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Old 12-08-2012, 05:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Front Left Wheel Noise

Was driving the interstate the other day and I noticed a humming noise in the left front wheel similar to the sound of an aggressive tire tread. The frequency doesn't change with speed, but the volume does. I tried some swerving when I got off the highway and it made no difference in the noise. Braking makes no difference either other than slowing down decreases the volume.

Haven't checked the ball joints or tie rods yet due to surgery on my foot. Wheel bearings were replaced with Timkens 9K miles ago. Front end aligned 2 months ago. Brake pads and rotors are OK. I do need to replace my tires, so maybe that's it.

Also noticed that this noise doesn't start right away. I can drive 10 -15 miles when the car is cold and I hear nothing. I park the car for 1/2 hour and then drive it again and hear it. A change in road surface pavement grain/texture doesn't change the sound. No problems with trans shifting.

Any other ideas?
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What does the front tire look like ?? Any signs of abnormal wear. Is tire pressure good?? Did you do the bearing and you are sure it is done correctly?? Just trying to fill in some blanks~
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it is the part you least expect: the wheel bearing. I vaguely remember that it indeed makes a sound that seems of a constant frequency and gets louder the faster you drive.

Problem for you is of course that the people who worked on your suspension are about the last ones daring to tell you it is the bearing.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by downhill View Post
What does the front tire look like ?? Any signs of abnormal wear. Is tire pressure good?? Did you do the bearing and you are sure it is done correctly?? Just trying to fill in some blanks~
Tire looks OK. Just getting down to the wear bars, but evenly. It looks inflated OK, but I'll be checking it today with a gauge. I bought the bearing from Rock Auto and a friend of mine who owns a repair shop put it in.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
I think it is the part you least expect: the wheel bearing. I vaguely remember that it indeed makes a sound that seems of a constant frequency and gets louder the faster you drive.

Problem for you is of course that the people who worked on your suspension are about the last ones daring to tell you it is the bearing.
I bought the bearing from Rock Auto and it's a Timken. Supposedly the best! It's only got 9K miles on it, but I'm inclined to be thinking it is the bearing by the noise I'm getting.

I wonder if they have a warrantee.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Your description sounds like a wheel bearing to me.....
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Your description sounds like a wheel bearing to me.....
Yeah Sheila, I'm starting to think that way myself. I wrote an email to Rock Auto to see how to get a warranty replacement. Timken has a 12 month warranty and it's only been 6 months and about 9.5K miles on it. So I get a new bearing for free. Big deal...the labor was twice the cost of the bearing and they don't pay for that.

Disappointed in Timken. Thought they'd be better than this.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have found out that noise can also come from a wearing half shaft assembly. I believe Nick (Bull Geek) has as well. Any chance the axle nuts were over-torqued on the original job? That will prematurely kill even a Timkin hub.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have found out that noise can also come from a wearing half shaft assembly. I believe Nick (Bull Geek) has as well. Any chance the axle nuts were over-torqued on the original job? That will prematurely kill even a Timkin hub.
Can't tell for sure. I didn't do it myself. The guy doing it has been in business for 40 years so I'd have to say he knows what he's doing. One thing that does puzzle me if it is a wheel bearing is when I swerved the car left and right pretty dramatically, neither direction stopped or changed the noise. It remained through the whole thing without a change in volume or frequency.

Last edited by Bob R; 12-08-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If axle nut is over tightened it can and will destroy bearing. Timkin is a good quality company but real life happens when we are trying to improve our rides~~
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