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What Is a Wheel Bearing? Diagnosing a Wheel Bearing Noise

Updated on January 9, 2017
eddiecarrara profile image

33 years in the automotive business, Honda, ASE certified master technician. Willing to spill my guts about everything I have learned.

A bearing in its race.
A bearing in its race. | Source

Your mechanic says you need a wheel bearing, but you wonder "What is that?" I will make this as easy as possible to understand, with pictures, video, and my own interpretation. I'll tell you what a wheel bearing is, its job, where it's located, and what it sounds like when it's damaged.

What Is a Wheel Bearing?

A wheel bearing is a set of steel balls held together by a metal ring called a race. They help wheels spin fast with as little friction as possible. They are used on all kinds of vehicles, from bicycles to aircraft and cars. On a car, a wheel bearing rides on a metal axle shaft and fits tightly inside the hub, which is a hollow chunk of metal at the center of the wheel. The hub holds the lug bolts that you use to bolt the tire onto the wheel. The wheel bearing is pressed into the hub from the back.

What Does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?

When bearings are damaged and making noise, it's hard to diagnose because you have to drive the vehicle in order to reproduce the sound. Here are tips to help you find the source of the problem:

  • When the seal on the wheel bearing is broken or damaged, the noise starts out very faint and becomes louder over time. It sounds like the noise that your tires make when hitting a rumble strip on the highway, just not quite as loud, something like the sound of playing cards flapping against bicycle spokes.
  • While driving down the road about 40 mph, sway the car side to side slowly, shifting the weight of the vehicle from one side to the other. Do not drive crazy or cause the car to spin out, just sway it gently. Notice whether the noise gets louder or softer. If the noise is a little less if you turn right, the damaged bearing may be on the left, or vice versa.
  • Note that tires that are "chopped" or "scalloped" (worn in patches) also make a rhythmic noise that increases in speed. This sounds very similar to a bad wheel bearing. Look at your tires as well if you hear this kind of noise.

Wheel Bearing Noise With a Tire Noise: Very Loud and Vibrating

A bearing inside a hub.
A bearing inside a hub. | Source
The wheel bearing is pressed into a hub.
The wheel bearing is pressed into a hub. | Source

Why Do Wheel Bearings Make Noise?

Most wheel bearings are hardened steel and can withstand a lot of abuse. Its two worst enemies are heat and water. Heat caused by lack of lubrication can destroy a wheel bearing. Water that penetrates a sealed bearing will also destroy it.

Most wheel bearings manufactured today are sealed. They come from the factory pressed together as an assembly: front race, bearing set, center race, bearing set, and outer race, with seals on both the front and rear. Seals protect bearings from the elements, water, and debris, and they also seal in the high-temperature grease the bearing needs. When a seal is broken or damaged, the wheel bearing will fail and start making noise.

Damaged wheel bearing race
Damaged wheel bearing race

Pinpointing the Source of Bearing Noise

As explained in the video below, if you really want to know whether your noise is a bearing noise and you can get the car up on a lift, you can use an improvised stethoscope (actually a big screwdriver) to listen to the sound and find out where it's coming from. Have someone in the vehicle start it and run it at about 40 mph. Using a long screwdriver or stethoscope, rest it on the hub near each wheel bearing. Careful! Don't let the tool touch a moving part, or it could fly up and hit you. Listen through the handle of the screwdriver (or through the stethoscope) for the noise, and I guarantee you will be able to determine which bearing is bad.

Wheel Bearing Noise Amplified by a Screwdriver Handle

Replacing Your Wheel Bearing

Wheel bearings do not fail immediately, and usually give you some time before you need to have them replaced. I suppose if a wheel bearing failed completely it could lock up and prevent the car from moving. Then again, my daughter drove on a noisy bearing for six months and nothing happened except that it got louder and louder.

You shouldn't necessarily have the bearings on both sides replaced. Just because one fails is no reason to think the others are about to; bearings should last a long time.

Replacing one is a bit expensive because of the labor involved. There are a lot of parts to remove and get out of the way before you can get to the wheel bearing, especially on a four-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive vehicle. It's a difficult job to do yourself without a press, because it's a tight fit getting the bearing in and out of the hub. It's less work (though more expense for parts) to replace the whole hub and bearing as a unit.

I Have a Favor to Ask

I hope this article helped you. If you have a question, please feel free to leave it in the comments box, I will answer it as soon as possible. Your questions are welcome and help other readers.

If you found this information useful, please share it! For example, using the Facebook or Twitter buttons at the top of the page. Thank you for all your help :)

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    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Melissa,

      No, the ABS light is controlled by a sensor and a pickup. Some vehicles pickup ring is located on the wheel bearing and some on the hub or axle. The noise you're describing does sound like a wheel bearing, and sometimes it's just internal damage and the wheel bearing will feel tight.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cyn,

      Has the same mechanic been replacing the wheel bearing? If so, find a new mechanic. It's very unusual for a wheel bearing to fail in that shot of time unless it was installed wrong. Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Melissa 4 weeks ago

      I have a loud, almost like a plane is ready for take off sound inside my car. My car only has 49,000 miles and is a 2012 Altima. Based on what I've researched, it sounds like it may be my wheel bearings. It does let up a little when I turn left. I did jack up each end and checked the tires for play - nothing. However, when I turn them, they do have a rubbing sound. Wouldn't my ABS light come on if my wheel bearings are bad? HELP! THANKS!

    • WheelScene profile image

      WheelScene 4 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      Don't forget the wheel speed sensor for ABS and stability control. They are often one piece so if that goes you need to do a wheel bearing also!

    • profile image

      Cyn 5 weeks ago

      I have a 2006 maxima and my right front tire bearing is going again for the 3rd time now in 10 months!!! why does this keep happening? what is the cheapest way to fix this problem and my tires in the front are getting uneven now, its only been about 3 weeks and im still driving on it because it cost so much

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Excellent!

      Thanks for coming back with an update Spencer, I really appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      Spencer 5 weeks ago

      Hey Eddie,

      It was the driver side wheel bearing. They replaced it. Drives a whole lot better. Glad to be done with it. Thanks for your help!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alex,

      Good question. Wheel usually get hot from braking, and they can get extremely hot depending on how much braking is done and at what speeds, but like you stated, it could also be a worn bearing. I recommend having someone check for a sticking caliper on that side and also check to see if the bearing on that side is what is causing your noise. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Spencer,

      Most likely it the right front wheel bearing because when you turn left lightly, you put more weight and pressure on that bearing. This is a guess on my part without hearing the noise, so have someone check it before you spend money replacing it. Let me know how you make out, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks Thelma,

      the average wheel bearing takes about 2 hours, but times can vary due to the type of vehicle and location.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eva,

      Do you know the code? It sounds like maybe the transmission torque converter, but you said it has something to do with fuel? Check your transmission fluid level and condition first and let me know if you have the code, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jag,

      What is the reason for needing another wheel bearing? Is it noisy? Is there play in the hub? No, air pressure and tire condition will not cause damage to a wheel bearing, but a worn or loose wheel bearing can cause abnormal tire wear.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      My Accord has always had lots of road noise especially while on the highway, but it seems to be louder than normal recently. My tires need to be replaced, but they still have some tread. Regardless, I'm getting them replaced in a couple days. However, I noticed that my drivers side front wheel is hot to the touch after about a 20 minute drive. I can't keep my hand on it for more than about 5 seconds. The front passenger side is also hot but not as bad. The rotors look okay. There are no deep grooves inside or out. I installed new calipers, rotors and pads in the front about a year ago so I don't think it's the breaks. Is the temperature of the wheel a good indication I have bad bearings? I don't really drive like a maniac, but I have no idea how warm the wheels are supposed to be after a short drive like that.

      Thanks,

      Alex

    • profile image

      Spencer 5 weeks ago

      Hey Eddie,

      So I had the cupped tires replaced, but the noise is still there. It's not as loud, but still has all the same characteristics. Seems to be louder when turning the steering wheel to the left, and is dampened by applying the brakes.

      Any thoughts? Does this mean it's automatically the bearings? I have not noticed much vibration.

    • profile image

      Thelma 5 weeks ago

      Great explanation and helps me to diagnosis in my car.

      How lon does it take it to repair.

    • profile image

      Eva Beard 5 weeks ago

      The problem I have does not happen all the time. At times when taking off, car will shake and vibrate so hard you think it was going to fly apart. Machanecs put it on machine, and said code was pertaining to gas flow. It did not pin point, so I could not afford to have all the parts replaced. I have had two bearings replaced already. When I give it gas shaking, vibration and roaring is scary.

    • profile image

      JAG 5 weeks ago

      Hi i have hyundai sonata 2002 i replace my front left wheel bearing before 2-3 months ago now i just been to get service my car and the mechanic said you need another front right wheel bearing whats the reason for that and also is there any connection with air pressure in tyre or tyre conditions???

      can you help me please ?

      thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Angie,

      The chirping noise sounds like your brake pad wear indicator is starting to hit the rotor warning you the pads are getting low. They should have looked at your brakes when they had the wheels off, and also they should have road tested the vehicle before returning it to you to verify the noise is gone. I would bring it back to them ASAP and give them a hard time, I recommend you go straight to the service manager. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sam,

      The parts will be cheap, about $40- $60, it's the labor that will cost the most. Most likely you have a 4wheel drive and it's usually more expensive for labor because there are more parts to disassemble. The labor cost will be between 2 - 6 hours labor. If you tell me the year make and model trim level and which bearing I can look up the flat rate time in the Mitchel book.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Spencer,

      If the tires are worn uneven and you start to hear the noise at about 10 mph, most likely the noise is caused by your tires, if the noise starts at about 25 mph, it could be a bearing noise you're hearing. I recommend replacing the tires first, even if you can swap a pair off a friends car to see if the noise goes away. Let me know how you make out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Spencer 6 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I'm trying to figure out what is producing the noise in my 2012 honda accord. I know I have some cupped tires, but the noise is dampened when the brakes are applied. I have been debating whether to take this to a tire place or the regular mechanic to have the wheel bearings checked.

      Or does the fact that applying the brakes dampens the noise mean its something else all together?

      Please help!

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Angie 6 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information! My daughter has a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid that we purchased 6 months ago. Since then, we have had to put new tires on it, replace the transmission, replace the oil pump and have the right front wheel bearing replaced. I picked up the car about an hour ago (after having the wheel bearing replaced) and it's now making a loud chirping noise on the driver side of the car. (sounds like a bird or cricket chirping) Any idea what that could be?

    • profile image

      Patricia 6 weeks ago

      I think this is the problem I am currently having. I appreciate feeling I have some info before taking the car in to be serviced. Thank you

    • profile image

      Sam S. 6 weeks ago

      How much would a wheel bearing cost to fix? (An average estimate) I have a fairly old Ford Explorer

    • profile image

      Daisy 7 weeks ago

      Hi, i recently had my front passenger side wheel bearing replaced and it now starts to making an odd noise, there is also a loud squeal noise that only appears when i reverse, that noise wasn't there before until the wheel bearing was replaced. Is it normal? Does it take time for the wheel bearing to adjust or is something wrong

    • profile image

      Vickie 7 weeks ago

      That was very helpful and that's what it sounds like coming from right front tire it just started in the last week would it hurt putting it off till next month and can you give me an idea what parts might cost I have a friend who might be able to fix it thank you

    • profile image

      Lynne 7 weeks ago

      Great information! I have a new car with very low mileage but recently keep hearing a low pitch drone sound (like when you go over the lane strip on a highway). It is not very noticeable at speeds of 25-30, but gets louder (but does not change pitch) the faster I go. I can also hear it now every time I break slowly. It is the same sound. Mechanic says it is normal, but I drove 3 other identical cars and none had the drone sound. It seems to be coming from the drivers side. Could it be the axle, or wheel bearing, or transmission? thanks.

    • profile image

      Rossina 7 weeks ago

      Also, the tires were purchased at a different place from the dealer. The dealer took care of the bearings. I had to take the car back after the front were done because the noise was getting worse. And then they found the rear were bad too.

    • profile image

      Rossina 7 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      They ended up replacing all four bearings. Luckily it was all under warranty. The car had 51000 miles on it. There is still some road noise but they say it is due to the tires. Not sure if I believe it. I am taking it to have the brakes checked.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rosina,

      No new tires will not cause wheel bearing failure, and it is very unusual for all wheel bearings to fail at the same time. After the repairs are done could you update me on what the mechanic actually replaced? I'm just very curious if they replaced all 4, thanks.

    • profile image

      Rosina 8 weeks ago

      Great article! I recently had 4 new tires put on my AWD MDX. Ten days later I started hearing road noise which turned out to be a bad front bearing, now all seem to be bad. Luckily still under warranty. Could the bearings have gone bad from getting new tires?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Martha,

      It's possible, it all depends on what you had done to the brakes and what was taken apart during the repair. If the bearing was removed from the vehicle to perform the brake job, then is it very possible it's a man made problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Daisy,

      Is the check engine light on? Does the engine sputter or bucking when you have lack of power? It sounds like your catalytic converter may be getting clogged. I recommend taking it back to the mechanic for the knocking noise, they may have left something loose. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback, I really appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      Mary Ann Grasso 8 weeks ago

      Mechanic says I need rear wheel bearing. Mine sounds like my old manual VW when I needed to shift into higher gear. I.E. going from 3rd to 4th gear. Sounds louder the faster I go. Thanks for explaining. You were very clear.

    • profile image

      Martha 2 months ago

      Great information. Quick question. Our van was fine then I had brakes replaced and now we have bearing noise. Could having the brakes done mess with the bearings?

    • profile image

      Daisy 2 months ago

      Hi Eddie!

      I have got a Hyundai i10.three weeks ago I change front tires,clutch kit and cv joints.The issues is it had no speed/power and when driven a long period it was smelling like clutch burning.so mechanic said clutch is worn out hence I replaced it and cv.so the problem is still continuing especially when I have load,on the steep hill .Now suddenly there's a noise coming from left front wheel that goes as I'm driving at 0-50km/h and it sounds like a knock and it goes louder as I sway to the right.what is the possible cause of the noise and of power loss over the steep hills

    • profile image

      Daisy 2 months ago

      Hie.I'm driving a Hyundai i10.i had it replaced a clutch kit and cv joint two weeks ago.it was okay,until today when it started giving out a sound on front left wheel.the noise goes like a steel drawing on the road when I'm driving at low speed,say between 0-50km/h but Immediately I increase the speed to 60km/h ,it goes quite until when I apply the brake to stop then the noise starts .could it be the wheel bearings.?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Frustrated,

      225 mph is pretty fast! The noise is rhythmic so it has something to do with wheels, tires, rotors, etc, anything that is turning at wheel speed, the noise stops when the brakes are applied, which leads me to believe it has something to do with the rotors, possible pad impressions which cause a thumping noise, and maybe even a sticking caliper. I recommend having it checked for these two possible problems, and slow down a little :)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robin,

      #1. When installing new tires, usually the mechanic will remove the wheels and install new tires on rims and reinstall the wheels, they don't usually even come close to the bearings.

      #2. You know your husband better than anyone (I hope), how much life insurance does he have on you?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Wanda,

      Some bearings can last a long time while making noise, others can overheat and seize in rare cases. I recommend getting it replaced as soon as you have the money.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Roselav,

      Great video! The noise you're hearing is the wheel bearing, most likely the right front but I can't be positive, it's best to have a mechanic check the noise with a stethoscope on a lift.

    • profile image

      Frustrated 2 months ago

      My car is making a rhythmic click/thump that speeds up as you accelerate, and is present only at slow speeds (it either goes away or cannot be heard over engine noise once you go more than 20-255 mph or so) and it also quiets when the brakes are applied. I've had a bearing go on another car and it does not sound like that. I just bought this car (used) so I'm very frustrated. Any ideas? Possibly brake calipers are rubbing on something?

    • Robin M Collins profile image

      Robin M Collins 2 months ago

      I told my husband that there was something roaring in my tires. I had just gotten new tires and thought it might be the 'new tire noise' but I had driven on them a while and they still roared. As I was about to leave on a 1600 mile round trip, driving by myself, I asked him to have it checked, which he did at his favorite tire place. (My husband insists he handles all car matters / communication with service work although he's not really good at it and I believe his favorite tire place is not reputable because in the past one of their many mistakes was when I had them look at a tire because it sounded strange and they said it was fine but 15 minutes later the tread came off and the tire ripped apart while I was driving on the interstate.) So he got it checked before the trip and returned the car to me and said it was fine. During the trip, the noise got louder and louder. When I returned he took it in again and they said it was wheel bearings. It is now fixed. Two questions: question #1 could this have been caused when the new tires were put on as there was no roaring before the new tires. And question#2, do you think my husband is trying to kill me?

    • profile image

      Wanda Adeeso 2 months ago

      What is the result of a bad wheel bearing or a power driver train if u keep driving it like that and whats the functions of s eherl bearing and power driver train, if im saying it tight.

    • profile image

      Roselav 2 months ago

      I had the brake pads and rotor on my 2008 Prius replaced in May after I notice a pulsing noise in the driver side front wheel. It happened when the steering wheel was turned left. Unfortunately, the noise continued but is now more like a vibration/grinding when the steering wheel is left of centre. It seems louder at higher speeds.

      This video illustrates exactly what is happening; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkyqnsh_7ss

      Could it be a bearing issue?

    • profile image

      Roselav 2 months ago

      I have a vibration/grinding noise in the front driver side wheel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkyqnsh_7ss This video illustrates the exact problem on my car. The noise starts when I turn the steering wheel to the left. It is louder at higher speeds. I had the brake pads and rotors replaced in May. Is this an issue with the bearing?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rori,

      You will need to find a shop who can diagnose the problem. It sounds to me like a wheel bearing noise, and since you just replaced the tires, you can rule out the tires making noise. If the mechanics checked it, that means the wheel bearings are tight and one may be making noise. Just have it checked by a reputable mechanic and let me know what they find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Rori 2 months ago

      Hi.

      So I have the humming noise sounding like it's coming from my front end starting at about 35 mph getting louder with speed and everyone is saying tires or wheel bearings, since my tires were shot i opted to get new ones before having anything else done first. While I was at the tire place I explained to the guy my noise problem and he said he would have the guys look at my be arings while my wheels were off. Guys came back & said I had a wire popping out of my tire & bearings looked fine. Was so relieved until I left and drove it. The noise is still there, like etc I don't know what to do & I just don't habe the money to pour into my car but I commute 45 mins to work and don't want to be driving it esp if it is unsafe. Please help!!!!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brenda,

      They may have made a mistake, I recommend bringing it back ASAP to have them take a look. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks for the feedback Tracy :)

    • profile image

      Brenda 2 months ago

      Hi. I just had my wheel bearings replaced, which was an expensive repair. It's riding great now but,after driving for several miles and making several stops, my brake pedal will do to the floor board but not everyone I have to stop. Did they get air in the brake line???

    • profile image

      Tracy 2 months ago

      Good post! Very detail. I have linked in my latest article

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bukky,

      A wheel bearing will get louder at higher speeds, so it's a good possibility that is your noise, but they don't usually sound like an engine belt, more like a steady hum, and it would be unusual for it to have an effect on fuel mileage, unless it was starting to seize, but you would most likely notice because your wheel would get extremely hot. Let me know if this helps, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi ES,

      I'm not sure about your mechanic and what they are capable of lol. The price seems a little high, depending on where you live, but the noise you're hearing now could be caused by tires or something else. If the noise only happens when braking, it's possible the noise is coming from the pads or rotors. Let me know if you have more questions.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Darla,

      Sometimes a wheel bearing can have some play (looseness) but usually isn't dangerous to drive, that may have been a scare tactic, especially since you didn't hear any noise from the wheel bearing. Sometimes wheel bearings are difficult to remove because of corrosion, so it is possible you may have needed a knuckle assembly, but the prices seem extremely high for this job. This problem would have been a good one to get a second opinion on. Let me know if you have more questions.

    • profile image

      Bukky 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie, thanks for detailed information. My car is a VW Golf, my mechanic indicated the back left wheel bearing was faulty few months back, that was replaced. less then 2 months, I hear similar noise, but from the front left side of the car. obviously concerned as it the front of the car and wondering if it an engine fault. I had it services and was told it my front wheel bearing. the noise is worse when on the motorway and driving about 50-70 and sounds like a loose belt noise. I'm over analysing things?

      2ndly does a faulty wheel bearing have any effect on fuel consumption?

      thanks.

    • profile image

      Es 3 months ago

      Hi

      Thanks very informative

      Few questions I have a 2006 Murano and last year had some noises while I was driving mechanic said it was wheel bearing charged$ 500 to replace (is that expensive? He changed the price on me I got a bad feeling) anyway after it was done the noise was gone but I do have a whirring sound at exactly 30-35 mph and almost like a high pitched steady humming sound as the car slows down from there. Is this still a bearing issue? Did he just do a bad job on it? Also didn't think this was related but I saw in one comment here so just curious after he did the bearing I had one rear brake that was grinding actually needed to replace the rotor and pad then few weeks later was grinding again turns out caliper had some issue do you think the first mechanic just screwed this all up?

    • profile image

      Darla Resnick 3 months ago

      My 2010 mercury Milan Hybrid, 41,000 miles went in for oil change, they said have bad wheel bearings & car unsafe to drive. $600 to repair, told them go ahead. Next day, they called said the car needs a knuckle, impossible to get bearings out. Another $300. I never heard noises, nor did my car alert me to a tire problem as it does when tire is low on air, or other problem. Does this sound right to you? I'm alone with no one to advise me. I love my car, but now I'm afraid to drive it, if I ever get it back. It's still at the Ford dealer. Thank you for your help.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Carol,

      If you didn't take the mechanic for a ride to point out the noise, do it next time in so they know what noise you are concerned with. The humming noise could be either tires or a wheel bearing, it's the two most likely causes. Let me know what happens next visit, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      That's great Monicah :)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Melissa,

      There are a lot of things that can make these types of noises. I recommend having the ball joints and strut mounts checked for any play or looseness.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Usually, they are either mounted on the edges of the rim or on the inside of the drum of the rim. If you were to look between the spokes of the wheels you will see them stuck to the inside of the rim near the calipers.

    • profile image

      Carol 3 months ago

      .. Loved your videos! I have a new car and the dealer said he cant hear my concerns when he drove it and dismssed it. Car makes a humming, echo sound, same pitch, hmmmm....hmmm sound when braking - a long braking after driving about 40 mph. and the same hummm.. hummm sound when driving above 40mph- it is soft but I hear it. Comes and goes but sound is progressively getting more frequent. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    • profile image

      Monicah 3 months ago

      I have read the article about bearing and am now convinced on what my mechanic told me.Thanks.

    • profile image

      Melissa Penn 3 months ago

      I have a 2010 Dodge Journey FWD. Two days ago, I was driving about 2 hours away from home and had something bang on the bottom passenger side of the car. Later that night when I was leaving to come home, I heard a loud pop/thud as I was backing out of a parking space and stopped the car. This noise doesn't happen while going down the road and not when stopping alone. Only when the vehicle is turning and being stopped. Yesterday my husband and I took off the passenger front tire to check the CV Joint and Ball Joint behind the rotor. As far as either of us can tell nothing is messed up. We did notice the brake pads on that side are resting on the rotor even when the car is in park and the brake petal is not being pressed. From the explanation could you help me narrow down what could be the cause of the pop/thud noise I am experiencing?

      I use this car to travel a lot and my children are usually with me in this vehicle. I do not want anything crazy to happen with my children in the car.

    • profile image

      joinflorida 3 months ago

      Unfortunately I don't know where the wheel weights are located. I have a 2013 Toyota Camry does that help

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joinflorida,

      It sounds to me like they bay be using the wrong wheel weights and they hit the caliper after the wheels are balanced. Do you know where the wheel weights are located on your wheels? Are they close to the calipers?

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      joinflorida 3 months ago

      I had no noises from my car until had a new set of tires. After that I heard bump bump bump noises which the dealership said was a bad wheel. bearing. They fixed the one and the sound went away. I then had the tires rotated and low and behold the sound started again. The dealership again said it wasa wheel bearing. Why would the sounds only start when something has been done with the tires. At $600. a wheel this is getting expensive,. Your comments would be appreciated

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Meghan,

      I highly suggest you have a mechanic put the vehicle on a car lift and inspect the rear suspension, I'm sure the mechanic will find either something loose or broken.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Tina :)

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      Meghan humphrey 3 months ago

      Hi, my 97 camry has been making a rattling clunking noise that seemed like it's coming from the trunk. It also has a shake around 70. The clunking just got way worse and now shake and noise happens BAD when going over 60. Help

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      Tina 3 months ago

      Very helpful.. thank you

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Francois,

      Usually, a worn outer CV joint makes a clicking noise around corners. A wheel bearing will make a groaning noise around 25 mph and above, chopped or uneven tire wear can also make a similar noise compared to a damaged wheel bearing. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Donna,

      Is your ABS light on or does it come on at times when you feel this happen? The scenario you're describing sounds like the ABS pump is running. Do you feel any kick back in the brake pedal?

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      Francois Holloway 3 months ago

      I've learnt something today. I thought it was my front CV joint that could have been damaged. Does the sound of a faulty bearing come close to a worn out CV joint.

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      Donna 3 months ago

      Thanks for your advice Eddie. I wonder if it is the wheel bearing. The noise is almost nonexistent. I hear a grinding sound when in reverse turning the front wheels to the left. The vibration in the steering wheel and the whole car is what is bad and worsening. The other thing that mystifies every mechanic I have taken the car to is this. While driving at any speed, at times it feels like the passenger front wheel skids or slows down and skid for maybe 3 seconds and then OK. It is doing this more and more now as the vibration gets worse. When this happens you can feel the vibration as if I went over a speed reduction strip. This has been going on for over a year and now the vibrations and grinding when I am in reverse as I stated above. Brakes are fine. A lot of front end suspension parts replaced. Wheels aligned. Tires balanced. None of these things have corrected this problem. Do you still think it could even be wheel bearings? I don't notice a constant road noise unless I have become used to it and don't even know it. Thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Donna,

      Wheel bearings start making noise around 25 mph and get worse the faster you go...Usually. Sometimes they are damaged enough to feel a vibration, or at least you think you feel it because of the noise. You'll need to find a mechanic who is knowledgeable in regards to wheel bearings otherwise these fly by night mechanics will just continue to through parts at your car until the noise is gone. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Doug,

      Not usually, if a bearing is making noise, usually it is not intermittent. Can you upload the video to YouTube and send me the link?

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Iowaguy :)

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      Donna 3 months ago

      I have had a problem for over a year now that is getting worse. No one has been able to diagnose it. I had struts replaced, the half shafts on the front, tie rods and nothing has solved the problem.

      One mechanic suggested that it might be the wheel bearings, but I had already put $1300 into the car for the above mentioned parts, plus labor, so unless he is sure I am not letting him put another part on and maybe not fix it.

      Here is the problem. Sporadically I feel a vibration that I can even feel in the seat and steering wheel and the sound almost like going over a speed reduction strip on the highway. It almost feels like one of my wheels actually stops turning or slows down. Other people have heard and felt it, even a mechanic, but no one can diagnose it. The car is a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I love the car and it is in great shape otherwise with only 116, 495 miles on it. I want to keep the car.

      Today the vibration in the steering wheel was visible along with feeling it and those times when it makes the speed reduction strip sound and feels like the wheel is stuck or not turning properly happened much more frequently and was worse.

      What do you think it is? I can take your thoughts to another mechanic and they may listen to me. Some have not been able to make it fail so they say just to wait. They don't drive it long enough to test it. AND this problem is much worse at high speeds. I have had the wheels aligned and balanced with no difference.

      Thanks for your help.

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      Doug 4 months ago

      I have that sound and shaking that comes from the rear passenger side of a CRV 2005, the problem is it is intermittent. I had the car at a Honda repair shop 3 times but they can not find the sound like a flat tire coming from the rear. I even recorded the sound on a tablet and played it to the service shop . Can a bearing do this come and go ?

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      IowaGuy 4 months ago

      Very helpful thanks for sharing!!

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hayden,

      Sorry for the late reply. The tech didn't road test the vehicle after the repair, otherwise, he would have heard the wheel bearing still making noise. I recommend road testing with him to point out the noise and be adamant that the noise has not changed and you would like it fixed it right this time at no charge. Let me know what happens, thanks.

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      haydenfries 4 months ago

      Hey Eddie,

      I have this low rumbling noise coming from the back passenger side of my 2005 Altima. It comes on around 25 mph, and definitely gets more noticeable as I get over 40. I took it to the mechanic today and told him about the deep, low rubbing noise coming from the back right, he called me back and told me the wheel bearing needed to be replaced, I told him to do it. I picked up the car and got back on the highway and noticed that literally nothing has changed. I spent $264 on the wheel bearing (+97 for him to fix the AC). $390 total. Can you tell me what the hell just happened?? lol or how I should handle this...

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      Hayden F 4 months ago

      Hey Eddie,

      I have this very low rumble that comes after I hit 25 mph, and it definitely gets more noticeable as I hit 40. I took it to the mechanic today, I told him I heard what I thought was a low, deep rubbing noise coming from the back of the car on the passenger side. He called me back and told me the wheel bearing needed to be replaced so I told him to do it. When I get back on the highway I noticed that I felt like literally nothing has changed. Same low rumbling from the back right. I called him back and he said to come take a drive tomorrow... It cost me $264 (+ $97 to fix the AC). $390 total. Can you tell me what the hell just happened to me?? Or how I should handle this...lol

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terri,

      If a wheel bearing is just starting to make noise, or if you just started hearing the wheel bearing, I recommend having the wheel bearing checked for play just to be sure the wheel is still tight. The mechanic ( if honest) should be able to diagnose how worn it is and if it is safe to drive.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Massi,

      Wheel bearings don't make a clicking noise, CV joint make a clicking noise when turning from a stop and accelerating, could that be your noise?

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      Terri 4 months ago

      Enjoyed your video on wheel bearings. I have a bad wheel bearing. Is it ok to drive on freeway with a bad bearing. I go the speed limit or is it better to go streets

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      Massi 4 months ago

      Hey, I just had the passenger side wheel bearing replace, I'm still hearing the same clicking sound when I drive it or hit the breaks.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jeremy,

      That's awesome, thank you for the feedback :)

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      Jeremy Roskell 4 months ago

      Very helpfully. Exactly what my wheel sounds like. Thanks for the help

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Yes Mike,

      A damaged wheel bearing will start to make noise right around 25 MPH. I have a few videos attached to my articles on wheel bearings. You can search my articles on this page. Let me know if you can't find them, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ashley,

      Sorry for the late reply. It sounds to me like you have some type of blockage in the line. If the brake pads are not releasing, you may have a brake line that is collapsed internally or a bent metal brake line. I recommend having all the brake lines inspected first, if everything checks out ok, you may need to replace the brake master cylinder. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

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      Mike 4 months ago

      Will a wheel bearing make a humming noise and cause a slight shake when under hard acceleration and braking at highway speeds (90kmh)

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      Mike 4 months ago

      Will a bad wheel bearing make a humming sound as well?

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      Ashley van Atta 4 months ago

      I currently baught a new used car lol of course I figured there would be some work to do but I replaced all break pads and roaters and even a caliper on my driver side back tire well I drove on it for a few days now and that same tire i put the caliper on is smoking a lot and my roater is getting ate up and this is the 2nd time now it's done this any thoughts?

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Azam,

      I recommend having it checked by a mechanic, if they tell you the repair can wait, then you have some time to save for the repair. I can't make the judgment without seeing the vehicle.

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kecia,

      I recommend having the tire and rim checked, your tire may be bald or down to the steel belts, or your rim is bent. Let me know what you find, thanks.