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What would cause the driver's side front wheel to lock up?

(1990 Geo Prizm)
in Jamestown, KY on January 08, 2015
I was driving down the road at 45 mph, and the driver side front wheel started making a Squall noise, and came to dead stop. Every time I attempted to take off it did the same thing. When I got it home and jacked it up the wheel had no problem turning. Tried the bearings but they are fine.
Displaying 3 answers & 7 comments
Popular Answer
on January 08, 2015
How did you get it home??
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on January 10, 2015
on February 05, 2015
with a tow truck genius. if you don't know what squall means, go look it up in the dictionary
on February 05, 2015
If there is no bearing problem then you need to look at the brakes. Was the rotor hot when this happened? It should have been blazing hot if the brakes were being applied on that side. This can be caused by a sticking caliper that is dragging and getting hot, or in some cases I've seen, a malfunction in the ABS system, sometimes caused by an air bubble, though I suspect your caliper simply got stuck and dragged till heat expansion seized the wheel.
on February 05, 2015
How about a dry differential?... That just might account for this problem!!... You without any lube in it!!!!!!!!!!! Car owner; .. It's not really "genius" ... just experence!! ... But thanks anyway.....
on January 08, 2015
Visual inspection of brake rotor(heat damage) and axle outboard joint? Brake fluid contamination? Caliper failure?
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on February 05, 2015
Remember the older Toyota's that had the sae 80 w 90 gear oil in the differential section of the transaxle??... That nobody ever checks.... Until the wheel locks up!!!!!!!!.. Spider gears still turn ..(as in jack it up and wheel will turn) .. BUT the ring gear and pinion DONT... when it's on the ground!!!!
on January 08, 2015
This sounds like a bearing issue. A bad wheel bearing may turn fine with the car jacked up. With the weight of the car driving down the road, it may overheat and seize. That's the first thing I would check.
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on February 05, 2015
that was the first thing i thought, but the bearing was perfect
on February 05, 2015
This vehicle has a seperate differential that has its own lubrication or gear oil!.. It does not get lube from the transmission!!!!.... Has that been checked to see it it is out of lube???? It has a check/fill plug on the differential part of the transaxle assembly, hard to see unless on a lift... That needs to be checked as it will surely cause this trouble!!!!!!!
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