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Ionic Destruction of Wheel Bearings

A friend returned from wintering in Florida this year and told me of his trip down in his 2007 Cadillac DTS. Upon arival in Florida he heard a high pitched whine coming from one of his front wheels. He found an ASE Certified garage and scheduled an appointment. When the car was examined by the service manager he asked my friend when the antifreeze was last changed. According to this service manager, the antifreeze had become a weak ionic fluid and as it circulates through the engine the ions are seeking ground and find it through the cars front tires. As the ions travel through the engine, transmission, axles and finally to the tires and ground small sparks are created as they cross the wheel bearings and these sparks erode the service of the needle bearings causing them to pit and eventually fail. I know chemistry and can believe the ionic fluid bit but the “sparks” eroding the bearing surface sounds completely BOGUS to me. What do you think?!

Yes completely bogus, for one thing the tires prevent a path to ground.

This is a new one on me.
Unless there is a valid scientific principle of which I am not aware, I also call this one as bogus.

If you know chemistry, then you know that the ions don’t go anywhere. Electrons may be drawn into solution to neutralize the positive ions and metal ions to neutralize the negative ions, but all that would do is dissolve the radiator. The explanation given is complete piffle.

I guess we now know what happens when a physics flunkie doesn’t get hired by the Atom smasher people in Cern.
They become automotive service managers.

Wow, that is a really creative story. I’m impressed. Does this service manager have a book on the market yet? Is he writing one?

Wow, my BS meter just blew out!

Well, that ion story is about the biggest load of carp (sic) I’ve heard in a long time. That service manager should replace the late Ray Bradbury as a science fiction writer.

This is the funniest scam I have ever heard in auto mechanics !

Sorry, got to go change my coolant before it ruins the wheel bearings.

Guess that could kind of reinforce the point I’ve made in the past about an ASE sign sitting out front not being an indicator of knowledge or competence. :slight_smile:

And since when do wheel bearings use “needle bearings” as the service manager described them? :wink:

So who woulda thought a rear end howl was caused by sparks jumping from the pinion to the ring gear…

“…an ASE sign sitting out front not being an indicator of knowledge or competence.”

That could be true. But it is also possible that the mechanic is just plain crooked. This is o statement about how many are crooks. It seems to me the percentage of crooks is likely the same as the general population. Since we don’t know the mechanic, we’ll just have to guess.

I have seen a few shops that had one ASE mechanic… Who left… years ago… They still had his diploma hanging on the wall though… Same thing in Body shops, this tech is ICAR certified… Is he still hear… nope… but that certificate looks good on our wall right ??

No certificate, be it for a mechanic, engineer, doctor, or lawyer, is a guarantee…

Did the car get fixed?
Is the friend sure the noise is coming from the front wheel?
Does it change pitch or pattern with vehicle speed?

It’s conceivable bad coolant could eventually make the water pump make a high pitch whine.

Then the service manager “embellished”…

Wow. I’m impressed. Now THAT’s creativity!
Who’d have believed that the 2007 Cadillac uses needle bearings in the front?
How ionic that she just happened to stop at that garage.
Was this the same fella who just discovered the Higgs Boson?

Just to give everyone a chuckle regarding bogus information about how cars actually work and how mechanical problems can begin, I have an anecdote courtesy of a friend who was given a…let’s say…“unique” explanation of the operation of his A/C system by a car salesman.

When my friend picked up his brand new '70s era AMC Hornet, he asked the salesman to explain the functioning of the A/C controls. This friend had never owned an air-conditioned car previously, so he did need a little instruction.

After apparently giving some correct information, the salesman then pointed to the “Recirculate” button, and told my friend, “Only use that if you are in the desert”.
My friend asked why that would be so, and the explanation that he was given was something along the lines of…It will spray some of your antifreeze/coolant into the A/C ducts in order to provide extra cooling effect for the A/C (Huh?!?!)

When I got finished laughing, I had to explain to my car-ignorant friend that this was totally illogical, as well as bogus.
According to this salesman’s statement, the car was essentially designed to sacrifice the engine in order to cool the passengers?
Why would anyone traveling through the desert want to intentionally lose any of their coolant?
How would spraying extremely hot coolant into the ducts provide a cooling effect?
And, then of course, why would a mfr design an HVAC system so as to cause passengers to breathe aerosolized coolant?
The entire explanation was just…bizarre.

Most of us are aware of how little car salesmen actually know about mechanics in general and the cars that they sell in particular, but this guy’s explanation was just so bogus that I thought it was worth mentioning in this thread.

Hmmm…Do you suppose that this guy is now a service writer?

Cool explanation.

Sorry guys, I can’t stop myself. I love these kinds of stories.

Most of us are aware of how little car salesmen actually know about mechanics in general

The service writers (order takers) in some of these repair facilities are nothing more than salesmen.
I have worked with people who were booted from the sales floor to the service department and back again.

To comment on the original posting; I’m in favor of drug testing. I don’t believe this was an intentional scam, some people are just goofy.

“Hmmm…Do you suppose that this guy is now a service writer?”

That’s who gave the 411 to the young salesman. But is possible that he graduated to service writer after he got his “stories” straight.