2000 Cadillac STS - new bearings/hubs/axel - Potholes?

I drive a 2000 Caddilac STS which I inherited from my grandfather.

It doesn’t seem fit to ride the roads of Brooklyn and NYC - with all the bad roads and potholes we have.

I have new tires on the car, Kumho, Sears installed. wheels and rest of car original, and low mileage.

Don’t drive it much, 2-3K per year, but on bad NYC roads.

I now have twice had to replace on the left front tire the bearings and axel, as well as both rotors and brake pads.

The shop claims it’s from potholes, or hitting a sidewalk curb, which I can’t recall doing either, but the car does ride on pretty rough pavement a lot of the time.

Is this something that can be caused from driving on rough pavement?

Is it crazy to get the exact same repair needed on the exact same wheel, in a 2 year period when I"ve driving only about 3K miles in total on it?

Is there a type of car better for bad NYC roads? Like a small SUV, maybe an Audi Q5 or an Acura MDX? Toyota RAV4?

Please help?

Yes, seems a little crazy. Did you really know that the parts had failed?

NYC does not have a monopoly on rough roads. The big city near where I live has some awful roads too and I have no undue problems with drive axles or wheel bearings.

Can you post more detail?
Did you hear noise from the failed wheel bearing?
Did the failed drive axle make noise too?

Rotors are commonly changed when new brake pads are installed whether they are needed or not to minimize comebacks.

Yes, I witnessed the problem the first time, the wheel could wiggle, and it was the second shop I brought it to that said the bearing was bad.

On the first repair, they did the bearing, tie rod, hub, and 2 rotors.

6 mos later i heard crunching sound, brought in, and they replaced the axel.

about a year later i saw the ‘service stability system’ light flash on - with the ABS and Traction Control lights.

I didn’t do anything about it for a couple months, when I brought it in to get inspected he said the wheel actually nudged inward when they brought it up on the lift, the ABS wire was ripped broken, and the bearing and axel were bad.

so this time they did axel, bearing assembly, rotors, and pads.

are they doing bad repairs here? or is this caddy not built well for NYC roads?

This car or any other can be damaged by hitting a pot hole, speed bump, curb, or other road hazard too hard. My 1998 Buick is on it’s first set of suspension components. Our problem is mostly speed humps. I’ve always gone over them slowly. My daughter, who now uses the car, is not so gentle. I suggested that she slow down to 10 to 15 MPH and she doesn’t bottom out the suspension any more. I know you can’t always see a pot hole, but when you can, try to avoid it or go slowly.

I’d expect a Caddy to be, if anything, a little tougher than some. They would have less cause to use thinner steel or aluminum suspension components as they can spend a little more cost making the car and don’t mind a little extra weight.

Be careful to not hit large bumps and deep potholes with the brakes heavily applied. This can put extra stress on suspension components.

this doesn’t have to do with my driving, trust me.

If you’ve ever driven in NYC you’d know that it’s a bit like driving in outer Bagdad or Kabul or something. It is pretty much impossible to avoid potholes and rough patches all over the place everywhere. it isn’t like you see one occasionally and can alter how you drive over it.

This is a permanent beating that all NYC cars go through. Kind of like how San Francisco cars have to deal with major braking on all those hills.

I’m just trying to find out if this damage could come from this type of experience, and whether this could happen with few miles and time between repairs in the same location.

And secondly, if there are any cars that would be better for bumpy roads in NYC- and I can’t drive a Wrangler, I need something reasonably practical.


Pot holes can cause all sorts of problems, generaly what starts as a small problem or damage, can grow to a much larger problem. If you encounter a damaging situation, getting it fixed as soon as possible can avoid further more costly repairs. I looked at a lot of 2000 sts forum’s, and did not see any recalls or service bulitins, regarding your problems. There was however a bulitin about " High Speed " front end supension vibration. Regarding your car, Start with the basic correct tire inflation at all times, a low pressure and pot holes don’t work well together at all. Next, make sure your wheel is not bent, simply jack it up and rotate it ( parking brake on, gear shift in neutral ) by hand and look for any wobble in wheel and or tire. Wheel bearings last a long time, unless there is exsessive play or no lubticant. Pot holes could shatter a bearing, but is highly un-likly, If a wheel bearing fails, it could also damage the axle. Pot holes will some times bend a tie rod, which will in turn throw out the toe in or toe out, this will then cause the tire to wear un evanly, cause side skid, or wheel hop. When you have the car fixed, “Do it all”, check pressure, wheel and tire trueness, have tires balanced, check bearings, re grease, and re adjust bearings. Also have all other steering and supension componants checked, like tie rod ends, control arm bushings, ball joints and the like. Then have it aligned.

Most importantly, do not heavy brake threw a pot hole, but if you see one, reduce speed a much a possible befor it, but release the brakes if you can while you are going over it.

Once again, have any noticible problem fixed as soon as you can. If you notice any concern, over time, small problems in the front end of a front wheel drive car will cause more damage if un attended.

Regards, AutoRob,

PS: How about a Military Hummer or a war surplus tank