How can you tell if the wheel bearing is going out or is out and which side

Asked by Jul 08, 2011 at 03:02 PM about the 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The rotor on the passanger side makes a clattering sound and is loose when tire is removed. The rotor on the drivers side is stable and does not clatter when driving only the passanger sid... Is this the wheel bearing on the passanger or something else causing the rotor to clatter around?

6 Answers

usually pretty simple, most always you can hear a loud or low rumble/humm. if the bearing is totally wasted when you jack the car up wheel off the ground and shake wheel up and down or hands and 10 and 4 therfe should be no movement or play if so def bearing. a second thing to try is jack up front end safely. andchock wheels. easier if youhave a buddy ut start car appy brake to get out of gear then put in drive and g from side to sideto listen for a hum or groan sound from either wheel. if its noit that repost and ill give ya brake diagnoses

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

The lug nuts hold the wheel and the rotor in place. It's normal for the rotor to be loose when the wheel is off.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

To answer your original question, a wheel bearing will become louder when weight is increased. When you turn the steering wheel, weight is shifted to the front outer tire. If you turn left, weight is shifted to the right front. You don't have to turn the wheel much to hear it. Weaving in your lane will do it but make sure that you're not going too fast and no one is right behind you. They might call 911 on you.... After the bearing gets really bad, it will make noise all the time.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

A new way to check a bad bearing is to raise the wheel in the air. Engine off - car in neutral - spin the wheel - grab hold of the spring. If the bearing is bad, you can feel it crunching in the spring. - February 2013


Simply way to check bearings, although is not completely fool proof. put car on jack stand. place hands on 12 and 6 o'clock positions and attempt to rock the wheel back and forth on those points. If it feels like it has ANY play, the bearing is likely bad. Also check at 3 and 9 o'clock positions.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Definitely agree ^ If its loud enough or sounds severe enough you may hear your power steering struggle and whine as you turn with the bearing on the outside.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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