Will a transmission problem ever sound like a bad wheel bearing?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by BrokenWrench, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. BrokenWrench

    BrokenWrench Junior Member

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    I’m trying to diagnose a sound that typically sounds like a bad wheel bearing and probably is. However, neither of the front wheels is hot after a run on the interstate and the hard left/right turns are inconclusive as to sound. I’ve already changed the driver’s side front wheel bearing as I thought that might have been the cause of the sound.

    Before going to the passenger side bearing, I’m going to change the tranny fluid which I had done 26K miles ago and all was well then. BTW the car has about 237,000 miles on it.

    Thus back to the heading question, “Will a 2nd gen prius transmission issue ever sound like a bad wheel bearing” ?


    Thanks – Mike in Tampa, FL
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I was asked to listen to a co-workers gen 2 that was making loud noises while driving and it truly seemed like the trans was about to explode! Sounded like rocks and dirt being swirled around inside a large metal container. Yup both wheel bearings were bad.
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Although the details are Gen 1-specific, you might find this thread and this one give you some ideas.
     
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  4. priusrecon

    priusrecon Member

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    I had your exact same problem last year.
    It is most likely a wheel bearing problem.
    I listened to both fronts, then had 3 separate mechanics listen to them to try to determine which of them was bad.
    All 3 of them, including the dealership, insisted that it was the left front. So I had a professional change that one out.
    Nothing got better. I asked him if it could possibly be the other one.
    No, was the definite answer, it is the left front, it must be we put a factory defective one in. We'll try it again.
    3 replacements later and the problem was still not solved with the mechanics still insisting that it was that one left front that was continuing to be the bad one. I asked them the same question about the tranny. No, they said, it's that wheel bearing.
    Eventually I ordered the mech to change the right one, against his wishes, and that cured the problem.
    Even after all that horseshit, both wheel bearings have since gone bad again in the 10 months since I had the work done.
    I'm now forced to swap out both fronts again at full cost for parts. I'm doing the work myself as I don't trust the work quality of commercial mechanics anymore. They just don't give a shit, no matter what they say.
    Your bad wheel bearings will not necessarily get hot after a highway run, nor will they feel loose or move when tugged on when off the ground.
    Welcome to the world of Prius wheel bearings.
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Yeah, this thread gave a hint about the difficulty of pinning down which bearing it is. People will suggest lots of easy foolproof tricks, all of which might work sometimes, and probably worked at least once for the people recommending them, but all of which were tried in that case and either were inconclusive, or pointed at the wrong bearing. The ChassisEar was the only thing that ended up answering the question, and with that it was like ... click, click, click "ahh, yup, that one."
     
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