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Discussion Starter #1
I was originally planning on selling my car, but life had other plans for me and I was forced to keep it. In typical fashion, when I decided to do that my car started making a new noise, so I decided it is time to get greasy and fix the dang on thing.

I have an automatic 2010 Saab 93 2.0L.

The symptom I am experiencing is loud "tire like" noise coming from the front end that stays constant with speed and not dependent on the load of the engine. It almost sounds like a humming sound. I have already eliminated the tires as being the culprit as they are newer and already did a tire rotation and the noise is still there.

After researching this forum, I have come to the conclusion that my problem lies either with the wheel bearings or the intermediate drive shaft carrier bearing.

I believe the sound comes from the passenger side, but it is hard to tell for sure. Even though i hope for a wheel bearing, I am starting to think that the carrier bearing might be the problem. I don't hear any ball bearings grinding and I am not feeling any vibrations since the problem started. Car shifts smoothly and rides good other than that worrying new noise and the strut bearings that also need replaced. I plan to attack both issues at once.

I purchased all possible bearings that need to be replaced and I hope to be able to identify the bad one when up on a lift to prevent excess work.

I have looked at what I have to do to remove the drive shaft and getting to the intermediate shaft and bearing assembly out. Getting that carrier bearing assembly, along with that shaft might be more fun than I hoped to get into, but I don't want to trash thew car for that issue and I most definitely don't want to pay a dealer over a thousand dollars to get the job done.

Any word of wisdom or caution from any of you that might have already had a similar issue would be much appreciated.

Thank you all.
 

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Its 90% wheel bearing .. u can lift the car and put it in neutral, let someone spin the passenger wheel as fast as possible.
Touch the right suspension coil and the carrier bearing housing and decide where do feel more vibration.
U should feel faded vibration in one of them where the failed bearing is.
Worst case scenario, change the wheel bearing and see if that fixes it, if it doesnt, then the carrier bearing is next.
The most important part of the job is to torque the axle nut to the specified torque ..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you that is great advise. I was really wondering where to start from. I think the wheel bearing will be easier to tackle than the carrier bearing. I will be tackling this job on the weekend and will report back.
 

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Good luck..
My advise if u wanted to do the carrier bearing is to leave the shaft in the transmission to avoid fluid loss, and to prevent damaging the shaft seal.
If u wana pull it out totally, worth replacing the seal ..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good luck..
My advise if u wanted to do the carrier bearing is to leave the shaft in the transmission to avoid fluid loss, and to prevent damaging the shaft seal.
If u wana pull it out totally, worth replacing the seal ..
I have never attempted to do a similar job. I am just afraid that if i leave the intermediate shaft in the transmission i might have a hard time pulling the bearing assembly in and out of the shaft. I imagine that the carrier bearing is pressed on both the shaft and the assembly.

I could prolly use a bearing puller to get the bearing assembly out of the shaft and then install the new bearing on the carrier bearing bracket with a similar tool.

But won't tapping on the carrier bearing bracket in order to drive the bearing back on to the shaft while still in the transmission hurt the transmission it self, the seal or drive shaft threads?
 

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U r right, i think i mixed up in memory working on other cars that this bearing slide in and out easily once the circlip removed..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Turns out it was the passenger side wheel bearing that was making the noise, but the intermediate shaft carrier bearing was on the way out.

I used a stethoscope and could hear the carrier bearing making noise while turning the shaft and grease was all around that carrier bracket. I ended up replacing both and the noise is completely gone.

If anyone ever has to do a similar job. I recommend taking the intermediate shaft completely out after removing the drive shaft first.

Remove the wheel first and then the brake rotor and caliper. Then, remove the ball joint from the knuckle and then work on removing the axle nut and sliding the drive shaft out of the hub.

Once the drive shaft is out, loosen up the three bolts that hold the carrier bracket in place and simply pull the intermediate shaft out of the transmission.

Once you got them intermediate shaft on a bench the bearing is not hard to replace once you remove the circle ring that keeps it in place on the shaft. You will need a special tool for that part and an extra set of hands might come handy to help you slide the ring out.

Once you have your Carrier bearing out clean, lube and tap in place the new bearing. I used the old bearing as a driver to tap the new bearing in place.

The wheel hub is super easy to replace. Its literally 3 bolts that hold it in place from the back of the knuckle. Then simply, tap it out with a hammer, clean the area and slide the new on in and bolt it in place.

The job was not overly complicated, but did take me 3-4 hours to complete.
 

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For future reference, a good way to determine if the noise is a wheel bearing is to drive down a back road or empty parking lot at low speed (~20 mph) and make big swooping swerves back and forth. If the noise gets louder and then quieter in sync with the swerving, it is a wheel bearing. If it gets louder when turning left, it is a bad right side wheel bearing and vice versa. This process uses the weight transfer / body roll of the vehicle to increase the load on the outside wheels and reduce the load on the inside wheels.

Also, in my experience passenger side wheel bearings and suspension components tend to wear out faster than driver side. My theory is that the roads tend to disintegrate and crumble at the edges before they do at the center, so the passenger side of the car tends to sees more roughness and road imperfections than does the drivers side. Also more likely for that side to end up off the pavement and/or into curbs when being driven by distracted or careless drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great input!

I tried to diagnose the wheel bearings with the parking lot method before getting it up on the lift, but it did not make the noise go away for me when swerving to the left or the right.
 

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Nikolasvel, from your great write up I concluded you replaced only the carrier bearing and the wheel hub, correct? No other parts needed.
 

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Nikolasvel, from your great write up I concluded you replaced only the carrier bearing and the wheel hub, correct? No other parts needed.
It's an integrated unit. I like TImken. Rockauto usually has them.
 

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Diggs, the carrier bearing is on the intermediate shaft and replaceable, correct?
No, I believe it is only sold as a complete drive shaft.
 
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