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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


So I have a 2000 Hyundai Accent, 1.5L with an automatic transmission. I'm hearing a grinding noise when I'm driving. It gets faster as the car goes faster, but the engine RPM has no effect only the speed of the car.

I got new tires, changed the CV axle shaft on both sides, and I also changed the front struts as I was told that one of the struts was bad the last time I took the car for an alignment. None of that has had any effect on the grinding noise.

Then I jacked the car up on both sides and let the wheels spin, and the grinding noise is present that way as well. Then I jacked up just one side at a time. When the driver's side wheel is spinning, the noise is audible, but not when just the passenger side is spinning.

I then disconnected the brake caliper from the driver's side and held it up with a tie wrap to keep it out of the way. The noise is still audible when the wheel is spinning, so it's not the pads or a clip or anything like that.

So now I'm down to a couple of ideas.

1) Wheel bearings

2) Something is hosed in the differential or transmission. I'm guessing that the differential is more likely, as the transmission should effect both sides the same, right?


I'm going to check the wheel bearings now, though to me it seems unlikely to be the problem.

I'm just wondering if anybody has any other ideas of what the problem could be, before I take it to a mechanic and possibly spend more than the car is worth rebuilding the drive train.



Thanks
 

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Based on what you said. My first idea would be that it's your wheel bearing. If the noise was inside your transmission, you could always spin the wheel and put your ear to a long screwdriver with the metal end touching the transmission housing and source it to the tranny. You could always buy an auto stethoscope. It's like a doctors stethoscope but with a long thin metal rod. It serves the same purpose as using the screwdriver but works a little better, and is cheap. I'm sure you could find one at Harbor Freight Tools. That is if you live near one.

Noises can often be hard to source, or misleading. A simple tool like the stethoscope can help you source the problem, or at least make your guesses much more educated. Good luck dude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip about the auto stethoscope, I never heard of that but it sounds quite useful.

After some more digging it appears to be a combination of things.

I removed the knuckle and hub from the car, and discovered that the dust shield was actually mangled in an area that I couldn't see with everything attached, and was scraping the inner edge of the rotor, which was causing PART of the grinding sound. I cut the dust shield off with some metal shears, and the scraping part of the noise went away. What is left is more of a thumping sound.

So it also appears that I probably need new bearings, or more likely a completely new hub assembly. Spinning the rotor/hub on just the knuckle results in a mild grinding noise and doesn't spin as easily as it should. And after I put it back together I also noticed that the wheel is actually a little wobbly, and the remaining noise seems to be in rhythm with the wobbling of the wheel. I don't have the tools to do the hub assembly, so I'm going buy a new hub assembly and take the whole knuckle/hub to a machine shop Saturday.

I also took the opportunity of having the CV shaft disconnected from the hub again to manually turn the shaft and I don't hear any noise that way, so it's probably not related to the drive train.
 

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I think you did really good in diagnosing the problems with your car. And what isn't the problem with your car.

From what you describe, the wheel being wobbly and grinding, I'd say most definitely your wheel bearing needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, that the other wheel bearings are of the same age. But more importantly, the other front wheel bearing ( front right ) took the same amount of abuse as that front left one did. If you can afford it, I'd highly recommend replacing them both. If you can't, then so be it. Just keep an eye it from time to time.

I'm curious as to what damaged that dust shield to begin with? But at this point I guess it doesn't make any difference.  
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I actually decided to just go nuts and replace everything else in the front; both hubs, rotors, tie rod ends, and lower ball joints... everything that can be purchased aftermarket for this car is fairly cheap; a little over $300 for all of the above, including new brake pads and new dust shields. Plus whatever the machine shop is going to charge me tomorrow, which shouldn't be too much. I'll probably work on the back end next week. The car has about 110k miles on it, so just about everything on the car has passed it's recommended lifetime, and I have no idea about the maintenance history of the car, so I have to go on the assumption that it's all original.

No idea what caused the dust shield to get bent. The car hasn't exactly been real quiet since I got it, and I like to play my music loud, so for all I know it may have been like that when I got it. The thumping sound is definitely new, though. I bought the car dirt cheap when I moved back to this area fairly recently, and I didn't expect to keep it more than a couple months, but I've grown to like the car and it's excellent fuel efficiency, so I decided to put some work into it, to at least make sure it's safe to keep driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just thought I'd do a quick follow up on this. I replaced the parts mentioned above, and it now rides like a new car ;) No noise, and straight as an arrow.

Cheers
 

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I think you did really good in diagnosing the problems with your car. And what isn't the problem with your car.

From what you describe, the wheel being wobbly and grinding, I'd say most definitely your wheel bearing needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, that the other wheel bearings are of the same age. But more importantly, the other front wheel bearing ( front right ) took the same amount of abuse as that front left one did. If you can afford it, I'd highly recommend replacing them both. If you can't, then so be it. Just keep an eye it from time to time.

I'm curious as to what damaged that dust shield to begin with? But at this point I guess it doesn't make any difference. *
I've had a similar problem with my car. In my case, the dust shield bended from the rust. I didn't notice it for a long time and the contact of the dust shield on the brake disc created a kind of metal hump. That hump then bit in the brake pad, which was making a noise when I was turning (or so I thought). Then, I found that I also had a balljoint that was broken (broken seal). Now that's fixed as well (new control arm+bushings+balljoint+new brake pads and discs), but there is still THE noise when I turn right at high speed (at least 70 km/hr), but not at lower speeds. There is no sound when I rotate the wheels and no free play. I'm thinking of changing the hub+bearing if it persists...
 

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I have a 2001 accent I have had the front right wheel bearing replaced three times along with the hub and bearing the last time and still have the same problem after just a few thousand miles starts whining again I have asked the mechanic if he thought the axle was bad and he said no. Anyone have an idea what the problem might be?
 

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I have a 2001 accent I have had the front right wheel bearing replaced three times along with the hub and bearing the last time and still have the same problem after just a few thousand miles starts whining again I have asked the mechanic if he thought the axle was bad and he said no. Anyone have an idea what the problem might be?
that is a strange one....only thing i can think of is the bore in the steering knuckle (where the bearing is pressed in) is damaged somehow.

it's also possible that the castle nut on the end of the driveshaft was not torqued properly during the last bearing replacement. a mechanic not torque something properly?? that never happens! HA!

normally the wheel bearings are very good on these cars. 245k kms and original wheel bearings here.

unfortunately when bearings get damaged, there's no way to fix it but replace the bearing. when damaged, they can go at anytime. may be years, may be tomorrow. there's no way to know.
 

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The last time the mechanic replaced the Bering he did replace the part it is pressed into as well, what I called the hub must be the steering knuckle I guess. The mechanic said he torqued it correctly all three times he replaced it. Have you any suggestion on where to buy the Bering or what brand is the best replacement I am going on # 4 this year. I was thinking of replacing the axel as well thinking there may be something wrong with that, just have no other idea.
 

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ok one thing to check: your tire balance. this is a total longshot out on left field idea, but at this point i think thats where you're at.

if the tire balance is out badly it will produce vibrations in the bearing....and its possible you may shake it to death.

besides that, at next replacement i would consider replacing the entire knuckle/bearing/hub assembly. not cheap, and i would rarely recommend something like this - but you're running out of options here. your labour will be far less, so you might recoup your cost there and break even?
 
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