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  #1  
Old 04-06-2003, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Madison, Wis.
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Angry Well, my 190e almost killed my passenger and I on Sunday...

'93 190e 2.6 81k
I can't believe how many problems I have had with this car since my accident in December - it's getting to the point of being ridiculous. Yesterday, I was driving along and all of a sudden, I heard this horrid scraping noise - it sounded like metal on metal coming from the driver's side front wheel well. The whole darn frame was vibrating, groaning and shaking - I could feel it all the way through the accelerator. And if that wasn't bad enough, I lost my brakes for awhile!! You know when you're on an airplane and you hear the piolets put the landing gear up and there's that thump? Well, that's exactly what my car sounded like.

NOW what's wrong??

Michael.:
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2003, 11:42 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
I've never had a wheel bearing go totally out, but I imagine it could sound like you described. Have you looked inside the wheel well for broken suspension parts?

What happened to your car in your December accident?
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2003, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Lexington, KY
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Michael-
I had a very similar experience in my 1993 190E 2.6 at about 180,000 miles. My right front wheel bearing had gone out while driving at 75 mph down an interstate. New bearing, brake pads, and rotors took care of the problem.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2003, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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With so little to work with my best advise would be to seek a professional.

Ten year old cars do break, and body shops do some of the worst mechanical repairs known to man. If ever there were need for regulation in the auto field it ought to require real technicians to perform the mechanical portion of body repair.

For those not aware, body shops have a totally different way of pricing repair work. We have a separate body shop and here is some of how it works. The issurance industry determines the labor rate. Our labor rate is $68/hr for technical mechanical repair (we charge less for service fifty something an hour - I forget). I think our body shop still gets $26/hr (for body operations). This works out because they charge larbor for every piece installed unlike mechanical that has a basic job operation and add-ons.

The real problem comes from what are considered (by the labor guides) to be mechanical repairs. Those repairs are made at the current mechanical rate. Thus things like brakes, suspension, SRS, etc can be assembled by body part installers and be paid the increased mechanical rate. I have this arguement with my body shop partner all the time.

I do final alignments of most of their repairs and those of others. I am constantly seeing issues that a trained techniocian would never let exist. Things like rubber brake lines installed in the wrong order such that they wind up in a bind or riding on suspension pieces. We also go back over their electronics and SRS assembly work and do the final code removal. Luckily those systems have pretty good self-diagnostics.

I had a 2001 E320 in the other day from a body shop over 50 miles away. They had only repaired a rear door. During the repair the airbag was removed and someone turned the ignition on, bingo the SRS light was illuminated. They thought they would try and clear it by disconnecting the battery.

Putting the SRS light out was just the first of the items that then needed attention. ESP was down because it was restarted without the steering angle sensor initialized. The windows, the trans, the sunroof all needed relearning or initialization. I can't remember all the things that needed reseting.

I would advise anyone recieving a car back from a body shop to have their most trusted facility check it out mechanically as quick as possible.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2003, 02:24 PM
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I'm going to be REALLY upset if it's wheel bearings!

I just had BOTH wheel bearings replaced last May - it hasn't even been a year yet for cryin' out loud. If it did turn out to be the wheel bearings again, I would STRONGLY think that this was caused by the accident. Would you also tend to agree?

On December 29th, I hit a deer in Kenosha, Wis. going @ about 60mph. My post pertaining to the accident (which includes pictures) is at my car got smooshed!

I just lost my transmission two weeks ago. The insurance company claimed no responsibility for it, and I was left with a $2,300 repair bill. I know that the wheel bearings were NOT cheap when I had them done last year (I think I paid like $600 or something like that). I'm sure that the insurance company will be of no help here either if that's what it turns out to be. It's just the absolute worst noise you've ever heard.

AND I fried the brakes and rotors too? This could be another $1,500 + in other words?? I'd better start prayin' right now, because if that's what it turns out to be, I have NO money!!

AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2003, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: West Linn, Or
Posts: 341
Red face Unless you are claiming demonic possession...

...it is unlikely that an inanimate object tried to kill you

Your insurance carrier has the absolute responsibility to repair your car to a safe condition post-accident. They are obligated to return it to approximately the same condition it was prior to the accident. If you have evidence that the wheel bearings were replaced a short time prior to the accident and have now failed, for what you believe to be an accident-related cause, then the insurance company needs to re-open your claim and INVESTIGATE whether they need to make additional accident-related repairs. They can't just decline to participate: if they do you have a potential "bad faith" claim against them. All the insurance companies I have dealt with are very aware of the issue of "bad faith" as it can be very expen$ive to ignore. Most companies (& most repair shops) GUARANTEE accident-related repairs, often for the life of the car.

The information & evidence YOU assemble may greatly help or hinder this.

What work was done to the suspension/steering/wheels when the original work was done? Was the car inspected by a Dealer? Their shop or your shop?

This can go on ad infinitum...
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2003, 11:35 AM
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Well, I do not yet know if the insurance company is going to take care of this one, but I did find out what happened.

The wheel bearing failed, pushing some suspension part into the brake system, ruining the caliper, rotor and pads. The dealership quoted me $900 to replace everything. I can't believe it.

Wheel bearings just don't "fail," do they?

I called the body shop that did the work from my accident, and I had asked them if they checked the front suspension for problems when they had it, and their response was, "No. It was a soft animal hit (deer), so there was no need to."

What in the HOCKEY STICKS does that mean?? I thought that when you get into an accident, the ENTIRE car is inspected to be sure that there are no problems that would sneak up later.

I'm not sure how body shops work. Does the insurance person do all of the inspecting and then tell the body shop what's wrong, or should the body shop do their own inspection?

I really feel like I should not have to pay this repair bill. It wasn't my fault that these darn things failed, and it's pretty obvious to me that the accident had a factor in all of this.

If I don't get the answer I'm looking for, I may go and talk to a lawyer. I just don't know whose responsibility it is to inspect cars when they are in accidents - the insurance company or the body shop??

What a pain.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2003, 11:54 AM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Are you absolutely sure the person that installed the wheel bearings, knows the proper procedure for " setting " them?

Seems strange to have both go out in such a short time, unless they were set up too tight.

You may want to question that.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2003, 12:05 PM
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I just find it funny that from May, 2002 (when they were installed), everything was just fine. I have the accident, and about a month and a half after it, they fail. The shop that installed them does lots of work on Mercedes and hot-rods, so I'm confident that they installed them properly.

I think the accident is the culprit.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2003, 12:10 PM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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Its funny how the the smell of money makes thing so obvious.

From a technical point of view its about as likely as a snowball in hell. Poor assembly is the only way I know of to make bearings last that long.

I can say in near 30 years of fixing failed bearings only a few managed to get to the state other pieces failed.

You know of course that every future failure will happen "after the wreck"
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2003, 12:39 PM
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Location: West Linn, Or
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Question One would suppose...

...that there is still a wheel bearing on the other side to have inspected vis-a-vis correct installation?

I presume the one that failed was on the "accident impact" side?

Re: the question as to what entity is responsible for inspecting a damaged vehicle, it would seem that there was at least an inspection/estimate written by the insurance carrier? The person who wrote that estimate and the repair facility that performed the repairs are both involved.

As I opined previously, the insurance company should be the one investigating this additional claim. If they totally FAIL to investigate they are, IMHO, exhibiting "bad faith" per se. If they just shrug you off and say they are not interested you have, potentially, another separate action to persue.

I personally don't consider a deer hit to be a "soft" hit. Did you run off the road? Speed at impact?

stevebfl has a perfectly valid point that all future problems will be "post-accident", but.... Was this problem accident-related?
That is what needs to be investigated. By the insurance carrier. That is their job and contractual responsibility.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2003, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
Honestly cannot imagine how your collision with a deer could damage the wheel bearings. The wheel itself would need to impact something solid, and it does not look like the wheel was struck at all. Bearings are quite tough, as one might expect.

Top cause of a life this short would certainly be setting them to tight.
Any evidence in unusual tire wear? Bearings that are set to tight usually cause cupping.
I suppose they could have run dry on grease, but it is tough to screw that part up.
Damage or contamination during install is another possibility. Nicks, grit, and such.

Also, one would expect some warning in the form of a growling or moaning noise prior to the catastrophic failure.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2003, 02:29 AM
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190E wheel bearings, maybe

I don't see any left side damage so how can you think a worn out LF wheel bearing could be included in the in the body repair? As a matter of fact, your damage looks about like my C280's did after kissing the corner of a pickup at 7mph. All superficial with no structural damage. It did cost $8400 though.

The LF wheel bearing failed suddenly at 47000 miles in my Porsche 944 a few years ago and you have never heard such a god-awful racket. And I was convinced it was the LR bearing until the mechanic showed me how wrong I was. Good thing because the front is vastly cheaper to replace than the rear.
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