Do I need a new wheel bearing? If yes... which one is the best for my car?

Yeah, that’s not good and is probably part or all of your pulling to one side issue. That sounds like a bad ball joint to me, but you said those were replaced. I’d skip the wheel bearing for now and try to isolate that noise. Since it makes the noise both when you turn and when you compress the suspension…I’m leaning towards a ball joint, but I suppose it could be a tie rod end or something. If you can get someone else to turn the wheel while you’re down below, you should be able to isolate where that sound is coming from. But, it’s going to be a worn out or improperly installed suspension or steering joint of some sort, and it needs attention PDQ, I think.

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@texases @VDCdriver I’m gonna take the car tomorrow to the same guy so he can re-check the alignment. If the problem persist, I will take the car to another independent shop I know that operates for years. Also, I will get the tires balanced there too.

@George_San_Jose1 You just gave me an idea. I have a Thermal camera. Im gonna check the temperature of both sides after a ride. Also, I wanted to point out that the humming sound can’t be the PS pump cause my car doesn’t have one. Its an electronic steering wheel. BTW, I’m gonna remove that WD40 from the boot. Thanks :slight_smile:

@Scrapyard-John When I bought the car, I replaced that ball joint with one of those Duralast from Auto Zone, and 2 months later, it started to have a clunk noise when the wheel was turned all the way to the left. So I threw it away and bought a MOOG with the grease fitting. I did put some fresh grease in it. The clunk went away. I was thinking… maybe the mechanic over tighten the screws with the impact gun. I have a torque wrench and I like to tight everything following the specifications on my repair book.

Yeah, I thought you installed the ball joints yourself? He could’ve put an impact on it and overtightened it, I suppose. Would explain the screech of death noise. Worth investigating, at least. If a shop installed the joints, I’d definitely take it back. And then probably find a new shop for next time.

Take a look at the top of the coil spring. The upper spring mount is angled/off-set, it must be clocked properly or the spring will rub on the body.


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Can’t tell from the video specifically where the noise is coming from but based on the WD40 and Pep Boys solution you’re clearly outside your DIY comfort zone as is the mechanic who’s been doing your work.

Instead of throwing more money and parts at the problem, find a good local mechanic who can diagnose and properly repair the issue and remember, “It’s the cheapest guy who ends up spending the most”.


Years ago I took my truck into Monro auto service for a tire rotation. I had bought my tires at BJ’s wholesale, but 2 years later they turned over the tire shop to Monro. The guy doing the rotation said I needed new wheel bearings and ball-joints. That was the last time I ever set foot in their tire shop. And yes I did need 1 new joints (SOME 270K MILES LATER).

As others have said…find a new mechanic. Chances are nothings wrong and it’s a total scam.

Ok guys, So I went back to the mechanic and talk to the owner of the shop and he was clear with me. He did re-check the alignment and perform another one.

Then he told me that the front wheels were offset by some millimeters and that may be the cause of the issue.

Then he checked some bushings beneath the car and showed me that the bushings marked as yellow, has some play with the pry bar. He can’t test the bushings on red cause there was no room for the pry bar:

So he told me that maybe the car was in an accident and suggest me to check on “carfax” if that was the case. Then, he told me that if the car wasn’t in an accident, then replacing those bushings ($150 job) may fix the problem.

I went online and checked the VIN# and the car wasn’t involved in any accident. Should I replace those bushings?

Also, I showed to him the video of the suspension noise and he told me that he thinks its the top base of the strut which was reused since I only bought the strut and not the whole assembly.

That only means that an accident repair if there was one was not reported to Carfax or one of the other sites. Not all shops even belong to Carfax and even if they do they may not even bother to report.


I think those bushings circled are the subframe mounts (and bushings). I’m not a suspension expert. My thoughts are, if they have a wee bit of up and down play, that won’t cause the steering to pull. If they have any lateral play, it definitely could. There should be a little up and down play or there’d be no need for a bushing, they’d just use a solid mount.

I don’t know why the old base of the strut would make noise now if it didn’t previously unless it was put together different with the new assembly (spring clocked differently like Nevada mentioned above).

I’m no expert, maybe others will chime in. I think I’d want to get a second opinion, though… I mean the guy seems to talk a lot about “maybe this, maybe that”. Seems like he ought to be able to tell you something definitively. Where that squeak is coming from, if nothing else.

Yeah… I’m right now on another independent shop waiting for my turn to get a second opinion. Will keep you guys updated.


So I took the car to an independent mechanic who has 35 years of experience. He checked the front shocks and told me they were installed properly. The spring was properly in place. The front was aligned, but the rear was not. So he realigned the car and still the car goes to the right when I brake.

He told me that bushings are not the problem.

The only thing that comes to mind is that one of the calipers that I changed was damaged and that brakepad has suffered some damage while being used with that damaged caliper.

An uneven brakepad could be the cause?

I took a thermal picture of both rotors after a ride. At least the outer side looks the same.

Damaged brake pads? Looks like the mystery is solved.

What was causing the steering/suspension noise?

The thermal camera photos don’t look the same to me; but it may be that the settings or image zoom was different between the two photos. You’re comparing right side vs left, correct? Did you do that for both the front and rear wheels? Since you are aware of an existing brake pad issue apparently, replacing both side’s front brake pads with new ones seems a quick and relatively inexpensive experiment worth trying. Replacing both front strut’s bearing assembly is probably next in line. I’ve never heard a mechanic say they are unable to test the play in a suspension system bushing, but I guess such a thing is possible on certain vehicles. Still I concur w/your second mechanic, unlikely to be one of those bushings, so replacing those seems a lower priority. I sort of get the impression you’ve almost got it solved. Best of luck.

Both looked the same. The extra white in the second picture is just a glare from garage led light. And yeah, this was just the front left vs right since the rear are drum breaks. I’m gonna try changing the pads tomorrow. Let’s see what happens…

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Has anyone checked if the steering rack is loose or damaged?

Well guys. I installed new brake pads today. Still… when I brake, it pulls to the right.

IDK what else to do. Maybe swap the rotors from one side to the other? I don’t think rotors should pull and they’re 2 months old…

So far I’ve installed new brake hoses, calipers, pads, bleed all the air out, links, outer tie rod, ball joint…

Now. I want to mention that on the left side I’ve been seeing some grease overtime. I think it’s coming from the boot but after cleaning it… I don’t see any cracks. I cleaned a few days ago and now there’s more. IDK if this has to do but… here’s a pic.

Gently pull the rubber pleats apart and take a look what’s happening on the inside creases. You may discover you have a CV boot split developing. Much better to find that out at this stage than when the CV joint is jammed full of grit & ruined.

If you’re going to all that trouble, suggest to swap right – left the rotors, the pads, and the rubber brake hose that connects to the caliper. That’s a good time to double check the caliper piston(s) are not stuck. Are you certain the pulling when braking isn’t coming from problematic rear brakes?

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Looks a lot like a tear in that CV joint boot right next to the band that holds it on under that new looking ball of grease. But, that wouldn’t cause it to pull to one side.

It only pulls when you brake, correct? It doesn’t pull to one side if you just coast?

I think I found the problem. After googling a ton of videos, a guy talked about bad bushings on the control arm that can be the issue when pulling to one side. Also that would explain the noise in the video I made, the pulling from the right side (since the video is from the opposite side) and the shakiness.

So I took a second look to the video I uploaded and I just saw that one of the bushings has play and the bolt also moves from its position. I think the bolt is loose…

Here’s a video.


Oooh, yeah… That could cause all kinds of shenanigans. I was just about to tell you not to bother swapping rotors around, but no need to tell you now. Is that hole the control arm is in worn bigger/wallowed out? Seems like it would be the same size as the threaded stud that’s in it, but it looks bigger. Does that make sense? If it’s loose like that, it’s been banging around in that hole, I guess…may have enlarged it?