Buzzing From Front End 2010 Impala

impala
chevrolet
noises

#1

Girl next door has a 2010 Chevy Impala w/31k mi. Has a buzzing noise from LF while traveling. Please note this is not a clunking CV joint, so don’t tell me that. Not a wheel bearing, okay.

This occurs while traveling straight at 20 and up. I jacked LF up. Noise very noticeable on left while in forward gear, but not reverse. Noise more audible in cabin than outside. In neutral, spun wheel by hand, no noise. Compared right side, same tests, no noise.

New brakes last year. Brakes look real good as do rotors. Consulted three mechanics, none have ever heard of this before. They think I’m nuts and I prolly am. :wink:


#2

You’ve definitely eleminated the brakes, wheel bearing, or cv joint, that’s good you are able to make that diagnosis, should make the problem easier. hmmm … so what’s left?

  • bad tire?
  • bad suspension component?

I guess that’s where I’d start. You could move the tires around, see if the noise moves. And ask a qualified shop to evaluate the strut.


#3

George, Are you saying that the car is using the tires and the suspension while it is jacked up and the wheel is moving? If that is so then explain to me how.


#4

@Hawk-i
"Not a wheel bearing, okay."

GM published a Technical Service Bulletin in April of 2011 covering 2006-2011 Impalas to help their technicians with the symptom described as a growl type noise coming from the front of the car (20 - 50 mph).

Cause? Loss of preload of the front wheel bearings. They suggest a retorque (162 ft. lbs.) of the axle shaft nuts and try it. If it “fixes” it then replace both nuts with part # 10257766, not the bearings.

Search for and find a copy of the 2 page GM TSB #11-03-08-001
CSA


#5

It is not a growl, it is a BUZZ type sound. I have replaced many, many wheel bearings and none I have heard ever sounded like this. This sound is plainly audible from the cabin. It is not audible from the wheel area. While sitting in the cabin it is very loud with the left wheel jacked up and turning under power in forward drive gear. Sound might be described akin to studded tires on dry pavement or aggressive snow treads on a heavy truck moving at speed.

If it is a wheel bearing why should it go at 31 thousand miles? If it is bearings, Chevy should pay for it! I have a 1974 Jeep J-series truck that still has original wheel bearings with 1.25 million (literal) miles (as Tom and Ray might say, 5.23 lunar units)!


#6

You have a 6 year old car and the warranty period is over so thinking that Chevrolet should pay for a wheel bearing that could have been damaged by a pothole is silly.


#7

It’s Definitely Not A Wheel Bearing!
“It is not a growl, it is a BUZZ type sound. I have replaced many, many wheel bearings and none I have heard ever sounded like this.”

Wait …But, It Sorta Could Be, Eh?
“If it is a wheel bearing why should it go at 31 thousand miles? If it is bearings, Chevy should pay for it!”

My Basic Repair Rule For Mystery Symptoms… Try The Easiest, Cheapest Things First!
Who knows? Axle nut torqueing is FREE if you’ve got a torque wrench. Why not try that? And the point is that Chevy says it’s possibly Not a bearing, too.

A TSB indicates they have found some with this problem and looks to me like perhaps a “revised” axle nut is the solution… PRICELESS if it fixes it!
CSA


#8

OP writes …

[the sound is occurring] .. while it is jacked up ... then explain to me how.

The rotation of the wheel ass’y and associated parts like the transmission could be inducing a buzzing noise in a loose suspension component. This could occur even if the suspension is unloaded. Indeed, it might be worse if the suspension is unloaded. Non-suspension components which are loose could buzz too.