Each of the four wheels on a Saturn Ion is equipped with a bearing to help the wheels move smoothly with the turns of the steering wheel. Over time a wheel bearing will wear out and eventually fail. It is important to pay attention to the signs of a wearing wheel bearing, since the complete failure of a bearing can cause the driver of an Ion to lose control over the steering or the wheel to come off the car.
The wheels of your Saturn shaking may be caused by imbalanced wheels. If the shaking started not too long after the wheels have been balanced, or if after taking the car into your tire shop the shaking persists, your Saturn likely has worn wheel bearings. Make sure to look over the wheels and see if there are any outlines from a wheel weight that may have somehow fallen off the car. Also check for any clumps of mud, ice, or snow that could be making the car’s wheels shake.
A Saturn with a wearing wheel bearing will make strange noises. The noises will come from the wheels of the car and can sound like chirping, moaning, or squealing. Another sign of a worn wheel bearing is if when the car is going through a turn you hear a grinding noise coming from one of the wheels. Funny noises from the wheels of your Ion may be due to problems with the brakes, so have a mechanic inspect the vehicle immediately.
A wearing wheel bearing can affect your Ion’s steering a couple of ways. While driving down the road you may take your hands off the wheel and find the car will slowly go either right or left. This wandering could be due to poor wheel alignment, but if the car has recently been aligned it points toward a wearing wheel bearing. A more sure sign with an Ion’s steering is if the car’s steering pulls either right or left when you apply the brakes.
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