Repairs after rough RR crossing - strut and bearing repairs legit?

My daughter recently went over a RR crossing in her 2015 Chevy Spark. The street is on a significant grade and she was going downhill. However, the tracks are pretty much level and not in line with the grade of the street, so there is quite a bump when crossing. She wasn’t aware and got quite a jolt crossing it. Not sure of her speed but she wasn’t speeding (speed limit is 35).

Anyhoo, she noticed a grinding noise about a week later which seemed to be slowly getting louder. Took it in to mechanic and they discovered the “top of the right front strut mount is loose” and recommended replacement. After completing that, on the subsequent test drive, they still heard the noise and are now saying that both rear wheel bearings need replaced, and I quote “FOUND THE GRINDING NOISE TO BE THE RIGHT REAR WHEEL BEARING. FOUND THE LEFT REAR BEARING IS GETTING TIGHT TRIED TO ADJUST REAR DRUM TO STOP DRAG AND ITS STILL THERE IN THE BEARING”.

Does it seam plausible that all of these repairs were a result of the rough RR crossing?

TIA for your time and help.

From afar, my best guess is that the strut problem is a result of hitting those RR tracks at too high a speed.

As to the rear bearing situation, I think you have to accept the possibility that, after 7 years, the rear bearings simply need to be replaced on the basis of wear and tear. This vehicle wouldn’t be the first one to need wheel bearing replacement after 7 years of use, and it won’t be the last one.


Thanks, this is helpful to know. It’s just a little tough to swallow because she bought the car less than 4 months ago.

I can assure you the car is tested over bumps waaaay bigger than that railroad track bump.

But a 7 year old car wears things out… like bearings and strut mounts. And none of those things care you only bought the car 4 months ago.

A 7 year old 90K mile, 120k mile (don’t know, you didn’t say) will have these issues. Especially the Spark as it is designed and built in Korea to be an inexpensive car.


… which, unfortunately, means that she doesn’t know how the car was driven by the previous owner(s).

But, I want to mention that I once had to replace a front wheel bearing after just 4 years or so, and I once had to replace both rear wheel bearings after ~7 years, even though I am careful about avoiding potholes whenever possible. So, “normal” wear and tear is a possibility with your daughter’s car, but poor driving on the part of the previous owner(s) is also something to consider.


It’s at 60k miles. Thanks for the reply!

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I rented a Ford Focus a few years ago on a trip. I heard a bearing noise in the front end but was a loooong way from the rental office where I got the car. I stopped at a Ford dealer who said, yes the bearing was bad but he did not have a replacement in stock. It would have been a warranty job because the car had only 30K on the odo and was 1 year old!

My replacement rental Focus was delivered an a couple of hours…also with 30K on the odo… and a failing REAR wheel bearing! I drove it for the weekend and drove it the 3 hours back to the airport. A bad rear bearing is better than a front! I could drag that smoking hulk back to the airport if I had to!


Yes the repairs are need.
As a side note, I hit a crossing of that nature, front of the car was briefly off the ground, front suspension bottomed out.

I had a front bearing go out on one of my Oldsmobiles at 20,000 miles and the other ones never. I have replaced front bearings at 150,000 miles and other cars never. So just depends but stuff wears out.

maybe I am not understanding something here. but if you have a wheel bearing problem you do not loosen the rear drum brakes to fix a problem with the wheel bearings. now if he was trying to figure out if it was the brakes or the bearing then that is something a DIY would do at home. not a pro mechanic. just my thoughts.

I had a similar incident many years ago. The RR crossing was the last straw. I had damaged to strut mount earlier. Your daughter may have had a similar experience to mine.

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My guess, the front strut mount was already worn out and the RR bump just put it over the edge enough to start making a noise. Rear wheel bearings, I wouldn’t expect them to be damaged just by going over a big bump. If a bump damaged wheel bearings, more likely that would be the front wheel bearings. Much more weight on the front. I’m guessing rear bearings failed b/c at some point in the past the rear wheel were underwater, at least to the wheel’s hub. Rust eventually takes hold and ruins the bearings. Otherwise rear wheel bearings on small cars tend to last a long time. Never had to replace them on my Rabbit for 12 years I had it, but did have to replace front bearings. Never had to replace rear wheel bearings on my 30 year old Corolla.

Yeah a little strange but you never know what the mechanic actually said or if it is an interpretation of what was said, or if the mechanic was just trying to make it understandable for someone that doesn’t understand.

I cannot tell you if the bearings are bad, neither can anyone else here. Yes they could be and yes it would not have been from the RR tracks alone.

Good business practices would be to take the vehicle for a second opinion, and do not tell the second mechanic what the first mechanic said. If you get two different causes, then try a third mechanic.

Edit: If the first mechanic could not get the diagnosis right the first time, I’d be very inclined to find another mechanic. The first one could be just throwing parts at the problem and that can get very costly to you or your daughter.


Customer states? Mechanic asks why you here? Uh, noisy? I think?