing. You can get a decent enough hub assembly for about $60. It's the labor that's going to cost. I've heard of the job running around $250 for one frt bearing. I think there's a service advisory for a lower torque value (184 lb ft?) and new hub nut, since one of the problems was the torque spec was too high, but I don't have the advisor.

ddfreita
09-24-2009, 06:34 PM
Yea, I called a local garage, and they can do the whole thing with parts for wheel bearings for $360. Still a lot of money on a car that is barely worth $1000. I also need 2 tires for the front, and an alignment really badly. I am going to see if I can get the parts myself to lower the cost, but I will take a look at it when I get the tools to do it.

Johnny R
09-24-2009, 07:13 PM
One wheel bearing replacement at a dealer will cost over $500 at a dealer, and about $500 at another shop. Dealer uses genuine GM parts and labour rate will likely be higher.
Instead of rotating the tires, why not just jack up each of the front tires and spin them by hand. The one that's hard to spin is your problem.

ddfreita
09-25-2009, 06:23 PM
*UPDATE*

So I just decided to take my car to the local Firestone and had them do an inspection on it. It is the wheel bearings. I am looking at having to get both front wheel bearings replaced, which with parts and labor through them will cost roughly $690 after taxes. So, I will weigh my options.

How hard is it to replace them? They are not pressed bearings, which makes them easier, but I have heard they are just removing a few nuts. How difficult is it?

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