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Old 07-02-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
Thundercat
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Default front end growl

I have a 2004 V6 AWD Vue, currently without the driveshaft.

I'm getting a pretty good growl in the front end, sounds like knobby offroad tires on pavement.

New hub assembly on L/F last summer, R/F a few months before that.

Noise seems directly related to speed, not rpm's. starts at about 30km/h.

Noise does not change noticeably with steering as it did when the bearing was toast.

I read something about trans fluid levels and foaming, but wouldn't the noise change with rpm?

If it helps, we recently hit a killer heat wave here, into the 30 C range with another 10-12 C in humidex.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

...
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: front end growl

Could you have a separating tire thread (swap front tires to rear)?

Since prop-shaft is out perhaps you could put front-end on jackstands for a test-run to localize noise?

It'd be prudent to check ATF level and perhaps transfer case fluid.

...
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: front end growl

I was pondering the idea of a separated tire tread....they are still in good shape, but it's possible.

I wanted to get a few opinions before starting a list of diagnostics, in case someone has come across this before.

What's the most efficient way to verify the correct level of ATF?

thanks

...
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: front end growl

Here are basics of checking 04-07 Vue 3.5 transmission fluid level:

Fluid level check for 5AT is different than many vehicles as its done with engine off. Basics are:

a. let engine idle until fan comes on once,
b. move shift lever thru all positions after pausing for three seconds in each,
c. turn engine OFF,
d. pull ATF dipstick and wipe clean,
e. push stick back in,
f. wait at least three seconds
g. pull stick and check both sides to read lowest level,
h. fluid must be between upper and lower mark.

Too much or too little fluid and/or incorrect fluid can cause the transmission to do very strange things.

Use only ATF-Z1 or ATF-DW1 if fluid must be added.

...
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: front end growl

Maybe I'm retarded.........but I haven't been able to locate an actual dipstick for the trans.....?
I can see 2 vent tubes, but no dipstick......?

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: front end growl

Nope, no dipstick visible. Manual says it's a yellow loop, but that's the engine oil.
Looked for it, the only things I see are 2 vent tubes, and a bolt/plug on top of the trans with "ATF" stamped on it.
No dipstick that I can find.....??

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: front end growl

Locate battery - on radiator end - go left a few inches and toward radiator - dipstick is mounted low on transmission. The handle has a loop on end - mine was a dark color.

Once located I put a small piece of reflective tape through the loop.

Sucker can't hide now!

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Old 07-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: front end growl

What a stupid spot, and color, for a dipstick!

Was a little overfull, drained it a bit, took it for a drive.

Maybe wishful thinking, but the sound has subsided from a growl to something similar to a "warble" or ...... "wowl". Still sounds similar to knobby tires on pavement, but not as intense as it was.
Checked tire pressures, they are ok.

I changed the pads and rotors in the winter, and knowingly cheaped out on pads. No pedal vibration when stopping.

Next step will be to rotate the tires front to back and see where that takes me.

If it's the bearing, I'm going to be pissed off. Better be lifetime warranty from NAPA, cus it's a pain the butt to change that thing, not to mention a price tag over $200 CDN.

...
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: front end growl

That's funny, my Vue just started making the exact same sound starting about 2 weeks ago. I'm from Winnipeg as well. If it turns out to be a bearing, you could try this website: http://www.primechoiceautoparts.ca/p...-vue-2004.aspx

They have free shipping to Winnipeg, I haven't actually tried the part though.

You're not the guy with the rims on his silver non-redline are you?

...
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: front end growl

I was just looking at Napa bearings and they have 1-3 year warranties depending on the brand. Most manufacturers run 12 months. I have gotten a bad bearing in the past, so it does happen.

...
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: front end growl

Pyroom - No, I don't have a silver one, I've got a blue one with a Thundercats decal on the front bumper under the Saturn logo.

Gowser - Thanks for the info on the bearing....I'll have to start digging for the receipt. If it is a faulty bearing, hopefully it will be easier to change than the first time!

...
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: front end growl

I'm frustrated now. I hate to throw a new part at my truck and hope it fixes the problem!
Put the front end on stands and ran it, I can clearly hear what sounds like a tire rubbing.
The sound is most prominent at about 70km/h. Clearly heard from 30-75 or 80.

When you put a load on a bad bearing, should it get louder? (swerving to the right puts weight on the left front, sound seems to get a bit more noticeable).

I've changed 3 bearings on this truck already, the left front included. Never had this type of situation. Changed bearings on my SC2 when I had it, both sides twice.

I'm baffled by the sound scenario. Guess I'll order a bearing online and cross my fingers.

...
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: front end growl

I can only go by my own experience and what you describe is exactly how I described my problem when I had a bad bearing; sounded like knobby tires. Made no difference at all if I was turning or not. I could go around a freeway clover leaf at 50 or make a right or left turn' but the sound was still there, just lower pitch at lower speeds.

I am no expert but I think they make some type of "stethoscope" to diagnose which side is bad. You may want to look into it before replacing parts upon more parts. I know mine really sounded like it was coming from one side but they replaced the opposite from what I expected and the problem was fixed.

And you wouldn't be the first to complain that a Vue wheel bearing was just replaced and now bad again... I've had pretty good luck with mine in only having to replace one in 185,000 miles, but others are as frustrated as you are.

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: front end growl

I had the same problem with my 04 Vue RL. I could hear the "growl" when making turns for about a month, but it was barely noticeable. Than earlier this week the "growl" became much more pronounced, especially at speeds above 35 mph. I thought the noise was coming from the driver's side, but it was actually both hubs causing the noise.

Today I took my Vue to the local shop and they replaced both hubs. The hubs wouldn't come off the axle so they had to cut them off.

What a difference. No more noise and the ride is so much smoother. I guess I had just grown accustomed to the compromised ride and noise.

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Old 07-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: front end growl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercat View Post
When you put a load on a bad bearing, should it get louder? (swerving to the right puts weight on the left front, sound seems to get a bit more noticeable).
Not from my experience with GM FWD cars, usually with the increased load from a turn a bad bearing gets quieter.

...
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: front end growl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercat View Post
When you put a load on a bad bearing, should it get louder? (swerving to the right puts weight on the left front, sound seems to get a bit more noticeable).
I've attached two service manual extracts for front end noise (for 2006 but probably all the same).

The front wheel bearing noise checklist indicates noise heard while turning right indicates the left front bearing is probably bad and vice versa.

Get in touch if you think any of the referenced docs would be worthwhile.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 06 Vue - 2.2 Front Noise.pdf (39.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: pdf 06 Vue - 2.2 Frnt Whl Brgn Noise.pdf (36.5 KB, 23 views)

...
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: front end growl

Some clear-headed thinking revealed an idea.......dug out my temp gun and took a drive up the highway. 20min drive, pulled over and checked the hub temps. Did this a few times over the course of my day for work.
My right front hub is running 15-20 F hotter than the left front.
Increased friction of a poor hub would cause hotter temps, correct?

...
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: front end growl

Next time you drive it, take a temp reading of the rotors on each side as well. If the rotors are hotter on one side, you'd expect some of that heat to be dumped to the hubs. If the hubs were bad you'd expect the innner part of the rotors to be a little hotter while the outer part not so much... If the rotors are about the same but the hubs are still a little hotter than you've probably nailed it.

If the hubs are 20 degrees hotter and the rotors are about the same on either side at their outer edge, I'd guess the hub is at fault. If the rotors are hotter at most points than the other side than it may be breaks causing the issue and failing the hubs.

I recently replaced rotors and pads (for the third or fourth time) and although I wasn't feeling any pull to one side or the other, I noticed that on one side of the car, the back pads were gone while the front were at least a 1/4' thicker. This was probably the cause of "warped" rotors for so may years. I pulled the caliper bolts and pins (or whatever they're called under the rubber fittings) and re-greased everything.

Just a few thoughts though...

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:56 AM   #19
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Default Re: front end growl

Did you have any vibration with the hub issues? I recently have had a low end noise come up around 65mph, but I can only notice it with all my windows are up, and the whole thing shakes when on the hightway.

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Old 07-28-2011, 08:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: front end growl

I get intermittent vibrations at highway speeds, and they tend to be due to dirt caked in the rims. Right now I can feel the back end doing a jiggle, but a quick peek determined that there's dirt caked in the rims. I'll have to give it a bath.

With the other hub bearing failures, I haven't noticed any vibrations, just the growl.

When I had my SC2, I changed both front bearings twice, and neither of them caused a vibration, but they howled like a banshee.

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