Buick Enclave manuals

Buick Enclave: Drive Axle Noise Diagnosis

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NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

UNRELATED NOISES

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Some driveline trouble symptoms are also common to the engine, transmission, wheel bearings, tires and other parts of the vehicle. Make sure that cause of trouble actually is in the drive axle before adjusting, repairing, or replacing any parts.

NON-DRIVE AXLE NOISES

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

A few conditions can sound just like drive axle noise and have to be considered in pre-diagnosis. The 4 most common noises are exhaust, tires, CV/universal joints and trim moldings.

In certain conditions, the pitch of exhaust gases may sound like gear whine. At other times, it may be mistaken for a wheel bearing rumble.

Tires, especially radial and snow tires, can have a high-pitched tread whine or roar, similar to gear noise. Also, some non-standard tires with an unusual tread construction may emit a roar or whine.

Defective CV/universal joints may cause clicking noises or excessive driveline play that can be improperly diagnosed as drive axle problems.

Trim and moldings can also cause a whistling or whining noise. Ensure that none of these components are causing the noise before disassembling the drive axle.

GEAR NOISE

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

A "howling" or "whining" noise from the ring and pinion gear can be caused by an improper gear pattern, gear damage, or improper bearing preload. It can occur at various speeds and driving conditions, or it can be continuous.

Before disassembling axle to diagnose and correct gear noise, make sure that tires, exhaust, and vehicle trim have been checked as possible causes.

CHUCKLE

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

This is a particular rattling noise that sounds like a stick against the spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel. It occurs while decelerating from 40 MPH and usually can be heard until vehicle comes to a complete stop. The frequency varies with the speed of the vehicle.

A chuckle that occurs on the driving phase is usually caused by excessive clearance due to differential gear wear, or by a damaged tooth on the coast side of the pinion or ring gear. Even a very small tooth nick or a ridge on the edge of a gear tooth is enough to cause the noise.

This condition can be corrected simply by cleaning the gear tooth nick or ridge with a small grinding wheel. If either gear is damaged or scored badly, the gear set must be replaced. If metal has broken loose, the carrier and housing must be cleaned to remove particles that could cause damage.

KNOCK

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

This is very similar to a chuckle, though it may be louder, and occur on acceleration of deceleration. Knock can be caused by a gear tooth that is damaged on the drive side of the ring and pinion gears. Ring gear bolts that are hitting the carrier casting can cause knock. Knock can also be due to excessive end play in the axle shafts.

CLUNK

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Clunk is a metallic noise heard when an automatic transmission is engaged in Reverse or Drive, or when throttle is applied or released. It is caused by backlash somewhere in the driveline, but not necessarily in the axle. To determine whether driveline clunk is caused by the axle, check the total axle backlash as follows:

1. Raise vehicle on a frame or twinpost hoist so that drive wheels are free. Clamp a bar between axle companion flange and a part of the frame or body so that flange cannot move.

2. On conventional drive axles, lock the left wheel to keep it from turning. On all models, turn the right wheel slowly until it is felt to be in drive condition. Hold a chalk marker on side of tire about 12" from center of wheel. Turn wheel in the opposite direction until it is again felt to be in drive condition.

3. Measure the length of the chalk mark, which is the total axle backlash. If backlash is one inch or less, clunk will not be eliminated by overhauling drive axle.

BEARING WHINE

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Bearing whine is a high-pitched sound similar to a whistle. It is usually caused by malfunctioning pinion bearings. Pinion bearings operate at driveshaft speed. Roller wheel bearings may whine in a similar manner if they run completely dry of lubricant. Bearing noise will occur at all driving speeds. This distinguishes it from gear whine, which usually comes and goes as speed changes.

BEARING RUMBLE

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Bearing rumble sounds like marbles being tumbled. It is usually caused by a malfunctioning wheel bearing. The lower pitch is because the wheel bearing turns at only about 1/3 of driveshaft speed.

CHATTER ON TURNS

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

This is a condition where the whole front or rear vibrates when vehicle is moving. The vibration is easily felt and heard. Extra differential thrust washers installed during axle repair can cause a condition of partial lock-up that creates the chatter.

AXLE SHAFT NOISE

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Axle shaft noise is similar to gear noise and pinion bearing whine. Axle shaft bearing noise will normally distinguish itself from gear noise by occurring in all driving modes. Noise will persist with transmission in neutral while vehicle is moving at problem speed.

If vehicle displays this noise condition, remove suspect axle shafts and replace axle bearings. Re-evaluate vehicle for noise before removing any internal components.

VIBRATION

NOTE: This is GENERAL information. This article is not intended to be specific to any unique situation or individual vehicle configuration. For model-specific information see appropriate articles where available.

Vibration is a high-frequency trembling, shaking or grinding condition (felt or heard) that may be constant or variable in level and con occur during the total operating speed range of the vehicle.

The types of vibrations that can be felt in the vehicle can be divided into 3 main groups:

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