My car is a 2002 Saturn, SL. It is high mileage, probably 125000. I have a noise that I originally thought was a piece of the plastic shield that protects the radiator draggin on the road, it has been hanging down since an ice storm and I had not taken it to get it fixed, so I figured it dropped down further. My husband drove the car and the piece is not dragging. He checked the brakes and they are ok, but on the front passenger side, the wheel moves back and forth when the car is jacked up. Two people told us probably tie rods, another told us definately wheel barings. My husband didn't know, but thought maybe a CV joint was bad. The lower ball joints and tie rod ends were replaced about a year ago. Any suggestions on how to find out what the problem is before we order parts? Thanks, Katy
By back and forth do you mean front to rear or in and out?
By jacking the wheel up a few inches off the ground, you can put a large pry bar under the tire.
By pulling up on the bar you can usually see movement in the ball joint and the controll arm bushings.
Putting your hands at 3 and 9 oclock on the tire and pushing in and ouit with alternate hands will show bad tie rod ends.
Pushing in and out with both hands will show a bad bearing.
CV joints usually will make a clicking noise in a steering lock turn.
Good luck and let us know. : )
April, 12, 2007 AT 8:58 AM
Thank you so much for your reply.
The tire moves right to left (not front to back) when jacked off the ground and grasped with both hands. From what you wrote I am thinking it is wheel bearings. I called a man my husband knows who does car repair and he believes it is wheel bearings also. We have ordered a manual for the car and hope that helps.
The man I spoke with told me that the Saturn we have has some kind of pressed bearings and it may require a special tool to take them out or put them in, he suggested we let a mechanic do it, but he said he does not have the required tools. My husband wants to look at the book first, but I am leaning toward a professional.
Thanks for your input.
April, 12, 2007 AT 9:27 AM
The link in the blue box to the left on this page entitled " Avoid Car Repair Ripoff" is an excellent read. My advice is to call for estimates. Try an alignment shop also. Some will do this type of work and be able to do the alignment while they have the car. This will avoid the need to put the car in the shop twice.