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Old 10-12-2009, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,135 posts, read 10,551,062 times
Reputation: 2478

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Wife has a 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer (RWD) with 42k miles. A couple of months ago she noticed there was a rubbing noise/feel when she would turn the wheel. We let it go and now it's almost undriveable due to the loud WHAP, WHAP, WHAP noise and vibration that is coming from the front end (feels/sounds like passenger front wheel). There is also some metal on metal noise that can be heard if driving with a wall next to you. It went from "eh, doesn't seem to bad" to "THE FRONT END IS GOING TO COME OFF!"

I rotated the tires (back to front) and inspected the CV boots, which looked fine.

She is not driving it until we get it fixed but I just wondered if this sounds like a wheel bearing. Looks like the easiest way to fix it on this truck is to replace the wheel hub ($150 from NAPA).
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 12,490,087 times
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Since it's gotten worse and worse I definitely wouldn't call it 'normal'.

Does it happen when you cut the wheel all the way to one side? Or does it happen when you turn any little bit?

It seems that a few cars I've owned in my past have had issues when maneuvering in tight areas like parking lots that when I would cut all the way one way or the other the car would kinda do this duck walk type deal. No loud noises but it was like the Ackerman was jacked up and the wheels weren't both pointed in the direction they needed to be. This is likely due to the fact that the vehicle wasn't designed to do this because it's a low percentage maneuver (ie wouldn't do it very often so why design around it).
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,135 posts, read 10,551,062 times
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The front end makes the noise and vibration all the time when the car is moving. If it's idle, sounds perfectly fine. I used to notice the rubbing/vibration only when turning but that is not the case now.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 12,490,087 times
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So it went from only when turning to now being a full time noise when the car is in motion.

Yeah I'd point to a wheel bearing or something....possibly even a brake caliper being locked up. Had this happen on one of my streetrods. Caliper just locked on the rotor and burned the f-up....awful squeeling noise! Fortunately was near an autozone which happened to have a caliper just like what I needed.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:13 PM
 
48,507 posts, read 90,745,756 times
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Raise the vehcile and turn the wheels that shpould tell you pretty quick if its bearings.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,135 posts, read 10,551,062 times
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Jacked the front end up. Didn't feel/see any play with both wheels when jerking them around. I also didn't hear anything when spinning them around (they spin freely with no noise). I took the caliper apart just to double check everything, compressed the piston, but didn't do anything to fix my issue.

There is loud CLING CLING noise when driving with the windows down that I can hear. It's a metal on metal kind of CLING.

Ugh.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Acres
1,777 posts, read 4,501,411 times
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if it has CV axles, then it isnt RWD, it's 4WD...

my bet is on a front differential or front propshaft issue

to check the CV shafts, grasp the shaft around the joint or just past the joint, and move them up and down, that will answer the first question.. then move to the inner joints, and differential, do the same with the front prop shaft
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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It's RWD so no front diff.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Acres
1,777 posts, read 4,501,411 times
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id be willing to bet it IS a wheel bearing

lift the front of the vehicle, grasp the top and bottom of the tire
push in with your top hand and pull out with your right hand, you may feel movement

i have an 05 TB with 91k, and haven't run across this issue yet (knock on wood)
but if i remember correctly, it is a simple process to remove the wheel hub and bearing assy...
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,135 posts, read 10,551,062 times
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Replaced the passenger side wheel hub yesterday and it's FIXED! Drives like new!

Took me less than a hour, very easy job to do on a RWD TrailBlazer. Just removed the tire, removed the caliper (2 bolts), removed the rotor (slides out), removed old hub (3 bolts), and installed new one, installing everything back.

Cost me $150 for the hub from NAPA. Found out you can get some cheap chinese versions off ebay for $60, which I would have done if I knew (this is a lease that goes back to GM in 4 months).

Some random pics of the fun:

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