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Mark, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 847
Experience:  34+ yrs Dealership Exp. - Fully State & ASE Certified - GM Master & GM World Class Tech
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Chevrolet Cobalt LS vibration and noise front end

Customer Question

I have a 2005 chevy cobalt has a vibration and loud road noise coming from drivers side front tire checked all tires nothing wrong checked hubs nice and tight slop in cv shaft at transmission changed cv still slop and noise can the stub shaft on that side be replaced and how car has 64000 it is an automatic transmission
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Mark replied 6 years ago.
Greetings and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Mark.

I don't know how much slop we're talking about here. Some movement is very normal. I would get too excited with that.

I highly suspect you have a wheel bearing issue here. The "snow-tire" noise or as you put it "road noise", is usually from a wheel bearing. Even though you feel the wheel bearing is good and tight, the bearing itself could be failing.

Inside the bearing is just some big steel balls. The are a little bit smaller than marbles. If one of the balls gets scored, for what-ever reason, as it goes around, it eventually scores the race and the other ball bearings.

As you are driving down the road, say 40 - 50, and the noise is fairly noticeable, safely try swerving sharply back and forth. You are not putting the weight on the RF or the LF. You noise should change. If you can swerve in and out of the noise, most likely the noise is coming from a wheel bearing.

And don't be caught up on which side it is. There have been many times one could swear it was on the left, only to find it was on the right.

We usually raise the car on the hoist and have an assistant spin the wheels while we listen with a mechanics stethoscope and pinpoint the failed bearing.

I will add here though, unless the bearing is extremely failed, loose on the spindle, a "vibration" is not associated with the bearing. When you replaced the "CV", does that mean you just replaced the "CV" tri-pod joint? Or did you replace the whole "half-axle".
Replacing the whole half-axle is the way to go. They are cheap enough and it make the repair complete.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I did replace the whole half axle much easier then rebuilding the slop is about .125 of movement up and down from center if you grab shaft right by tranny if that is normal will put up on stands and check hubs with stethoscope noise does not seam to change going straight or turning starts at 25 and changes with speed
Expert:  Mark replied 6 years ago.
Very good. I personally don't think the movement with-in your shaft is your issue. There should be some movement there. You might compare it to that of your other side. There's a little difference between the two, however, there should be some play.

The only other thing that comes to mind is your tires. You would be surprised the noise that can be generated by "cupped, feathered, or chopped tires". I am not there so see your vehicle, tires, or over-all condition. I can only give you my opinion on what we see and hear in the field.

Even if your tires have good tread and look good to you, run you hand across the tire. See if you can feel "sharp edges". Look closely at the tire. A person can see the "chopping, cupping, and feathering".

If your tires are better in the back, see if rotating the tires changes your noise and / or vibration.