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Old 08-27-2016, 01:38 PM   #1
m_metzger1114
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04 Olds alero bearing issues

Having issues with the wife's 2004 alero. It growls at speeds over 10mph and only gets worse. I assumed it was the wheel bearing but it doesn't really change much when on a curve. I pulled both front wheels today to check for play and neither one seems bad. I replaced the driver wheel bearing not to long ago. I reached back to feel the axles and the inner shaft on the passenger side has a lot of up and down movement. The driver side had some movement but not as much.

I helped my wife's uncle when his colorado did this and it was the bearing the axle slid into. Unfortunately I can't really find any info on this for the alero. Do you think this bearing could be causing my issue? Any advice?
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:13 PM   #2
Young Gun
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Bearing most likely. Common on our cars for them to go bad. Mine only changed in pitch when I turned but it still made noise ( Just swapped them for the 2nd time ).
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:40 AM   #3
03Alerosil
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If the growling sounds like you are driving on rumble strips then it's the bearings. Very common. You may also feel a slight vibration. I just did mine this spring. Driver side was very loud but no play in it. I replaced the passenger side because it was just as old and it's always a good idea to replace bearings in pairs. Make sure to use a quality brand like Timken, what I used, or another quality brand. Cheap wheel bearings are junk in a short amount of time.

The inner part of the cv axle isn't a conventional joint. It is a two piece joint that slides in and out to adjust for suspension travel so it should have play in and out. The axle cv joint is the outer part of the axle next to the wheel bearing. I can't imagine that causing a growling noise. The outer cv joint clicks when it's bad.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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I'm not talking about the inner cv joint having play. I'm talking about where the axle actually goes into the transmission. It doesnt move in and out, it moves up and down. It's like a bearing behind the axle seal is gone.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
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Cause there isn't a bearing or such, the splines are long enough to support each other and if there is up and down / left right play your splines may be shot.
If you have the wheel bearing out, just pull the axle out and take a close look at the splines at it and inside the transmission. Also inspect the little retainer ring at the end and the groove it sits in.

If the splines do look very good, still. Than you have to take the transmission apart and see if the parts in there have play.

Attached two pictures:
Transmission RPO: MN4


Axle front:
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:30 PM   #6
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Wow that wasn't what I wanted to hear lol. Thanks for the input and diagrams. I suppose I'll pull the axle out and see what I can see. I really don't want to dig into the trans. I've never had an auto trans opened up before other than fluid/filter changes. I guess now is as good of a time as any to learn . I'll prolly go ahead and change the passenger bearing when I do my inspection in hopes that everyone else was right lol. I've had my Trac and abs lights on since I bought the car, so I figure it needs done anyways.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #7
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it is recommended you soak these HUB bearings in oil or something before they go on the car. THEY ARE OLDSMOBILE FACTORY OVERSTOCK(if you got a blue and silver one) many of these bearings are way over 10 years old. THEY NEED AN OIL BATH BEFORE YOU INSTALL THEM. the natural lubrication inside them has expired.
i used a prime choice barring before as well(which is not factory) and that failed too.
the barring i had failed on me SEIZED UP. the barring STOPPED SPINNING.

I recommend used motor oil in a plastic tub.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:27 PM   #8
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Little late to the party here but if you want to check the for a bad bearing have the wheels (both front if you think it is the front that is bad) in the air and spin each wheel by hand (fast as you can) with one hand on the coil spring and you should be able to feel the vibration from the bearing in the spring! Some times it is still hard to tell but usually that will do it.
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