Place the car in park with the engine running, and wait a few seconds before putting the car in drive. While placing the car in drive, listen for a heavy clunking noise. Alternate acceleration and deceleration, and see if a slight shudder can be detected. If there is a shuddering feeling during this process, try it in reverse. If the shuddering gets more pronounced, this indicates a bad CV joint.
Diagnose CV Joint:
Roll down the windows, and begin to drive slowly. Without stopping, make a turn to either the right or left, and listen for a clicking noise coming from under the car. If a clicking noise is heard, place the car in reverse, and slowly turn the wheel all the way to one side. Drive the car in a backwards circle. If the clicking noise increases in volume, the CV joint will most likely need to be replaced.
Diagnose wheel bearing:
Raise wheel off ground, grasp at 3 and 9 and push in and out. Grasp at 12 and 6 and push in and out. If it moves at 3 and 9 but not 12 and 6 you probably have a bad tie rod. If it moves at both 3 and 9 and 12 and 6 it is probably a bad bearing.
$60 for an installed wheel bearing/hub assembly is not a good deal, it is a suspect deal. No way it should be that cheap. Make sure you use Timken bearings.
2001 Bonneville SSEi (retired at 365,000 Kms.)
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (yes, I know its not a GM)