Wheel Bearings - loud sound after hitting pothole at highway speed

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by jimlyons, Nov 6, 2021.

  1. jimlyons

    jimlyons Junior Member

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    2010 Prius 3 with 215,000 miles - I have a noise problem after hitting a pothole on Route 33 in Northeast PA. I heard a loud bang and then a loud humming noise after that. Brought it to a local Toyota dealership, and they said it was a bad left front wheel bearing. They wanted $960 to fix it. I declined, paid them $90 for the diagnosis, and brought it in to another repair shop who had replaced three wheel bearings for $600 a while back. They charged $350 to replace the left front wheel bearing, but the noise is still there. There are no leaks and no warning lights display when I start the car. They said it was driveable, but the mechanic did not know what was still causing the noise.

    Here's what I am thinking, they just replaced the left front wheel bearing because that what I told them the Toyota delaership had found, BUT the actual damaged wheel bearing was on the right front side. I tried calling them now, but they close early on Saturday. I will check with them on Monday, but if they say they did not look at the right sise and that is in fact the bearing that needs to be replaced, I will be a bit upset. I might bring the car to another Toyota dealership in NJ where my sister bought her Prius. She said trusted them because they fixed an issue that was out of warranty because the same dealership I used misdiagnosed the problem. /vent mode off. Anybody have a similar experience trusting the dealership repairs?
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    You could be right. It is always a good idea to change hubs in pairs, partially because the characteristic rumbling is hard to pinpoint left or right especially if both are close to equally worn.

    Another common issue is very early failure of low cost hubs. Timken or OEM are best.

    Any decent shop can do wheel bearing hubs. Shop around. These are for my v wagon rear.


    Toyota OEM vs Timken Rear Hub Bearings.jpg
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I fall in the other camp: replace whatever bearing fails and call it a day. In the eight years I owned my Gen 1, there were two bearings I had to replace, a right rear and a left front, and they went out years and tens of thousands of miles apart.

    Sure, they're the same age and have the same miles and presumably around the same mean time to failure ... but when the distribution of times to failure is so wide and flat, the MTTF doesn't act like some kind of cliff; you don't have to assume one is going to conk out next week because one did this week.

    A lot of things could happen to you or your car in the years or tens of thousands of miles that might pass between one bearing and the next one going.

    But that's just my approach.

    And yeah, that puts an extra premium on being sure which bearing is making the noise. A tool called a ChassisEar (or a local shop that has such a tool) can make really short work of that.
     
    #3 ChapmanF, Nov 6, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
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  4. jimlyons

    jimlyons Junior Member

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    Thanks! I will check with the shop on Monday and see what they can do. B-)
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I like the thought of only replacing bad parts.

    There's a long history of people replacing the wrong wheel bearing because those bearings are demented ventriloquists, frequently tricking mechanics into thinking the sound is coming from one corner and not another. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Spin again.

    The chassis ears as mentioned above are absolutely The Right Tool for that job, but not every shop has them or the experience to use them confidently. Worth shopping around.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Mdv55

    Mdv55 Active Member

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    Have the tires been ruled out? You cream a pothole in the right way and sometimes there could be internal tire damage that can lead to a similar sound as bad bearings.

    Did you hit the pothole with the left or right side of the car? If you hit it with the left and that wheel bearing is already new replacing the right would be stupid. It's possible it's the left rear as well. Really needs a better diag to figure that out prior to throwing parts at it.
     
  7. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    I bought cheapo copies I don't remember the brand they weren't terrible but they were cheap and I've put $30,000 on them with no problem relatively quick to change and all that I have an extra set of aluminum arms for the front so I just change them out and then put the whole arm on generally faster for me to do that

    SM-A715F ?
     
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I would have stopped at $15k
     
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  9. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    30K miles not dollars

    SM-A715F ?
     
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