Sounds like a flat tyre but it isn't - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 22-02-11
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Sounds like a flat tyre but it isn't

Got a problem that sounds like a flat tyre but it isn't. When driving in a straight line its a little noticeable but on steering right it's very loud and quite strong vibrations. Turning left isn't so bad but more noticable than going in a straight line. The problem isn't noticeable until I hit 30mph. Last night while under the bonnet I noticed that on the both passenger and driver side above the wheel arch there are meant to be 4 or fives bolts coming through, one with a large washer however on the passenger side the one with a washer is missing completely?!?
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Old 22-02-11
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Sounds like a wheel bearing on it's last legs. Touch the rims after a drive and check if any of them is significantly hotter. Jack up the car and check if you can wiggle any of the wheels.

Last edited by Cosmo156SS; 22-02-11 at 12:17.
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Old 22-02-11
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I had a wheel baring go just after I bought the car but this sounds a bit different. I will jack the car up this evening and check for wiggle - Would the wiggle be backwards and forwards if looking side on to the car?

Here are the photos of the bolt and washer missing...

Here is the drivers side:
http://piczasso.com/i/4suo7.jpg


Here is the passenger side:
http://piczasso.com/i/7u5s7.jpg
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Old 22-02-11
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Originally Posted by James 156 View Post
I had a wheel baring go just after I bought the car but this sounds a bit different. I will jack the car up this evening and check for wiggle - Would the wiggle be backwards and forwards if looking side on to the car?
Any direction is possible. They can also make a lot of noise even if there's no slack. If the sound gets louder when you turn in one direction and fainter in the other, it's very likely the bearing. Do you use original rims btw?
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Old 22-02-11
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No they are 18 inch - although after damaging one on a pothole the other day I am thinking about buying a set of 17inch of the same style. I have spoke to the owner of the car who put the alloys on the car (a couple before me) and he said that while he had the car he never had a baring fail. Being over 10 years old now and all original barings except one I changed when buying the car, i'm guessing the failing is more to do with age than stress.
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Old 22-02-11
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Originally Posted by James 156 View Post
Being over 10 years old now and all original barings except one I changed when buying the car, i'm guessing the failing is more to do with age than stress.
Like everything else today, it's not made to last. Changed one of mine after 140000km's.
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Old 22-02-11
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Broken spring?

Is the car the same height at both sides at the front?

You will have to measure from the center of the wheel to the wheel arch to get an accurate measurement.

PS: Your pictures don't work.
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Old 22-02-11
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As I've got the spare on at the mo I will measure the height tomorrow when I pick the wheel up. Pics should work if you click on them. Not sure how to embed them.
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Old 22-02-11
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The pictures do work on my home PC but they are slow to load.

I looks like an issue with the top mount on top of the spring/Shock assembly.

Unfortunatley I don't have a 156 to have a look at, but maybe hitting the pothole has damaged the part of the top mount where the upper wishbone pivots?

This could be allowing part of the suspension to rub the tyre.
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Old 23-02-11
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They load very slow on mine to - imageshack wouldn't load on my work computer so had to resort to some other site.

When I pick the alloy up tonight I will ask if anyone there know what the bolt/washer thats missing does - Couldn't check the wheel to see if there was any play last night as I've lent my trolley jack out so will pick it up tonight and have a looksy.
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Old 23-02-11
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Originally Posted by James 156 View Post
Got a problem that sounds like a flat tyre but it isn't. When driving in a straight line its a little noticeable but on steering right it's very loud and quite strong vibrations. Turning left isn't so bad but more noticable than going in a straight line. The problem isn't noticeable until I hit 30mph. Last night while under the bonnet I noticed that on the both passenger and driver side above the wheel arch there are meant to be 4 or fives bolts coming through, one with a large washer however on the passenger side the one with a washer is missing completely?!?
wheel bearing ,lower arm , get under your car and have some one turn wheel laeft to right and back(engine off key in ) and look at lower arms to see if theres any movement
as for your missing washer eh nope youve gained one

also check your lower bush hasnt collapsed in housing where your suspension fork is could be twisted in mount and loading suspension can induce noise
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Old 03-03-11
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Finally got the car into a garage as I couldn't find any play in the wheel (not that I really 100% know what I'm looking for) but they phoned and said that the wheel bearing is completely knackered. They said it was so bad they don't recommend driving it (maybe I shouldn't have had the spritly drive in this morning! Problem is they can't get the part in until near the end of the day so I'm going to have to take it back off them today and drop it back off tomorrow morning as I don't live in the same town as the garage.

They also found out where my exhaust was blowing from...I knew it was towards the front between the drivers door and the engine and was worried it was going to be very costly but it has turned out to be the gasket between the manifold pipe and the next section (i think) so less than a tenner!

Exhaust gasket replaced and front drivers side wheel bearing parts, labour and vat all in £230.00. Seeing as the bearing is £70 ish and the gasket around £10 the rest is labour it seems quite reasonable - I remember watching the Alfa Workshop using an angle grinder on my other wheel bearing last year and spent ages trying to get that off and replace it so I know it could take some time.
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Old 03-03-11
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That missing fixing or whatever is normal, my car is missing it on both sides.
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