Tire wobble

Tiny
CINDY_746@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 129,000,000 MILES
While driving my front driver side tire has a bad wobble feels like lug nuts are loose, but they are all tight. Also sounds like something came loose, I can here metal tapping against metal, like whatever it is is dangling and either lost a bolt or fixing to.
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 11:04 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Sounds like a wheel bearing bad and or an axle problem. More than likely the brake caliper is holding it together and is dangerous to drive. Jack up front wheel and if you can wobble by hand in and out do not drive at all and have towed to get fixed.
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 12:11 PM
Tiny
CINDY_746@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER
Sorry, I am a woman who knows somewhat of cars more toward engine problems but not this part. Can you tell me if it is also the axle what I would look for and what it may possible be that is metal tapping metal that sounds like it is loose. I could not find anything that is loose or looks loose or dangling have not pulled off tire as of yet. I did notice a tear in the boot covering what looks like maybe a balance bar of some sort. It is located near the strut cannot remember if front is strut or shock believe it is strut. It is a rod attached to top area of strut and runs down toward tire. Would that have anything to do with metal tapping noise by chance. Maybe has play in it from tear in boot. It is the only damage that is visual to me at this point until I remove the tire.
Thank You
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If it is a bad wheel bearing you can find it easily. Jack up the car and get the wheel off the ground. Grab the tire at top and bottom and try to rock it. Motion here indicates wheel bearing or lower ball joint wear/damage. Then move your hands to the front/back and try moving it again. Motion here is tie rod ends or wheel bearing. To determine which. Just watch the parts as you rock the tire.
The torn boot could be one of three. There are two at each end of the axle assembly, they cover the inner and outer axle joints.
https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-a-cv-joint-works
Shows those two.

The other boot will be on the end of the steering rack as shown in the attached picture.

A bad axle boot will allow the grease to be contaminated and can cause the joint to bind and stick and make noises. A bad steering rack boot allows dirt in and can damage the inner tie rod end and the rack seals causing it to leak.

A visual/hands on inspection should show the issue.
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 3:49 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
That may be the axle and if boot is torn probably the joint in it is worn out which would maybe be the noise you are hearing. This should be checked with tire on not off you will get better leverage. Arrow points to axle shaft. See picture.
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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 3:51 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
FROM CINDY

Thank You I do believe you guys given me all the information I need to figure this out and be able to fix it myself. Appreciate all your help. Oh, I do have one more question: on ABS brakes. When doing this there is a little pin that disconnects the line correct. That when replacing the wheel bearing will need to be disconnected during this process. And do I need to do more than pump brakes to reset caliber?
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 10:49 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The ABS sensor lead has a clip and retainer that holds it to the strut and the connector itself has a lock you depress to unplug it. When you connect the new one add a dab of dielectric grease to help keep moisture out. As long as you only compress the pads in the caliper and do not disconnect the fluid line just pumping will work.

While you have it apart it would not be a bad idea to change the brake pads on both sides and possibly the rotors if they are worn or scored. Pads mainly because if the bearing is bad enough to cause a wobble the pads are probably showing strange wear.
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
CINDY_746@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER
Thank You guys you where very helpful. Sorry for the delay. Just wanted to let you know the metal against metal sound I was hearing was from my axle. Hope this information can help someone else to figure this out too. But it was my axle that needed replaced. Thanks for all your help.
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Saturday, February 4th, 2017 AT 1:31 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Thanks for using 2CarPros we are to help, tell a friend.

Best, Ken
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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 AT 3:15 AM

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