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Do front wheel bearings have anything to do with 4 wheel drive?

(1999 Kia Sportage)
in Appleton, WI on February 24, 2010
I recently had new locking hubs put on my vehicle after the 4wd went out. I haven't been able to use the 4wd since because whenever I try to drive it in 4wd
it makes a loud cluncking sound about every few feet. Now, I am being told the front wheel bearings need to be replaced. Wouldn't this have been noticed when diagnosing and replacing the 4wd in the first place? I heard that wheel bearings make a grinding noise and this is definitely not that kind of noise.
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Popular Answer
on February 24, 2010
You're correct to second guess this recommendation. The shop that addressed the locking hubs may have overlooked something or created a new problem, it's very hard for me to make that determination though. If wheel bearings are bad, they will be noisy all the time, not just in 4WD.
Here is a picture of the locking hub and the bearing, you can see how they are in very close proximity to each other.
I suggest you get all the information about the repairs made and the suggested repairs and talk to the manager of this shop, if they are unwilling to help out, then take this to another shop and have them inspect to see what is happening.

My Opinion: This shop screwed up and is trying to cover their butt. Making mistakes is not-uncommon, however they need to accept responsibility if they messed up, and you may need to take action if they wont.
Good Luck
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