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Old 01-18-2005, 09:18 PM   #1
sc2095
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Default Weird noise on 95 SC2

I was coming back to school today, and i was slowing down to go into the rest stop, and I noticed a noise that I have never heard before, and I cannot tell what would cause it. It is a whine/grinding noise. It is really hard to explain, and I have never heard it before in any car. It only makes the noise when the car is going from about 10-15 mph to about 55 mph. It does not change intensity, and does not move with the engine. it stays the same pitch, speed, volume, etc, and it doesn't change when the brakes are applied or not. It is just there. It was really cold out today, like 0-5 degrees. I also just changed the oil and tranny fluid in it a couple days ago, along with the valve cover gasket because it was leaking, but it just started today. Any ideas what it could be? Also, I don't think it's a wheel bearing because it is high pitched, not lower, and it doesn't change with the speed of the wheels or the engine.

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Old 01-19-2005, 08:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

UPDATE:: I just drove it after letting it sit for a day, and it only makes the noise after the car has been driven for a little while. And now is it even with tire speed up until about 40 mph when I can't here it anymore. The only noise I can relate it to is the noise that the strobe lights make when they go off, like the ones on school buses or other strobes lights. Really high-pitched, and my rotors have a very slight pulse to them, and they go with that. I'm wondering if it is a sticky caliper or bad pads, but hitting the brakes doesn't change it. I am stumped.

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Old 01-19-2005, 09:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Strange one... is the transmission fluid at the proper level? What type of AT fluid did you use?
My experience with wheel bearings is they usually get louder when under increased load such as when turning a corner...as well as CV joints. But the noise created is entirely different. Bearings usually have a "roaring" characteristic...while CV joints usually start "clicking". Check the dust shield to make sure it is not rubbing your rotors.
On second thought, it sounds like your squeal tabs on your brake pads are starting to contact the rotor...check the pads and see if they are worn down to the tab. If so, time for a brake job!!!

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Old 01-19-2005, 09:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

I just changed the tranny fluid, and when I checked it last, it was at the right level. I used Valvoline Maxlife synthetic fluid. I'm pretty sure the CV joints are fine because the boots around them look perfect, and it isn't a clicking sound. There is no noise when it's sitting still, and I know it goes with the tires because there is snow out, and when I lock up the brakes when stopping, when the tires stop moving, even if the car is sliding, the noise is gone.

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Old 01-19-2005, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

I'd check out the brake pads...could be the squeal tab, which warns you the pads are nearing the end of their useful life.

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Old 01-24-2005, 02:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

OK, I haven't driven the car for a while, but I took it out today and drove it around. It doesn't make the noise until the car has been driven for a couple miles, and it definitely is in sync with the wheel speed. I have been talking to a few people on turbosaturns, and they think it's probably either the brakes or the wheel bearing. As I said earlier, the noise is very high pitched, and my rotors have a slight pulse to them when braking after they warm up. One of my caliper bolts is rounded off, so I can't take it off to grease it when I replaced the pads, so I was wondering if since it was so cold out, if that pin was sticking, and making the squel tab go off on the pad? I hope it's just the pads, but some people still think it's the wheel bearing. Dont bearings sound deep and get louder with more speed and not go away after going faster than about 40? Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-28-2005, 09:15 AM   #7
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1995 SC2
Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

I just took my 95 SC2 in for the same symptoms, thinking it had to be the rear brakes as they were due to be done. Turned out to be the right/front drive axle hanger bearing. The mechanic is trying to find out if he can replace the hanger bracket separately or if he needs to replace the entire drive-axle.

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Old 01-28-2005, 07:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Just had a similar problem with my '94 SC2. A metallic
screeching noise that wouldn't start until after the car had
been driven a few minutes. Thought it might be a wheel bearing,
so I took it to the dealer. Turned out to be the right front
drive axle assembly (also called the intermediate shaft, I believe).
More accurately, it was one of the drive axle bearings.

According to the dealer, the bearings are a non-serviceable part
of the assembly, which runs about $375.00 (from the dealer).
I couldn't find the part listed on any of the ususal internet parts
dealer's sites, unless they were Saturn dealers.
Total bill, part + installation: almost $500.00.
A private garage might be able to save you some money, but
probably only if the axle isn't a dealer-only part.
The temp where I live has been going into the single digits lately--
maybe that's one of the reasons the bearing failed
(of course, it also has 110,000 miles on it too).

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Old 01-30-2005, 03:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

After reading other posts on the hanger bearing failing, I bought some PB Blaster and sprayed it on the driver's side axle near where it goes in the tranny. Where exactly is the hanger bearing? Once I sprayed it, I didn't notice the squeling anymore, but I just want to know where exactly it is, since apparently if you spray it with a penetrating lubricant, it can make the squel go away. Thanks.

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Old 01-30-2005, 05:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

If I understand what you're talking about, it must be the bearing on the right hand/passenger's side of the intermediate axle. What you sprayed is on the left/driver's side of the car.

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Old 01-30-2005, 06:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

I know that, but that's where the noise was coming from, it sounded like right in front of the driver. It wasn't there after I sprayed it, but I haven't driven it much since then. It's going into Saturn on Wed, but should PB Blaster work to make it stop squeling if it is the hanger bearing?

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Old 01-30-2005, 06:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2095
It's going into Saturn on Wed, but should PB Blaster work to make it stop squeling if it is the hanger bearing?
Not if you're spraying the wrong location.

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Old 01-30-2005, 07:34 PM   #13
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Quick primer on drive train: The transaxle is on the left end of the engine. On older, cheapo front-wheelers, they just ran a short drive axle (aka "half-shaft") from the left output of the tranny to the left wheel, and a much longer axle from the right output to the right wheel. This creates driveability quirks such as "torque steer". To minimize/eliminate this, nowadays there's usually an "intermediate shaft" coming out of the right output of the tranny, then the actual right-side drive axle goes from the intermediate shaft to the right wheel. This makes the two drive axles approximately equal in length. That intermediate shaft rotates on a bearing, known as the hanger bearing. The shaft runs sorta "behind" the engine, out of the right output of the tranny. The hanger bearing is right around the middle of the shaft. To reach it with the PB blaster, I'm pretty sure you'd have to shoot up from underneath, but you MIGHT be able to get to it between by shooting down between the intake manifold and the firewall.

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Old 01-31-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

I sprayed the PB Blaster on the hanger bearing, and there is no more squeak. Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-31-2005, 07:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Arrgh, I may have this too. Just got in from a brake inspection (all fine), tranny fluid check (ditto), and wheel tugging (tight) inspection. Noticed the noise slightly louder under moderate accelleration but still present when coasting. Is probably high pitched enough to set hound dogs off. Radio drowns it out nicely.

Does anyone think that PB blaster is way too thin a lubricant to expect to last any length of time? I understand it's good for diagnosis. Wonder if there's a good place to squirt some wheel bearing grease in, and if grease would be better.

FWIW, the car is a 96 SL 5 spd, no AC or PS, 130k, ambient temp is 15'F which is warmer than it's been.

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Old 01-31-2005, 07:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino
Does anyone think that PB blaster is way too thin a lubricant to expect to last any length of time? I understand it's good for diagnosis. Wonder if there's a good place to squirt some wheel bearing grease in, and if grease would be better.
Yes, and yes.

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Old 01-31-2005, 11:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

where exactly would you squirt wheel bearing grease into the hanger bearing? Is there a certain spot that the grease would go into it, or should you just spread it around the whole bearing?

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Old 02-01-2005, 04:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2095
where exactly would you squirt wheel bearing grease into the hanger bearing? Is there a certain spot that the grease would go into it, or should you just spread it around the whole bearing?
Good question. I'm pretty sure there's no grease fitting on the housing, so I suspect it might be a tad difficult without at least removing the half axle on the passenger's side...

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...at/500/page/17

All I was trying to say in my previous comment is that wheel bearing grease would be a better lubricant for the bearing (any bearing on the vehicle, actually) than PB Blaster.

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Old 02-01-2005, 05:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

"Hanger bearing" on the intermediate shaft is a SEALED BEARING. It is "lubed for life" if it is noisey, and the hanger itself is tightly mounted (I have on rare occasions found a loose one) then the intermediate shaft needs to be REPLACED. Generally they are quite reliable. Consider a low mileage used unit.

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Old 02-01-2005, 01:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Weird noise on 95 SC2

Are all intermediate shafts/bearings/axles etc the same between years/trannies/engines?

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