Piston Slap: A Fit-ting end to wheel bearings?
Hagerty’s own Ronnie Schreiber writes:
My 2015 Honda Fit is making an oscillating noise from the driver’s side front end when traveling in a straight line. Up on jack stands, in neutral, when I manually rotate the wheel on that side, I can hear a very regular clicking sound that to me sounds like a bad bearing, like maybe one ball bearing has been lost or disintegrated. At first I thought it was a wheel bearing, but the clicking reminds me of a bad CV joint, but bad CV joints make noise when you’re turning, not when traveling straight. What do you think?
So just to confirm, you are not hearing any noises when accelerating from a standstill and turning either left or right?
It doesn’t make the typical failing CV joint clack clack when turning, and I notice it more at speed than when accelerating. I’m pretty sure it’s a wheel bearing at this point, though there may also be some noise from the wear indicator on the brakes. I’ll know tomorrow after I drop it off at my neighborhood repair shop. I have almost 100K miles on the car and I haven’t had to spend a penny on repairs so I’m not really unhappy.
There was a time when I would have never taken a car in for brakes, bearings, or a FWD axle. I would have done the work myself. Of course that was when I was 30 years younger. If I had a lift I might consider it, but climbing under cars hurts. Hell, just pumping the floor jack to check things out the other day aggravated my rotator cuff.
Be it physical, financial, or time based restrictions, there ain’t no shame in letting someone else work on your car. Sometimes we just have better things to do, and that’s what a good local mechanic is for. Once you have one, just go right ahead and treasure them!
That said, I assume the mechanic will put it on a lift, find wiggle in the wheel(s), and order you a new set of wheel bearings. I assume it will be the front wheel bearings (because of the loads present in an axle doing both steering and acceleration), but who knows, maybe the rears are on their way out. No matter, these would be replaced in pairs, or perhaps you’ll do all four corners just in case you feel the others are on their way out. If you live where flooding is an issue like me, doing all four wheels is a very good idea.
What say you, Hagerty Community? Think Ronnie’s ride is “fit” for some new wheel bearings?
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