Q: Wheel bearing sound

asked by on January 18, 2016

My car keeps making a noise every time I hit around 40 MPH and up. It makes a buzzing noise and it keeps getting progressively louder once I go faster. A mechanic recently changed two wheel bearings on the right side because he thought the noise was coming from that side. I don't want to continue paying for him to change every single wheel bearing on my car. Is there a way I can figure out what side it's coming from, front or back, so I have an idea of what/where the problem is?

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This sounds like it could be something flapping or vibrating in the wind and not a wheel bearing. The under car front end should be checked for loose panels or something else. The wheel bearings on your vehicle all have the same mileage on them and sometimes a noise can come from one side more than another. When one side is replaced now the other side will show up and you will hear it. My suggestion would be to jack up the front wheels and see if any thing could be felt. Sometimes once the weight is off the wheel there will be no noise. If this does not isolate the wheel with the noise then just have the other side of the axle you had done replaced. Or have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic try and isolate the wheel bearing noise. The vehicle year, make and model would also help diagnose the issue.

Hi! Yes, there actually is a way to track down the bearing. Wheel bearing noise will generally change as the vehicle shifts weight, shifting the load onto and away from the bearing. Noise while turning left generally points to a bearing on the right side. You turn left and all of the weight shifts to the right side, putting a higher load on the right side bearings. At this point, have a trained technician hoist the vehicle and use a stethoscope on the left front steering knuckle as well as the rear suspension assembly while rotating the wheel at the same corner. Listen to every wheel. There will be a difference in noise at the bearing. The new bearings on the right should be quiet and the noisy bearing on the left will stick out using this process. I highly recommend you consult an trained mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, to help with your wheel bearing noise.

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