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Old 02-17-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
swansong
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2000 SC2
Default Diagnosing a noise.. Wheel bearing?

In the past week the Saturn (2002 SL1, auto) has developed some front end noise. From what other posts say it seems to be a wheel bearing, but I want to make sure.

The noise sounds like tire road noise, like a drone or hum, and increases in pitch but not volume as speed increases. It is only audible above 40 mph or so. I can't tell if it is coming from left or right side, but it's definitely in the front. The noise does not change when turning the car either direction, and I can't feel/hear anything abnormal when turning the car sharply at lower speeds. Just today it seemed like there was an occasional, slow, vibrato-like pulsation in volume.

Sound like a wheel bearing? I kind of hope its something simpler since I don't have the tools/garage space/knowledge/time to do it myself, and would probably have to take it to a shop

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Old 02-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
wscreate
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Default Re: Diagnosing a noise.. Wheel bearing?

When my bearings went, the sound would go away or decrease when I turned toward the side with the bad bearing. I have heard that this is not always the case... sometimes the sound will not decrease.

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Old 02-17-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
SaturnguyS
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1999 SW2
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Default Re: Diagnosing a noise.. Wheel bearing?

What's the mileage on your car?
One of the wheel bearings went on my 94 SL2 at about 140k
and one went on the 99 sl1 about 160k.
It definitely sounds to me like a bad wheel bearing. I heard it above 30mph.
Have both done at the same time to avoid a second alignment fee.

...
current Saturn lineup:
'99 SL1 210k dad bought new...maintenance/normal wear items only
'99 SW2 186k
'02 SL1 67k

Sold:
94 SL2
96 SL2
97 SL1

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Old 02-17-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
swansong
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Default Re: Diagnosing a noise.. Wheel bearing?

The car has about 113k miles. I bought about 2k ago from what seems to have been a pretty neglectful previous owner.

It's difficult to tell which side its from, since I can only hear it above 45 mph and there aren't many turns sharp/fast enough around here to test it thoroughly.

But in any case I'd replace both at the same time anyway.

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:23 PM   #5
mr.mms
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Default Re: Diagnosing a noise.. Wheel bearing?

sounds like similar to what my 2004 vue is doing ! I as well thought it must be the wheel bearing. I just changed the driver side (passenger side was replaced few months ago, and seems to be ok), and it did not resolve the issue. So please make sure the reason before you replace anything. Kepp us updated. I'll let you know if I find the reason for the sound in my vue.

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