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Tapping in Front Left Wheel


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Constellation2
New User

Jun 7, 2015, 8:47 PM

Post #1 of 6 (818 views)
Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

1986
Oldsmobile
Cutlass Ciera
2.8 V-6
106,000 miles
Can hear when driver's window is down, on slower streets in-town. Tapping increases, but sound recedes, with speed. The tires were rotated 5000 miles ago, there was a slight pull to the right afterwards, which we compensated for by just steering slightly left. First noticed the tap two months, or about 250 miles ago. The tires were old, so tire replaced with new, balanced tire (all four tires replaced and balanced). Tapping still there, though not as noticeable. 106,000 miles on car. No accidents. Garaged. One owner. Driven avg < 3000 mi/year.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 8, 2015, 2:32 AM

Post #2 of 6 (806 views)
Re: Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

A few thing likely to check. A brake pad might have lost any anti-rattle parts and make noise at even slight variations in trueness of the rotor. That would shut up if you were braking or just slightly dragged the brakes while it does it.


'86? Wheel trim or hubcaps? Either can make noise. If no loose parts try removing cosmetic trim and see if it goes away. Assorted fixes depending on what you find.


Car pulls and less now with new tires - no surprise as tires now are more flexible with new tread. It needs an alignment and any parts not up to par now before the new ones get a wear pattern.
**************
Suggestions for low use vehicles: Use them if they sit too long brakes may not wear but need re-lubing. Old and low use still check tire pressure including spare. Lube up all locks, hinges and latches all over this thing.


If all short trips all the time take it on a run on purpose at some speeds and miles all at once as possible. Weak things may show up but better to know.
Change oil also based on time not just miles. This does have (should) some grease fittings - grease them with now more attention to time same as oil. Twice a year checks at least and grease with oil changes.


Back to the noise. Seriously - brakes most likely but may need to take apart to see the flaws not just a glance with wheels off,


T



Constellation2
New User

Jun 8, 2015, 6:24 AM

Post #3 of 6 (802 views)
Re: Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

Thank you, Tom!
Will look into these.
Is it possible it could be wheel bearings?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 8, 2015, 6:49 AM

Post #4 of 6 (800 views)
Re: Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

Wheel bearings much less likely. Life of those unknown to me but a common reason to harm them is submerged in water for any reason.


The super common feel/noise with those is a growl that changes with driving along steering left and right shifting the load the noise will almost always get worse or even go away with that test. Any free play in sealed bearing is wrong. By that point you think you were driving on a flat and on the rim and about to lose that wheel.


No service for front bearing on this TMK. Brakes normally not either but parts are greased that usually last the life of them by wear but take a hit by time too, grease lost to moisture, heat and time they can not retract as well or worse at all just stuck from lack of lube and even light rust. Brakes also seriously do not like being dunked under water. If that is in the history I suggest saying so and have all suspect parts checked and relubed as seen fit. By the time water if that at all is over top of a wheel you are about beyond endless problems and surprises.
The answer for this exact "tapping noise" is above. If a loose brake pad it would not do that when brakes are applied while moving along,


T



Constellation2
New User

Jun 8, 2015, 8:32 AM

Post #5 of 6 (797 views)
Re: Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

Thanks Tom. Will try brakes next time I'm out to see if it disappears.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 8, 2015, 8:55 AM

Post #6 of 6 (792 views)
Re: Tapping in Front Left Wheel Sign In

You got it, that will tell almost for sure. Just did one with NOTHING really wrong (doesn't matter what make) on a car that sat indoors for too long IMO and just needed relubing good brakes otherwise,


T







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