Tire Wear Patterns Checking Axle Bearing Failure - An axle bearing is designed to support the weight of the vehicle while allowing the wheels to rotate. These bearings are manufactured with high grade steel that resists wear under extreme conditions. When an axle bearing fails it allows metal to contact metal under pressure with a linear motion creating a vibration noise. Once an axle bearing fails it cannot be repair, replacement is required. Remove axle bearing and replace with new and recheck. Some vehicles are equipped with a bearing hub assembly. The bearing below is the style of bearing is replaced by un-bolting the bearing hub assembly and replacing it with new.
Axle Bearing Hub Other bearing designs include separated bearings that include inner and outer bearings with bearing races, a four piece set. Separated bearings require an inboard seal attached to the bearing hub. This seal rides on the spindle to hold grease inside of the bearing hub, keeping lubrication inside of the bearings.
Axle Bearing/Race Set with Seals
Universal or "U" Joint Automatic Transmission Fluid - An automatic transmission functions by automatically changing the gear ratios while determining the speed and load of the engine. A torque converter utilizes transmission fluid as a coupling agent allowing the engine to run while the car is stopped without stalling the engine, then re-engaging to make the car move again once the RPM of the engine has increased. If the transmission is low on fluid due to a leak or service it can cause the transmission to vibrate. If the transmission is vibrating the first thing to do is inspect the transmission fluid level and condition of the fluid. If the fluid level is ok try servicing the transmission. If the condition continues the transmission could need replacement or rebuilding.
Locate and Remove the Transmission Fluid Level Indicator Testing Check Front Drive Axle CV Joints - When CV joints start to wear they will bind up on acceleration and in tight turns. This causes a vibration in the front suspension that transfers to the vehicle. Remove drive axles and inspect flexibility of each CV joint. If a bind or hard spot is observed the CV Joint/Axle needs to be replaced.
Front Wheel Drive Axle Checking Power Steering - A power steering system is designed to utilize power from the engine to assist in the force needed to steer the vehicle. When the engine is running, a serpentine belt is used to transfer engine power to a hydraulic fluid pump. This pump pressurizes fluid and then transfers this fluid using power steering hoses that are connected to a power steering box or rack and pinion depending on how the car is designed. When the power steering system has run low on fluid it can create a vibration. This noise is more apparent when steering the car. When the power steering is malfunctioning the vehicle will be very difficult to steer. It is advised not to move a vehicle with the power steering system not operating properly. Any steering component malfunction can cause the vehicle to be uncontrollable. When a malfunction occurs check the system fluid level and add as needed. When this condition occurs the power steering system has a leak and needs to be inspected and repaired. If the system fluid level is in the normal range and the problem persists the steering rack or pump might need replacing.
Power Steering Cap Check for Front Brake Rotor Run Out - Front brake rotors can warp when in heavy use. This is caused by extreme heat created by friction and pressure applied to the front brake pads and rotors. A heavy braking condition can be caused by driving down a long grade or extreme driving conditions such as racing. When a brake rotor becomes warped it will cause the steering wheel to vibrate when the brakes are applied. To inspect for this problem rotate the brake rotor by hand. The brake rotor should move freely, but with some resistance and turn for 360 degrees without hard spots. If the brake rotors are warped it is recommended to replace them. It is possible, but not recommended to re-machine to the rotor (the rotor will be straight but it will have less mass to dissipate heat therefore re-warping is eminent).
Front Brake Rotor, Brake Pad and Brake Caliper If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready to answer your car questions. Also, gain manufacturer specific instructions and information by clicking - Auto Repair Manual Related Car Repair Information
- Vibration Questions
- Repair Engine Noises
- Fix an Engine that is Running Rough
- Replacing an Air Conditioner Compressor
- Checking Tire Wear Pattern
- How to Replace An Axle Bearing Hub
- Changing a Universal Joint
- Replacing an Automatic Transmission
- How to Change a Serpentine Belt
- Replacing Front Brake Rotors