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Old 03-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #1
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howl noise from front wheel area

I took a road trip on Saturday, mostly interstate driving to my dad's place. I am beginning to hear a roar/howl coming from (I think) the front right wheel area. It's sounds similar to the mud tires I had on my Wrangler but obviously not as loud.

At first, I thought it might be a cupped tire. But the tires were put on by the dealer two months ago when I bought the car and only have about 2,000 miles on them. I jacked up the car and, with the gears in neutral, spun the wheel. You can hear a brief, slight "scraping" sound once in every rotation. Is this normal? Should the wheel spin freely for a few rotations when given a nice push? Should there by any resistance?

Also, there is no play in the wheel from side/side or up/down.

Do I likely have a bad bearing?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:20 PM   #2
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yep - sounds like a typical bad bearing
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:22 PM   #3
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Is it all the time or just every once in a while while maintaining a steady speed?
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

It happens all the time, but more audible at highway speeds. It doesn't let up.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:53 PM   #5
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I read on this forum about a howl from the front being caused by a valve in the EVAP/fuel system and by the hood being out of adjustment as well as a bad wheel bearing. You can touch the wheel bolts after a drive and compare them to other wheels as a way to ensure you have it reduced to the right wheel- it's amazing how sound bounces around in vehicles.
There was some drag on my wheels caused by the pads dragging a little.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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Stand directly facing your front tire (left or right), grasp the tire on the top with both hands and pull and push the tire back and forth. If it moves the bearing is going out as it shouldn't have any play at all. Repeat for the other side.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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Sounds like a wheel bearing to me. Bad wheel bearings will be noisiier when loaded, so in a left turn the right will be noisy and vice versa. Yes the "scraping" you are hearing is just the brakes. It is hard to put enough of a load on these sealed rollers bearings by just spinning them. If they get bad enough that you can feel play, they will be so loud that you will have NO problem telling what/where the problem is.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:48 AM   #8
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I did as suggested, faced each tire square on and tried pushing/pulling with both hands on top to feel for play. There isn't the slightest give in either wheel; no "rocking" at all. It feels very tight.

Also, after a long drive, the suspect wheel was warm but not hot to the touch. But I could feel heat emanating from the wheel.

FWIW, I don't hear any grinding or gravelly sounds at any speed. Just the howl gets louder the faster I go.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdad View Post
I did as suggested, faced each tire square on and tried pushing/pulling with both hands on top to feel for play. There isn't the slightest give in either wheel; no "rocking" at all. It feels very tight.

Also, after a long drive, the suspect wheel was warm but not hot to the touch. But I could feel heat emanating from the wheel.

FWIW, I don't hear any grinding or gravelly sounds at any speed. Just the howl gets louder the faster I go.
Rock or debris stuck in the caliper rubbing against the disk?
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:47 AM   #10
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when I had a howl the shop forgot to replace a piece of the undercarge cover after doing suspension work
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Luv2Box View Post
Rock or debris stuck in the caliper rubbing against the disk?
this was my thought as well. I've also had wheel bearings make howling noise and others make a knocking sound when they were going bad. And after I pulled them and replaced them. The old bearing still felt tight but the new bearing fixed the problem.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:21 PM   #12
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if it's a wheel bearing than cornering briskly from one side to another should change the sound...
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:09 PM   #13
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Go straight on a smooth road where you can hear the noise and traffic is low.... now swerve to the left and right. Does the noise change as you load and unload the bearing from side to side? You should not have to swerve hard to hear the pitch difference.
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Go straight on a smooth road where you can hear the noise and traffic is low.... now swerve to the left and right. Does the noise change as you load and unload the bearing from side to side? You should not have to swerve hard to hear the pitch difference.
I will try this tonight. Thanks.
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