Bent or out of balance wheel are certainly more likely. Drive shafts are
pretty sturdy things, and if you hit a wheel hard enough to bend one the
wheel is probably going to have a lot more serious damage.
Alloy wheels are much more prone to damage than steel ones.
The way to tell worn drive joints or wheel bearings is to take a corner with
the radio off and listen. If you have worn joints, the noise should increase
when you apply power on a corner. If you have worn bearings, it should drop
with the side load.
OK, I won't argue that one not having personal experience with it, but if I
remember correctly the outers take the greatest punishment since they have
much greater angles to transfer power through (they handle the steering
motion whereas the inners handle the suspension movement), so are what
usually fails first, or am I wrong?
I've had many front wheel driven cars, and the outer joints have always
But, on Ford Focus the inner joints seem to be a weak point, and one of mine
have failed before any outer joints problems.
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