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Checking Wheel Bearings

Mod Details
PremiumNo Difficulty Mod ID1025 Creditevilution Cost££7 For450 Fortwo451 Fortwo452 Roadster453 Fortwo/Forfour454 Forfour Link Copy to Clipboard

When bearings begin to fail, you will hear it first and eventually feel it.
The problem is that a failing bearing can sound like other problems at first, such
as a stone in the tyre tread, corrosion on the brake discs or failing ball joints.

How Do You Know If It's The Bearings?

There is a simple trick that doesn't require any special tools.
Jack up the car on the affected side, hold shock absorber, spin wheel and feel for any clicking.
Actually holding the smart shock absorber is hard as it has a coil over setup so…

…to be extra sure you can use a mechanic's stethoscope and hear precisely if there are any bearing problems.

Here is a mechanic's stethoscope. Similar to a medical stethoscope but with a probe.

You place the 2 earpieces in your ears, hold the black plastic bell behind the probe and hold
the probe against the shock absorber. Spin the wheel and listen for ticking or clicking noises.

The noise of a failing bearing is easy to distinguish over the normal "shhk" noise of the pads touching the brake disc.
Also, a "ting" noise is usually corrosion on the brake disc touching the splash guard that surrounds it.

Mechanic's Stethoscope

These can be bought from the usual places, eBay, Amazon, Halfords or many motor parts stores.
They are cheap but their use can be fairly limited for most people.

Apart from checking bearings, you can easily determine which relay is operating and you can listen to the
engine as it's running to listen for any detonation (knocking). You can listen to starter motor solenoids,
AC compressor clutches, alternator bearings, actuators, gearboxs and electric motors.

If I Don't Want To Buy One?

If you have a long enough screwdriver, put the handle against your ear (not the sharp end dickweed).
Put the tip of the screwdriver against the shock absorber and press your head towards the shock absorber.