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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a 99 saab 9-3 vert and the passenger wheel is making a loud humming sound like the wheel bearings need to be cleaned and relubed. also when i go on the highway it feels like the balance is off from the front passenger side but when i switched the wheels is continued to do that and only gets worse when i change lanes.
what do you guys think it could be, im thinking is the wheel bearings and the alignment...
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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Could be a CV joint very near to failure or the wheel bearings as you suggest. Slow to about 50 mph and turn the wheel left or right slightly like a NASCAR driver warming his wheels before the green flag and note any noise. Here's the relevant script from thesaabsite.com:

Front wheel bearing issues can often be determined by loading the wheel that is suspect for the bearing to be bad. By turning the wheel left or right this will place the weight of the vehicle on or off of the suspect side. If the noise increases with load then you must replace that wheel bearing.

If you hear a grinding noise while driving and turning slowly check the dust shield and the bearing. Most common is bearing and should be replaced if needed. Also check to see if the tires are cupping on the inside as this will be noisy.

I finally narrowed down a worn out right rear wheel bearing (as opposed to tire cupping or other tire defect) as the culprit of a whirring "wuh-wuh-wuh" sound that got faster and louder with speed. It would go almost completely silent in wide sweeping right turns where the weight bias was shifted to the left and the right wheel bearing was in an unloaded state. Changing tires did not alleviate the problem. The best way to check is to jack the car up and spin the wheel (make sure e-brake is not engaged and/or transmission is in neutral) while holding the spring coil and noting the vibrations or roughness; you will be able to feel it as well as hear it in most cases. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
alright thanks for the reply, ill go jack it up and remove the bearings and give them some fresh grease and see how that works out and let you know the results.
amen to the light beer thing!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
damn saab would do that to me, okay ill just go ahead and jack it up and spin the wheel and see if the noise persists, if not ill tell ya what i find
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE: i jacked the car up and rotated the tire, i only hear the pad on the rotor and no other weird noises. i checked the other side to see if it sounded similar and nothing.
i also did figure 8's to see if the joints were bad but i heard nothing resembling a clicking noise.
im thinking that the balance and alignment are way off because the car pulls to the right on the highway.
any suggestions?
 

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1995 NG900 2.3L
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I think front wheel bearings are hard to diagnose since they are always connected to the drive shafts and thus have more freewheeling resistance and other things to hamper one from listening for noise and wear. Not to mention the sound of the pads on the rotors. Did you spin them and place your hand on the control arm or strut to feel for roughness?

You could have combinations of things wrong with your front end; loose ball joints can affect alignment and anything severely worn like wheel bearings and dragging brakes can cause the passenger wheel to rotate slower than the right and cause the car to veer off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i had a 99 Viggen with warped rear rotors, and when i would go on the highway and use them i would get the same sounds as i am getting when i change lanes at highways speed. a wah wah thumping noise
 

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were you able to fix it? I have the same issue, had front right bearing replaced, but the thumping noise did not go away. Another shop told me that it may be transmission, as they listened to the car jacked up, confirmed its NOT the bearings. What makes me concerned is that they did not pay any attention to the rears, I was the only one who tried rotating wheels. Strange thing I've noticed is the amount of resistance, the rear wheels were not rotating very willingly. Obviously need to keep looking, will try riding the car with the rear seats down to see if the noise is coming from the back.
 

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I have driven an outer CV joint to failure. This is after driving around with a torn boot for several hundred miles while all the grease escaped. First you get the typical joint clicking when making turns, then there's continual thumping accompanied with vibration, then more violent vibrations and noise and then the CV joint locks up and you drop the axle. Imagine an angled universal driveshaft that no longer wants to pivot; the whole thing from end of the inner joint down becomes one piece--something has to move so it tears up the control arm and the splined drive pops out of the hub. Very nasty and a serious no-go proposition after that. Check carefully every component in the driveline; everything that turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well i bought a wheel bearing and i think is may clear up some of the sound. as far as the cv joint i would guess that it would click creek or groan or something when i do figure 8s or something but it was clean as a whistle. its only when the speed builds up and i turn is when i get a thumping.
the resistance on the rear wheels sounds like the parking brake is locking but i could be totally wrong.
and as a transmission problem i seriously doubt it because even at 125k miles, this T5 motor is the quietest saab engine i have ever heard, im pretty sure dear pretty granny drove it for the first ten years.
 

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For clarity's sake, is the entire issue of noise and vibration centralized in the front passenger side?

If it is the front bearing as opposed to the rear, and you're going to love this, changing front wheel bearings is a real nice chore. It requires the use of a hydraulic machine press to push out the old bearing from the hub and install the new. You're going to need the services of a shop, ;) which reportedly should not be very costly at all.
 

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95% sure its your Wheel-Bearing. Could be your CV joint though. If its the CV joint that would also tie in with the balance problem you are experiencing.
 

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IIRC, the wheel bearing is inside of the wheel hub which is replaced as a complete unit:

Remove the center cap of the wheel, loosen the axle nut, loosen the wheel bolts, jack the car, remove the wheel, remove the axle nut, remove the caliper, remove the brake rotor, remove the speed sensor, remove the wheel hub and replace in the reverse order... Ron
 

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^^^ I was going off of the many threads like this one as well as sources in print that mentions the use of an arbor press and the services of a shop.

Every part house lists the fronts as a sealed bearing only. The rears, now, have a hub assembly with included integral bearing and wheel sensor (for ABS) that bolts to the rear axle/trailing arm. I've got one on the way as a matter of fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thats way too much stuff for my little 400 sq foot apartment. lol
ill just remove the hub and have a shop remove it and repress it in, i gotta buddy who works at a shop and he could prob help me out, ill keep ya up to date on what goes on
thanks for the help yall!! (since im in texas now)
 
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