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Old 04-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #1
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Help with vibration issues....

Hello all,

I am nearing my wit's end with this problem. I've taken my 2012 Focus SE to both Ford dealerships in the area with no solution so far and have probably spend needless money on diagnostics and new tires that haven't helped my problem.

About three months ago, i scrubbed a curb at low speed (5mph) to get out of the way of an impending accident (another car T-boned a different car at an interestion, I swerved to avoid being caught in it). I hit my driver's side front tire and scuffed up the wheel a little bit. My rear driver's side tire rode up on the curb but didn't scrub. My tires did not go flat and there was no tire damage like a cut sidewall or anything.

Since then, I've had a cyclical whirring noise on the left side of my car. It starts happening at about 45mph and increases with acceleration. I can feel a vibration under my feet in the driver's seat. It is louder when I have the rear seat folded down, but I hear it from the front too. It's kinda like "whhhaaaa- whhhhaaaa-whaaaaa-whaaaa" for lack of a recording. Car drives straight, and the steering wheel does not vibrate.

Understandable, right? Problem is, nobody has been able to get rid of it. The first time I brought it in, the dealership said my tires were "cupped" and that might be what was causing the noise. I rotated the tires, rebalanced and even had the wheels put on a dial indicator to check for warping ($150 wasted) to no avail. I then replaced the tires and had an alignment done (tires were only 2 years old, the alignment was within limits). The vibration and noise got slightly better, but is still present.

I noticed last week that when at highway speeds (65-70mph) the noise and vibration gets slightly less when making a left hand turn and slightly worse when making right hand turns. To me, this just solidifies the notion that something is up on the left side.

I took the car into a Tire Kingdom today for their $20 inspection deal. Mechanic took it on a test drive and took a good look at the wheel bearings and shocks, he didn't find anything wrong. Next I asked him to look at the CV joint, he didn't find anything wrong there either. To his credit, he didn't want to charge me for a repair that might not help (new bearings) but he suggested that I have the transmission bearings looked at.

I am unfamiliar with that bearings could be bad to cause this problem, and i don't know if I want to bring it into the dealerships here because they've been no help previously and I stand to spend big money on people who either aren't serious about finding the problem or just want to charge me for repairs that don't help. What would YOU do? Any advice is helpful and appreciated.

Thank you,
Karen


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Old 04-06-2017, 10:43 AM   #2
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Wheel bearings is what I'd think, more so for the LF one.
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:45 AM   #3
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Try finding a hill & w/ the motor off roll down & listen & also cutting the wheel a little bit to one side & the other.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felixthecat View Post
Try finding a hill & w/ the motor off roll down & listen & also cutting the wheel a little bit to one side & the other.
I don't think I have any hills long enough to get up to 45 mph, when the noise usually starts. (central Florida is quite flat)

Would putting it in neutral while coasting have the same effect?

-K
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:13 AM   #5
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Yes, if problem is in wheel like bearing. Whacking a bearing while striking a curb is possible. And still possible to be a wheel or tire itself depending on how it was checked.

Jack car up and spin rear tire that side and look close at the OUTSIDE DIAMETER of the tire, NOT the sidewall. If off and out of round can make that noise and bad ones show up pretty much instantly spinning tire like that, they will be out or round up to 1 inch plus from high to low. New tire time, no balancing on the planet addresses that issue. You can do the front too by both wheels off the ground and in neutral, or again rotating to put it on back where's it's easier to spin it by itself.
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