Q: My Highlander is making a "whub whub" sound.

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For about a month it has been making a wub-wub-wub sound that increases in speed as the car increases its speed. It's almost a wobble sound, but the tires are new from November last year. I can feel it as well. It's not engine related as it doesn't increase when the engine accelerates (more in proportion with the speed). It also gets much louder when breaking, but not faster. The brake pads are new. The rotors were replaced just over a year ago. Any suggestions on what could be making the noise?

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

What you are describing sounds like a wheel bearing that may be starting to fail. A wheel bearing will usually fail due to pitting or small damage on the surface of the rollers or the bearing race. Both the surface of the rollers and the race is precision machined to tight tolerances and highly polished to allow the rollers to pass easily over the race with the addition of bearing grease for lubrication and cooling. Over time the bearing will wear slightly, allowing microscopic pieces of metal into the grease. These microscopic pieces of metal, as well as any contamination that gets into the bearing, will wear away at the highly polished surfaces causing pitting and deformation. Since so much weight is riding on your wheel bearings, and so much load is put on them in corners, even the smallest amount of surface damage to your bearing can cause a lot of noise. When a wheel bearing is damaged or worn out, it may produce a bit of a grinding or howling noise that will be more noticeable with speed. In addition to the noise, it will also generate a significant amount of heat in the wheel area, which can potentially damage other parts. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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