Separated Tire Noise That Isn't -- Update

Tom Werner noonan67 at
Wed Jan 21 09:47:06 EST 2004

I followed the advice of the list and took my 200q in to get a wheel bearing 
replaced yesterday.  I am friendly with the staff of a local brake / tire / 
alignment shop and they were happy to put in the bearing I purchased from 

Normally I do almost all my own work, but these guys have the Hub Shark and 
I didn't feel like pulling the entire strut off and taking that to them to 
press the bearing in and out, and for $60 it was worth not getting my hands 
dirty -- or so I thought.

As usual, there was some discussion as to which bearing was causing the 
noise.  I thought it was the driver side front bearing, but they determined 
it was the passenger side bearing.  I defered to their judgment, but was 
ready to pitch a fit if the wrong bearing was replaced -- they probably 
would have corrected their mistake and replaced the other side for free if 
they had made a wrong diagnosis, so I was happy to let then take 
responsibility for their decision.

Three hours into the job, one of the managers joked about the tech simply 
staring at the brake / strut setup for 20 minutes before calling him over to 
consult.  I was not a happy camper.  Not only was I taking time from work to 
be there for such situations, but I also brought all three bentleys with me 
in case anything popped up.  This 20 minutes of staring at the brake setup 
was costing me time and money.  But, I was assured that the tech was only 20 
minutes from getting the car put back together.

Well, after nearly 5 hours of working on the car, they gave up on the hub 
shark and took the entire strut off to use a 20-ton press on the bearing.  
Things went quickly after that.

So, at nearly 1 o'clock (I arrived at 7:30) they took the car for a test 
spin (after I had to show the tech how to reattach the brake pad spring and 
had the tech tighten the axle bolt on the ground instead of in the air as he 
had done).  The word that came back was not good:

Separated tire noise totally gone (pass side bearing) Grinding noise still 
there (driver side bearing).  Turns out we were both right in our diagnosis 
as to which bearing was bad.

As soon as the new bearing gets in, I'll take the strut off myself and let 
them use the big press on the bearing.  At a minimum, it will save loads of 

Thanks for everyone's help.  Even with the bad left bearing, the ride is 
much quieter and smoother.  A world of difference already.  Makes me anxious 
to drive it with that other bearing replaced.

-- Tom Werner
Charleston, SC

Tom Werner wrote:

    I've got a slight vibration / noticeable noise coming from the front of 
my 200q 20v that sounds like a tire with a separated belt. Got 4 new tires 
in hopes of clearing this up, but no luck.

Sound kicks in at 5 mph, is speed dependent regardless of acceleration, 
cruising or braking.  No CV grease slung under car.  Sounds like it is 
coming from the front driver side, but I realize that it doesn't necessarly 
mean that's where the problem lays.  UFO's could probably use a turning (if 
anyone has info on where to get that done, let me know), but they don't 
cause significant shimmy while stopping -- nothing that a few stops from 80 
won't cure.

Any ideas what to check?


-- Tom

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