Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do You Have A Flat Spot?...On One Of Your Tires

Have you ever been driving on a smooth road, alone, and by yourself, and felt the vehicle shimmy, and shake, and heard a slight roaring noise?

Gremlins! They do that sometimes.

I had a l996 Pontiac Grand Am in here the one day that was doing just that!

The owner told me he thought it was a wheel bearing, or maybe a universal joint.

He said he had thought about fixing it himself but he just didn't have time.

It's a good thing. This was a front wheel drive.

A front wheel drive doesn't have a drive shaft, it has drive-axles.

Plus, he would have been shocked when he took the tire off. No-hub-like-a-normal-hub. :-)

There's a lot more to changing out a bearing in a fwd than it is in a rear-wheel drive (rwd).

I put the car on the lift and raised it.

I rotated the right front tire. No noise.

I went to the other side and rotated that tire. No noise.

I rotated the rear tires and there was no noise there either.

I shook each one of the rear tires side to side and top to bottom.

Neither had any slack.

The rear wheels have bearings the way most people are use to seeing on the front. Make sense? :-)

Then I rotated each tire and put my hand on the top of the tire as it was turning.

When I got to the driver-side front tire and put my hand on top, as it was rotating, I felt a *flat* spot.

He had told me that it was his wife's car, and that she was afraid it was going to come apart on her.

Either he get it fixed, or buy her another one.

He said that was why she *let* him bring it to the shop. :-)

I let him feel the flat-spot on the tire. He told me that the tires were still under warranty.

I saw his wife at church a few days later and she told me they had the tire replaced and that the noise and vibration both were gone.

I should have changed out the front bearing and the drive shaft...I could have made a lot of money. :-( (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you):-)

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