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Cavalier road noise

10-23-2012, 02:30 PM
My kid has a 2001 Chevy Cavalier. It makes loud noise driving down the road - sounds pretty much exactly like driving down the road on a rumble strip. It is constant - never goes away. At first, I thought it was the tires the car came with... they were extremely aggressively treaded. But, on the weekend, he bought snow tires. Again, you would expect them to be loud, but not this loud. The noise is different, but just as loud.

I took his car for a test drive and noticed a vibration in the steering wheel. It is not the vibration you would expect from a wheel bearing where the wheel kind of... shimmies... but more like holding your hand on a back massager on the lowest possible setting. Nor is there any clicking sound on turns. When you remove your hand from the steering wheel, there is no visible wobble and the car remains driving straight.

When you drive on grass, there is no sound. Any hard surface you do hear it. Any ideas?

10-23-2012, 02:50 PM
Did not change with the tire replacement? Does the noise change (get louder or quieter)when turning the steering wheel side to side while driving? Sounds to me like you have one or both front hub bearings that are noisy.

10-23-2012, 02:58 PM
No. It doesn't seem to change at all whether turning, driving straight, or otherwise.

10-23-2012, 03:30 PM
No. It doesn't seem to change at all whether turning, driving straight, or otherwise.

Tech II
10-23-2012, 08:22 PM
4 snows, or just 2 new on the front?

With a wheel bearing noise, it tends to get louder, the faster you go, but usually peaks between 30-40mph......now with noise at max(don't go any faster than you have to), on a straightaway, SLIGHTLY TURN THE WHEEL LEFT and then back to center....then SLIGHTLY TURN WHEEL TO THE RIGHT and then back to center....this is just a slight turn so that you veer left and right just a little, and you do this with no one in front or back of you for safety reasons.....

What a bad wheel bearing will do, is, if the noise increases when turning slightly in one direction, and diminishes or goes away when turning in the opposite direction, then you have a bad bearing....having snow tires makes it a little more difficult to hear, and if only two snows where put on, and the two remaining tires are noisy(due to cupping?), that could be the source of the noise.....another possibility is BOTH wheel bearings are bad.....

Vibration in the steering wheel is not usually bearings, it's out of balance tires, out of round/cupped tires, etc.,.....

10-24-2012, 12:22 PM
4 snows. Need them in frosty Alberta country/highway roads. It is absolutely most definitely the wheel bearings. Thanks guys!

Decided to take it in to my mechanic for a check over as wheel bearings can be dangerous... went around the first highway curve at speed and just about crapped. The wheel felt like it was going to come right off.

Both bearings are gone and being replaced as we speak.

10-24-2012, 12:48 PM
Glad to hear to got it taken take of, thanks for posting back what you found!

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