Ataristic

7000 miles and I already have bad wheel bearings!

45 posts in this topic

And just when me and the Tomato had come to an understanding and where willing to live together :sad:

Just dropped off the Spark (I.E. The Tomato) at the dealer today, they suspect bad wheel bearings. The dealer still does not know if its a front hub or rear wheel bearing. I just clocked 7000 miles on my 2013 Spark LS Manual, for wheel bearings to go bad this early is beyond absurd! I just got my first oil change and tire rotation at 6500 miles, after that, I kept my ears sharp for excessive wheel noise, just in case plausible bad alignment had caused abnormal wear on the front tires, which has been an issue on some 13's. I noticed an increasing hum that would start at around 40mph and would increment as vehicle speed increased. This hum would occur regardless of road surface type, asphalt or concrete. The hum is low in volume, and can be hidden by the usual tire noise and engine noises. The service advisor was perplexed that such a thing could happen this early in the car's life, and remarked this was the first Spark they had with this problem at Ron Craft Chevrolet. My advice to all who read this, listen for wheel bearing defects in earnest. Below are the things to listen for:

1. Increasing humming sound when accelerating to highway speeds regardless of road surface type

2. Decreasing humming when exiting a highway.

3. Humming that does not go away when changing gears or coasting.

4. Humming that is noticeable under a determinate speed range, for my car it was between 40 and 60mph.

These cars are pre-equipped with cheap, noisy, Goodyear tires, but a bearing noise will be different from tire and wind noise. Tire noise will fluctuate depending on road surface quality, wheel bearing noise will not. A wheel bearing or hub bearing in good condition will make absolutely no noise or humming. If you have this situation in your Spark, do not hesitate and get it checked out at the dealer. Bad wheel and hub bearings are very dangerous, in the least, they will cause extra noise in an already noisy car, worst case scenario they can seize a wheel or even make a wheel snap off the hub. If you do have this situation and go get the car tested, try to make your test run on an asphalt road, preferably a freshly paved one, as it is a quieter surface for the tires and will make bearing noise really stand out.

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Thanks for the heads up.

Thats about what mines got, 7000 miles.

I also just did the first oil change. Myself.

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I would guess those bearings were defective from the gitgo, it's hard to believe that they actually wore out in 7,000 mi., unless they were installed dry. Thanks for the info.

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Many of us have more than 20,000 on our cars, I don't think this is common. That said your warnings about getting it fixed asap are correct, a lot of woe can happen if you ignore this problem!

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At least they let me have a 2014 Malibu LS as a loaner, other than the intense cigarette smell, this Malibu is a very nice car. Who knows how long its going to take to get my Spark back, in the mean time, I guess I will be "Malibuing" with almost no cabin noise, 35mpg, and a sound system that actually has some bass. I will update here as soon as I get word from the dealer on the Spark.

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Mine was back at the dealer with 8K miles because the RR wheel bearings went bad, started humming and kept getting louder and louder. She now has about 20K miles and has been back 4 times: Once for the bearings, twice because the Check Engine light came on and she was running crappy (Spark plug was replaced by dealer) and the MyLink system just plain crapped out and died, they had to replace the entire unit.

I told the salesman it was starting to remind me of my old Vega...........

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Gosh I feel like mine must be the most reliable. Hasn't had anything fixed or replaced yet. Other than oil filters and the oil itself lol

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Mine was back at the dealer with 8K miles because the RR wheel bearings went bad, started humming and kept getting louder and louder. She now has about 20K miles and has been back 4 times: Once for the bearings, twice because the Check Engine light came on and she was running crappy (Spark plug was replaced by dealer) and the MyLink system just plain crapped out and died, they had to replace the entire unit.

I told the salesman it was starting to remind me of my old Vega...........

Why did they replace your spark plug? I had an oil leak into the fourth plug and they ended up having to replace the engine.

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One reason might be that AC Delco plugs are garbage, they tend to let gasses past the ceramic which ultimately sends exhaust gas out and onto the connector. Maybe they are better in the last 20 years, but I haven't used them in that long. I need to pull mine this summer and see what is happening, probably replace with Bosch or NGK.

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Hello Ataristic,

I’m sorry to hear that you are having concerns with your Spark. I understand how frustrating the possibility of bad wheel bearings on your vehicle can be. I also understand that you have taken your vehicle to the dealership in order for it to be properly diagnosed. Please feel free to follow up with us regarding your dealership visit. If you have any other questions or concerns, we are here to help.

Best Regards,

Kristen A.

Chevrolet Customer Care

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Why did they replace your spark plug? I had an oil leak into the fourth plug and they ended up having to replace the engine.

I have absolutely no clue. They hooked it up and said that's what it was. The funny thing was that they didn't even have one for it in stock!!! They had to order the damn thing and we had to drive it back up there a week later......how the hell a dealership could not have a plug for a car they sell new is beyond me!!

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How do you drive out of curiousity?

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It's my wife's car.....I drive it very seldom, but she does a lot of around town driving, her job involves a lot of driving and visiting clients and such. She is not a speedster by any means, doesn't beat it. She drove it from the Philly area to Pittsburgh and got great gas mileage, but unfortunately a deer jumped out at her and hit the side and knocked the driver's mirror off, it's going in the body shop on Monday to get fixed back up.

She is kind of disillusioned by it to be honest, she likes it (especially the gas mileage) but is worried about the reliability. We will see after it comes out of the body shop how it behaves. We may keep it and just buy the extended warranty. Or she may want to unload it for a Cruze or a Hyundai Elantra. Time will tell.

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Eh... I wouldn't let a bad wheel bearing sour a car. I went through two pair in a year once due to large wheels and spirited driving. Maybe the bearings were made on a Friday. Someone has to get those, right?

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Finally got the car back yesterday, 2/20/2014. The problems was the left rear wheel hub (driver side). The howling noise is now gone. Surprising how a bad bearing can add to the already excessive amount of noise we get in these cars. Even though the problem has been fixed, this experience has completely eroded my confidence in this car. I normally own cars past 100k miles or even more, never have I had a bad wheel bearing until now. I can understand how cheap plastic parts can go bad on a new car, but bearings are supposed to be built with hardened steels and machined to tight tolerances, capable of accepting road imperfections. they are not supposed to wear out so quickly.

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Hi Ataristic,

We are glad to hear that your vehicle has been repaired and that the howling noise is gone. We understand that this concern had an impact on your confidence for your Spark. If you ever have any other problems with your vehicle, or need any assistance, please let us know.

Best Regards,

Kristen A.

Chevrolet Customer Care

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I've had bad bearings before, the most economical way to deal with the rear is replace the hub assembly. I've done the repair more than once on different front drive cars, it wouldn't cause me much grief. Certainly not as much concern as oil burning or A/C that doesn't cool, the hub is about an hour to fix and something that only needs common hand tools (no computer). I would be fine with simple problems like that.

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My 2013 Spark has 27,800 miles on it and is just beginning to have bearing problems. It is in the dealer service shop right now after experiencing loud grinding noise coming from the front passenger side. I hope the bearings don't go out one by one.

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Wrong post

Edited by dulsaf2630

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My 2013 Spark has 27,800 miles on it and is just beginning to have bearing problems. It is in the dealer service shop right now after experiencing loud grinding noise coming from the front passenger side. I hope the bearings don't go out one by one.

Oh no! We're sorry to hear that you are also experiencing concerns with your bearings. Feel free to follow up with us in regard to your dealer visit. We'd love to hear your feedback. Also if you have other questions or concerns we're here to help!

Kristen A.

Chevrolet Customer Care

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I got my Spark back yesterday and it is nice and quiet to drive again. Hope it was just a fluke.

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Seems like a typical problem, i get about 80.000km out of my bearings.

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2013 Spark with 48,000 miles and one of my wheel bearings is bad. 36K Warranty is over and this is not covered by the powertrain warranty. Called dealership to schedule a repair but the cost seems a bit high for just replacing wheel bearings. I also asked the parts department for just the parts so I can do it myself but the price mark up was way too high. I think they said $184. I'm finding these online for about $90 from GM. If anyone has done this repair and can share some pictures I would appreciate it.

Edited by Gabriel Diaz

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Mine has 12k now and I get an occasional hum, can't point it out if it is a bearing or something else... I'll just wait for my free oil change and have them look at it.

The car is one of the cheapest cars in the us, so I don't expect much from it. But I can say that my long gone base model cobalt had better a/c and never had a bad bearing, nor burned a drop of oil, and it cost me way less money brand new than my slightly used spark.

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Mine has 12k now and I get an occasional hum, can't point it out if it is a bearing or something else... I'll just wait for my free oil change and have them look at it.

The car is one of the cheapest cars in the us, so I don't expect much from it. But I can say that my long gone base model cobalt had better a/c and never had a bad bearing, nor burned a drop of oil, and it cost me way less money brand new than my slightly used spark.

On a very smooth paved road drive at different speeds and see if the sound is louder or less when quickly turning from left to right..an empty parking lot is ideal..just wind around the lamp poles with windows closed and interior fans/radio off. If sound is more noticeable on a turn it is a bearing..Left turn louder is right bearing and vise versa...expect about $300 for hub and bearing plus labor...DIY is complicated. Reasons I will not bore you with..unless you have done a hub swap before..'Nuff said on that.

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