Scratching noise when rotating wheel on jack stands

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by nicolas_xu, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    I believe my front wheel bearing is bad, since it (2014 Prius, 45k) makes scratching pulse noise from 30 to 40 mph from the front of the car. It is one sound for each rotation. If speed goes higher, the noise cannot be clearly identified. New tires and alignment.

    I am diagnosing the problem by
    1) Jack up the car, then
    2) put shift to N, then
    3) spin the wheel by hand

    What I found is all my wheels, 4 of them, when spinning by hand, makes scratching noise. Something is scratching the wheels. I am unable to confirm if the wheel bearing is bad or just rotators are bad. The possibilities are:

    1) All 4 wheel bearings are bad, since they all make rotational noise
    2) It is the brake pad touching rotors. The rotator will push pads away when speed increases. Not a problem at all.
    3) All brake rotors or pads are bad (not straight?) and need to be replaced.
    4) A combination of wheel bearing and rotor are bad.

    Btw, I just rotated my brand new tires at Costco. The noise hasn't changed. So it is not the problem of tire.

    Please give me some suggestions on diagnosing the problem. Thanks!
     
  2. Jimi1976

    Jimi1976 Active Member

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    Sounds like pads on rotors to me.
    Some slight drag is normal.
    Can you confirm the spring clips are installed on the pads? The ones that keep the pads pulled away from rotor
     
  3. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    I know there is a piston pushing and pulling the pad. What is the spring looks like? Is it the clip?
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The rear wheels will make a bit of sound when rotated, that's normal for disc brakes. Drag should be minimal, but the wheel will not be completely free spinning. If the rear brakes were reassembled with the inner pad pin not properly seated between the caliper piston spokes there will be bad drag. But I get the feeling that's not your problem.

    From your earlier posts, it seems like you've got a front wheel bearing that's starting to deteriorate. Again, just guessing, that's probably the only problem. Likely other than that your front wheels/brakes are ok. Again, disc brakes are slightly noisy.

    I've got a feeling you've got wheelitis, lol. I've been there: the closer you look at them, the more you start hearing/seeing problems, that are actually just the normal characteristics.

    In your shoes, I would invest a few $100's to get a thorough 4 wheel brake and bearing inspections. Dealership would likely be best, or an independent Prius shop if there is one in your area. Working on Prius brakes requires some extra care: the safest bet is to disconnect the 12 volt battery at the outset, and before reconnecting pump the brake pedal several times to build up pressure. Also, it's critical to align (aforementioned) rear brake caliper pistons correctly with inner pad pin, to avoid grief down the road.
     
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  5. StarCaller

    StarCaller Senior Member

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    the springs are on top of the brake pads/
    there are little holes in the caliber where they hook in.
    if your wheel is off, just look for something that looks like two little wires (NOT like cables!) on top of the brake pads /

    edit: yep, I guess the best choice would be what Mendel is suggesting: let it get checked by a dealer /
    better safe than sorry /
     
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  6. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    StarCaller, Mendel Leisk, thanks for the advice!
     
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  7. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I don't know, sounds normal to me. -ANY- disk brake will make a "scratching noise" when you rotate the wheel. A wheel bearing not already destroyed will usually not make any noise when there is no weight on the wheel.
    If you can hear something when driving, particularly if the sound is heard when turning one way but not the other, that is often a wheel bearing. A 2014 should have no bearing problems, but I suppose they can fail anytime.
     
  8. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    I just called two Toyota dealers. One dealer told me they will check and see, the other told me clearly that front-wheel bearing is covered under 5 year 60k miles warranty.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    There yah go, I'd jump on that!
     
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  10. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    But if they find nothing and the bearings are ok they might want shop rates to cover the check.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    In BC, Canad, initial diagnosis is usually around $75. Hopefully no more. Wouldn't hurt to ask.
     
  12. nicolas_xu

    nicolas_xu Junior Member

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    In Boston area, dealer in city quotes me $110, dealer in suburb quotes me $59.
     
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  13. Spindifferent

    Spindifferent Member

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    I'm trying to figure out if my 2010 with 82k miles has a bad wheel bearing. I just rotated the tires and I hand-spun the wheels while up on the jacks. The sound that I notice is one like individual bearing balls making a clicking sound when they move into a new location as the wheel turns. Kinda like the sound of marbles hitting each other; very faint sound, but distinct on the wheel that I believe has the bad bearing. The "non-clicking" wheels do make a continuous soft "scratching" sound as the wheel spins.

    I guess I'll have a dealer look at it, as I'm no expert and don't have the tools/time to do the repair myself. I may buy the bearing online and bring it to the dealer for install if I can save some money. As an example, from here:

    OEM Hub & Bearing Assembly for 2010 Toyota Prius|42450-47040 : Toyota Parts Online | Olathe Toyota Parts Center
     
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  14. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    First thing you need to do is stop hijacking Mr Nicolas's thread. Doesn't take anymore time than this post here to start a new thread. Then you'll have your own thread and it won't be stuck on the end of someone's else's thread.
     
  15. Jimi1976

    Jimi1976 Active Member

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    In my experience- with several cars, a worn hub is indicated by the sound being heard in the cabin of the car while driving.
    Also - when turning the car a certain way to ADD pressure to wheel, sound will worsen. If doing the opposite, removing pressure from wheel, sound goes away. Also - Sound changes with vehicle speed.
    This, coupled with marked MPG loss.
     
  16. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    The rears that just have pads should not make any noise when spun and e brake off. The fronts are more involved sine they are the drivetrain and you may hear slight noise from the pads rubbing.Real easy to check for warped rotor. Get going fast ans then apply the brakes firmly.
    If you hear or feel pulsating in the front if its not just smooth braking then the rotors are warped. Real easy to warp a rotor just do a hard emergency stop at very fast speed and then sit there with your foot on the brake with the super hot pads against the rotor. That should do it. if the rotors are warped you'll know it when you brake.

    But i thought you had vibration in another thread.
     
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