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Q: When pulling off, it feels like the rear end is dragging

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Whenever I drive my vehicle for at least 2 hours and decide to break. I get back in and start it up and when I pull off, it feels like it's dragging in the rear. Sometimes I feel heat coming from the wheel area, but no smoke. I have had the brakes and hub checked and was told that everything was fine.

My car has 215000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If a wheel bearing in the hub was defective...

If a wheel bearing in the hub was defective enough to cause drag, you would hear a tremendous amount of noise from the failed bearing. Wheels might also drag due to misalignment or failure of the brakes to retract. Misalignment can sometimes be inferred by looking at the wear pattern on the tires. If the wear pattern is "normal," you can probably rule out misalignment (a certified technician could help you assess tread wear patterns). You can determine if the brakes are dragging by jacking up each corner of the car and checking to see if the wheel turns freely after you depress and release the brake pedal. Also, if you had a serious dragging issue, you would see a large reduction in fuel economy. So, you can measure your fuel economy and if it is within the government test rating for your vehicle, there is probably nothing dragging. It is also possible that you are mistaking a performance problem with the engine or transmission for wheel drag, in which case you can schedule an inspection with a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, in order to diagnose your acceleration problem.

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