Left front wheel bearing

A few weeks ago, I took my 2006 CTS to the dealership to have the oil changed and tires rotated. The first time I drove it after the service, I noticed what I thought was much louder than usual road noise coming from the left front tire. When I called the dealership about the problem, they expained that this happens when tires are rotated, and that after driving for a while, it would correct. It persisted, and when they looked at it today, they informed me that the left wheel bearing needed replacing. And that it was just coincidence that this happened at the same time that the tires were rotated, there was not any way that they could have caused this to happen. $600 repair. I’m having trouble with the coincidental “timing.” Could it have been something that was done while servicing?

How many miles does the car have on it?

Anything is possible…including a simple coincidence. No way to know from here.

Nice ride, by the way. I test drove one in 2005 and I liked it. And I’m not a GM guy!

As mtnbike said, anything is possible - but I think that the odds that this happened via a tire rotation are really really low.

Giving the mileage on the car would help people say whether they thought it would be a reasonable time for a bearing to go.

Mileage is a little under 57,000

Thank you. Is 57,000 miles a reasonable time?

My 2000 Blazer’s front wheel bearings went bad at 46k miles right after four new tires were installed. Until the next oil change, I assumed the noise was from the new tires.

My mechanic replaced both front hubs with rebuilt units. The price was ~$350 each for the hubs and ~$100 installation. The $600 sounds like a dealer price. The truck has 107k miles and the bearings seem to be holding up.

Ed B.

If someone offered to pay you to damage a wheel bearing during a tire rotation in a way that would show up immediately, I think you’d be hard put to do it without hammering on the wheel bearing with a cold chisel.

Unless someone can come up with a plausible scenario for what the dealer could have done, I think you pretty much need to accept the theory that the bearing has been going bad for a while and the tire rotation just made it possible to isolate noise from the left front.

Wheel bearings aren’t wear items like struts or timing belts. They normally last the lifetime of the vehicle. But they do fail every now and then.

How is this for “plausible”?

Wheel bearing is going bad, but no noticeable noise prior to tire rotation. After tires are rotated the different wear pattern on the newly mounted tire forces the wheel bearing to just a slightly different position and therefore changes the internal pressures inside the wheel bearing. This is enough of a difference to get more metal on metal contact causing a higher level of noise. Plausible?

I think that this is a very plausible scenario.

I think that one should get more than that - however, 57K is not entirely out of line.

I sure would like to know where GM gets their wheel bearings. The left front one on my GM pickup went at about 50,000 miles. The dealer wanted $600 just for the part (included the hub and antilock brake sensor). NAPA wanted $350 for the part. I bought one off the Internet for about $230, and it was a Timken brearing made in the USA - Kentucky, and now has about 120,000 miles on it with no problems. The Right front bearing went out at about 90,000 miles, so I got another Timken off the Internet.

I sure hope GM gets some smarts and starts putting better bearings into their vehicles. We can always hope!

The hub assemblies are expensive and problematic but much more economical for assembly lines than the old system which usually lasted the life of the vehicle. It’s all about cutting production time.

That’s very interesting. The new tires on the Blazer (see earlier post) had a more aggressive tread than the OEM tires. The bearing noise started after the tires were replaced, so I assumed the noise was coming from the tires.

Ed B.

Thank you all for your insight. I feel better after reading your opinions, and am beginning to accept the bizarre timing!

next time(if ever)try autozone.i had to replace both of mine(2000 olds.bravada).total price,250.00$.yes thats bearing and hub(with a.b.s.sensor).