Wheel Not Spinning Properly? Bearing problem?

Forgive me if I’m not explaining this properly. I think it’s the ball bearing but I don’t really know. Car got stuck in some snow a few days ago and we were unable to get it out even after digging it out from the snow… Seemed like the right tire wasn’t spinning or gripping. We got someone to pull us out and it’s driving fine, no problems but when I try to drive up our driveway that has a slight hill, it is having troubles and barely makes it up and seems like the right tire is vibrating and not spinning properly. There is no humming noise. Just a vibrating when trying to drive up my icy muddy driveway.

Could this be something else besides a bearing? I really have no idea. I’ll be making an appt with my mechanic tomorrow but typically it’s a one week wait to see him and I have to work this week so can’t just not drive it.

Any help is much appreciated.

Well, those 1947 Edsels were known for that. The problem was…

Ok. sorry. What is the year makes and model of this car? How many miles are on it? Is it equipped with a traction control system? Are any of the lights lit up on your gauge cluster? ABS? Trac? Check engine? etc.

If you had a wheel bearing that was binding up the car would not drive fine. If it was that bad, then your wheel probably would have fallen off by now.

Please forgive @cigroller’s sarcasm, @samcrisper. It is quite relevant and humorous though. It would be worthwhile for you to throw out some pertinent information. And if you suspect a wheel bearing problem, regardless of the car, raising the wheels off the ground and spinning them might give some indication of their condition. But make and model would greatly improve the chances of someone here “shooting from the hip” and helping you even then.

That 1947 Edsel was quite a car. Very few survive.

Woops sorry Cigroller. I put the make of my car in my profile, thought it would show up.It’s a 2002 Pt Cruiser. There’s no love lost between me and the car so you can go ahead and make fun of it.

I have no idea about the traction control system, but don’t believe it has it. There are 189000kms on it and I had the left bearing replaced last summer. A mechanic checked out the right bearing a couple months ago but he didn’t actually get under and inspect it, just jacked it up then spun the wheels and said it seemed “ok for now.”

ABS breaks yes, check engine light comes on and off. Have brought it to the mechanic for the engine light problem. Everytime they fix one or two of the codes that come up on the reader but still the light comes on randomly. I’ve given up on it for now as it drives fine.

Thanks for your reply. Sorry I’m such a dunce at this.

Right. How about make, model, year, mileage, automatic or manual transmission…And no, it’d NOT a wheel bearing…

Your vehicle has an open differentail. This means if the drive wheels get stuck, the tire with the least traction will spin and the tire with most of the traction won’t even try to spin.

You said you tried to get the vehicle unstuck until you finally had it pulled out. How long did you spin the tire trying to get the vehicle out? Because spinning the tires trying to get a vehicle unstuck is a quick way to fry the transmission.

Pull the transmission dipstick out and see if the transmission fluid is black and if it has an acrid odor.


Thank you Tester I will do that. Definitely did not go too crazy on the gas when I was trying to get the car out. Was as careful as I could be under the circumstances. I realized it was a no go after about 30 mins of trying different things (wood under the tire, cat litter, dirt for traction.)

When I was trying to move the car I only revved it for a short period, stopped, then revved again, stopped. Didn’t do that more than a few times each try. Then I’d move on to trying something else.

Sorry guys I had put the make and model in my profile, I thought it would show up next to my name. 2002 PT Cruiser. 189,000kms.

While you run the gauntlet of guffaws the genius of Car Talk is at work, @samcrisper.

Let me make this inquiry, have you looked behind that wheel for the possibility of damage or debris lodged in the wheel/hub?

And despite the phenomenal salaries we make here, it is actually the comedy that keeps us coming back. All the regulars here are independantly wealthy retired plumbers and tort lawyers and political speech writers… Lucky for you some of us are bored tonight.

I understand I’m an idiot and I do appreciate the help :>

There was nothing that I could see anywhere in the wheel well. There was a bit of snow but I removed that. I am pretty handy with a stick.

@samcrisper, no worries. I didn’t even know car info was part of a profile and then sometimes they can go in the post “tags” but that info is always incomplete. Certain aspects of the site are just confusing, and I tried to make it clear that I was goofing around. So anyway, go easy on yourself.

Unfortunately, like Tester I have to worry about some long term damage that may have come from the episode of getting stuck. On your description of driving up the driveway, is that your impression from inside of the car while driving it? (The vibrating and not spinning properly). Or are there some observations from outside of the car? Mostly I think that it will have to wait for someone to pull the wheels and inspect the aftermath of having been stuck.

Have a mechanic give the car a quick inspection for mechanical problems and then put a set of Winter Tires on your Cruiser and you should have no more problems…MUCH cheaper than Traction Control or All Wheel Drive…