Mechanics

CHEVROLET EQUINOX WHEEL PROBLEM

2005 Chevrolet Equinox • 86 miles

So my 05 equinox is just. I dont know a pain in my butt. Alot of misc issues but my
Biggest which has me a bit afraid to drive over a certain mph is this: not even at any particualar mph- a grinding/whining noise sounds like, its comming from my front left side. Initally seemed to happen very sporadically now more frequently and repetivly. It almost sounds like metal grinding. I can feel it under my foot/gas petal when it happens, doesnt seem to affect my steering. Sway bars and link pins have been replaced breaks are good and ive had the engine replaced. I did have the vehicle very long before the engine needed replaced so I dont recall hearing this and again im not even sure its in the engine. Shocks were replaced but sound very loose when going over a bump. I dont know much about vehicles I am I single mother and thought id made a great choice for a vehicle and now its one thing after another! What is the issue? My car pulls to the right bc its in desperate need of an alignment but I just cant see that being the issue! Its grindy/whiny and very sporadi now happening more frequently. I hear it alot when slowing down or speeding up and it is very breif. First heard it when comming down a hill and it scared me to death. I thought my axl3 broke or something. Please help : (
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Jeter5
October 27, 2012.



And thats 86k+ miles by the way.

Tiny
Jeter5
Oct 27, 2012.
If what you're hearing sounds like the buzz of an airplane engine, that is the typical complaint of a noisy front wheel bearing. It can happen on any vehicle that uses the bolt-on type of assembly yours uses. Often the sound will change when turning slightly as in changing lanes at highway speed. If that's what's causing the noise, it will last a long time like that. Eventually it will get sloppy and cause miserable steering but almost everyone gets fed up with the annoying sound LONG before they get that bad. I was involved with one that the fellow left go for three years until the wheel was practically falling off the car, and then he still wasn't convinced it was a problem!

The alignment problem you mentioned can have an impact on the failure of that bearing. There are two alignment angles we have to look at for a pulling problem. "Caster" has very little affect on tire wear, but a pretty big affect on a pull. It has to be in specs and very close to equal on both sides. "Camber" has a bigger affect on a pull, and a big affect on tire wear. When you look back at the front of the vehicle, camber is the inward or outward tilt of the wheel and tire. It makes a tire want to pull in the direction it's leaning. When camber is correct, tire wear will be minimal, and both sides need to be close to equal so the tires' pulls offset each other. Also, there are actually two sets of roller bearings inside your wheel bearing assembly. When camber is not correct, the wheel leans one way too much and all of the vehicle's weight is placed on just one set of those bearings. That one set of bearings holds the whole corner of the vehicle up instead of sharing the load with both sets of bearings. Couple that with hitting a few potholes and indents are made on the "race". That's the smooth and polished part the steel marbles roll on inside the assembly and those indents are what cause the noise.

This type of wheel bearing is fairly expensive but they only take about an hour to replace. (With experience and the right tools at hand, they take about half an hour). The total cost of the bearing replacement and an alignment might be less if both are done at the same time at a tire and alignment shop. You might have them test-drive it and give you an estimate, THEN ask if they'll give you a deal on a maintenance alignment right away. They might even tell you an alignment will reduce the chances of the other wheel bearing becoming noisy.

Caradiodoc
Oct 27, 2012.
This isnt a wheel bearing issues. Have had that issue with mulitplr vehicles and this is nothing close to a wheel bearing sound or feel. It doesnt affect the vehicle when changing lanes or turning. It is very random and sporadic. Sounds grindy like then makes my gas petal feel loose when it happens. Its very breif maybe 5 sec max. Happened maybe when comming down hill or to a stops now hapoens if im going a steady speed or upon take off. But now is more frequent 3 to 5 times per ride im worried I cant transport my 16 month old daughter in a vehicle that may not
Be safe my I know certainly it is not a wheel bearing, it does not get louder when driving or go away when turning a certain direction or give me the "airplane" noise which I am found of from previous vehicles. I would probly feel better if thats what it was b atleast id know what to do or fix and id know where I sta.D as far as safety goes. Not sure if this info if better? Its just hard to explain. Actually, it kjnd of sounds like the noise traction control makes when attemting to keep you from sliding. Except more windy/grindy.

Tiny
Jeter5
Oct 27, 2012.
Your description sounds like the anti-lock brakes are kicking in and your last comment about the traction control would confirm that. Traction control is part of the anti-lock brake system and uses those functions to do its thing.

GM has a lot of trouble with their front wheel speed sensors causing inappropriate activation of the ABS system. In the past the system would never activate until the brake pedal was pressed but when you add traction control, it can activate anytime. When the signal drops out from a wheel speed sensor, the computer thinks the other wheel is spinning and will try to correct that. I suspect that's what you're hearing.

The sensors typically don't go bad exactly. Due to their design, they don't generate very much of a signal to start with so anything that reduces it even slightly will lead to false activation or the yellow warning light turning on. The biggest cause of trouble is the formation of rust between the sensor and where it is mounted to the wheel bearing. As that rust builds up, it pushes the sensor away from the "tone wheel" that generates the pulses. By moving away, the signal gets weaker until it can't be detected by the computer. The fix is to remove the front sensors and scrape off the rust under them, then reassemble them. Most shops will replace the entire bearing assembly to insure the reliability of the repair, but the speed sensors are available separately if needed. When a sensor itself fails, the yellow warning light will turn on and the system will turn off.

If I'm right, you can prove it by removing the TWO fuses for the ABS system, then drive it that way. You'll still have your regular brakes, just not the anti-lock function. Remove and replace the fuses while the ignition switch is off. That will prevent the computer from setting fault codes that might require a trip to the dealer to have erased. There will always be two fuses for the anti-lock brakes and air bag systems. That is so there's a backup circuit to run the warning light when one of the fuses blows. If you still hear the noise, my diagnosis is wrong.

Another way to approach this, if you care to get this involved, is a tool you might be able to borrow or rent from an auto parts store that borrows them called the "Chassis Ear". It is a set of six microphones, a switch box, and headphones. You clip the microphones to suspect points, then drive around while listening with the headphones. You can move the microphones around to zero in on the source of the noise. Be aware that many mechanics have never seen or even heard of this tool. Suspension and alignment mechanics use it to find rattles, squeaks, and other noises. You have to be careful where you run the wires so they don't rub on anything or get wrapped around something. There is a newer model that has four wireless microphones and two with wires. It's faster to place the wireless ones but this model doesn't use head phones. You have to listen to the speaker as you drive.

Caradiodoc
Oct 27, 2012.