No power to Front Left wheel on AWD GTO

Hello all my name is Hamish
I have a 1991 automatic GTO
Propped her up today on some stands and started the car. As it is AWD I expected all 4 wheels to be spinning but found the front left wheel was stopped. Each wheel moved except this one. When I went to spin it using my own strength I found it difficult and noticed stiffness in rotation. I had also noticed that this tire’s tread had worn more than all 3 other wheels, leading me to believe that this is indeed an issue. In Park, no wheel movement obviously. In drive, all wheels spin except the front left. However, when changing gears (like between reverse and Drive or Drive and L) the front left momentarily has some movement, turning about a quarter rotation, and then seizing. No strange sounds, except an audible clunk when changing gear into reverse (but I believe that to be an issue with the trans, not the wheel).

Struggled to find answers to this even on AWD forums, so wondering if anyone has any idea about what may be causing this problem, and whether or not this is something repairable. To me, it seems like maybe something has seized and/or blocked the movement of the left tire drive shaft.


This points to a differential potential issue. It may actually be normal for the AWD. You can get strange things happening when the driveshafts aren’t spinning under load because of the differential gears. Mine is manual so I can’t test it for you to compare.

I would have guessed that, but the slightly more worn tire may indicate otherwise. If it was a diff issue because of lack of load, I wouldn’t expect the tire tread to be more worn. My rear tires even have lower tread wear (cheap Chinese wheels) and even they’re in better condition. So I do think there may be a more severe issue.

Is there an uneven tyre wear pattern ? . Wheel alignment issue ? Does the wheel bearing run freely ,are the brakes binding ? When you say seize do you mean the wheel physically stops and you are unable to turn it all whilst the car is in neutral ? Just a few questions I’d would be asking. Doesn’t matter if the tyres are cheap or not … it’s depends on the compound. I had some cheap tyres which lasted nearly twice as long as a more expensive set. If I get time I’ll jack my car up and compare reactions at each corner when putting into gear. The car also has a front /rear torque split of 45/55 so if any wheel would stop spinning first it would be a front one If I understand correctly. Are all yout tyres the same make and compound ?