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Old 04-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
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Humming Noise from Rear

Hi all! I've had my 2012 Focus SE for about 2 weeks now. At highway speeds I'm getting a humming noise from the rear of the car and I'm trying to diagnose what is causing it. I'd also like to know if the Focus in general just has significant road noise.

What I've done so far:
Replaced back right tire - I've had one tire replaced as the tread was low and I thought maybe this was causing the humming.

What I know:
-This is a rebuilt car with previous damage to the back left side.
-All of the steel wheels are rusted on the hubs. I can't remove them and I will be taking it to Tire Discounters to have the tires rotated, and by rotated I mean knocked loose lol. The back right tire has already been knocked loose.
-Humming noise only occurs at highway speeds
-Noise does not change while turning (a symptom of a bad wheel bearing)
-Noise does not change while braking

TL;DR: I've got a humming noise coming from the back of my Focus while driving at highway speeds. I'm pretty sure it's not the bearings or breaks. It still could be my back left tire. Does this car just have significant road noise?


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Old 04-13-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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I'm guessing if you set cruise control to about 76mph it's loudest.
There was a thread before about this. I have the humming noise as well on the highway. Haven't heard of a fix though or what's causing for sure.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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Thanks Jp-12. I'll test that out on my way home today.

I'm curious; if this is a problem with all focuses (foci?) if I could add some sound dampening to the car.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:02 PM   #4
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It's still possible that this is a wheel bearing issue.

Also, a good trick to getting rusted on steelies loose is to spin the lugs off a few turns, then take the car, get it rolling slowly and hit the brakes hard. that will be enough to break the rust that's holding the rims, but the lugs will keep the rims on.

I had to do this to get my winter rims off first season because the dealer didn't pit anything on the hubs when they installed them. I put grease on the hubs every time i remove the wheels to prevent it from happening.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:17 PM   #5
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MetalMuffins, thanks for the advice on the steel wheel rust issue. Loosening the lug nuts and doing a stop makes me a bit nervous as all the force that goes through the wheel now goes through one lug at a time as it rotates. It'll probably be just fine but I'll mull over this some more and see if it's a good option.

Also, if the humming could still be my wheel bearings what is a good way to test this? I've pulled on the wheel to look for any wiggle to the bearing and couldn't detect any.

One thing I know I'll be doing is swapping my back left wheel with my front left wheel. If the noise now comes from the front left, then I'll know it's the tire. Of course I've got to solve the rust problem first =).
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:49 PM   #6
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Since you said that the car had an impact in the left rear, it's possible that there is impact damage to the wheel bearing. If this is the case, there really isn't an easy way to test as it wouldn't [necessarily] have play in it, just mars in the collars which could cause the noise.

The only way I could think of testing it would be to switch the entire rear hub assemblies from left to right and see if the noise follows. This would however take a lot of time and effort to do, and if you switch your tires front to back and the noise stays, I can't think of anything else that would cause the issue.

I personally wouldn't be worried about hurting anything with the "rusty wheel removal" method, just take it slow and you won't cause enough force to hurt anything. Start slow with a few mph and that should break the seat, you'll hear / feel it let go. Up to you though, free will and all
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