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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had my driver side wheel bearing replaced last week. Car is better but still have a vibration and more noticeable at slower speeds (30mph). Took it back today because I have a new clunk sound in the steering since the repair. My friend is the mechanic working on the car. He told me when he checked the bearings last week that the drivers side was obviously making noice but he thought the passenger side was starting to also. While talking to the owner today I was saying that 48k miles seems awfully low for both bearings to go. I thought it was low for one, let alone two. I asked him if this is common on this model car. (97 Sable) He said no, but it's not always the same for all vehicles. He said if this car creates a lot of static electricity it can wear out bearings and cause other problems also. He asked me if I ever get shocked with this car, and I do get hammered alot. Everey time I get out I get shocked hard. They checked the ground from the engine to the frame and said it looks good and he recommended adding ground straps from the control arm to the frame to help alleviate the static electricity. He said it could be caused from the rear but you should start here. It's only about a $70 charge but I have never heard it before and was wondering what you guys thought.

I'm going to have the passenger bearing replaced and am probably going to have the additional ground straps put on. I do have the origial General tires on and am probably going to have them replaced before winter.
 

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My car zaps me a lot too. And I had a wheel bearing go about the same time. Never heard of a connection between the two though, and it sounds pretty crazy to me. I don't know how static elecetricity could make a wheel bearing fail, unless it somehow changes the composition of the grease or something.
 

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Originally posted by viper@Apr 20 2004, 02:36 PM
Had my driver side wheel bearing replaced last week. Car is better but still have a vibration and more noticeable at slower speeds (30mph). Took it back today because I have a new clunk sound in the steering since the repair. My friend is the mechanic working on the car. He told me when he checked the bearings last week that the drivers side was obviously making noice but he thought the passenger side was starting to also. While talking to the owner today I was saying that 48k miles seems awfully low for both bearings to go. I thought it was low for one, let alone two. I asked him if this is common on this model car. (97 Sable) He said no, but it's not always the same for all vehicles. He said if this car creates a lot of static electricity it can wear out bearings and cause other problems also. He asked me if I ever get shocked with this car, and I do get hammered alot. Everey time I get out I get shocked hard. They checked the ground from the engine to the frame and said it looks good and he recommended adding ground straps from the control arm to the frame to help alleviate the static electricity. He said it could be caused from the rear but you should start here. It's only about a $70 charge but I have never heard it before and was wondering what you guys thought.

I'm going to have the passenger bearing replaced and am probably going to have the additional ground straps put on. I do have the origial General tires on and am probably going to have them replaced before winter.
As an electrical engineer, this sounds rather fishy to me. The entire frame is grounded and the reason you get a shock is because of all the silica in the tires these days. Less rubber and more silicia means better gas milage and longer lasting tires, but it does tend to cause more static electricity shocks. The car builds up static electricity and when you step out, you become better grounded than the car and you get the shock when you close the door. Different tires can improve things also. The other thing I used to do in my old car was tap the key to the door frame before touching it and you'd see the little sparks on the key, but I'm not sure if that would affect the Pats key. Fortunately this isn't a problem with my current car.

Ground straps would go from the body/frame of the car to the ground. I think I've seen them on a few cars, basically just metal strips on the back of the car.

Wheel bearings are sealed so the heat could be wearing out the grease prematurely, but that's more like a bad design or bad batch of bearings, not something that could be fixed for $70. Sounds like this guy is taking you for a ride or just coming up with his own wacky theories.
 

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Originally posted by Qwertz9586@Apr 20 2004, 08:19 PM
Funny, I always thought that getting shocked when getting out of the car was because of the static caused by my butt and the seat.
Hey you never know..
jk
 

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Also not to mention the fact that if you have ground straps and something traumatic happens when you get into an accident. If a power line were to fall on your car it would really suck if you had ground straps
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
According to this shop owner they wouldn't hang to the ground like the old day. I think he said they would go from the control arm back to the frame, not 100% sure on that but I know they wouldn't hang like the old day. He was laughing about those when he told me.
 

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Originally posted by viper@Apr 21 2004, 03:26 PM
According to this shop owner they wouldn't hang to the ground like the old day. I think he said they would go from the control arm back to the frame, not 100% sure on that but I know they wouldn't hang like the old day. He was laughing about those when he told me.
If they don't touch the ground then they wouldn't be ground straps now would they?
 

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Originally posted by Majisto+Apr 22 2004, 02:33 PM-->QUOTE (Majisto @ Apr 22 2004, 02:33 PM)
<!--QuoteBegin-viper
@Apr 21 2004, 03:26 PM
According to this shop owner they wouldn't hang to the ground like the old day.  I think he said they would go from the control arm back to the frame, not 100% sure on that but I know they wouldn't hang like the old day.  He was laughing about those when he told me.
If they don't touch the ground then they wouldn't be ground straps now would they?
[/b]
Yeah, actually they are. "Ground" in an automotive electrical system is usually the negative battery terminal. It is not a true earth ground, but it's still called a ground. All cars come with ground straps that at least connect the engine and frame to the negative battery terminal.
 

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That makes since about the tires. I used to use Futura GTX tires and I would always get a shock. But after begining to use the Ultra Z tires, I don't recall haveing a shock since then. Makes perfect sence. Does the long-carbon black compound that all the high-performance tire companies rave about cause the same shock as silica or is it more like rubber?
 

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I can't imagine static electricity having enough energy (think Total Amount of Power) to do any damage to wheel bearings.

Now, I have seen the results of a 200HP DC electric motor that 'flashed over' the comm - and the electrical fault made it to ground by going through the motor's bearings. Yeah, the bearings got welded big time. But that was a high amperage fault current, not a static spark.

I'd vote for a bad set of bearings.
 
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Actually, the static makes sense, sort of. It's the same principle as welding, and where you place the ground strap.

Basically, the current flows through the bearing, and arcs across the balls, and the races. This causes minor pitting, which over time can ruin the bearing.
 

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Originally posted by Bob Gervais@Apr 22 2004, 06:25 PM
Actually, the static makes sense, sort of. It's the same principle as welding, and where you place the ground strap.

Basically, the current flows through the bearing, and arcs across the balls, and the races. This causes minor pitting, which over time can ruin the bearing.
The only problem with this is that there's no grounding taking place. The shock comes when the charge is discharged to ground. No discharges mean no shocks.

As for silica in the tires, it causes less rolling resistance so you get better gas mileage and longer treadwear, the flip side being that it doesn't ground the car as well as rubber does. High performance tires tend to have more rubber than silica so the gas mileage isn't as good and softer tires at higher speeds means more rubber and less treadwear.

Also the ground straps on the car doesn't affect the safety of the car from the point of lighting strikes and downed power lines. The frame/body of the car acts like a faraday cage and you're perfectly fine if you're inside it, just don't stick you hand out in a lightning storm...
 

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Any car I have had has always shocked me.

My Taurus never shocked me until I installed the new battery.

As for the vibration, it could always be your Halfshaft/CV Joints. I replaced my wheel bearing, but the sound was still there, looked deeper into the problem and the last joint "receiver" that hooks into the tranny was shot....probably from tourqe braking, or spinning the car....or slamming into a curb....
 

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Originally posted by dIESEL600+Apr 22 2004, 03:35 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dIESEL600 @ Apr 22 2004, 03:35 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 22 2004, 02:33 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-viper
@Apr 21 2004, 03:26 PM
According to this shop owner they wouldn't hang to the ground like the old day.  I think he said they would go from the control arm back to the frame, not 100% sure on that but I know they wouldn't hang like the old day.  He was laughing about those when he told me.

If they don't touch the ground then they wouldn't be ground straps now would they? ;)
Yeah, actually they are. "Ground" in an automotive electrical system is usually the negative battery terminal. It is not a true earth ground, but it's still called a ground. All cars come with ground straps that at least connect the engine and frame to the negative battery terminal.[/b][/quote]
They are not ground straps, they are called "Bonding" straps. They are used extensively in aircraft manufacturing to electically bond different parts together so they have the same electric potential. Ground in an automotive electric system is a bit of a misnomer, it is the negative side of the circuit, but it is not ground. To ground something actually does means to the ground or "earth".
To avoid the static shock when getting out of your car (happens to me all the time, worse in winter), either get those ugly "ground straps" that hang under your rear bumper like Grandpa's Studabaker, or simply hold your door frame as you put your foot out of the car onto the ground. This disipates the static charge without you even noticing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I ended up just replacing the wheel bearings. Had the driver-side replaced and then a couple weeks later the passenger side. No additional ground straps. The bearings were definitely what I was hearing and feeling. Driver-side was worse but both needed replaced. Cost me $410 in the end.
 
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