Hi. I'm getting scraping/grinding sounds from the driver's side front
wheel area of my 96 Sable station wagon (OK so it's really a
Mercury.... hope you don't mind). It's a background noise but
noticeable at speed. Sounds sorta like disk pads that have worn to the
rivets. The sound pitch changes as the road speed changes. I pulled
the tire, and can see that brakes pads are brand new. Disks are
perfectly smooth. I'm thinking wheel bearing or universal shaft. I
pulled the wheel and raised the drivers side front of the car and
listened...the sound seems to be coming more toward the tranny end
than the wheel end, but it's hard to tell.
I've changed universal shafts before on GMs and Hondas but never on a
Ford product. Is this a major project? Are the parts expense typical?
What might a fair price be for a shop to do this?
I'm hoping that it's not the tranny. When I jack up only the passenger
side of the car and put it in drive, I don't hear any of these noises.
Would this eliminate the possibility of tranny problems and pinpoint
the problem to the drivers side shaft or bearing?
If it's the tranny I'll dump the car. But if its a lesser fix, I'd
like to keep it.