Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Possible wheel bearing repair

Hey guys so today while driving my '98 Mercury Grand Marquis home I noticed a leak was coming from behind the rear right tire… Or I’m guessing it’s a leak ? But it’s kinda like a grease substance and it sure does smell bad! It’s all over the backside of the tire and muffler (probably why it smells).

While driving it there is a low humming sound? Best way I know how to describe it and if I go over 60mph it gets increasingly louder… After looking up some forums online I came across that it could be a possible wheel bearing or maybe a bad axel problem? Any idea what a rough estimate is on a job such as those ?

And when riding in the back passenger seat… Well imagine the floor vibrating and giving you a foot massage haha

There is at least a bad bearing and seal. Chances are that the axle is bad as well. If left uncared for, it will eventually seize up and possibly catch fire. How much will it cost? I would expect somewhere in the 300 to 600 dollar range. But I have no idea where you are so it’s just a WAG.

The cost will depend on how much damage has already been done. If its a wheel bearing and seal, $300 should cover it. If the bearing has chewed up the axle, add $150 to $300 to the price. If its been leaking long enough to run the axle dry, you are talking $1200 to $1800 for a rebuilt or used axle. Don’t wait to take it in. The longer you wait the more expensive this will be!

Ok so I’m fairly certain it’s a axel seal due to some researching of the matter… I noticed the smell of the fluid 4-5 days ago but couldn’t pin point it… Plus it was leaking as badly as it is now. But I’ll be taking it in today to get it fixed! Hopefully it isn’t too serious of a problem already

However I’m also thinking a wheel bearing could be bad seeing as we’ve never changed it since we’ve owned the car

The leak wouldn’t cause any vibration OR noise. You have a bad bearing at a minimum. Solid-axle rear cars can run their whole lives without ever replacing a wheel bearing. Well above 150,000 miles. They don’t usually need servicing.

"But it’s kinda like a grease substance and it sure does smell bad!"
Hypoid Gear Oil, A High Viscosity Lubricant ( Grease-Like At Lower Temperatures) Used In Many Differentials And Axles, Stinks!

Man, it’s a good time to do your rear brakes if needed.

csa: :smiley: Iirc Ford’s selling ‘Grape’ oil!

I’ve had 3 GM rear dive cars, a Malibu, an Impala and a Caprice, and they all needed rear axle grease seals over time. Not fixing this will impact the performance of the rear brakes as grease gets in to the drums or disks.

Fix it properly!

Let me add two more things to check, brake fluid and rear differential gear oil level. No doubt your axle seal is shot and the differential oil has been leaking. The hum could be coming from the dry differential bearings, but if not, you need to fill that puppy up or it will be soon, and your cost to repair will skyrocket.

Gear oil can and does ruin the seals in the wheel cylinder and the brake fluid will start leaking as well, then suddenly you will have a brake light on all the time and soon after, no brakes.

My mechanic who has done all the maintenance on the car won’t be able to see it until tomorrow morning… So I won’t be driving it until then… I appreciate all the feedback I’ve gotten from you guys :slight_smile: thanks a bunch

So it was indeed a axel leak and two wheel bearings. Had him replace them along with the brakes for $500 so all is well again with the old Mercury.

@John Andrew McCormick
Good, John. Thanks For The Update!

It is always nice to get a follow-up report. Thanks!

Thank you guys for everything!

236K miles and original trans still going! I figure will just ride with it until it finally dies.

Oh and parents did pick up a newer one owner 2006 in mint condition with 80K on it do there’s that! :smiley: