Q: Cyclic hum at any speed coming from front of car, increases with speed. Turns into vibration at steering wheel at 45 mph

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Car makes a cyclic hum that comes from the front end. Increases with speed. At 45+ mph the steering wheel shakes. All brake pads and rotors recently replaced and problem persists. It does have aftermarket wheels with newer tires.

Hello there. What you are describing is very similar to either damaged wheel bearings or tire / wheel combination being out of balance. In most cases, when you hear a noise like you’re describing, it is caused by metal-to-metal wear; typically associated with wheel bearings that have lost lubrication and are beginning to fail. The vibration is also an indication of this problem as well. However, it could also be caused by the wheels being the wrong size, and the noise you hear is the inner portion of the wheel hitting the brake caliper. There are two ways of going about resolving this problem. First, have the tires / wheels rebalanced and checked for any signs of internal wear on the inside of the wheel or the brake caliper. If everything checks out, it is quite likely that you’ll have to replace the wheel bearings.

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