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Ukiah, fort Bragg, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol...

need help diagnosing if I have failing wheel bearings or failing CV or something else... and how far I can drive it on this road trip.

thanks!,
eli
2002 jetta TDI wagon
 

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If you jack it up and there is play in the wheel (hold it top/bottom, see if it moves a bit inwards/outwards top/bottom, or left/right etc., when you push it) it's normally the wheel bearing. Or if it 'ticks' when you drive rather than makes a grinding noise, then normally not your wheel bearing. If the wheel bearing, you can drive surprisingly far as it just gradually grinds down and gets louder. I've known people drive around for thousands of miles. I reckon also if the CV, but have no direct experience. But driving around puts increased wear on other joints. One is supposed to replace both on same axle at the same time.
Oh and buy quality parts when you replace them - there's a lot of very low grade bearings on the market which only last a few months.
 

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Good news is those are not TDI specific issues. Bad news, noises in the front end are sometimes tough to diagnose. There are some helpful videos on YouTube or find a good local mechanic (never easy).
 

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Best Tdi mechanic in NorCal

Diesel Autowerks
640 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. San Anselmo, CA 94960
Matt 734-717-7527
 
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