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    VWVortex


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    Thread: Wheel bearing noise that is not the wheel bearing

    1. Member
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      May 20th, 2009
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      12-04-2013 01:16 PM #1
      I have an 02 Jetta, 2.0L. I have a distinct noise when turning left. It sounds just like a wheel bearing going out. The issue is, I have changed all four wheel bearings and still have the same noise. I replace the hubs and shocks on the rear, the front wheel bearings, and tie-rod ends. A new left axel was put on about 2-3 years ago, just before I got the car. I have never seen an axel or ball joints go out and make that kind of noise. Only other option is front struts or bearings at the top of struts. I don't want to keep throwing money at this thing. Any ideas where to go from here? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    2. Member
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      1998 GTI 2.0T
      12-05-2013 03:08 PM #2
      Hard to say without actually hearing the noise. Tires good? Axles good? Maybe backing plate hitting the rotor?
      2012 Corolla
      1998 GTI 2.0T

      World Automotive
      Need any VCDS (VAG-COM) diagnostics or coding in the North NJ area? PM me.

    3. Member
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      12-06-2013 10:40 AM #3
      Tires aren't the greatest but not to the point of making any sounds. Backing plate is not touching, fas as I know axel is good too. Too cold and wet to get out there today and do more searching but will in the next few days. Thanks

    4. Junior Member Junkyarddawg's Avatar
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      1994 Jetta 2.0T ABA, 1996 Jetta 2.0 Auto, 1986 Buick GN, 2001 A6 2.7T, 1996 A4 Q 2.8 12v 5spd
      12-08-2013 10:00 AM #4
      Can you try to decribe the noise a little more and what driving conditions will provoke it?
      Is it scrape, grinding, rubbing, popping, knocking or what?
      I would take a close look around the inner fender and under body panels for signs of rubbing.
      Also would look at the condition of the control arm bushings and make sure all of the suspension bolts are tightened.
      Cant offer too much more without more information about the noise and what provokes it.

    5. Member
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      12-08-2013 12:07 PM #5
      The niose happens when making semi-hard lefts, with some speed. Nothing going straight or turning right. Sounds like a whirrr/groan. No popping (axel), scrape (backing plate). I have not seen any rubbing in the inner panels. I will check the control arm bushings and check to see if any nuts/bolts are loose. My son has a Jetta too, I am going take his tires off and put on mine just to mark the tires being the problem off the list. May be extra work but worth a shot. Thanks for the insight and help. I am sure we can get it figured out.

    6. Junior Member Junkyarddawg's Avatar
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      1994 Jetta 2.0T ABA, 1996 Jetta 2.0 Auto, 1986 Buick GN, 2001 A6 2.7T, 1996 A4 Q 2.8 12v 5spd
      12-09-2013 10:11 PM #6
      Usually the lower control arm bushings will show signs of wear in the form of excessive freeplay movement or visible tears/splits. The rear one are easier to see with a mirror and flashlight and they tear and allow the arm to move in and out at the rear this can be readily noticed if you take a ratchet torque wrench and watch for rearward movement of the wheel when you torque the wheel bolts.. The front ones will usually get wear between the bushing and sleeve and allow movement in and out at the front. I would also carefully inspect the sway bar bushings at the control arm and at the subframe. Sometimes it helps to jack up the left front and take the wheel by hand and try move it back and forth then in and out. then put the car back on the ground and you can also try to jounce the suspension with the drivers door open, put your hands on the door opening at the top and push side to side, then open the hood and put a knee on the front bumper cover while holding the radiator core support and push your weight down to compress the suspension and let it rebound back, try these techniques with wheels turned and straight ahead. The idea is to try and reproduce the noise with the car statioary so you can pinpoint the location. WD 40 can be used to spray bushings or ball joints to see if the noise goes away.
      Hope this helps

    7. Member
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      12-17-2013 02:56 PM #7
      Thanks for your input. I have sort of put this car on the back burner, my son's jetta broke a timing belt so that will be taking my time and money. I will try out the suggestions to see what i can find on this one while working on his. I'll post anything that I find. If it isn't one thing, it's another.

    8. Junior Member
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      1996/VW/Golf/GTI 2.0 Liter L4 ABA 215,440 Miles on Chassis, 80,000 Miles on Engine
      12-18-2013 03:35 PM #8
      It could be that one of your hubs is bad and is grinding the inner part of the bearing causing the noise. Even the slightest warping on the hub can cause the noise of wheel bearing failure but without killing the bearings inside the wheel bearing itself.
      Hope this helps this your problem.


    9. Member
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      12-19-2013 09:36 AM #9
      That is a possibility, I will check into that as well. This has me baffled, I thought it was going to be an easy, straight forward bearing fix. Thanks

    10. Member
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      02 & 03 Jetta, 86 & 90 Cabriolet, 98 Beetle
      01-03-2014 07:34 PM #10
      Well kind of feel silly but I found the culprit of the noise. Actually need to credit my son for this one. While we were testing it, he said that it sounded like something was twisting and rubbing. Only thing I could match with twist was torque...meaning motor. Imagine my chagrin when I looked at the right motor mount and it was separated. $350 later, I found the $100 fix. Thanks for all the input and advice you gave me.

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