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Old 09-19-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
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Front end noise?

Having heard some noises on my car that are dependent on speed (almost scrapping like but not necessarily and become slower when at lower speeds), I did the push/pull test at 3 and 9 o'clock and 6 and 12 o'clock on both the front wheels. Turns out I have play in the driver's side wheel when doing the push/pull at 3 and 9 but not 6 and 12. I like to do all the work on the car myself. If you have any advice on what I should look into in more detail, I would appreciate it.

Thank you.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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I would look at the driver's side wheel bearing first and go from there.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #3
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I would look at the driver's side wheel bearing first and go from there.
I did consider that but wouldn't a bearing issue also cause play at 6 and 12? The sound I hear when doing the push/pull at 3/9 seems to come from a bit further back as well. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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The sound suggests bearings...scraping noise in sync with the wheel turning. Start with the obvious , it will save you time and money. New type sealed bearings do not wiggle like the old ones when they crap out.

Does it change when you swerve left or right? If yes then it is likely a bearing.

If not... then is one of your brake calipers stuck? Are your brake pads worn to the metal? Are your brakes secured properly? Are any bolts loose or missing, are the clips on properly holding the pads?

If not then are your bushings worn out?

If not then are your tie rod ends worn out?

If not then is your power steering fluid topped off?

If not are your tires out of round or worn unevenly?

There are only so many issues it can be. You just have to investigate them one by one and assume nothing, then you go to the other wheel and do the same thing. It could be a bad bushing on one side causing the play and a bad bearing on the other causing a noise. You just have to find it.
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Last edited by landrovered; 09-19-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered
The sound suggests bearings...scraping noise in sync with the wheel turning. Start with the obvious , it will save you time and money. New type sealed bearings do not wiggle like the old ones when they crap out.

Does it change when you swerve left or right? If yes then it is likely a bearing.

If not... then is one of your brake calipers stuck? Are your brake pads worn to the metal? Are your brakes secured properly? Are any bolts loose or missing, are the clips on properly holding the pads?

If not then are your bushings worn out?

If not then are your tie rod ends worn out?

If not then is your power steering fluid topped off?

If not are your tires out of round or worn unevenly?

There are only so many issues it can be. You just have to investigate them one by one and assume nothing, then you go to the other wheel and do the same thing. It could be a bad bushing on one side causing the play and a bad bearing on the other causing a noise. You just have to find it.
Noise is somewhat in sync with wheels turning. Goes up in frequency as speed increases. Problem did start after returning from 2 week trip where car sat in garage. Thought initially it was reduced pressure in tires. I'll check the items you mentioned one by one.

No change in noise with swerving right or left. Brakes in good order. Need to check on bushings and tie rod ends. Something is loose when I do push/pull test at 3/9.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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Check for debris that could be lodged around the brakes like small pebbles or twigs. They can get thrown into weird places and make noise as well.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:25 AM   #7
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I check my mail yesterday evening and from my dealer I receive a letter stating to come in for a general inspection. Doesn't say free but I figure it may be. May be they will find the issue during the general inspection. Will post what I find out.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:55 AM   #8
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Question

Well, I got my general inspection completed and they did not even mention the noise. I asked the service guy and he took it for a quick test drive. Came back and said it was tire noise. I then took it to Butler Tire, the high performance tire shop here in town, and they said the issue was because the tires were cupped and recommended I do an alignment. It was late so could not do it then.

Got home and 'googled' cupped tires and got to the cartalk.com website. Cupping by Tom and Ray is defined as taking chunks out of the tire either because of cheap tires or bad suspension which causes the tires to scrap the car and take out chunks. I took the tires off and saw none of this.

Going to try investigating the brakes a bit more. Maybe warped rotor.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:29 AM   #9
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Look at and rub your tires. You should be able to verify the cupping or other uneven tire-wear situation. Since you've been advised twice that it's a tire issue, I would start there. Front end noises, on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle can only be the few already suggested issues. You'll have to eliminate one at a time. The high-performance tire shop you took it to should know what they're talking about.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
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Look at and rub your tires. You should be able to verify the cupping or other uneven tire-wear situation. Since you've been advised twice that it's a tire issue, I would start there. Front end noises, on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle can only be the few already suggested issues. You'll have to eliminate one at a time. The high-performance tire shop you took it to should know what they're talking about.
Agreed they should know. When I took the tires off, they were like new having only ~4K miles on them. I saw nothing of the purported cupping he was talking about.

I forgot to mention that I removed the right front and back tire one at a time and replaced with the toy tire and the issue was still present. I will do the same (once the battery is charged back up) with the left and see if I still hear the problem.

My thinking is that if the problem still persists at the same level with the toy tire on, there is more likelyhood that it is not a tire issue.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:15 AM   #11
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Ok, so I took off the right front brake pads and rotors and spun the spindle (not sure if it called spindle). The right front spindle spins like it has sand/dirt in it while the front left spins nice and smooth. Looks like the wheel bearing is shot. Would do it myself but have a trip to take in two days so, oh well. Time to pay the shop.

Will let you what happens. I just didn't believe that it was a tire issue. I am acutally disappointed in both the dealership and Butler Tire. I would have had things done that would not have fixed the problem.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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Actually, anyone in Atlanta have the wheel bearing removal tool handy I could borrow or rent?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:46 AM   #13
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Atlanta Boxster,

Glad you found the problem. I get to give you a frog in the arm for questioning my diagnosis. Meet me at Petit Le Mans this weekend for your punishment!

Cheers
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #14
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Dear Landy,

Had you given me the cheapest diagnosis, I would have been more than happy to accept it. Enjoy Petit Le Mans, have a friend that pointed that out to me but I have to pass as I'll be out of town.

Going to order bearings from Pelican and will spend a bit of time searching for someone local that has the tool I can borrow/rent and then I'll probably do both fronts at the same time.

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:48 PM   #15
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It's very disappointing when you can't trust your local professionals. When I bought my first Boxster I was pleasantly surprised when I took it in and the dealership said "all you need is an oil change, which we do for free the first time".

Good luck on your repair.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:48 AM   #16
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It's very disappointing when you can't trust your local professionals. When I bought my first Boxster I was pleasantly surprised when I took it in and the dealership said "all you need is an oil change, which we do for free the first time".

Good luck on your repair.
If only that would continue to be the case. Looks like I am going to buy the tool, and go ahead and do the two front bearings. Once you've got the tool, bearing changes becomes a commodity operation.

Salut.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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Front end noise 2001 Boxster S

Bought my car in Feb this year for my 55th b-day, figured have some fun before I get to old to enjoy it. Started driving it more that the weather is nice. I was noticing a front end noise and was ready to take it to the shop after reading some of the comments, but I looked for anything that might be loose. Turned out to be the front license plate had only the top two screws. Got some rubber spacers and screwed in two at the bottom, rattle is gone. Whohooooo
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