Q: How to know if brakes or wheel bearings are bad?

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Wheel is hard to turn like trying to lock up. Makes really loud pop and sounds like something rubbing tire.

My car has 245000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The steering, brakes, and suspension are all very closely related. Often you can feel issues in any of these symptoms in the steering wheel first. If its hard to turn and feels like the wheel is making contact, then you will want to do a visual inspection. Stand outside of the car and watch the wheels as someone turns the wheel in both directions. The popping noise you are hearing may be a CV joint, stabilizer bar, or any of the steering linkage. A full inspection of these components will need to be done. Often damage to one component will put stress on another, and if one component is getting worn then the others may be as well.

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