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Old 11-24-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
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Strange wheel sound

Lately I’ve been hearing this sound coming from (I’m pretty sure) the right front wheel area. It’s a little hard to describe sounds in words, but it sounds like a fairly low-pitched “woh-woh-woh-woh” kind of sound. Speeds up and slows down according to vehicle speed. Pushing in the clutch has no effect, nor does braking (other than changing the frequency of the sound due to decreased vehicle speed). It is most noticeable when taking a slow curve to the left (like in a round-about). It is audible when going straight-line, but not as much as when turning left. In a straight line the pulsing sound just gets faster and faster until it becomes a drone at speed (say 50+ MPH).

I pulled the wheel and looked: Nothing obvious is wrong visually (that I can see anyway). Nothing loose or dangling, no signs of something rubbing that shouldn’t be, etc. Did the thing where they grab the tire and pull the wheel left and right---seems tight (about the same as the opposite side, anyway).

Any theories as to a diagnosis? Any additional “tests” I can run to narrow the possibilities down?

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Old 11-24-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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strange noise

I have been having a similar problem for the past year.I have posted with no luck.I have a sound coming from the front passenger area.It is like a hummm.My mecanic looked at it, drove it and can't figure out what is wrong.All seems tight.When I accelerate and turn right I hear it.If I don't accelerate and turn right I don't hear it.I will hear it on straight line when I cruise around 45.If I lift my foot off the gas gently it stops to return again at cruise.If I press the brake without removing my foot off the gas it stays.I have no idea.I thought maybe in the gas vent.But I put a tape on it and it still does it.Maybe the bearing but it does not get worse and not all the time.???????Good luck
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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Other than changing frequency as I speed up or slow down, my sound is pretty consistent: if I'm moving, it's audible, whether I'm accelerating, decelerating or keeping a steady speed. As noted, it becomes more pronounced with turning left. And it's too pulsating to be characterized as a "hum", though it's not quite an outright "thump" either.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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A bad cv joint maybe ?
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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(Stupid question...) That would imply a sound coming from the rear of the car, right? Although I know it's possible to get fooled on locating weird sounds, this really sounds like it's coming from the front, specifically the passenger side.

In any case, having discovered that 3 of 4 axle boots were torn, I had the axles repacked and new boots put on just over a year ago. I haven't looked at them recently but it seems unlikely they should be a problem already.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
(Stupid question...) That would imply a sound coming from the rear of the car, right? Although I know it's possible to get fooled on locating weird sounds, this really sounds like it's coming from the front, specifically the passenger side.

In any case, having discovered that 3 of 4 axle boots were torn, I had the axles repacked and new boots put on just over a year ago. I haven't looked at them recently but it seems unlikely they should be a problem already.

It was just a thought. Based on what you described, it sounded characteristic of a bad cv joint. Sometimes a noise can sound like its coming from one area, when in actuality its originating from another. In any case, I trust your judgement .

JD
p.s. A remote possibility could be a tire that isn't properly "seated". I've seen in the past, tires that were poorly mounted, resulted in a similar strange noise, whereby the sound also increased and decreased with acceleration. Again, just another thought.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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it's your wheel bearing.
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:09 AM   #8
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Ya know, that thought crossed my mind. At first I dismissed it...the cars only got 57k miles, it seemed way too early. But then I thought about my mishap last December: On a cold day I spun out on some wet asphalt (should NOT have been driving on summer performance tires---the drizzle started AFTER I left home), smacking a curb hard enough to deflate (and visibly compromise) both right side tires. Also curb-rashed the wheels as well.

Both wheels and tires were replaced, and the car aligned, but do you suppose the impact might have been enough to ding the bearings and speed up their demise? And, if so, here's the BIG question: You suppose I could sell that theory to the insurance company 11 months later and get it covered???
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluellen
it's your wheel bearing.

+1. It's the wheel bearing. The fix may also include the axle.

Typical ailment on Boxsters.







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