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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 3rd gen car is nearing 70,000 miles mark. Recently I started to notice steering wheel vibration at about 70mph.

I took my car to Midas because it's still under warranty for their ball joint work to check it out. I was told two things, the tires were not balanced and that wheel bearings were going bad, specially the left one. The quote for doing the wheel bearing work on both sides is almost $500, after adding a coupon I have. They also told me that one of the outer tie rod ends is getting loose. I told them that I am not ready to spend +$600 on this and asked only to balance the tires.

After balancing the tires, it seems like the steering wheel vibration is gone. How do I know whether I still need to replace those other parts? If I do replace those other parts, which brand/manufacturer is recommended in case if I take them to a mechanic that will do work with my provided pars?

I also just read this post

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/118...gen-front-wheel-bearing-replacement-pics.html

Is this something a complete n00b can do? I really don't want to spend a lot money on this car but I do want it to be safe and dependable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If your front wheel bearing was going, you'd hear a growling noise that gets louder as you go faster.

It sounds like your tires were out of balance.

Loose tie rod ends would give you a shimmy.
I believe I am not getting either one of these symptoms right right now.
 

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Wheel bearing and tie rod play are things you can easily check for with the car jacked up. And no, front wheel bearing replacement is not an easy job.
 

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Get the tires balanced first. That's usually where steering wheel vibrations and shimmeys show up, especially at highway speeds. Growling, as someone else said, it the main symptom of wheel bearings...had to do them on 2 cars.
 

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If you have one wheel bearing going bad on the front, the sound will decrease and increase with the steering of the wheel. While you're driving down a road, turn the wheel lightly left to right, if it gets quieter as you turn in 1 direction, then you know. It will happen on faster turns, too.

Next step is to jack the car up and shakedown the front end.

The bearing will likely last a few months before it becomes unbearable to the ears, if you want to leave it and find out, it won't really hurt. (actually, my friend did that with his explorer and when he went to change it, he needed a new caliper bracket, the bearing caused the rotor to sit on an angle and sheared part of it, the hub almost separated into two pieces.)
 

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My experience has been that you will hear the howl as the wheel bearing gets worse. If you're totally new to wrenching this might not be the first fix you want to try, but if you've done other suspension work and have the tools do your research and give it a try.
 

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Wheel Bngs.

My 3rd gen car is nearing 70,000 miles mark. Recently I started to notice steering wheel vibration at about 70mph.

I took my car to Midas because it's still under warranty for their ball joint work to check it out. I was told two things, the tires were not balanced and that wheel bearings were going bad, specially the left one. The quote for doing the wheel bearing work on both sides is almost $500, after adding a coupon I have. They also told me that one of the outer tie rod ends is getting loose. I told them that I am not ready to spend +$600 on this and asked only to balance the tires.

After balancing the tires, it seems like the steering wheel vibration is gone. How do I know whether I still need to replace those other parts? If I do replace those other parts, which brand/manufacturer is recommended in case if I take them to a mechanic that will do work with my provided pars?

I also just read this post

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/118...gen-front-wheel-bearing-replacement-pics.html

Is this something a complete n00b can do? I really don't want to spend a lot money on this car but I do want it to be safe and dependable.
I have had 5 Taurus/Sables from '87 through '95, and now have a '01 and '03. All got used 50K to 100K and driven many miles, except for the newest. All passed along to my girls except the '03. All driven over 100K by me, before passing along.

Never replaced a wheel bearing, ball joint, or tie rod end.
Plenty of end links.

So hard for me to relate to one going bad before 100K or well beyond.
I suspect many replaced that were not bad. Of course, driving in city pot holes would be different. Mine driven much on mountain roads in PA and WV. Not much pot holes just curves, and brakes.

And for the test of front wheel bearing noise.

Jack both fronts up, put on stands, remove the rotors, start, put in gear, shut the door.

Listen for the sound of the auto locks locking the doors.:lol2:

Cheers.

-chart-
 
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