Wheel bearings

#1

I have a front wheel drive 2001 Pontiac Montana that I suspect has a bad front wheel bearing. How do I check a wheel bearing to determine if it’e good or bad?

#2

There’s a couple of ways to do this. Jack up that corner so the tire is off the ground. Grab the tire at the 6:00 and 12:00 oclock positions. Now try rocking the top and bottom of the tire in and out. If there’s any play in the tire, that bearing is worn. Or, place your hand on the strut spring and slowly rotate the tire. Sometimes the roughness of the bearing gets tranfered into the strut spring where it can be felt.

Tester

#3

What is causing your suspicion?

#4

I strongly suggest that you use a jack stand when you do this. Do not try this with just the jack that was supplied by the manufacturer unless you want to risk having the van come down on top of your foot or some other part of your anatomy.

#5

My 2001 Montana needed wheel bearings last year, as they went it sounded like a small airplain under the hood. Are you hearing this? You’ll feel a slight vibration also espeacially at higher speeds. Good Luck

#6

When my right front wheel bearing went, symptoms were:

  1. Roaring noise from appropriate side wheel.
  2. Noise gets louder when turning AWAY from wheel (i.e. weight transfer TO wheel)
  3. Noise gets quieter when turning TOWARDS wheel.
  4. “Pulsing” sound when going around gradual turn (caused by slight RPM mismatch between right and left sides).
  5. As it progressed, slight pull towards bad bearing side and ~5MPG loss.
#7

There’s a couple of ways to do this. Jack up that corner so the tire is off the ground. Grab the tire at the 6:00 and 12:00 oclock positions. Now try rocking the top and bottom of the tire in and out. If there’s any play in the tire, that bearing is worn. Or, place your hand on the strut spring and slowly rotate the tire. Sometimes the roughness of the bearing gets tranfered into the strut spring where it can be felt.

strongly suggest that you use a jack stand when you do this. Do not try this with just the jack that was supplied by the manufacturer unless you want to risk having the van come down on top of your foot or some other part of your anatomy.

When my right front wheel bearing went, symptoms were:

  1. Roaring noise from appropriate side wheel.
  2. Noise gets louder when turning AWAY from wheel (i.e. weight transfer TO wheel)
  3. Noise gets quieter when turning TOWARDS wheel.
  4. “Pulsing” sound when going around gradual turn (caused by slight RPM mismatch between right and left sides).
  5. As it progressed, slight pull towards bad bearing side and ~5MPG loss