(Every car part including suspension, wheel hubs and bearings is subject to wear and tear and is subject to replacement after certain milestone mileage)
Driving has been miserable for me for the last few weeks and it is all due to faulty wheel bearing. The loud rumbling sound comes from the wheels wherever I take a corner.
This is not the first time I am having faulty wheel bearings.
I have lost count of the number of times I had to spend money to get the bearing changed (and it is not cheap too – one set cost me RM75).
This pain in the neck started in 2007 when I noticed the rumbling sound from the wheels and had to visit the nearest wheel shops in Puchong (my biggest mistake – little I knew back then that this shop was a fraud and had used second rate parts).
I changed wheel bearings, rear-wheel hub (which the fraudster claimed already been damaged due to faulty bearing. Well it could have but who is there to stop them from making quick money) and shock absorbers (it was leaking but not sure due to what. Anyway, I have passed the 50,000 km lifespan for shock absorbers). I spend a lot of money on changes on that day and I thought my troubles will go away.
Unfortunately, it did not…
Within weeks, the bearing became faulty again and this time, it happened when I was travelling on the highway. When I reached Taiping, I had the wheel inspected at a friend’s shop and found that the earlier shop has used imitation wheel bearing.
It was prone to fail. So, I changed the wheel bearings again but it did not last long. Since then, I have changed the bearings several times and when I told the mechanics at my usual workshop, they started to look at other possible causes.
They took a good look at the rear hub and realised that the size was different for my car.
So, there was a change of hub as well and in order to reduce cost, I agreed to use a second hand original rear hub (from “potong kereta” shop).
But after a while, the bearings once again got faulty. There was one point where the bearings had cracked in the inside and the wheel almost came off. So this time, I opted to change to a brand new rear hub (which had me waiting for the whole day because they ordered from a shop in KL). That solved the problem but only temporarily.
In the last few weeks, the rumbling sound from wheels was back and I was getting rather pissed off with it. I have spent so much money and yet nothing seems to be getting solved permanently.
Then I looked closer at the other thing that was changed in the fraudsters’ shop – the shock absorbers. To be fair, they used the original (so I think) KYB shock absorbers but realised that after the change, the body roll of my car during the cornering has increased tremendously.
Further, the suspension felt soft. In fact, it was way too soft for me to take cornering safely (it was not the same when I had the original Proton shock absorbers).
Could this be the other culprit that causing faulty wheel bearings? After all, at the cornering the soft suspension would have put a lot of pressure on the wheels; it could have contributed to the bearings getting damaged.
So, I decided to change the suspensions as well.
Besides, I have passed the next 50,000 km mark and soft absorbers was not right for my kind of driving. The guys at the workshop recommended KYB gas shock absorbers but I had enough with that brand. But the mechanic clarified something to me.
The “soft” shock absorbers that I have now are using oil for compression. His recommended shock absorbers use gas for compression. That will solve the “softness” of the suspension that I have been having.
In fact, according to the mechanic, the original Proton shock absorbers that my car was also using gas for compression (which could explain why I did not have the same softness before the change was made).
But still, the brand KYB had become a phobia for me.
Image source: Monroe
Then I remembered my buddy, Yusof talking about Monroe brand shock absorbers. It was RM20 – RM50 more costly than the KYB gas shock absorbers but it was worth the investment.
The shop quoted me RM100 for rear-wheel absorbers and RM195 for the front struts. Total cost to replace suspension for all 4 wheels – RM590. I still had to change the wheel bearings though.
Plus the usual oil change, spark plug change and change of radiator hoses (which I was told to be inspected and changed at every 40,000 km) cost me a whopping RM1,045.
Driving the last 2 days has been fun especially at the cornering. The softness has gone completely and the body roll has reduced by almost 80%. The ride has been firmer too. The Ducaros seems quieter too.
It is yet to be seen whether the bearings will hold up longer this time but if it doesn’t, then I may need to change my car too.No tags for this post.