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Discussion Starter #1
For a few weeks I've been hearing a growing whump-whump sound on the highway that I was told is a wheel bearing that will need replacement. Decided to have my mechanic go ahead with it in the last couple of days.

When he took the wheel off to do it, he discovered that things had kind of fused (he suggested winter road salts were the trigger) and he couldn't get the bearing/hub/axle apart from one another no matter what they tried. He ultimately had to use a torch, then replace the entire axle, hub and bearing. This is my understanding (I'm not a mechanic). Annoying and more expensive, but such is life sometimes, I guess. Have used him for years for all of our cars, so I don't have any concerns whatsoever that his experience is anything less than honest. I felt bad for all the hassle he faced for an otherwise simple problem.

A few hours after picking it up, I'm downtown and decided suddenly I wanted to change my destination, doubling back a few blocks the opposite way to grab something. I stopped, let traffic go by and then was starting to pull a big hard, slow u-turn since the road is very wide there. Just as I got into the hard left turn (the side that had just been replaced today), this horrible shaking and banging noise started. I jammed on the brakes. Some people in the parking lot I was facing stopped dead at the commotion and asked what the heck was wrong with my car.

Since I was in the middle of the street, I needed to get out of the way before traffic started appearing, so I turned straight and wobbled my way into the restaurant parking lot in front of me. The whole time the car was just shaking and banging. I was picturing the front left wheel having just half snapped off or something.

Once I got stopped a few car lengths from the road and not blocking too many parked cars, I did some experimenting. Just putting the car in drive without moving would started this banging. I tried reverse and, initially, slowly moved back smoothly a few feet before it started there, too. From then on, putting it in either without moving started this awful noise.

I called Kia roadside assistance (last 5K miles of my 100K warranty!), got a tow and had it taken back to my mechanic. I can't talk to him now until after Monday due to an extended holiday weekend.

I got curious and, after the flatbed dropped off the car, I turned it on and it no longer went nuts in gear. I even slowly rolled forward and back a few feet without inducing it. I wasn't going to drive more... but something in the process of bringing it to the shop has seemingly stopped the banging.

I have a video I shot in the car of the problem for a few seconds. Trust me, the sound and motion in there don't do it justice... it sounds and feels FAR worse than the video would suggest.


Any thoughts in the meantime? This could be coincidental, so I'm not blaming my mechanic... though obviously hard to shake it seeming more than coincidental all things considered.
 

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First, never saw an axle or bearing that wouldn't come out of the knuckle. Just did a replacement on our '11 EX-T that was used by salt water and it was a chore. Needed a heavy puller to get the axle out and couldn't get the bearing out with my "bearing" removal kit so had a friend use a press.
Having said that, to me the sounds like a CV joint is gone or the axle wasn't in the trans all the way.
Let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, he said he'd never had this much trouble on one and blamed road salts. He said they are seeing brake lines almost weekly with similar problems he attributes to the same issue. They tried a puller of some sort, too, and couldn't manage it. That's when they ended up torching it and replacing everything including the axle.

Your description sounds likely (to my non-mechanic ear). A hard left turn possibly popping the axle out of engagement with the transmission or similar is how I interpret your guess. That or the CV joint chose now to fail or was somehow damaged during the other work?

Any thoughts on whether the incident would have damaged other stuff, or is this just a fix/adjustment and I should feel safe once done? I had driven at highway speeds just fine for the hour prior, so I suspect that hard u-turn did it... but I shudder wondering what would happen if this failed while flying down the road? Or is that even likely?

Best,
- Aaron
 

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No sense getting upset until we see what the diagnosis might be if he's an honest mechanic. Reason I say that, many will make up some story as to blame the fault on someone or something other than what they did.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gosh - no blame to him at all. As I stated earlier, we’ve worked with him forever and have no questions about his integrity. This might be an unfortunate byproduct of the other work or totally coincidental. I was just curious about the safety and other ramifications of the possible scenario - but I will follow up with the reality of what is found next week.
 

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First, never saw an axle or bearing that wouldn't come out of the knuckle. Just did a replacement on our '11 EX-T that was used by salt water and it was a chore. Needed a heavy puller to get the axle out and couldn't get the bearing out with my "bearing" removal kit so had a friend use a press.
Having said that, to me the sounds like a CV joint is gone or the axle wasn't in the trans all the way.
Let us know.
Having experience with VC axels, this sounds exactly what it is. Perhaps something wasn't reassembled or seated properly. Im hoping its a quick fix for you vs another damaged part. Let us know how it goes
 
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