Any time your car develops an unusual sound or starts handling poorly, it may be a sign that there's a wheel hub problem that you need to address. Wheel hub problems can be serious concerns, because a failed wheel hub or bearing assembly in the front end could lead to a serious accident. Here are a few symptoms that you may experience if your wheel hub is failing so that you can identify the problem early.
Front Wheel Sounds
There are several types of sounds that could indicate a problem with your car's wheel hub assemblies or joints, so knowing what each sound means is a start to narrowing down the trouble.
The sound of metal grinding against metal is unmistakable. If you hear this type of noise from the front end of your car, that's a sure sign that there's an issue with the bearings and you'll need to have it greased or serviced.
Rumbling and Growling
If the hub assembly itself is worn out or damaged, you're likely to hear growling or rumbling from the front end. This is especially likely to be the problem if the noise gets louder and clearer when you're turning, but softens when you're driving straight.
Popping or Clicking
Worn CV joints and loose bearings are both common causes of clicking or popping sounds from the front end. Either one could be the culprit if you're hearing a clunk in the front end when you shift into reverse. It's best to have a mechanic inspect the hub if you're hearing these sounds, because it's hard to differentiate one source from the other without an expert opinion.
Knocking and Clunking
The U-joints or CV-joints are prone to wear. If there's play in those joints, you're going to hear a heavy metallic clunk or knock from the front end on the side where the worn joint is. The sound is most common when you shift gears from either forward to reverse or vice versa. If this is the problem, you'll probably have to have the joints replaced.
If you're hearing any of the noises mentioned here, it's in your best interest to address it as soon as possible. The longer you ignore a problem with the front hubs or bearings, the greater the risk of lasting damage or a potential accident. Understanding what these sounds mean is the first step toward making sure that you protect your car from a serious mechanical failure. (For more information, contact Two Square Auto Repair Ltd - German Car Specialist)