2004 Mini Cooper

Tiny
WHORL1QUOTE
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 MINI COOPER
2004 Mini Cooper 64000 miles

My Mini cooper is making such big noises that I can't continue to ignore so I took it to the shop. I was told the front wheel bearing needs to

get replaced. The whole noise started when I took the car for repairs and tire alignment six month ago. My car is 2004 model and only has 60K

miles on it. What I am trying to figure out is that if the previous repairs can possibly cause the bearing to go bad. This is what happened:

1) The front lower control arm bushings were replaced
2) The previous shop called to say that they discover some noises and noticed that the ball joints need to be replaced so they went ahead to

replace that
3) I then took the car to get tire alignment right the next day
4) I started noticing noises the next day after tire alignment
5) The noises get louder and louder over the six month period
6) the new shop told me the front wheel bearing needs to be replaced

Can any car expert give me opinion is it possible the previous shop or the tire alignment actually made the bearing to go bad? I am pretty sure it has to one of them since the noise started right the same time.
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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 AT 3:45 PM

1 Reply

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi whorl1quote. Welcome to the forum. From your description of events, the mechanics are not to blame. After the service work, the fuel level in your gas tank also started to go down so the mechanic should be to blame. I know that sounds goofy, but the main clue is when you said it got louder over six months. That's exactly how wheel bearings fail on their own as the normal wear continues to take place. This is a real common problem on every brand of front wheel drive car. One bearing on my Grand Caravan lasted until well over 200,000 miles before it became noisy. It went from perfectly quiet to very noisy within a 300 mile period in the middle of a cross-country trip a couple of years ago. No front end work had been done for many years before that. It also allowed the tire to wobble in and out on top but we were able to drive it home that way for over 1000 miles.

This is just something wheel bearings do. The fact that yours started making noise after an alignment is likely due to the fact that the stresses the bearings are under changed a little from the new alignment settings. The bearing was already developing a wear pattern that leads to noise, but that wear didn't show up until the alignment caused the ball bearings to ride in a slightly different location within the assembly. That does not mean the service work CAUSED the wear pattern. It means the existing wear pattern became evident from the changes made during the service work. If you had no work done to the car, you would have heard the same bearing noise a few weeks or months later anyhow.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 AT 8:03 PM

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