Question about 2005 Saturn ION

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My tires are wearing on inside-I was told without having the hub(bearing-left front)replaced -can not do alignment.what is that hub?? and is it something I can do

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  • Saturn Master
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Chiming in late: I highly recommend owning a service manual that covers the majority of work one can do at home without special tools.
I like Haynes better than Chilton and they cost ~$20-$25 US, can be ordered online or found at auto parts stores.
They are in any case complete enough to let you know what you might encounter during a repair and assess what it might cost to have it done elsewhere:
Saturn Ion manual

Posted on Jul 07, 2010

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  • Master
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Hi, if their is some play in the left front hub bearing then what this means is that as you look at the front of car the left front wheel hub bearing is bad and needs replacing, now what this bearing is is that as you look at the wheel you see the 4 bolts that hold the wheel onto the hub, then the hub itself has a big bearing in the middle that stops the wheel from wobbling and running un even, so without having this bearing replaced the alignment will never be perfect as the wheel would be able to move slightly so once this bearing has been replaced then this will secure the wheel and stop it from moving out of line then the alignment can be set correctly so it will then stop your tyres rubbing as they are.

That is if the bearing has gone, one way of testing this is to have the front wheels lifted off the floor you can jack the car up at the front and place it on stands so the wheels are free to turn and off the floor then if you grab hold of the front left wheel and give it a wiggle left and right as if your trying to turn the wheel by hand to go round a corner so if you turn it left and right realy fast if it is bad it will wobble slightly due to the bearing in the center of the hub being bad, then grab the top and bottom of the tyre then try the same wobbling the wheel in and out and check for play if the bearing is bad you will have play left and right and up and down, it might be hard to move but with a bad bearing it will wobble slightly. giving you the result of bad hub bearing.

Other things that can cause the tyres to ware like that are track rod ends being bad this will also have play in it when trying to turn the wheels left and right.

The main reason tyres ware on the inside is due to high spees cornering now what sounds weird to me is that you have ware on both sides yet they say you only have a bad bearing on the one side if that was the case then the tyre would only be worn on that one side and not the other, so you need to ask the question why has the other side worn when their is no fault with the bearing, they may say track rod end is bad on that side to cover the tyre ware on that side.

But ware on both sides usually means the driver has been driving to fast round corners, so check yourself for any play and if you fidn none take your car to another garage tell them they told you both sides are worn due to the bearing being gone on the one side even though you have found no play, they should then tell you what i told you that the tyres are worn due to high speed cornering, if the ware was only on one side then it does point towards either hub bearing or track rod end being worn, but for it to be worn on both sides then this would have to mean either the tracking is out on both sides or both bearings are bad, which is not very likely, the chances of both sides failing at the same time is like winning the lottery 2 times in a row, so i would question the motives of the person who told you the tyres are worn due to the bearing on one side being faulty.

sorry its a lot to read but i dont want to see people ripped off for work they dont need doing so either take your car somewhere else or check the bearings yourself, but if you have been driving round corners fast then this is the most likely cause of inside tyre ware,

how ever the bearing may be gone on that side and they want to do that before checking the tracking but i would question why the other side has worn the same way if the bearing on that side is ok.

let me know what you find out ok

Posted on Jul 07, 2010

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  • Saturn Master
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A 'hub assembly' is a roundish assembly that contains the bearing and studs, and is bolted onto the front strut and connected to the lower ball joint with a nut..

Probably costs $100 to $150 or so to replace in labor.(not including the alignment which at Sears might be $69 or so in my area).

After you change the hub, you must have it aligned with a computerized alignment machine (I don't like using a ruler and tacks, and bubble level as this is antiquated.).

So, I wouldn't try it if you're a novice, because the 3 or so bolts need to be accessed from behind, and torqued to specifications with a torque wrench.

If you don't have experience changing front end parts, I would not do it.
It helps to have a car 'lift' so that one can work on it at waste level, rather than on the ground with jack stands, which can be done, but can be awkward.

If you take your car to Sears or Firestone to have the work done, the complete job could cost a few hundred dollars.

They have the proper training, experience, and equipment to do the job right the first time.

You might, also, find a local mechanic or technician who can do it for less, but probably won't have the alignment machines that Sears has.

The person who told you the hub was worn out probably found excessive play in the tire/wheel when shaken down with their hands while the front end was lifted.

Posted on Jul 07, 2010

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  • Master
  • 3,092 Answers

The hub bearing is some thing that goes into the spindle so that the wheel can turn freely, it is also a seal bearing unit, to remove and replace the wheel hub bearing you will need a press to press out and press in the new hub bearing into the spindle.

Posted on Jul 07, 2010

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