Question about 2002 Mazda Protege

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I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5. I think that the wheel bearing at the front on the driver's side is going bad. What can I do to test it myself at home without taking it apart. I have heard that when you are driving, if you turn the opposite way (bearing left, turn right) of the bad bearing and it goes quiet, it means it's shot, is this true?

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  • tee_minou Mar 15, 2011

    Thank you! Did the tire test and the whole assembly shakes, but not extreme, the bearing is on it's way to the junk pile. I was expecting more in dollar value for the part, 56$ (Can) + taxes. Only have to change the bearings, not the whole hub assembly.

    How many kilometers do you figure I can drive on it, I have an appointment to get it fixed tomorrow. Not using the car today, but still have to get it to the garage in the morning. Whatever your answer, don't worry, I won't be pissed at you if it falls off in the next 5 kms :). I know it's mechanical and very hard to tell, just looking for a ball park estimate....



  • tee_minou Mar 15, 2011

    Thank you!



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  1. Most often, bearings will give off a tell-tale grinding noise when in motion. Determining the wheel bearing that is making the noise can be difficult since the noise and vibration travels across the entire axle.
  2. Many bearings will hum or roar loudly while driving straight and intensify upon acceleration of the wheel, then dissipate when turning. Others may make a grinding noise when taking a turn and applying an axial pressure to the wheel.
  3. Place the car on jack stands with the car in neutral and the ignition off. Spin the tire/s that you suspect to have bad bearings. If a bearing is at the point of failing badly, you will be able to hear the noise or feel the grinding while spinning the tire.
  4. Your noise could be tires, bearings, or also brakes. Regarding bearings, grease can definitely dry out but unlikely unless the bearings were packed incorrectly - might not be a bad idea to repack them anyway. They could also just need tightening.
  5. Wheel bearings will howl and will get louder as your speed increases. Through a corner, the bad bearing will be even louder. If its loud turning right its a bad bearing on the left side and vise-versa.
  6. You can also test the wheel bearings jacking up the vehicle, and grabbing the top of the tire and trying to pull it side to side. If there is much movement you will know that its the bearings.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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A bearing noise can be verified by getting the car to the speed where you hear the bearing noise and rock the steering side to side causing the weight of the car to shift from side to side, if it's a bearing the noise will come and go. Likely unless you have hit a curb or had an accident that impacted a wheel heavily, the tires are your problem. tire cupping is generally caused by not rotating your tires often enough and possibly a slight misalignment condition.

If you just want to check your wheel bearings for wear without removing the wheels, do the following:
1. Jack up your vehicle: Support it on jack stands.
2. Without getting under the vehicle, grasp each wheel at the top and bottom and attempt to rock it: There should be minimal movement. Excessive play may indicate that the wheel bearing is worn and needs adjustment or replacement.
3. Put the gearshift in Neutral if you have an automatic transmission, or take your manual transmission out of gear.
4. Rotate the wheel: Listen for any unusual noise and feel for any roughness as it rotates, which may indicate that the bearing is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Shift back into Park (for an automatic transmission) or gear (for a manual transmission) before lowering the vehicle to the ground.

Also, could check this video...
Hope helps.

Posted on Mar 15, 2011

  • ZJ Limited
    ZJ Limited Mar 15, 2011

    I remember drive 20 kms. long time ago, at 40 km/h no more. Be carefull and good luck.



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  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2. Remove or disconnect the following:
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  3. Using Mazda Hub Puller tools 49 G033 102, 49 G033 104 and 49 G033 105, pull the front wheel hub from the knuckle assembly.
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