Q: Vibration from passenger side front wheel.

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I think I have a bearing issue with the front pass side bearing on my 2011 GL550. How can I be sure it's not the wide tires ? Tires are more than half worn. Vibration seems to be coming from just that tire. I tried rotating tires front to back ... and the vibration became HUGE. Perhaps the uneven wear between back and front tires exacerbated the situation. The vibration was crazy. Put the tires back ... and now it's back to its old vibration ... which is irritating ...

Any ideas on how to be sure its the bearing ? I plan on buying new tires next year .... but pushing these until they won't pass inspection any longer. If you think it is bearing ... how many shop hours does a mechanic typically charge to change the bearing ?

Thanks in advance

Jim

My car has 49500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Occasionally, you will be able to measure enough play in the bearing that you can condemn it without further testing. You have to check the factory spec. to see what is allowed and will have to use a dial indicator. Sometimes you can road test the car and by swerving, sequentially load and unload the side of the car with the suspect bad bearing. If the noise level clearly changes as you load and unload the suspect side, that is usually a positive indication. When you swerve you are moving weight temporarily off of the bearing which is enough to alter the noise generated by a bad bearing. Wireless chassis ears are really useful. Basically, the Mechanic will clip microphones onto each front spindle and compare the noise from side to side as the vehicle is driven. The wear on your tires complicates things a little but if there is little noise from the left front tire and yet when you mount that tire on the right the noise increases to about the same level as when you had the original tire on the right, that is an indication of probable bearing failure. The labor time on the bearing is about 2 hours. If you desire that this be evaluated and/or replaced, I recommend you request a wheel bearing diagnostic and a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic will let you know if the bearing needs to be replaced.

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