Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver's best auto service experience. 25 times they've been voted by their customers as the best auto repair in Vancouver. And we're talking cars. How you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So today's victim is a 2015 Nissan Rogue that had a wheel bearing issue. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: Yeah, so the owner of the vehicle brought it to us with a concern that there was a noise when you drive the vehicle above 60 kilometres an hour. It was pretty apparent, it had a kind of a growling type of noise.
Mark: So what kind of testing and diagnosis did you do?
Bernie: Well, first step is a road test and I actually drove the car myself and didn't take me going more than about 10 or 15 kilometres an hour to kind of hear a growling noise already. So it was pretty apparent even at a pretty low speed. But once you get up going fast, it was very loud in the vehicle.
And a wheel bearing is a pretty distinctive noise. There are other bearings in the drive train of the vehicle. It can cause a similar noise, but usually a wheel bearing noise is pretty distinct when you drive a vehicle. And especially if it's a front, actually even rear bearings, when you're driving along and you turn the steering wheel a certain amount, you put kind of a load on one or the other side, a lot of times the noise will diminish or increase.
And that, you know, usually indicates it's a wheel bearing because you're forcing more weight onto one side of the bearing. Anyways, it was pretty apparent. It sounded like a wheel bearing from the front and the next step is a hoist diagnosis. So we put the vehicle on the hoist and we run it. Being an all wheel drive, it's a good vehicle because all the wheels spin and we can go with a stethoscope and listen to all the wheel bearings and definitely the front left, the driver's side was making quite a racket.
Mark: So what's involved in changing a wheel bearing on a front wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicle? Any difference?
Bernie: Well, you know, there's an axle shaft that goes through the bearing. So any driving axle vehicle, there are different styles of wheel bearings, but this is probably one of the more common ones. It's called a unitized wheel bearing. So it's a hub and wheel bearing bolted onto the wheel hub with four bolts. And it's actually a fairly straightforward replacement. You're kind of replacing everything at one time.
Let's get into a picture and then you can kind of see what we're doing. There's our 2015 Rogue.
This is a picture of the old wheel bearing. So, as I said, it's called a unitized wheel bearing, because the actual bearing, I'm moving my mouse pointer around, actually sits inside here, inside the circular part. There's a ring here, you can't really see anything, but there's a metal ring here that has a magnet on it, which is used for the ABS brake system.
So there's a sensor in behind there. But that's not part of this wheel bearing. Some unitized wheel bearings actually come with an ABS sensor as well. But these four bolts attach the wheel bearing into the hub. A lot of times you see a lot of rust here. These will rust into place, and sometimes it takes quite an effort to remove the assembly from the wheel hub. And then there's the flange where the brake rotor bolts onto.
So again, the bearing sits inside this unit here. And so it all pops out. Now, there are other designs where you actually remove the hub. The bearing actually pulls out from the inside and you can press a new bearing in and out. So it's a little less wastage than this, but you're leaving a lot of parts behind that might get damaged. I mean, usually these hubs don't get damaged but sometimes they do. So replacing it all is kind of the best way. And that's our show.
Mark: So how common are failed wheel bearings?
Bernie: It's a pretty common item. I mean, we do, probably one or two a week in our shop. Sometimes more than a week. Certain cars seem to go through them more frequently. We work on a lot of Subarus. Rear wheel bearings on Subarus for some reason tend to go bad. I don't know why exactly on that particular car, but you know, over time, they tend to wear out.
They used to be an item you would service, you know, back in the days of rear wheel drive cars, you would actually service, repack, like, put new grease in the bearings and service them. And so they would actually last a long time, and they required service. Modern wheel bearings, they require nothing.
You just leave them until they start making noise and then replace them. They'll often go a long time. This, so this car is eight years old. That's some cars will go 20 years before wheel bearing wears out. You just never know.
Mark: Were there any other parts that needed to be replaced while you were changing the wheel bearing?
Bernie: No, not in this case. It was just the wheel bearing and hub and the wheel bearing hub assembly. And that was it.
Mark: How are Nissan Rogues for reliability?
Bernie: Yeah, a good car. I mean, got nothing really to say negative about them. They're a decent car.
Mark: If you're looking for service for your wheel bearings, if they're making a little bit of growling noise, it's a very distinct growling noise. That's a great way to describe it. Or if you're looking for service for your Nissan in Vancouver, the experts to see are at Pawlik Automotive.
You can reach them on their website at pawlikautomotive.com. You can book right there. Or you can call to book at (604) 327-7112. They might not answer, but they will get back to you. It's busy. You have to call or book ahead online. They're always busy. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC. Thanks so much for watching and listening. We appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark and thanks for watching.