Growling noise in the right front wheel

Joe Diagnostician Texas Posted   Latest  
Resolved
Drivetrain
2006 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.9L (1 LZ9) 4-spd (4T65-E) — 2G1WC581169208505

I have a 2006 Chevy impala. The customer complaint is that she hears a noise in the right front wheel, I road tested vehicle and confirmed the growling noise at 20-60mph. I’ve rotated the tires and with no change. I replaced the wheel bearing with no change now I’m married to the car! I found a TSB on identyfix which says to re- torque axle nut to 162 ft​.​lbs which I performed with no change. I suspect it’s in the transmission but I can’t pinpoint it this car is kicking my ass!!

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Dwayne Owner/Technician
Pennsylvania
Dwayne Default
 

Are you sure it’s not the wheel bearing on the other side? Wheel bearings can be so deceptive at times! If it is in the trans you should be able to duplicate on the lift with a helper in the car since a trans bearing would not need weight on it to make noise. Hope this helps.

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Benjamin Technician
Connecticut
Benjamin Default
 

Agreed, so many times I've sworn it was the right, only to find it was the left, and that after using a stethoscope, chassis-ear, and pointing at bad children (bad boys quiet when you point at them).

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Laird Owner/Technician
Nova Scotia
Laird Default
 

Put the car in neutral and spin the wheel with your hand on the coil spring. You will feel the roughness vibrating the spring on the side with the bad wheel bearing

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Interesting
Ray Diagnostician
Kansas
Ray Default
 

Cv axle?

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Caleb Diagnostician
Indiana
Caleb Default
 

Do what Laird said to check for a wheel bearing. You can also drive the car on the hoist and check for a loud bearing with a stethoscope. If there are no bad bearings an you still think the noise is from the right front ,do this. Pull the Right Front CV axle an pop the cover off the final drive. The 4T65E final drive/differential are absolute garbage. More than likely a spider gear is grinding…

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Jose Mechanic
North Carolina
Jose Default
 

Check the intermediate shaft bearing I replaced a couple already

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David Default
 

I have never seen an intermediate shaft on 4T65E.

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Chuy Diagnostician
California
Chuy Default
   

Use a infared gun? Measure the temp of the wheel bearing If you can access it. I’ve had this scenario happen to me, it’s wise to sell wheel hub/bearings in pairs.

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Mark Engineer
Colorado
Mark Default
 

Joe Check if a neighbor shop will lend you their multi-channel, real-time acoustic data acquisition system (Chassis Ear) and you’ll have your answer in one (or a few) iterations. (Buy the shop a box of the very best doughnuts and thank them for lending you the chassis ear) Then with the time you lost, assign a value, use that amount to buy a new chassis ear and several lunches and declare you…

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Gary Owner/Technician
Michigan
Gary Default
 

As others have mentioned. Run it on a lift or at least with the front in the air. Alternately stop the right or left wheel (I jam it with a milk crate). You should be able to hear the difference with a stethoscope and if you bump up the rpms a little you can usually feel it in the coil spring.

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Hollis Technician
Colorado
Hollis Default
 

When the customer put's a notion in your head like the right front, check all 4 and all related components on the lift. Keep in mind that there is no load on the suspect part and take into consideration the vehicles age, mileage, use and or abuse in the form of lack of maintenance. The customer hears a noise, you hear a noise, but are both parties hearing the same noise. Test, check and…

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Benjamin Technician
Connecticut
Benjamin Default
 

"The customer hears a noise, you hear a noise, but are both parties hearing the same noise?" This made me think of something. On hearing "Customer states hearing noise from RF wheel area," we automatically start making assumptions, and suddenly LF becomes a diagnostic blind spot.

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Hollis Technician
Colorado
Hollis Default
 

Customer told me they saw smoke come out of the steering column, ONCE, a year or so before, no issues, just thought they'd add it to the brake issue I was addressing just in case... Given the nature of said customer, I'd believe them if they told me that a Genie was in the smoke. But taking into consideration that said customer more than likely made 3 wishes and evidently a new car wasn't one…

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Benjamin Technician
Connecticut
Benjamin Default
 

They never wish for a new car.

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Joe Diagnostician
Texas
Joe Resolution
 

Thank you all very much !!! you are all in inspiration in my quest for knowledge. I am amazed on the level of expertise and knowledge you have provided me with even if it’s something as simple as a wheel bearing and then there are the customers who question our charge for services. by not fully understanding the level of experience and knowledge to fix the vehicle, but back to the noise which…

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Resolution
Eric Technician
Illinois
Eric Default
 

I had a Ford Explorer that kicked my butt with a similar situation. It had the classic wheel bearing growl. It was steering sensitive and sounded to be the right front. Replaced it with no change, had to move on to get some other vehicles finished. So the tech beside me took a shot at it, well long story short it was a rear wheel bearing, but driving it the noise sounded like the right front…

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Paul Mechanic
Illinois
Paul Default
 

Perhaps it was both and the right one was the most pronounced at the time-having silenced it with replacement now exposed the left side as also defective. Been there-done that.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin Default
   

This is why we must always test first! I had a similar one of Friday; the customer requested that the left side be replaced, because it sounded like the noise was from the left bearing and they had recently had the right bearing replaced. I refused to do so without testing first. Guess what? The right side was the fault.

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Benjamin Technician
Connecticut
Benjamin Default
 

Indeed, never replace something you didn't diagnose, because you'll own it either way.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott Default
 

Hi Joe, The only thing I'd like to add to this would the power of suggestion. She believes it to be the right front, and yes, there is a bad wheel bearing, so it is the right front. I'm guilty of jumping to conclusions myself. I take the customers belief of where the problems lays with a grain of salt and verify for myself. I've had people swear that it was coming from the front and it was…

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David Mechanic
United Kingdom
David Default
 

Hi Joe, one way to tell a trans noise from a wheel bearing noise is to find a quiet bit of road . Then drive at the speed to induce the noise and zig zag the vehicle . If it’s a bearing the noise will generally come and go due to the Weight transfer. If it remains constant it points to a trans issue . It can also help in determining what side if it’s a bearing , but as others have said noise can…

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Matt Educator
Ohio
Matt Default
   

I agree with all of the posts, but I would make sure that there are no groundout issues. A collapsed bushing or any metal to metal contact from frame to body. I've chased some vibration and noise issues that turned out to be normal, but was amplified because of a groundout. I would also make sure that it's not the other bearing. My experience is that you can't diagnose bearing noises like we…

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