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2003 gmc envoy_sle_xl
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok I know this is a terrible question to ask, but I'm driving from my house in SE PA to my other house in NW PA for X-mas. Last week on my way back from Mid-VA I started to notice a noise/vibration coming from the front pass. tire. I associated it with I-81 and the fact that my tires are nearing the end of their life. Then I remembered my mechanic telling me that if you turn the steering wheel left and right real quick while driving if the noise stops at all it's the bearing? So it stops when twisting left, but not right. Anyway the question is...I know I should get it looked at before I go...but I really don't have the time, so on my 234 mile trip is there anything I should listen to or feel that would mean the tire is about to fall off? I want to wait till I get home to NWPA to get it fixed b/c I get parts at cost+10% and 1/2 off labor at the dealer...I'm cheap and it's Xmas!

Thanks :)
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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3,203 Posts
You're looking at a gamble, it may fail and seize within 50 miles or last 500 miles, there's no real rule of thumb. How long it will last is influenced by many factors, such as temperature, speed, whether its the bearings or the race that are damaged and how much grease is still in there.

I've had a wheel bearing seize up on me in the past and personally wouldn't risk being stranded in the event it didn't make it. If you can. replace the bearing before you go.....its not too bad a job to do. One big hub nut and three bolts from the knuckle and its out. (This is something I'd do in the driveway or at my brother's heated garage).
 

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2006 chevy
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2,079 Posts
It is a risk and you are throwing money away.. A Bad wheel Bearing will lead to Horrible MPG's. I replaced a bad wheel bearing on my Old Rainier and gain 2-3 MPG's.
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_lt
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721 Posts
DISCLAIMER: Do as I say. Not as I do. I assume no liability for any use made of the following information and thoughts.

I put about 3000 miles, much of it Interstate and turnpike driving, on my 03 Envoy AFTER I diagnosed that the LF hub bearing assembly was failing. This was in the summer. I have driven other vehicles long after diagnosing a bad hub bearing.

If you just started noticing the problem, it is likely that you still have many miles in it. Likely, but not guaranteed. It COULD fail completely, but given the design, it is unlikely that the wheel would fall off. More likely it would seize and lock the wheel as the bearing welded itself together.

Given the cold weather, and my past experience, and considering how robust the bearings are, I would personally make the trip. You should fix it. Legal Disclaimer!

My experience is that the bearing will get louder and louder the more you drive it. As long as the noise doesn't exceed a moderate level, it should still have life left in it.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle_xl
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I know, it's a big risk, but since I'm not a mechanic I can't say 100% it's from the wheel bearing, it could just be the tire, I thought my old car had severe problems until I got new tires and it was fixed! I also don't have the time to rotate them and find out. (But yes I have time to post here...gotta love smartphones!) So eventually it will get extremely loud and that's when you know the time has come. I guess if it does go bad on the trip, I can just piggyback all the roadside assistance towing plans I have and make the 224 miles that way! It will just take a little longer. lol
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle_xl
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Discussion Starter #6
I made it! No problems, 333 miles on the turn pike then another 45 to the garage. The wheel bearing was replaced this morning for like $125! It feels like a new Envoy now! I also had my windshield replaced...didn't turn out so well...they broke my Sirius receiver, the mirror is now too high and it hits the overhead console, the rain sensor for the wipers quit working (I now have no delay wipers), and the auto dimming mirror is not working. As you can imagine I wasn't that happy when I discovered this...on Monday we will be getting that taken care of! I'm selling soon and will definitely have to get this fixed!
 
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