carguy123 UltimaDork
8/28/23 2:40 p.m.

2013 Cadillac CTS


It developed a whirring noise when driving and I immediately thought wheel bearing with worn out brakes as second choice.


It didn't change when I zigged and zagged which made me think it wasn't wheel bearing as it didn't change under load.

I jacked the car up and tried spinning all 4 wheels and applying  pressure on the top and bottom looking for wobble but nothing.  I even used an infrared thermometer after a spirited drive to see if any wheel bearing or brakes were heated up and they were all just a few degrees apart.


I ruled out joints or transmission when it became obvious it was speed dependent and not related to engine revs or gear I was in.


Applying brakes didn't change it either so it made me rule out worn out brakes.


We drove it sparingly and only infrequently because I simply didn't have the time to work on it.  After a bit it finally began to change tone when I loaded the front passenger side up which brought me back to wheel bearing.


It's been triple digits here for the past couple of months but we finally have a break in the weather for 3 days so I pulled the car into the shop and began working on it.  It wasn't worn out brakes, although I am going to change them while I'm  in there.


Also the wheel spins easily by hand with zero noise and I still don't get any wobble when levering top or bottom.  I've actually only seen one set of bad wheel bearings my whole life and they were almost worn out so I don't really have any real world experience to tell, but it doesn't appear to be the bearing.


I've looked for bent brake shield and got nothing.


What else should I be looking for?

1988RedT2 MegaDork
8/28/23 3:14 p.m.


CV joints/axles?

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/23 3:16 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :


Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/23 3:18 p.m.

I'm going with wheel bearing. 

Front passenger side. 


iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/28/23 3:18 p.m.

Didn't CTS' have pretty delicate diffs? Or was that just the -V because of all the horsepowers?

Sonic UberDork
8/28/23 3:27 p.m.

Tried rotating tires front to back to rule out a bad tire? 

carguy123 UltimaDork
8/28/23 3:47 p.m.

I forgot that I rotated the tires first.

I'm pretty sure it's not a diff problem as that's not normally a thing plus with 4 passengers in the car they all say it's coming from the front.

Yes RWD in the CTS

Wheel bearing was where I was leaning up until to got the wheel removed.  Then when it just rolls too smoothly with zero noise and no play it stumped me.

Working on getting a 45/64 socket to take the brake assembly off.  (18MM).  Every wrench or socket I have doesn't fit so I'm left with the only thing I don't have which is an 18MM.  Ever have one of those days?




Dog let me know it has diarrhea just a couple of feet from my head

porschenut HalfDork
8/28/23 4:49 p.m.

Would a temp gun help find the source?  

carguy123 UltimaDork
8/28/23 5:13 p.m.
porschenut said:

Would a temp gun help find the source?  

I tried that early on and little to no differences between wheels.


$180 for a new sealed bearing unit.  Headed that way now so I hope that was it.


I've replaced any number of the older style that you had to pack with grease and set preload to as well as have the race pressed into the hub, but mostly precautionary rather than there was a real need.


The new sealed units would be easier if Cadillac hadn't hidden one of the bolts holding it by the sway bar.


Even with it out it just feels a little tight, not grindy or what I'd expect from a bad unit, but has to be that, doesn't it?  doesn't it?

wae PowerDork
8/28/23 5:23 p.m.

When a front wheel bearing went out on my GL350 recently, all the noise pointed to wheel bearing problems and when I got it up on the lift, there was no play and no real noise.  But it was absolutely the wheel bearing.  I think the theory was that it wasn't "bad enough" to be making noise when it wasn't bearing the full weight of the car.  Interestingly, I pressed the new bearing in, then pressed the hub into the bearing, and was really worried because it felt really scratchy and rough with the new bearing - worse than with the old one.  But once it was all put back together, there was no play and it was completely quiet, so I don't know what was up with that.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/23 8:20 p.m.
porschenut said:

Would a temp gun help find the source?  

I have never got useful information from a temp gun regarding wheel or other bearings.  There are too many variables involved.


I know that temp sensing is used for bearing failure detection in industry, but that is in a much more controlled environment than driving around the block and pointing a temp gun at things.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/28/23 10:18 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

I have never got useful information from a temp gun regarding wheel or other bearings.  There are too many variables involved.

Came here to say this.  Bearings have to get pretty bad before you notice a significant temp difference

A front wheel bearing started to die on the van and it started growling.  It didn't change when turning, accelerating, or braking.  It didn't start to get hot until it wore bad enough that the brake backing plate started rubbing the rotor when I turned right.  There was plenty of play by then.

carguy123 UltimaDork
8/28/23 10:28 p.m.

I'll let you guys know tomorrow.


I got the wheel bearing, one of the newer sealed units, and the new one doesn't feel significantly different than the old one.  I'm also going to put in new pads since I'm already in there.


The $180 turns out not to be the one I want as it doesn't have a sunken place for the screw head that holds the rotor on to fit.  The right unit was $210.


It was late enough I just ate dinner and watched a movie.  I'll finish it up in the A.M., OK it will probably be the early PM since I also have to do the brakes on the other side too.

HOW ABOUT THAT GRAND TURISMO MOVIE!?!  I haven't seen a thread on it yet but it was very good, especially in the biggest screen and the baddest sound system

P3PPY GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/29/23 8:55 a.m.

I spent many hours replacing things that were not a driveshaft because of a noise that turned out to be carrier bearing for driveshaft. Kinda doubt you have a 2 piece but just in case, check there, too

Recon1342 SuperDork
8/29/23 9:05 a.m.

Wheel bearings don't have to be crunchy to be bad. Also, unloaded bearings never seem bad unless they are completely roached. 

carguy123 UltimaDork
8/29/23 7:50 p.m.

Couldn't get back to it until after dinner tonight, but SUCCESS!


I replaced the wheel hub assembly and to feel it you'd think the bearing wasn't the problem but problem solved.


While I was in there I went ahead and replaced the half used up brake pads so in theory it could have been them but I don't think so.


The wife is happy to have her car back.


These are the easiest brakes to replace of any car I've ever done brakes on. 

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