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Old 09-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
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Question Wheel bearing or tire noise

I had what I thought was tire noise and had new rear tires installed. Noise changed but did not go away on my 2003 Boxster. Read Tech chat and started to look at bearing noise. When I twitch the steering wheel right at road speed the noise stops during the twitch. Left the noise stays same. In parking lot right turns stop the noise and left stays the same. I jacked the car and tried to check for wheel movement and there was none in any left or right tire. I went to tire shop and they looked at the Michelin Sport A/S plus tires on the front and said they should not be making noise. So it would appear to be a left wheel bearing - but which one front or rear? Does the twitch steering effect the rear bearing or just the front as it is so short duration? Ready to tackle the job, but would like to have some direction to focus upon.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Sounds like probably a rear. At speeds when you turn the wheel it shifts the weight to the opposite side of the direction of the turn and increases the noise. on the side with the bad bearing. It should be very noticeable with the top up.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Do I understand that no noise turning right means the left rear bearing is ok and when turning left with noise means the right rear bearing is bad? Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:45 AM   #4
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Interesting comments about wheel bearings. I recently took my 2001 Boxster in to check on suspension rattles and my local indy garage guy(himself a new owner of a Box with over 100k miles) said that was not a problem but the wheel bearings were starting to go. He said they don't have to be changed immediately but eventually will.
I really don't know what a wheel bearing on the way out sounds like....

With only 40k miles it seems like the quality of some of the parts on these cars is not great. I have never had to change wheel bearings on any of my cars in my life....
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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Mine made noise with no other detectable symptoms that might be associated with a failing bearing; looseness, noise variation in turns, etc. Like you I attributed it to tire noise and put up with for several thousand miles. When a tire change didn’t affect the sound it was fairly obvious the bearing was issue. I’ve changed all four at this point.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valiantechoes View Post
Do I understand that no noise turning right means the left rear bearing is ok and when turning left with noise means the right rear bearing is bad? Thanks for the help.
If the rear bearing is bad the noise will become more pronounced when you turn in the opposite direction from the bad bearing. Noise when turning right means bad bearing on the left. Noise turning left, bad right bearing.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Thanks, that is what I thought and so it is off to change the right rear bearing, as the noise goes away turning right.

Any tips on getting the half shaft axel out so I can use the B90 tool to change the bearing on the car?
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:25 AM   #8
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Smile

Changed the right rear bearing and the noise is gone! Used the B90 tool and did not have to disassemble the suspension. Just had to drop the exhaust to get the axle dropped. BTW, two exhaust studs did break off but I just drilled out the splined stud and replaced them with nuts and bolts. A note, the B90 tool instructions said you do not have to remove the hand brake shoes and that saved a lot of extra work. Thanks for the helpful comments.
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