Mechanics

99 . COULD THIS BE CV JOINT?

1999 Chevrolet Malibu

Hey,

My wife has a 99 Malibu. It has a " noise" while driving that is hard to explain. ALmost like a roar. It is not too loud. To me it sounds like it is coming from the right front wheel. It is there even if while cruising you put the car in neutral. It seems to go up in pitch as you get faster and go down as you get slower. I rotated all the tires to see if that would help, (putting the front tires in the back and the back into the front). It did not seem to help very much. I also took the break pads off and cleaned then and the rotors. There was plenty of padding left on the brakes.

I did notice that while cruising at highway speed if I turn the wheel to the right I can make it a little louder while turing.

ANy idea what this would be and how to tell? My guess might be a cv joint? My Hayes manual says a symptom of that is clicking or grinding while turning but this does not sound exactly like that.

By the way I also with the car jacked up pulled on the wheel before taking it off and did not feel any play. (I thought that was the right way to tell if a wheel bearing was bad.)

I have never messed with a front wheel drive car very much so I am not sure how difficult it would be to replace if this was it. Autozone has a unit for 70 bucks. What is involved in replacing one? (If that is my problem).
Avatar
Stryped
December 18, 2006.




Hi,
put the car in park and start it. Do you hear noises?
Put the car in drive, do you hear noises?
Start to drive, notice if you hear noises
turn your right making a full circle, do you hear noises?
Turn your left, making a full circle, do you hear noise?

Let me know and I will help.

Tiny
Mathiaso
Dec 18, 2006.
It only does it when in motion. It does not do it standing still.

Tiny
Stryped
Dec 18, 2006.
Sounds like a wheel bearing. Jack car up just till tire comes off the ground. Now see if you can move the wheel top to bottom

Tiny
Mechanic7120
Dec 18, 2006.
I can try that again but I tired that once and it did not feel like there way any play.

Is it hard to change this bearing in this car?

The sound is worse when turning the wheel to the right at highway speeds.

How can you tell if it is hte cv joint?

Tiny
Stryped
Dec 18, 2006.
Let me explain what may be wrong with your car and answer you about the cv joint.
Drive the car in a safe area where you can weave the vehicle from side to side. During the road test, a good method of identified a problem is to take full right and full left turns while going in reverse. This forces the the joints to operate out of their normal positions and make noise and vibrations more noticeable. Acommon complain is a clicking or popping noise when the vehicle is turning. This sound is caused by a worn or damage outer CV joint.
Drive the car full turns if only a faint click is hear, put the car in reverse and repeat the test if the noise is loud, the problem is a severely damaged or worn joint.
Now, the source of the noise can be pinpointed by paying attention to the noise as the vehicle is turn to the right and left.
Normally this noise is cause by the outboard CV joint that is is on the inside of the turn when the noise is the most noticeable.
If clicking was not hear, quickly accelerate then decelerate the car, A clunking noise during torque out put changes indicate an inner CV joint.
Now it may be something else too: check for loose inner CV joint flange bolts, a worn half shaft damper or excessive backlash in the transaxle and differetial gears.
Do not forget to check your wheel bearings by doing what mechanic7120 said.

Tiny
Mathiaso
Dec 19, 2006.
I am beginning to think it is indead a wheel bearing. I called and they only sell a complete " hub" replacement. Is this hard to replace myself? I have replaced wheel bearings in rear wheel drives but not front. Is this hard?

Also, is there a good way to determine which one it is? I think it is the passanger side but the sound is worse when turning to your right.

Tiny
Stryped
Dec 19, 2006.
The easist way to determine which bearing is bad is to jack the front up, and place your hand on the strut spring, spin the tire and feel for any vibration. Which ever side you feel the vibration, that's the bearing you want to replace. It's a bolt on assymbly and is pretty simple to replace : )

Tiny
Bootdog
Dec 19, 2006.
Do both tires have to be jacked up? Or can I jack one at a time. I only have a small jack.

Also, someone said I would need a hub puller? Also, the nut needs to be torqued to 284 ft/lbs. ANy idea how to get that much pressure on it?

I can make the noise worse swerving to the right at highway speed. Does that help identify which one it is?

Tiny
Stryped
Dec 19, 2006.
You can jack it up 1 at a time if you like. Be sure you put the vehcle in neutral and chock the rear wheels to keep the vehicle from rolling. Then spin the wheel with one hand and put your other hand on the spring. Never go by the sound. I have seen that mistake too many times. Sometimes the sound can be heard in the right but it's the left thats bad, or vise versa. You won't need a hub puller. The spindal and bearing is all one (bolt on) unit. The hardest part if you don't have any impact tools is getting the axle nut off and torquing it back down to proper spec. I'm not for sure what the torque spec is, but the dealer can give you that info. Hope this helps and good luck : D
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Tiny
Bootdog
Dec 19, 2006.
I dont have impact tools. Can I get it off with a regular ratchet and a piece of pipe? SOmeone told me the torque is 284 ft lbs. I dont have a torque wrench that goes that high.

My Hayes manual says to use a puller so I am alittle confused.

Tiny
Stryped
Dec 19, 2006.

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