Front wheel bearings

toyota
prius
wheels

#1

This past winter I slid off the road in a snowstorm and bottomed-out the front end of my car pretty hard. In the following days I started to notice what sounded like the front right brake dust shield rubbing against the brake rotor when I made right-hand turns. The symptoms got worse until I finally took it to the dealer to have the wheel bearing replaced at about 79,000 miles. Before I even reached 81,000 I started to notice the same symptoms again, light metallic grinding when making right turns. I took the car back to the dealer before we left on vacation and told them I thought it was the left front wheel again, but when I returned to pick it up they said the trouble had been in the right front wheel. I was skeptical, but part of me bought the logic that both bearings were likely to fail at relatively the same time. Now the car has 87,000 on it and I am definitely hearing the same noises coming from the left front wheel as I make sharp right turns. Do you think they are damaging the bearing by pounding it into place instead of pressing it? Should the hub be replaced too? Is there a way to conclusively determine if the right front bearing has ever been replaced? I only weigh 175 and I don’t drive on dirt roads so the suspension hasn’t experienced much trauma other than the accident last winter.


#2

I don’t know how to edit this, but the original failure was the LEFT front wheel bearing, not the right.


#3

You Can’t Edit The Original Question. I Have A Question For You.

You say, "The symptoms got worse until I finally took it to the dealer to have the wheel bearing replaced at about 79,000 miles.

At this point were you diagnosing the problem yourself, deciding that the noise was in the wheel bearings, and simply asking to have them replaced ?

You also stated, “This past winter I slid off the road in a snowstorm and bottomed-out the front end of my car pretty hard.

How hard was “pretty hard” ? Did the vehicle have to get winched back onto the roadway ?

What I’m suggesting is that you may have bent something a little, like a strut, for example. There’s not much clearance between a wheel rim and a strut / spring / spring seat in some cases. Did you ask for a close inspection for accident damage ?

Did the Prius drive just exactly the same following the incident, without pulling one way or another and was the steering wheel still centered while going straight on an non-crowned road ?

CSA


#4

Yes, I told the dealer what had happened and asked them to check it for damage. They found one other minor wire or small hose that had to be resecured, but that was it. I probably hit the edge of the road going 15-20 and I was able to back out and drive home because there was only 3 inches on the ground, by morning there was 20! I took it in a few months later when I started hearing humming every time I changed lanes at high speed. Yes, I suggested that it was the left front wheel bearing because I had jacked up the car and could feel the play in the wheel when I grabbed hold of it. I recently rotated the tires myself and didn’t notice any unusual wear. Another shop told me that my front struts should be replaced last summer because there was some oil leaking around the top. I asked my dealer to take a look at them and they said they were fine. I was okay with that because I hadn’t noticed any bucking or bad handling, but now I’m pretty sure the first shop was right on the money so I will have them replaced.


#5

Toyota Dealers Have Access To Technical Service Bulletins Pertaining To Strut Seeping / Leaking. A Certain Amount Of Oil Dampness Around The Top Of The Strut Is Normal.

You could ask to discuss this issue, and the Bulletin that includes drawings of struts seeping and leaking, with the Toyota folks. I wouldn’t rush to replace the struts based on oil seepage. I don’t think it has anything to do with your current grinding noise.

CSA