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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
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Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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I have a grinding noise from the driver side front wheel area..tires

Customer Question

I have a grinding noise from the driver side front wheel area. The car is a 1999 9-3 SAAB. New tires were just installed. I inspected the brakes and rotors, no problem there or with the CV joint but he grease in the CV seemed rather liquid. I compared the drive shaft to the passenger side, the passenger side is firm and does not move, the driver side seems loose and has play. Is the problem with the inner drive coupling or is it another issue I should be looking for?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Is the excessive play side to side, or is it up and down?

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
more up and down than side to side. approx .5 inch up and down and very slight side to side
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

One last question- on the up and down, was that towards the outside(wheel) or more towards the inside(transaxle) ? and any humming, roaring, or clacking noise previously to the grinding?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Seems more to the inside but really didn't take note before I put the tire back on. No noise and nothing else before it started. There was a slight shimmy when brakes applied at higher speeds but alwasys stopped on second pump of pedal. Wife thought she had a flat and I met her at a mall parking lot and when I saw no flats, took it for a test around the parking lot. Only started making the noise (kind of like a rubbing when a rotor is warpped) when brakes were applied so thought it may be a brake problem. Told her to go easy on the brakes and get it home. Today the grind is pretty constant with no brakes even applied. No noise in reverse but grind does get worse when brakes applied going forward. Pads and rotors good so took the boot off the inner CV and that is where I noticed the play. I compared it to the the passenger side and no play at all there. So really suspect the inner drive. Hopefully not the bushing inside the transmission. Do you agree with my assessment? Any suggestions or tricks I should know if I do end up replacing the inner drive?
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Because the inner cv axle has liquefied, along with grinding noise, I strongly suspect with bearings or bearing cage has gone out in iiner CV axle. With bearings going out, it will cause the grease to become hot and thus the liquefying of the grease. You can raise vehicle back up, hold inner cv boot and pull on axle shaft. You should be able to feel the shaft coming apart at joint.

graphic

graphic

 

Please click the ACCEPT BUTTON or ask for more help. Positive feedback is always appreciated

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Inner CV is intact. There are no metal shavings in the grease and the housing and bearings are firm and not loose so I can almost guarantee the CV joint is not the issue. With the shaft on the inside of the CV joint moving up and down I can only think it is the inner drive. The grease is not fluid but somewhat less solid than I am used to. Is the recommended lithium grease less solid than the usual automotive grease?
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Lithium is not quite as thick as normal grease. With tire off the ground, check the wheel for any excessive play up and down to make sure bearing is ok. If there is no excessive play, with both wheels off the ground crank engine and put in gear to see if there is a grinding noise when you accelerate.

Let me know what you find

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Eric, if you're in a rush will accept your answers and pay you otherwise will be next Wednesday before I can do that. I work in CA and live in Southern UT so left this morning for 4 days of work. Will give you a try and let you know what happens if you want to wait otherwise will hit the accept button. Wheel bearing was firm and no grinding from that area when I rotated the wheels but interested to see what happens in the area of the inner CV joint with it in drive. Also in the process of ordering the inner drive overhaul kit from saabsite.com, pretty much figured it is the problem but always like to get a second opinion.
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

No need to ACCEPT until we get problem identified. I am on here most every day.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will positively let you know what I find and pay up, thanks for the patience. The commuter life is hell sometimes.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Working outside so had to wait for the several days of rain to stop. Got the drive line out and no problem with the CV joints, inner or outter. Looks like it's a inner driver replacement and hopefully the bearing inside the transmission is not worn. Awaiting info from the saabsite.com on the procedure to R&R the inner driver. I did jack the car and put it i gear, with no load on the wheels, no grinding. Would like to settle up with you on your time and info. Since no definitive resolution on both our parts, would $10 be acceptable? Don't want you to be unhappy with it so if $15 is what you feel is right, will send $15. Will let you know if the inner driver resolves the initial grinding problem. Regards, Jeff
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Because I was not able to help you out much, I dont expect any payment. next time you need some help, you can specifically ask for me.

Good luck and take care

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Eric
Eric
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Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor