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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on my brother in-laws car. 1997 Dodge Stratus ES (V6). I picked it up from my sister to start troubleshooting this new noise. I almost had a heart attack when I hit the gas. There is for sure metal on metal contact somewhere in the works. My first fear was the auto tranny or the engine. However tranny fluid level was down about a QT. Low but not bad enough to make the symptoms it has. I also topped off the oil just to be save. Now I took some time to drive it around. It has that cool autostick feature so I could play wround with it. The noise is the worst in 1st. less in second gear. Almost non existant in 3rd and 4th unless you really gun. The engine seems to rev just fine. It could probably use a tune up but no major issues. If I left it in first and wound it up the engine humms right along. The trans seems to shift just fine between all the gears. No real noticable slippage beyond what a normal auto has. So my final though is the right front wheel bearing is toast. does that sound correct? how hard would it be to replace for anyone who's ever done it before. What else should I look for? This thing sounds so horrid its not even funny.
 

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I'm assuming by the sounds of this post that the grinding noise is proportional to the vehicles speed, and not engine / tranny rpm. If so you would be correct in assuming the wheel bearings are to blame. However, if this is like a high pitch metal on metal squealing, might I also suggest looking at the brakes. You could have a rock stuck, or a hard spot (metallic pads) in the pad cuasing the noise. Also, the dust shields for the calipers have a tendancy of rusting away and scraping either on the rotors, or on the inside of the wheel rims themselves. If the brakes check out all around, and the sound is proportional to the vehicle speed you would most likely be looking at a bad bearing in the final drive assembly of the transaxle.

Hope that helps :wink:

Q? -> does the car feel sluggish while driving?

Matt 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it is praportional up to a point. I couldn't give you an exact speed but it gets much quieter at about 25ish mph. It does not change with RPM but more of the vehicle speed. I'll have to check out the brake issue though that is a really good idea.
 

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One thing i can tell you about wheel berrings is that if it is the berring making the noise when you swerve the car while you are driving the pitch will change or become louder or softer because you are changing the vehicle load on the wheel berring. Hope this helps
 

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That happened on my car. The dust shields for the calipers rusted out and were grinding on the inside of my wheels. You could only hear it at low speeds though, but looking on the inside of my wheel it was pretty obvious they were rubbing constantly. It took two seconds to rip the rest of the rusted mass out. Also, depending on how bad the wheel bearings have deteriorated, you will feel some play in them when you jack up the wheels and do the side to side, and for and aft wiggling of the tire.

Matt 8)
 
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